Vaping Marijuana Flower
Saturday, December 21st, 2019
So… I owe you an apology. I’ve been writing these blogs for two years, and I thought I’d covered all the basics, but I’ve never written a thing about vaporizing dry marijuana flower, which means I’ve failed you. Oops. But hey, there’s no time like the present for reconciliation, so let’s do this…
I loved that book “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury when I was a kid, and I’ll admit that I read it twice before my dad told me what the title meant: burning books was a central theme to Bradbury’s novel, and paper ignites at exactly 451 degrees Fahrenheit, so the title was clever. And if you think about it, paper is made from plant material, just like marijuana, so the two share relatively similar ignition points.
Now, the reason this is important is that when you burn marijuana, what you’re inhaling is smoke, but when you vaporize it at a temperature lower than 451 degrees, you’re actually boiling the oil within the plant and then inhaling the “steam” instead of smoke because the plant matter never ignites. It’s a much smoother experience, and the flavor that comes from the gently vaporized terpenes within the cannabis plant is simply superb. For real, it’s an entirely different experience that highlights each strain’s different taste in a way that you’d never achieve with flame. So, if you haven’t tried it, I’d recommend doing so immediately.
As I type this, we don’t have any “dry herb vaporizers” in stock here at our Durango dispensary, but we’re looking for one to offer. That being said, we don’t like to compete with the head shops in town because we work so closely together, so you’ll always be able to find a better selection of vaporizers elsewhere, and even if we did, the prices online for vaporizers will always be lower than you’ll find in a mountain town like Durango. See how honest I am? But regardless of where you get it, the first thing you’ll need to vaporize marijuana is a marijuana vaporizer (duh), and I’d recommend getting something nice because quality matters when it comes to something like this.
So, to help you in your shopping, I’ll show you a few of my favorites. For one, you’ll need to decide if you want a portable vaporizer or a larger “at-home” device. The portable ones are nice for obvious reasons (they fit in your pocket), but the larger ones that sit on coffee tables are much better because they vaporize the flower more fully, and you can get much larger vapor clouds; it’s exactly like the difference between a vape pen and a full-blown dab rig. In that vein, there’s really only one at-home vaporizer I’d recommend, and it was the first on the market, so it’s well vetted. All you need to do is google “volcano vaporizer” to find one because they’re sold everywhere, but you should expect to pay north of $600 for a complete setup (remember, quality matters). What you do with one of these devices, basically, is put a little flower on top of the volcano. The device vaporizes the flower right in front of you, and then it fills a large bag with all the good stuff. You then remove the bag and breathe in and out of it—doing so lets you take the same hit over and over, and then when you’re done, you blow the vapor out. It’s wonderful.
But if you’re looking for a portable option (or looking to avoid spending more than $600 to try something new), there are plenty awesome hand-held options on the market, and I’ll tell you about two of them. The most affordable of the two is the Eden from Lynx (that you can see HERE). Frankly, this is the only flower vape under $100 that I’d trust because you start to sacrifice flavor if you go any lower. Now, on the other end of the spectrum is the Pax 3 (click HERE). We used to sell these in our shop, and we might do so again, because there’s simply no better hand-held option on the market. A new Pax 3 will run you a little over $250, but you can also use it to vape concentrates, which is convenient. To use hand-held devices, it’s important to grind finely your flower, and then you pack it into a small chamber. Then all you do with your device is turn it on, wait for the preheat to complete (this is when the chamber heats up to a temperature that’ll boil the oil within the cannabis), and then inhale. Easy cheesy.
All that being said, we haven’t even gotten to the part that most flower vapers consider to be the best: AVB, or “already vaped bud.” As I’m sure you’ve figured out, since vaporizing your flower doesn’t burn it, quite a bit of the plant material is left over after you’ve vaporized it because all you’ve done is remove most of the oil from the flower. So, if you remove all the ABV flower from your device, you can use it for other things.
For one, if you were paying attention, you’ll remember that I said you removed “most” of the oil from the flower while vaping it. There’s still a bit left, no matter how good your vaporizer is, so you can take that AVB and smoke it like regular flower. It won’t taste that great, and it won’t get you that high, but at times, it’s better than nothing. But what most people do with the AVB is cook with it. Again, whatever you cook won’t get you as high as cooking with fresh flower, but it still works, and cooking with pot is fun. I wrote an entire blog on the subject that you can read HERE back when I thought I’d covered all the basics. Lastly, you can always make a salve or lotion out of your AVB if you know how to do such things, or throw the AVB into your compost heap.
There! I’ve addressed my failure to tell you all about vaping dry cannabis flower, and it only took me two years to get it done; please except my apology. And just as one more tip, most flower vapes have temperature settings that go well above 450 degrees, so remember not to go north of that mark. Doing so will burn your bud just like smoking it, and if that’s what you want to do, use a pipe. They’re much cheaper. And lastly, the most important thing you’ll need besides the vaporizer is the cannabis flower to put inside it (again, duh). If you’ve read these blogs before or if you’ve come into our Durango dispensary, you already know that The Greenery has the best flower in town. So come see us at 208 Parker Avenue right here in Durango, because when it comes to all things cannabis, We’re Your Best Buds!