1 in 7 American adults reported using marijuana in 2017 – and that number is expected to continue rising.
The benefits of cannabis are more widely known and better understood than ever before. More people see cannabis as a legitimate treatment for a host of physical and mental conditions – but not everyone likes the idea of smoking a joint to get those benefits.
For those people who are wary of smoking or eating cannabis, a dry herb vape pen is the perfect alternative. Potentially safer but just as effective as traditional ingestion methods, learning how to use a dry herb vape pen is easier than it seems.
Keep reading for step-by-step instructions that any first-timer can appreciate.
What is a Vaporizer?
A vaporizer is an electronic or battery-operated device that heats cannabis herbs to high temperatures. Vaporizers heat up to anywhere between 310 and 430 degrees, which is just high enough to turn cannabis flower into vapor. That vapor is then inhaled by the user.
Vaporizers produce no smoke and no odor. They work quickly and effectively but they produce a high that is different than that of eating or smoking. They also range in size from portable, handheld devices, to larger devices like a Volcano vaporizer.
The Benefits of Vaping
Vaping offers all the same physiological, mental, and emotional benefits as other methods of taking cannabis. So why would someone choose to vape instead of smoking, eating edibles, or ingesting oils?
Some users claim that vaping tastes and smells better than the alternative methods of ingestion. They also feel that they get a stronger effect than smoking delivers – one that is more focused on the bodily effects than a psychoactive one.
A vaporizer also gives you flexibility in terms of customizing your experience. For example, you can blend strains to create personal blends. You can also control your dosage by understanding how to load your vape pen.
But perhaps the biggest benefit of vaping over smoking is that health risks associated with smoking are bypassed. Vaping means you’re ingesting fewer carcinogens and hazardous combustion byproducts such as carbon monoxide.
How to Properly Use Your Dry Herb Vape Pen
A vape pen can be made for oil, wax, or dry herb (also known as the flower or the bud). A dry herb vape pen works a little differently than other vaporizers, and we’ve outlined the steps for using them in more detail below.
Step 1: Prepare It
Before you use your dry herb vape pen for the first time, you’ll want to clean and prepare it for use. Take some rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab and wipe the chamber thoroughly. You’ll also want to wipe down the mouthpiece just to be safe.
Then, run the vaporizer on a high temperature while it’s empty. If it’s a butane vaporizer, run it through a heat cycle.
You’re doing this in order to clean the vape pen. It might have residual machining oil from manufacturing, and you’ll want to burn this oil off before you ingest vapor from your device. You can repeat this step 3 to 4 times.
Step 2: Pack the Vape
Using a grinder, break up your cannabis into a fine, powder-like consistency. Locate the chamber and scoop the broken-up cannabis into the device. Where this is located and how much you should pack will depend on the specific device you have.
If you’re using a conduction ape, you’ll want to pack the chamber full and tight. If you’re using a convection vape, then you’ll want to fill it halfway and keep the bud loose. These devices require that the chamber is airy and even for the best burn.
Step 3: Heat It Up
Don’t turn the device on until it’s been packed properly. When you’re ready, you can tun the vape on and give it some time to heat up.
While some dry herb vape pens will allow you to chose the temperature, others will automatically heat to a predetermined temperature. Typically, the higher the temperature of your device, the thicker the vapor will be.
Step 4: Inhale the Vapor
Most vapes will give some sort of indication when they’ve reached the desired temperature. This is usually an indicator light that tells you the vape is ready for use.
When the vape is ready, place your mouth over the mouthpiece and breath in. The mouthpiece will release a stream of vapor which you will then inhale.
Keep in mind that your first few pulls may not create a lot of visible vapor (otherwise known as a cloud). It will also feel different in the mouth and lungs than a pull from a joint.
Step 5: Keep it Going
Keep the vaporizer running between hits and don’t turn it off until you’re completely finished using it for that session. A typical vape pen will last between 5 and 15 minutes on a single bowl. Though this will vary depending on the specific vape pen you have.
Regardless, don’t turn the vape pen off between puffs. It needs to remain at the same temperature in order to be effective.
Step 6: Clean It
To get the best results and longest use from your vape pen, you’ll want to make sure you keep it clean. Debris and buildup can clog your vape pen, so you should be cleaning after every time you use it.
To clean your vape pen, you have to empty the chamber and clear the mouthpiece. Your manufacturer should provide specific instructions on how to do this, but you’ll likely need rubbing alcohol, warm water, and some pipe cleaners.
Step 7: Charge it
Keep your vaporizer charged between session so it’s always available when you need it. Just keep it in a safe place and out of the reach of children while it charges.
More on Vaping
A dry herb vape pen is an alternative to smoking or eating cannabis that’s just as potent and effective. Using one of these pens is as easy as preparing the device, packing the chamber, heating the cannabis, and inhaling the benefits. Keeping it clean and charged are extra steps that will contribute to the longevity of your vape pen.
And for more information on vaping and cannabis, check out our blog.