Vaporizers are devices that heat cannabis, or any dried herb, to a specified temperature, below its ignition point. The temperature chosen for cannabis is 180 – 200° C (356° – 392° F), which releases cannabinoids as a vapor without smoke. Vapor ideally contains no particulate matter or tar, and significantly lower concentrations of noxious gases such as carbon monoxide. The cannabis is inhaled, medicinal compounds pass through the lungs into the bloodstream. Typically very little smoke is seen, if any, when vaporizing and there is little effect until 10-15 minutes after medicating. This is why is is very important to explain to members that they must wait at least 15 minutes after medicating for the full effect, or they may unknowingly medicate again before any effect has taken place.
Many vaporizer designs are now available, including portable hand-held models. A 510 thread is the most common size or cartridge and pen base, but not all cartridges work with all pen bases. Many companies now produce their own pen bases that are 100% guaranteed to work with the cartridges they produce. A large factor is the efficiency of pen bases is the strength of the base in relation to the thickness of the oil being vaporized.
- rapid onset in 10-15 minutes
- no smoke, no health risk
- no irritation to throat and lungs
- can often select strain of cannabis desired
- convenient to transport and discreet to use
- (the only short-acting no risk method available)
- portable device is not as efficient for flower
- equipment is more costly, requires part replacements
- may be too short-acting: 3-4 hours
- may be difficult to find consistent supply of same medicine type