The numbers are high: more than 50 percent of Americans have smoked weed at some point as an adult. And with decriminalization and legalization on the national horizon after success in some states, the industry has truly gone mainstream.
You may have been friends with Mary Jane for years, or you might be a newbie to the doobie. But vaping weed is a smooth and painless way to achieve a high for medical or recreational reasons.
Learning how to vape weed is different from learning how to smoke, but it all comes down to inhaling and exhaling. Here’s our beginner’s guide to worry-free smoke. Light one up for the last time, because we’re going to teach you how to vape weed.
How to Vape Weed
You can vape all kinds of products, but the best quality bud has a high concentration of THC, the psychoactive chemical in cannabis. But you don’t have to smoke it anymore. You can vaporize the flowering plant with an old-school volcano vape, or you can buy a vaporizer pen and enjoy your puffs with clouds instead of smoke.
This guide focuses on the latter, as vaping devices that include cannabis oil or wax are becoming more popular. You can buy a vaping device, often called a vape or a vape pen, at many local smoke shops and other retail outlets.
Vaping has less adverse effects than combusting or smoking the jazz cabbage.
If you don’t live in one of the 28 states that have legalized weed in some form, you’ll need to know how to vape weed on the down-low. Staying sly is easy with portable vape pens, as they can look like regular pens and resemble many other simple office or household products.
If staying stealthy is important to you, buy a vape pen and only charge it in the privacy of your home. You can also buy vape pens that look completely stealthy, such as ones that look like asthma inhalers.
Make sure you don’t confuse your vape for something else entirely!
Choose Your Vaping Style
There are two main varieties of vaping devices: oil or flower. Some people buy hash oil or wax and vaporize it to produce the high — or medical effects — that they want.
Others are a little more old school, and they like to pack their bud straight into their pen. If you are a veteran toker, you might remember this if you’ve loaded your flower into a one-hitter pipe. These were often disguised as ceramic cigarettes.
But those days are over.
Those who vape their weed directly from their pen, as opposed to using hash oil they made or obtained, are actually enjoying fewer health risks than those that vape with oil.
Unlike smoking, the plant material or oil is not combusted in a chamber and does not burn up. It is vaporized at a lower temperature, thereby releasing the THC, but not creating ashes out of plant material.
If you’ve ever taken your bud out of a vape after using it, it usually looks more brown than green. But you will realize that it’s still in one piece!
For those who travel to experience the high life, you can read more on how to vape smarter in Las Vegas.
Choose Your Vaping Pen
This is the fun part. After you’ve decided whether you’re smoking bud flower or hash oil, it’s easier to decide what kind of vape pen you need to buy.
There are many brands, designs, and plenty of reviews on each kind of mainstream vape pen. Choose an apparatus that meets your needs: if you need something compact, buy that. If you need something with long-lasting battery life, you can find those, as well.
Although most portable vaporizers and vape pens will arrive pre-charged, charge the battery before you use it so you can understand how it will work when all of your sweet Mary Jane is gone and you’re needing a refill.
Currently popular are the vape pens that charge in USB ports instead of AC/DC electrical outlets. This provides for discreet and mobile charging.
Before You Vape Weed
Once you’ve decided on your preferred substance and obtained a vaping apparatus, do a dry run. Learn how all the buttons work, and what voltage and wattage are and why they matter.
Make sure you start with low wattage, so as not to burn up the device and cause a sore throat. While some advanced vaping pens, like the popular SMOK series, will have memory settings, manual wattage and voltage changes, and lots of other bells and whistles, you only need something basic to get started.
Don’t get bogged down.
Fill up your chamber with oil or cannabis flower buds. You’re almost there.
After you’ve filled your chamber with your preferred device, psyche yourself up! You’re about to vape weed for the first time!
Put your mouth up to your vaping device, press any start button you may have, and inhale! Start slowly at first, with short inhales. And be sure to puff, puff, pass — as you may be surprised at the amount of vapor released!
Pull your mouth away from the apparatus and stop pressing the button (if there is one) when you have finished taking your first inhale. Hold the vapor in your lungs for a few seconds, and then have an exhale and relax.
Some vape pens are disposable, and others require that you continuously re-load your own hash oil through pods or a chamber. Pick the type of vape pen that works best for you.
Be aware that sometimes, butane hash oil, or BHO, is in the commercially available cannabis oil you buy to vape. The substance may contain adulterants that can be harsh on people. Vaping dirty oil can have adverse effects, so smoking actual bud has been deemed “safer.”
Learning how to vape weed is an essential skill for fans of the green goddess, and it’s proven to be safer than smoking. In fact, you’ll have to work less hard to inhale the same amount of THC than you would if you were incinerating it.
If you’d like to learn more about vaping and see what’s available to you for vaping weed, click here.