What Temperature Should I Set my Vaporizer To?

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If you’ve been asking yourself “What temperature should I set my vaporizer to!”, have patience: this simple question does not have a simple answer. 

Figuring out the best temperature to vape actually depends on a few factors, so there are some important questions to answer before you can identify your ideal vaping temperature range. However, generally speaking, using dry herb or wax vaporizers with multiple temperature presets or adjustable settings is the easiest way to experiment with different temperatures to see which one is right for you. 

This guide will explain how different temperature ranges change the vaping experience and what people should keep in mind to find the perfect temperature settings for their weed vaporizers.

Understand the Limitations

Before you start, understand this: Using the same strain at the same temperature setting could yield different results when using different vaporizers. 

This is why we recommend high-quality weed vaporizers to all cannabis enthusiasts. If you are using a low-quality vaping device, it might prove to be impossible to reliably find your perfect temperature range.  

Assuming you have a good enough vaporizer, it should also be noted that each cannabis strain has a unique chemical makeup, which is why the taste, effects and potency can vary so much from strain to strain. If you’re going to discover the best temperature for your vape, remember that each “ideal temperature” may be somewhat unique to the strain you’re testing.

Vaping Basics in a Nutshell

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To fully appreciate why vaping is so superior to combustion and how vaporizers let people get a personalized cannabis experience, reviewing some vaping fundamentals will help many people develop a better understanding of why vaping has taken the cannabis scene by storm.

Vaporization happens through a heating process that stops short of the temperature needed for combustion. As such, the result is vapor, not smoke. Cannabis vapor does not have the same carcinogenic substances found in smoke, and inhaling it is easier on the lungs. 

This lower temperature range helps preserve the complexities and subtleties in the flavor of cannabis strains, all while making more efficient use of your dry herb. In short, vaping is a cleaner, healthier, more efficient and more flavorful alternative to smoking. But the advantages of using a vaporizer don't stop there.

The leading weed vaporizers now on the market provide users with unprecedented levels of control over their cannabis use. Switching from higher temperatures to lower temperatures happens quickly and easily with the click of a button, which lets people find their ideal temperature for vaping after a little experimentation. 

This technology does more than help people dial in delicious hits, it lets them target specific cannabis molecules to adjust cannabis effects to meet their needs and desires. Weed and wax vaporizers can achieve this result because the various compounds found in cannabis - terpenes and cannabinoids - are released at different temperature ranges.

Boiling Points, Terpenes and Cannabinoids: What You Need to Know

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As most people know, dry herb contains many different compounds, known as cannabinoids and terpenes, that create both psychoactive effects and medical benefits associated with cannabis. What is less well known is that these compounds each have different boiling points, which is why the vaporizer temperature setting can have such a large impact on the effects of the vapor it produces.

Of all the compounds found in cannabis, two among them - THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol) - are far more well known than the others, but most people are surprised to learn that THC and CBD are among a total of 113 cannabinoids and that each of them has particular effects. Although the science in this area is continually evolving, there is widespread agreement on the boiling points of most of these different compounds.

The levels of cannabinoids and terpenes vary from strain to strain, and there are a lot of them to account for. Ultimately, it is the proportion of cannabinoids and terpenes found in each strain and how they interact that accounts for why the effects of cannabis can vary so greatly from person to person and from session to session. 

Cannabinoids and Terpenes

These are the most commonly found cannabinoids and their boiling points. As you can see, they all fall well below the combustion point of cannabis (which is somewhere in the range of 450°F - 550°F / 230°C - 290°C, depending on a variety of factors). 

This is why you lose all control over the effects of a particular strain once it burns, by the time it goes up in smoke the boiling point of all the cannabinoids and terpenes has been surpassed.

Cannabinoids

  • Cannabigerol (CBG): 126°F / 52°C
  • Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THC-a) : 220°F / 104°C
  • Cannabidiolic acid (CBD-a): 248°F / 120°C
  • Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ9 THC): 315°F / 157°C
  • Delta-8-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ8 THC): 350°F / 177°C
  • Cannabidiol (CBD): 356°F / 180°C
  • Cannabinol (CBN): 365°F / 185°C
  • Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THC-v): 428°F / 220°C
  • Cannabichromene (CBC): 428°F / 220°C

Terpenes

  • Alpha-Pinene (A-Pinene): 311°F / 155°C
  • Beta-Caryophyllene (BCP): 320°F / 165°C
  • Beta-Myrcene: 334°F / 168°C
  • Citronellol: 437°F / 225°C
  • d-Limonene: 349°F / 176°C
  • Eucalyptol: 349°F / 176°C
  • Terpinolene: 365°F / 185°C
  • Linalool: 388°F / 198°C
  • Humulene: 388°F / 198°C
  • Phytol: 399°F / 204°C

How Temperature Ranges Affect the Vaping Experience

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As a general rule, vapor at temperatures above 200°C / 392°F will produce stronger body effects because of the higher number of cannabinoids that hit their boiling point by the time your vape reaches that temperature. 

Vapor in the "low" temperature range provides the most flavor and lightest psychoactive effects because it remains below the boiling point of most THC and CBD compounds. The tipping point between these two opposing ends of the spectrum happens somewhere around 185°C/365°F, but it will vary from strain to strain.

Low (325°F - 356°F / 163°C - 180°C)

Until your vape reaches a temperature of around 315° F (157° C), which is the boiling point of the main psychoactive ingredient in the cannabis plant, you won't get much of an effect. What you will get, however, is fresh-tasting and smooth hits.

This relatively cool vapor isn't harsh on the throat or lungs and lets the natural flavor of the cannabis strain stand out. As you reach higher temperature settings, more THC and other cannabinoids will be released, which will lead to a more intense experience. This low temperature range is ideal of users with little cannabis experience or veteran users who want a low dosage.

Medium (356°F - 400°F / 180°C - 204°C)

Many people find that they hit their ideal temperature range shortly after the 180°C tipping point, because it offers a balance between tasty flavor and strong effects. The vapor you will get at this temperature is richer, thicker and warmer than you will get in the low range, which makes it more reminiscent of smoking. Some users find the vapor somewhat harsh, which can lead to coughing, but that will vary from person to person.

High (400°F - 430°F / 204°C - 220°C)

At high temperatures, you will get the most cannabinoid extraction and the strongest effects. Some flavor gets lost at these temperatures, and the vapor feels significantly hotter and thicker, which is why some users find it to be a bit too much. But if you are looking to get the strongest possible effects from your strain, this is the range for you.

Identify Your Vaping Goals

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Before you can find the best temperature to vape, you need to know what you want to get from your vape experience. Do you want to sample some flavors and get a light buzz? Are you new to cannabis and want to see for yourself what all the fuss is about? Do you want strong medical effects? Is a “couch lock” something you are a fan of?

Identifying your goals, and the extent to which you want to experience the psychoactive effects of THC, CBD and all the other compounds found in the cannabis plant, is your start point to finding the best temperature for you to vape at.

Research Your Vape

As mentioned earlier, not all vaporizers are created equally! You will never get high-quality results with a low-quality vaporizer. But that doesn't mean you have to break the bank and get the most expensive vaporizer you can find.

There are many weed vaporizers on the market at reasonable prices with good functionality for different temperatures. Read some reviews and ask an experienced salesperson about any concerns you might have. At a bare minimum, make sure the vaporizer you buy has at least low, medium and high temperature settings, if not complete temperature control.

Find the Right Cannabis Strain

Before your next purchase of dry herbs, do a little research on your own and ask your budtender any questions you weren't able to find answers to. Consulting with someone who is very knowledgeable about the various side effects of various strains is a great way to narrow down your search for your ideal strain. 

The ratios of THC, CBD and other compounds vary widely from one cannabis strain to another. Once you find a strain you like, play around with the temperature setting on your vaporizer to see how the effects change.

Vaping Tips and Tricks

Set your vaporizer to a slightly higher temperature (a few degrees is plenty) than needed to reach the boiling point of the cannabinoids and terpenes you want to target. Because of the variability between strains and devices, it's always a good idea to go slightly above the boiling point to make sure you get the effects of THC you are looking for.

If you enjoy vaping at low temperatures then you can get a lot of extra mileage from your herb. If your cannabis is still green, or only slightly brown, after you take it out of your vaporizer, that's a sign it still contains cannabinoids. Because it was decarboxylated during the vape process, it's now perfect for making edibles or an extraction.

Cannabis Vapor Temperature Range Summary

Once you have found the right strain of herb to go with the right vape, identifying the best temperature to set your vape to is a matter of figuring out which effects of THC and CBD you want to experience.

  • Low (325°F - 356°F / 163°C - 180°C): Very light and subtle side effects, this is the perfect temperature range for vapor with lots of flavor.
  • Medium (356°F - 400°F / 180°C - 204°C): This temperature range provides a balance between vapor flavor and cannabis effects. Good for medicinal users as effects are felt more strongly in the body.
  • High (400 - 430°F / 204 - 220°C) : This is the best temperature range to maximize the effects of THC and CBD, as these temperatures surpass the boiling point of each relevant cannabis compound. Produces stronger medicinal effects and vapor with less flavor than other temperatures ranges.