Everything You Didn’t Know About Vaporizing Cannabis

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Q: Who invented Vaporizing?
A: Ask the Ancients.

We’ll expound on that in a moment, but first, an explanation:
Vaporizing can be defined as a ‘medicinal delivery system for the respiratory system, both upper and lower’. In the upper respiratory tract, including the sinuses, the vapors/fumes are intended to effect nerve ending (chemo-receptors), and to a small degree absorb into mucus membranes, entering the bloodstream. In the lower respiratory tract, the lungs, the vapors fill air sacs and rapidly enters the bloodstream in large amounts.

Side Note: α-Pinene (a terpene) is a strong bronchodilator. By increasing surface area in the lungs, the amount of chemicals entering the bloodstream also increases. Some other terpenoids and cannabinoids are also bronchodilators to a lesser degree, contributing synergy to the α-Pinene. Yet other terpenoids lower the barrier between air sac and blood, both speeding up entry and as a result, increasing the amount of chemical entering the blood.

Vaporizing, in it’s earliest form occurred thousands of years ago, when kief was first separated from the leaf matter and then smoked. The folks notices almost none of the smoke and associated fumes, instead noticing a cooler draw with a lot more Vapor containing greater amounts of cannabinoids and some of the other terpenoids.

Later still, someone discovered that pressed kief was much easier to handle, carry, and store, and suddenly pressed hash was the hot new rage… for a very long time. Ever since, there have been advances in the engineering of the carrier bases and delivery systems, with dabbing currently the most refined and concentrated to date… if only that poor stone age medicine man had had a vacuum oven.

We get lots of questions about vaporizing, and specifically temperature settings. The idea is to have a high enough setting to boil off the terpenoids you want, without boiling off waxes, or burning off plant matter.

Here’s a list of materials and related boiling point temperatures:
• 305-315F (150-157C) | More volatile terpenes like Limonene, α-Pinene, Myrcene
• 310F (154C) | Ideal temperature for decarboxylation
• 365-385F (185-196C) | Most Cannabinoids
• 400F (204C) | Less volatile terpenes like Phytol
• 410F (210C) | Cuticle waxes begin to burn, fumes and co-polymerize (like caramelized sugar in a skillet)
• 433F (223C) | Plant matter (leaf/trichomes) begin to burn, fumes, ash and hot embers form
• 451F (233C) | Paper burns, fumes, ash and hot embers form

As you can see from the numbers, the best starting point with a vaporizer is about 390F and lower. Different models and designs will need to be individually adjust to fine tune performance. As a general rule, the more heat, the more damage to the terpenoids, so the lower the temperature you can operate at with a satisfactory result, the better.

Sensi Star Kief
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