Last updated: May 31st, 2016
Studies have found that the sweet spot for vaporizing cannabis is ~338°F even though cannabinoids [the medicinal compounds found in the cannabis plant] begin to vaporize at 285°F. At this temperature the active cannabinoids in cannabis are converted to a vapor that can comfortably be inhaled as opposed to a joint which can burn as hot as 2000°F or higher. While the exact amount of components released depends on the compounds present and the temperature, none of the toxic bi-products of smoking plant matter is present in the vapor. This means that vapor will have a much higher percentage of desired cannabinoid /terpenoid content when compared to smoke.
Many vaporizers typically feature a digital temperature control that allows you to alter the ratio (the term ratio is important here) of active components you’re vaporizing. When you ignite cannabis with a lighter, you are releasing all cannabinoids at once, often times destroying desirable cannabinoids and terpenes that give cannabis its unique flavor, smell, and effects. Since terpenoids have the lowest boiling point, around 132°F, they are typically the first compounds to be released by vaporizing.
If you are looking for a tasty, aromatic hit, you should select the lowest available temperature setting on your vaporizer and slowly work your way up to 350°F to finish off your material. As you approach the boiling points of other compounds, you are increasing the quantity of the compounds that is vaporized.
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