If you’re interested in vaping, but think that vaping won’t taste well or produce the effects you want…
You may be right. Bad vapor quality is the biggest reason beginners give up on vaping.
The two elements that make up the quality of your vapor are:
- Potency – the medical power of the vapor produced;
- Flavor – the taste of the vapor produced.
If you don’t get a high-quality vaporizer or don’t know how to use a vaporizer, you risk inhaling vapor of low potency and bad flavor.
But if you put in a little bit of effort in researching what works…
Producing vapor of amazing quality becomes easy.
In today’s post, I’m going to show how you can make sure your vaporizer will always produce vapor of amazing quality.
This starts with getting the right vaporizer. But also using the proper techniques.
And if you’re wondering why you should care about vapor quality, slap yourself and repeat after me:
Vapor quality WILL make or break my vaping experience.
So let’s get on with it…starting first with how you can recognize a potent vaporizer.
Or go directly to the paragraph that interests you:
1. The Factors That Make a Vaporizer Score High on Potency
Why do people use cannabis?
Well, the most important reason is because of the effects it produces, whether you use it medically or recreationally.
And the second-most important reason is that a lot of cannabis users are in love with its taste.
Why does this matter?
If you’re vaping and want to feel the effects of cannabis, you need potent vapor.
We all know potent vapor when we see it…it’s thick, it’s dense, it’s milky and hits like a truck. But how to technically define it?
The technical definition of vapor potency is the cannabinoids-to-air-ratio of your vapor.
Cannabis has many different types of compounds, but it’s primarily the cannabinoids, and to a lesser extent, terpenes, that are responsible for the effects associated with using cannabis.
What this means is:
The more cannabinoids you will have in your vapor, the stronger the medical effects of your vapor will be.
You will get medicated quicker and more effectively with potent vapor. But not every vaporizer produces potent vapor.
But here’s the kicker:
I cannot scientifically measure the cannabinoid-to-air ratio of vapor.
I can measure unscientifically…how potent the vapor is, coming out of a vaporizer.
How do I do that?
I look at:
- How hard a vaporizer hits (basically the brutality of a hit and how medicated I feel);
- How big the clouds are;
- How dense the clouds are.
Note: Keep in mind big and dense clouds don’t necessarily have a higher cannabinoids-to-air ratio, but they will hit you harder.
And if you’re interested in vaporizers that produce the hardest-hitting clouds of vapor, you need to look for direct-draw, convection desktop vaporizers with a powerful heating element.
What makes direct-draw, convection desktop vaporizers with a powerful heating element produce potent vapor?
It’s quite simple actually:
- Desktop vaporizers have access to electricity coming out of a standard electrical outlet instead of a tiny battery,
- This results in a fertile breeding ground for demanding but powerful heating elements specifically designed for full convection style heating,
- A powerful heating element combined with convection style heating will heat your herb exceptionally effectively and efficiently… leaving no cannabinoids in your herb unextracted,
- Direct-draw inhalation reduces the potential of condensed vapor building up in wands/whips, and you’re closer to the source, leaving more PURE vapor for you to inhale.
All these variables contribute to you getting the densest, hard-hitting clouds with the highest cannabinoids-to-air-ratio in a single draw/hit/rip.
2. What You Can Do to Increase Potency…
Some variables that have a significant impact on the cannabinoids-to-air-ratio of your vapor, are controllable by YOU!
So pay attention…
Use Quality Weed
Yes, captain obvious is here…but you’re not going to get potent vapor with low-quality weed. How do you recognize potent herb?
A couple of tips:
- Potent weed is usually plenty covered in crystals (trichomes);
- Potent weed smells STRONG (that characteristic marijuana smell);
- Potent weed is phenomenally cured (slowly dried), compact, firm, and most importantly: extremely easy to grind.
The Grind of Your Herb
Every vaporizer will have its optimal grind level. Here are a few general tips though:
With a conduction vaporizer:
Just grind your herb as fine as possible. No concessions here.
With a convection vaporizer:
A medium to fine grind is best usually. You want all the trichomes (crystals) of your herb loosely distributed through your bowl so the hot air can permeate every single trichome on its path to your lungs.
Tip: Another method is to put your herb in the bowl unground, take a few hits, and then grind and stir it to a finer level in your bowl. The first few hits will be very tasty, while the rest of the hits will be dense.
Although the grind of your herb is the most important in using a vaporizer and potent vapor production, you should learn all the necessary tips on how to use a vaporizer properly.
Use True ‘Dry Herb’
If you have well-cured marijuana, you don’t need to dry your marijuana any further…this will only negatively affect the taste. But if you got fresh and moist marijuana, you need to dry it up a little…
Moisture hinders the vaporization process severely. The potency of your vapor will take a big hit.
Keep Your Vaporizer Fresh and Clean
Just like with your body, to keep it functioning properly and let it keep producing large and potent clouds of vapor, you need to clean your vaporizer up regularly. Don’t let any resin build up in any parts of your vapor path and especially keep your bowl and the screen in your bowl clean.
Some vaporizers are harder to maintain than others, read our vaporizer reviews to find out about each particular vaporizer.
Increase the temperature
The higher the temperature, the more potent the hit.
The higher the temperature, the harsher the hit…
…unless you take measures like using a bubbler.
If you want to go for those extremely potent hits (keep in mind: you risk getting more carcinogens in your vapor this way), get a vaporizer which can easily reach temperatures up to 446°F / 230° C, which is close to the combustion point of marijuana.
Also Read: The Best Temp to Vape Weed
3. What Makes a Vaporizer Flavorful?
If you’re anything like me, you don’t only vape cannabis for the effects it produces…
But also for the divine taste of the beloved herb.
As a true connoisseur, you’ll want to preserve that sweet taste to the best of your ability…and let all the terpenes of your herb blast your taste buds with all their different and blissful flavors.
If you want top flavor, you need to look for these characteristics in your vaporizer:
- Glass covered heating element > ceramic > aluminium;
- An all-glass vapor path > stainless steel > plastic;
- And some sort of vapor cooling.
What makes convection vaporizers with glass-covered heating elements, an all-glass air path, and vapor cooling the best tasting vaporizers?
- Convection style heating makes sure the flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids in your marijuana get extracted more evenly than with conduction, meaning you’ll have great tasting vapor all throughout your sessions instead of just the first few hits tasting well (like with conduction);
- Glass is the most inert material used in vaporizers, the chances of it reacting with your vapor are virtually zero. Thus it adds nothing to the taste… not even a microscopic amount of extra substances. Purity at its finest;
- Realize that if you vape at high temperatures, you’ll get harsh vapor. If you regularly vape at high temperatures, you definitely will want some sort of cooling, whether this is water-cooling (which I like best), a cooling coil or a balloon, you’ll need something if vapor flavor is a top priority for you.
4. What You Can Do to Increase Flavor…
There are things YOU can do (or rather refrain from doing) to keep the flavor of your vapor at a sensational level!
So pay attention…
Give Up Smoking…
Maybe you’re an ex-smoker and you like to keep smoking at least a little while vaping. You got your new vaporizer, you begin your vaping journey, but the taste is just lacking.
Before you blame your vaporizer and vaping in general, please:
Give up smoking for at least 3 months!
Smoking does not only damage your taste buds; it actually can kill them…and your body will need time to recover your taste buds, especially after an extended period of smoking.
Keep the Temperature Below 392°F/200°C
Vaping above this temperature will always add a bit of a harsh taste to your vapor, of course using some sort of cooling does help…but won’t always wholly mask the harsh flavor, especially after the first couple of hits. This temperature is not set in stone. Ultimately, you will have to experiment until you find your sweet spot.
Adding Terpenes to Your Dry Herb
You now know that terpenes are the compounds that mainly are responsible for the specific taste a strain has. Whether you smoke or vape your cannabis, the specific taste of a strain is dependent on the combination of terpenes and concentration of these specific terpenes.
Most strains of cannabis have enough taste of themselves. But if you would like to increase the taste of your herb, you could add terpenes to your dry herb. The best way is to get terpene powders. Liquidized terpenes aren’t well-suited for vaping in a dry herb vaporizer. You could add liquidized terpenes to a CBD vape juice, for example. However when it comes to dry herb, only use terpene powders.
And That’s It…
You’ve learned everything about vapor quality, what type of vaporizers produce high-quality vapor, what you can do to increase it, and some specific recommendations on vaporizers which deliver vapor of a, unusually high quality. If after this guide you still complain about vaporizers not getting you where you want because they’re too weak…
…the vape gods know where to find you.
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