Vaporizers & Vaping

How to Vape Cannabis for Beginners

Gabi Antunes

Jul 21, 2019

Legalization of medical cannabis and adult-use cannabis has been ramping up across the U.S. Vaporizing cannabis, particularly with a portable vaporizer, has become a preferred method of consumption in legal markets because of these devices support smooth and flavorful sessions. If you live in a legal cannabis state, you may have considered vaping cannabis because it’s discreet and preserves your material. If you’ve never done it before, though, you may have some questions about how to vape cannabis for the first time. This guide will walk you through the steps you need to follow when learning how to vape cannabis with a portable vaporizer, to ensure you have an enjoyable experience every time.

How does a vaporizer work?

Vaporizers are electronic devices that create vapor for inhalation by heating the loaded material to its boiling point, releasing flavors in the process. Vaporizers offer smooth draws and enjoyable experiences, with many supporting advanced features so consumers can tailor their sessions to their own preferences.

Cannabis vaporizers typically consist of several components, each of which works in tandem to produce vapor and deliver it to the consumer in a quick and easy process. The components commonly found in a vaporizer include the battery, heating element, and the chamber or cartridge. Your cannabis material can be loaded into the device chamber or will come in a pre-filled cartridge. To vaporize the material, your device will employ either conduction heating, in which the material directly touches the heating element as it warms, or convection heating, which employs the movement of hot air to indirectly heat the material.

Which cannabis materials are available?

There are a variety of cannabis materials, such as flower and concentrates, that can be vaporized. Depending on your preferences and the capabilities of your vaporizer, your choice of material will differ. If you have a vaporizer that supports the use of any material, experiment to find out which ones you like the best. After all, vaping is largely about personal preference and experience, so it’s important to try new things to discover what results in the best experience for you.

  • Cannabis flower: Cannabis flower is the dry herb produced by a cannabis plant. It is rich in compounds like Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the intoxicating cannabinoid for which cannabis is best known, and Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating cousin of THC. Depending on the strain of cannabis flower you choose, there could more or less of certain compounds in your material.
  • Cannabis oil: Cannabis oil is an extracted concentrate made from cannabis flower. Unlike flower, cannabis oil is for use in concentrate vaporizers or those that can accept both dry herb and concentrates. Cannabis oil can be loaded into a vaporizer or could be purchased in pre-loaded cartridges or pods, like those available for use with the PAX Era.
  • Cannabis wax: Wax, like oil, is a cannabis concentrate that is extracted from the plant. It can also be used in vaporizers that support the use of concentrates. Vaping cannabis wax is as easy as loading your vaporizer, allowing it to heat up and then drawing on the mouthpiece.
  • CBD oil: In addition to cannabis oil, you can vaporize hemp-derived CBD oil, which is extracted from industrial hemp plants.

Every vape is different. Some are compatible with all these materials, while others can only handle one type. Be sure to know your vaporizer inside and out before using it for the first time, and only load it with materials it was designed to accept. Once you’ve chosen your vaporizer and preferred material, it’s time to start vaping.

How to vape cannabis

Vaping cannabis can be easy, but there are a few steps you should follow to ensure your vape experience is effective and pleasurable. Here are a few simple steps to follow to get the most out of every session.

Make sure your device is charged

Before loading your vaporizer and beginning a session, you should make sure your device is fully charged. Place the battery on its charger and allow it to reach a full charge. Ensuring your device is charged will result in better vapor production and easier draws, making your session more enjoyable and longer-lasting.

Grind your cannabis material

If you’re using cannabis flower with your vaporizer, it’s important to grind your material finely enough so that air can pass through it. Vaporization requires good air flow, and roughly-ground material can impede this process. To improve chances of even heating and adequate vapor production, grinding your material before loading it into your vaporizer is a good idea.

Pack your vaporizer

Gently load your vape by hand or using a tool provided in your device kit. Be careful to not overpack your vaporizer. You want to ensure that air can flow through and around your material to heat it evenly. Overpacking the chamber or oven will prevent this crucial air flow. Not only will it prevent even heating, but it will make drawing on your vaporizer more difficult.

Turn on the device and set the temperature

Now that your vaporizer is packed and ready to go, turn it on and select your desired temperature. The temperature you choose might vary depending on the type of experience you would like to have. Some vaporizers have only one or a few temperature settings, while others are adjustable down to the degree. 

Once you’ve set your vaporizer to the desired temperature, it will begin to heat up. Heating times vary depending on your device. Most portable vaporizers fully heat in less than one minute, while vape pens are generally instant and desktop vaporizers may take a few minutes to heat. When the material reaches its boiling point, it will begin to vaporize. At that point, it is ready for inhalation.

Inhale properly

When inhaling vapor, your vaporized material will travel from the chamber, through the device and out of the mouthpiece. The longer and harder you draw on your device, the more vapor will be produced. Not everyone inhales the vapor, and you certainly don’t need to if you don’t want. However, if you’d like  to inhale the vapor fully, it’s important to start slow. When first inhaling vapor, start with short, light pulls to get a feel for your vaporizer. As you become more accustomed to it, feel free to take longer draws so long as it feels comfortable.

Make your cannabis vaping sessions enjoyable

Vaporizing cannabis can be an enjoyable experience that has a relatively low learning curve. It’s important to select the right vaporizer and materials to suit your preferences, as well as follow a few simple steps to ensure your sessions are effective and pleasurable. Vaping is a great way to enjoy both cannabis flower and cannabis concentrates where they are legal, so give both a try and see which is right for you. If you like both, select a vaporizer that allows you to easily switch back and forth between these materials. Vaping cannabis is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to consume and it’s clear why. All you need is a vaporizer, the right materials, and a little bit of vaping know-how to get started!