,One of the biggest arguments for vaping over smoking, other than the obvious health benefits, is the precise temperature control vaporizers gives the user.
Not only does this give the vaper control throughout their session, it allows for all the temperature variants needed to produce the terpenes, cannabinoids and their resulting effects.
Smoking cannabis involves burning the bud to in excess of 1000ºC and whilst some cannabinoids and terpenes are emitted at this temperature plenty of others are lost.
Dry herb vaporizers offer a wide range of heat settings for the user to experiment with. However, finding the so-called perfect temperature to vape cannabis flower is influenced by several factors.
First and foremost, not everyone is looking to gain the same effect from their herbs. People choose to vaporize cannabis for a whole host of reasons. It is important to understand what is the desired effect before establishing the correct temperature setting. The effect weed will have on any one individual is also subjective. Any changes in the body as a result of vaporizing weed will happen according to a person’s own, unique biology. Some have a far greater tolerance of the psychoactive ingredients of cannabis than others for example.
Secondly, each brand of weed vaporizer performs uniquely. Some vapes are far more accurate than others with regards to their temperature readings. Also certain types of vaporizer hold their heat more consistently and efficiently.
Thirdly, each strain of the cannabis plant differs in their genetic makeup. It is important to comprehend which strain is being used and the compounds it possess. The heat in which the plant is decarboxylated will dictate which cannabinoids are converted into compounds available for absorption.
Bearing all these factors in mind, you can agree it is impossible to rule that there is one perfect temperature to vape your weed at. Instead, we will provide a guide based on the three main temperatures where the most notable stages of decarboxylation take place.
Vaporizing weed really is a scientific experiment. Trying to find what works best for the individual takes time. Hopefully this beginner’s guide will help get you in the right ballpark.
160ºC (320ºF) – 180ºC (356ºF) – Lightly Toasted
At this light temperature the dominant cannabinoid is THC and the effect felt is mostly on your mind and consciousness. THC has a decarboxylation point of 157ºC (315ºF) and so 160ºC is really the lowest you want to set your vaporizer in order to feel any effect at all. In general terms, most people will feel a calming sense of euphoria at these temperatures and will avoid anxiety that can be induced by more potent levels of THC.
Heating the weed to these temperatures still activates other cannabinoids. Compounds associated with physical benefits such as CBD, CBN and Linalool will emerge. However, they are far more subtle in their presence and will not necessarily be felt.
This temperature is most favoured amongst mental medicators and users interested in the flavour of their herbs. The speed of extraction at this range is slower. If the user is looking to avoid powerful, cough inducing hits or, is a wake and baker needing to function normally throughout the day, then this an optimum setting. Cooler vapor and fresher more distinguishable flavours are associated with a light toast. Along with a subtle hit that is unlikely to leave you red eyed and paranoid.
Lightly toasting your weed is a great way to begin any new vaping experience. There is always room to intensify or heighten the experience when you start light. Some people simply do not enjoy feeling over intoxicated so at this temperature the user can easily manage and control just how high they want to feel.
Cannabinoids Released at 160-180ºC – THC, CBD, CBG, THCa, CBDa
Terpenes Released at 160-180ºC – A-pinene, β-caryophyllene, β-myrcene, citronellol, limonene
180ºC (356ºF) – 200ºC (392ºF) – Half Baked
When the user moves to this temperature range they will receive a more balanced mind and body effect. The ratio of mind altering THC, to the physically beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes is closer. Extra heat converts more compounds into a state viable for absorption and the strength increases.
At the half baked setting the terpenes remain distinctive while the effects of cannabinoids increase. If the strain of cannabis used is known to be high in THC, the higher temperature will increase the potency. This will result in a more mind altering effect. It is important to consider, when half baking your weed the access to the cannabinoid CBD is determined by the cannabis strain. If it is a strain low in CBD, it is the THC that will remain the dominant compound.
This range of temperatures is still a safe area for newbies still experimenting. Half baking will allow for gradual and tangible effects which the user can progress with or curtail.
For mental medicators this middle ground is still highly successful. However, be aware, the higher setting will create more pungent THC than in lower temperatures and the user may struggle to remain productive post session. Lethargy is likely, again this is dependent on the potency of the strain being vaporized.
Half baked is definitely more synonymous with a meditative state. The warmer, richer vapor is still fragrant and achieves a feeling of deep relaxation without knocking the vaper out.
Some users will find that half baking does result in the emergence of low level anxiety. That is why experimentation is so crucial. At the point of feeling any unwanted side effects, the precise temperature and strain can be noted. The user now knows their limit.
Cannabinoids Released at 180-200ºC – THC, CBD, CBN, CBG, CBC, THCa, CBDa
Terpenes Released at 180-200ºC – limonene, terpinolene, linalool, humulene
200ºC (392ºF) – 230ºC (446ºF) – Fully Baked
As the name suggests, a fully baked herb will result in maximum decarboxylation. This temperature range will ignite the volatilization of various cannabinoids and will have a greater impact on the effect they have on the user’s body.
However, at this higher baking temperature a number of terpenes will be sacrificed. The vapor inhaled into the lungs will be hotter and less flavoursome. At maximum temperatures, (the point just before combustion), the individual undertones of pine and citrus are far less distinguishable. Vapers chasing terpenes and flavour will certainly want to avoid fully baking their herbs. It is advisable to leave until the end of their session to get the best of both worlds.
The fully baked society are made up of die hard stoners and self medicators treating chronic pain and induce restorative sleep patterns.
High Ratio of Cannabinoids
At this range of temperatures there is a much higher ratio of cannabinoids that affects the user physically, as well as increasing the intoxicating levels of THC.
Most notably at this temperature, the levels of lethargy rise significantly. This induces, what is commonly referred to within the stoner community as, ‘couch-lock’! The inability to move from the sofa. In addition to that, the speed of THC conversion will be much quicker resulting in greater,more noticeable psychoactive reactions.
Fully baked weed is best left for night time sessions, or for those that have literally nothing planned for the rest of their day.
CBD, CBC, Linalool and ɑ-terpineol will all have more of a presence and will be felt much more significantly. This can be effective in numbing acute or chronic pain. Furthermore, the activation of compounds like THCv and humulene which can suppress appetite.
A fully baked chamber will inevitably produce a much hotter, denser vapor. This may induce a cough, however there are fantastic vaporizers on the market now, such as The Mighty, that are fitted with extremely effective cooling systems. These devices allow the user to fully bake and still enjoy the vapor experience of a half bake or even lightly toasted session!
Cannabinoids Released at 200-230ºC – THC, CBD, CBN, CBG, CBC, THCa, CBDa, THCv
Terpenes Released at 200-230ºC – humulene, phytol, caryophyllene oxide
For further guidelines on cannabinoid and terpene boiling temperatures please check tables below:
Susan Henretty became a natural health activist over 10 years ago, after personal experience led her to research the benefits of alternative therapies.
In 2018, Susan and her partner decided to combine their business skills with their shared interest in herbal health and vaporizers. As a result they co-founded Kronicvapes.
Based on her previous interest in the holistic field, this inspired Susan to begin her own regular, health blog. Her writing aims to inform and inspire others; specifically in regards to the beneficial properties of vaporizing natural herbs.
Furthermore, as a herbal health advocator, she endeavours to bring her audience the latest global news and politics, regarding cannabis law; science; opinion and fact based evidence.