Materials & Use

Cannabis Vape Liquid: Key Facts to Consider

Gabi Antunes

Sep 18, 2019

The legal cannabis industry has already touched many verticals, delivering cannabis-derived products to all types of consumers in states that allow it. Cannabis vape liquid is one such product, which allows vapers to incorporate cannabis-derived materials directly in their sessions.

Cannabis vape liquid is a specific type of vape material designed for use with certain devices. It is different than the concentrated extracts it comes from and cannot be used with the same types of vapes that support those materials. So, what is cannabis vape liquid, how is it made, and which devices can it be used with? This guide offers you an overview of all things cannabis vape liquid and how you might incorporate the product into your next session.


What is Cannabis Vape Liquid?

Cannabis vape liquid is a thin liquid designed for use with vaporizers. Vaporizers designed for use with thicker concentrated extracts or dry flower are not compatible with cannabis vape liquids. Cannabis vape liquid can be used as a standalone product, filled directly into the chamber of your device.

Cannabis vape liquid is, of course, derived from cannabis plants. It contains the same compounds naturally found within these plants, including cannabinoids like Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It also includes compounds called terpenes and flavonoids, which are responsible for the unique aromas and flavors found in individual cultivars of the cannabis plant.

Cannabis vape liquid, like the plant itself, can vary greatly depending on the cultivar from which it is derived. A vape liquid made from one type of cannabis cultivar could be significantly different in its compound profile compared with a vape liquid derived from another cultivar. Understanding the source material for the vape liquid and how it was produced is key to understanding the type of product you are getting.


How is Cannabis Vape Liquid Made?

There are several key steps to making cannabis vape liquid, starting with the decarboxylation of the cannabis flower. Decarboxylation occurs when the flower is exposed to low levels of heat for a long period of time. Decarboxylation turns the inactive cannabinoid acids into their active form. For example, THCA in a cannabis plant does not interact with receptors in the human brain and body; decarboxylation turns the acidic form of THCA into its active form, THC.

Next, the decarboxylated flower is placed in a solvent of some kind, typically an alcohol or carbon dioxide. The solvent draws all the compounds of the flower out into a solution, including the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. The resulting mixture is then put through a refining process to remove unwanted materials, including the solvent itself. The result is a cannabis oil, a highly potent extract that closely mimics the compound profile of the source cultivar.

This oil can be used directly with certain types of vaporizers, but it is not yet a cannabis vape liquid. To make the cannabis oil thin enough for use with vaporizers that require a liquid rather than oil, it must be mixed with thinning agents.


How Can You Use Cannabis Vape Liquid?

Using cannabis vape liquid is just like vaping any other liquid designed for vapes. It is a relatively straightforward process from start to finish, so even new vapers can become accustomed to it quickly with a little practice. Whether you are a veteran vaper or relatively new to the process, follow these steps and adhere to the specifics laid out in your device owner’s manual to ensure a quality session every time.

  1. Charge your device: A fully charged battery is required to ensure your vape session is long-lasting and your heating element operates to its full potential. Ensure your battery is charged before loading your vape and beginning your session.
  2. Fill the chamber: Most vapes can be filled with liquid directly, though it’s important to check your device owner’s manual to ensure you are doing it correctly. Once your device’s chamber is filled, replace the lid and ensure it is snug to avoid any leakages. For cartridge vape pens, loading material is as simple as screwing a pre-filled cartridge into the device’s 510 thread. Contact with the battery will enable the cartridge’s internal heating element to vaporize the cannabis oil.
  3. Select your temperature: If your device has multiple temperature settings, select the one you want to use. The method of cycling through temperature settings varies from device to device. Some have one-button functionality that allows you to cycle through settings with a series of clicks, while others have simply up and down buttons that adjust the temperature in increments.
  4. Vaporize the material: Allow your device to heat to your selected temperature setting. As the heating element reaches the boiling point of your cannabis vape liquid, it will begin to vaporize. You can inhale the vapor through the device’s mouthpiece and repeat the process until your session is complete.
  5. Clean your vape: Maintenance is an important part of caring for your vaporizer, so it’s important to clean your device well after use. Consult your device owner’s manual for the specifics. Be careful not to damage any sensitive components while cleaning your device.


How to Choose the Right Cannabis Vape Liquid for You

Choosing the right cannabis vape liquid for you means understanding what you want out of a session. All cannabis-derived products closely mimic the compound profile of the source cultivar, so knowing which cannabinoids are present in that cultivar and how they will influence your vape session is important. You should also closely investigate how the cannabis vape liquid is made to ensure it has been held to quality assurance standards and that all materials used in its production are of the highest quality. The best way to do this is to purchase cannabis vape liquid only from reputable brands that have a proven track record of honesty, transparency, and delivering high quality products to consumers. These reputable manufacturers will publish third-party test results which verify cannabinoid content, as well as confirm the passing of tests under various state standards.

With the right combination of cannabis vape liquid and device, you will be able to tailor your vape session to suit your preferences. In the legal cannabis industry and booming vape industry, there are a lot of products to choose from. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and research each product thoroughly before buying. The result will be an experience that meets your expectations and supports your needs for many sessions to come.