Ok, so I’ve been playing around and experimenting with vaporizing cannabis oil for the last few years and I have decided it’s high time I shared my conclusions (no pun intended).
First off I’m sure a lot of you have never even come across cannabis oil, so for all you oil virgins I’m going to try and explain a little bit about it.
Cannabis oil is the extracted THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) from the bud and vegetable matter of the flowering female cannabis plant. It is typically extracted using some sort of solvent, usually either high-pressure butane gas forced through the material or by a process of washing the material in isopropanol.
It comes in a variety of colors and textures from a dark molasses type tar to a golden light honey kind of oil, all depending on the quality of herb and the process that was used to extract the oil.
Basically it is a concentrated extract, normally between 60% and 90% THC. This compares favorably to herbal cannabis, which has an average THC content of 12-20% and commercial grade hashes with an average THC content of 35-40%.
So, why vape oil?
Well as many of you will know, burning cannabis oil may be damn tasty, but sadly it produces some of the same free radicals as burning herbal cannabis and tobacco, so the next logical step is to vaporize it which as we all know gives us all the good stuff and very little of the nasty stuff.
Now the traditional method of vaping oil is to use a nail and wand set up, where a glass bubbler or bong is used. The nail is super- heated with a stove or blowtorch and the oil is dabbed onto the nail with the wand and the resulting vapor is then sucked through the bubbler and into the lungs.
But and it’s a big but, these things get way hotter than your standard vaporizer. As a result, a lot of undesirable chemicals and compounds are being released that you really don’t want to be inhaling. It gets so hot I’m not really sure it’s technically vaporizing the oil but actually combusting it, but that’s an argument for another day.
So how do you vape your cannabis oil I hear you cry? Well, after a lot of trial and error I have whittled it down to two vaporizers, the Extreme Q and the AroMed. These are both excellent vaporizers for vaping oil. The AroMed even has foam pads that are designed for the purpose.
Admittedly, both of these fine machines are at the high end of the market, but as with most things in life you tend to get what you pay for.
The first thing to do is to buy a spare bowl and screens for whatever machines you are using. Oil by nature is viscous and sticky, so you may want to keep a nice pristine bowl for your ground herb and a keep a dedicated bowl for oil and other concentrates.
If I’m using the AroMed I tend to dab my oil on a foam pad, or if I’m using the “Q” I make a little bed of vaped herb to place my oil on. Either way I turn the machine up to 220C (just my temp of choice), inhale deeply and watch the oils in the glass chamber bubble and pop as the air rushes over it.
The first thing you will notice is the intense flavor of your oil. It is so much stronger and concentrated than the bud that it was extracted from. The second thing you will notice is the high.
This stuff is VERY strong, and less is definitely more. So I recommend starting off on a very small dose and working your way up until you find a level of high that suits your needs.
It’s also very important to keep on top of cleaning your vape when using oils. It’s very easy for your machine to clog up thus reducing air flow if you’re not making sure your screens are relatively gunk free.
Isopropanol is your new best friend; use him to clean your screens and tubes (keep the run off/residue for hash making on a rainy day). It’s fairly cheap and available in most hardware stores. It’s non- toxic when evaporated, but do be sure to wear gloves. It’s a low-level skin irritant in its liquid form.
A lot of the major vaporizer producers are also getting hip to the benefits of oil, so expect to see a few dedicated oil vapes coming into the market in the near future. My favorite dedicated model at the moment is the ESSENTIAL VAAAPP. It’s handheld and portable and very stylish. It’s well made but a separate heat source is required so this isn’t really one for concerts and gatherings.
All in all I think oil is a very useful and versatile weapon to have in your vaping arsenal. It’s strong and full of flavour and in my opinion probably the best thing that you can produce from a bag of trimmings and baby buds.
It’s relatively easy to produce and to top it all off there are studies currently being conducted in the states into its cancer fighting properties
So I hope I’ve helped a little with some insight into the world of vaping oils and maybe inspired some of you to give it a try, it may be a lot of information to take in at first but trust me it’s well worth the effort of digging a little deeper.