What’s the Best Temperature to Vape Medical Marijuana?
Every medical patient should know the best temperature to vape weed if they use medical cannabis in order to achieve the effects they’re looking for. Changes in vaping temperature will alter the chemical structure of the cannabis and consequently alter its effects.
Remember that cannabis is a uniquely complex drug comprised of hundreds of cannabinoids and terpenes. Each of these compounds has its own physiological effects within the body, and each has a different boiling point. Consider the following vaping temperature chart:
Cannabis Boiling Points
If your vaping temperature is high enough to activate the THC but not high enough to activate the CBD, you’ll experience a very different result than if you activate both the CBD and THC. The issue gets infinitely more complex when you consider the boiling points of the different terpenes (aromatic plant oils) and how each one interacts with the cannabinoids.
With all of that in mind, the optimal vaping temperature for medicinal use is 392°F (200°C). Let’s examine the reasons why.
Finding the Perfect Marijuana Vaping Temperature
Medical marijuana is most commonly consumed at a temperature between 315 and 392 degrees Fahrenheit. If your temp is too low, you won’t feel anything. If your temp is too high, you may dampen the medicinal effects and even expose yourself to dangerous chemicals.
Because THC (the psychoactive compound in cannabis) has a boiling point of 315 degrees, you’re unlikely to experience any medicinal effects below that temperature. But THC isn’t the only important compound for medicinal users.
Much of the medicinal benefit—such as the potential anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety effects—comes from the CBD, which is activated at a much higher temperature. In addition, CBD has been shown to offset the psychoactive effects of THC, so this compound may help you to achieve the medicinal benefits with fewer side effects.
Though the boiling point of cannabidiol is 356 degrees, one study found that the highest yield of CBD in cannabis vapor occurs at 446 degrees. In other words, the higher you bring the temperature, the more active CBD you get.
In addition, many of the terpenes found in cannabis boil at much higher temperatures than CBD. Humulene has been studied for its anti-inflammatory effects, and linalool (in addition to having its own anti-inflammatory effects) has been studied for its anti-convulsive and sedative properties. Both of these terpenes boil at 388°F.
So, in general, higher temperatures mean more active compounds that your body can metabolize for medicinal use. But while some vaporizers will let you achieve temperatures north of 400 degrees, there are some important reasons why you should cap it at 392.
Why You Should Never Overheat Your Medical Marijuana
A higher vaping temperature can come with its own pitfalls. Most notably, the risk of inhaling benzene and other toxic chemicals increases when you heat your cannabis to a temp above 392 degrees. Long-term exposure to benzene may result in anemia, immune disorders, and even leukemia. While the exposure risk with cannabis is small, it’s still a possibility.
In addition, when you heat your cannabis above 400 degrees, your terpenes burn much faster. This may result in much more intense psychoactive effects without greater medicinal benefit. Less relief, more couchlock.
At 447 degrees, you’re at a high risk of combusting your medical marijuana. Cannabis combustion may expose you to over a hundred dangerous carcinogens while also reducing the beneficial effects of the terpenes and cannabinoids.
Stick with 392, and you should enjoy a full range of benefits with minimal risk.
Does the Type of Vaporizer Matter for Temperature?
Whether you’re using a box mod, a desktop vape, or a portable flower vape, the same basic rules apply—at least for dry herb. Cannabis flower should have the same temperature reactions regardless of which heating device you use. If your device has a series of temperature presets, you can just go with the temp closest to 392 without going over.
However, things get a bit more complicated if you’re vaping cannabis concentrates like shatter or wax. If you’re using a wax pen, you need to exercise a bit more caution with the heat level. Because these products are highly concentrated and potentially far more potent, high temperatures may result in severe intoxication. Consider that cannabis flower typically has a THC concentration in the 10-25% range. Cannabis concentrates, on the other hand, can have a THC potency between 50% and 90%.
Start with a temperature around 365°F—just enough to activate the THC and CBD. If you don’t get the desired effect, you can gradually increase your temperature up to 392 as needed. Also be mindful of your strain. A wax concentrate with a high CBD concentration might be less potent as the cannabidiol counteracts the THC.
How to Get the Results You’re Looking For
While finding the right temperature is important, there are additional factors that will impact your experience. For instance:
- Each marijuana strain has its own unique cannabinoid profile, and this can have a tremendous impact on its efficacy. Make sure to choose medical marijuana strains that are suitable for your condition or desired results.
- Be mindful of dosage as well. If you’re new to medical marijuana, start with a microdose of just 2.5mg to 5mg of THC. Then increase incrementally as needed. A little goes a long way.
- Vaping is great for fast-acting results that are smoke-free, but you may find that you enjoy other delivery methods as well. For instance, edibles take longer to set in but can have longer-lasting results. Tinctures are easy to take and fast-acting, and you never have to monitor the temperature. Explore different delivery methods to see what works best for you.
Finally, everyone metabolizes cannabis differently. What works for one patient might not be ideal for you. Speak with your doctor, and experiment with different strains and temperatures until you find the perfect match.