If you’ve been smoking cannabis for a while, you surely must’ve felt differences in effects between different strains.
What most people don’t know, however, is that your strain type is not the only way you can control the effects of your cannabis.
There is another way:
By using specific temperatures to release specific compounds in your cannabis.
Today we will look at exactly how this process works and what temperatures you should use to achieve some very specific effects with your cannabis use.
But first, a little background…
What Makes Cannabis Produce Its Effects
If you’re a cannabis enthusiast, you’ve probably heard about a compound called ‘THC’.
THC is a so-called cannabinoid and it’s the compound which makes you feel the ‘high’ (THC is the psychoactive compound in cannabis).
But cannabis contains over 70 known cannabinoids and if you take into account the unknown cannabinoids, there are probably even more. And each of these cannabinoids has their own effect. This doesn’t necessarily mean a psychoactive effect. These compounds produce for example physical effects or analgesic effects as well.
Then there are other types of compounds present in cannabis like terpenoids and flavonoids. Each of these compounds has their own effects (again, not all psychoactive mind you).
What makes things even more complex is that some of these compounds influence each other’s effects as well. This is what scientists call ‘the entourage effect’.
Why does all of this matter?
All of these compounds have specific boiling points. This means a particular compound starts getting released from your herb, in large quantities, only once it reaches a particular temperature.
This, in turn, means that you can control (to a certain extent) the effects that your cannabis produces.
By regulating your temperature, you essentially can regulate which compounds get released in large quantities through their specific boiling points.
Why Smoking Isn’t the Best Way to Control the Effects of Your Cannabis
When you smoke cannabis, you always heat up your herb until its combustion point.
This means you literally set your herb on fire.
Since all the compounds in cannabis have a boiling point below the plant’s combustion point…
Every time you burn cannabis, you release ALL compounds in your cannabis immediately, although there is a slight nuance to this process:
There is some vaporization going on in a joint.
The parts of your joint between the tip and the mouthpiece do release terpenoids and cannabinoids, even before the fire reaches that specific part of the joint. This is all based on the temperature that specific part of the joint reaches.
But since the tip of the joint always immediately releases ALL the compounds, and the vaporization in a joint is only a small side-effect of the smoking…
It’s almost impossible to really control the effects of your cannabis with smoking, short of dosage amount.
Why Edibles Aren’t the Best Way to Control the Effects of Your Cannabis
Although theoretically, you could be cooking cannabis-infused edibles at specific temperatures…
In practice, this just doesn’t work so well for the purpose of releasing a specific set of compounds.
Although different compounds in cannabis have different boiling points…
The longer you heat your cannabis the less these boiling points matter. As time passes by, even the highest heat-resistant compounds start getting released from your cannabis. The effects of heat-stress are not only based on temperature but on time exposed as well.
The problem with edibles is: you usually expose your cannabis to heat for very long periods of time (compared to vaping for example).
But there’s even a better way…
Why Vaping is the BEST Way to Control the Effects of Your Vapor
Vaping cannabis has only become really popular in the past decade.
Even though vaporizers have been around longer than 10 years, this increased attention to vaping worldwide has resulted in quick advancements in vaporizer technology.
While most earlier vaporizers had no precise or accurate temperature control, many vaporizers these days do have exactly this as a built-in feature. If you’re looking for one, check out Herbonaut where we review the latest vape devices.
This is great news for us as cannabis connoisseurs, because now we can really fine-tune our vaping and cannabis experience.
Vaping is the most effective and convenient way to control the effects of your cannabis through temperature control.
The temperature range in which cannabis can be vaped, is exactly the temperature range in which almost ALL the beneficial compounds of cannabis start releasing in large quantities…
And it is also exactly the temperature range in which to avoid most of the toxic by-products you may get with combustion.
Now, if you have a vaporizer which can heat your cannabis in the full temperature range in which cannabis can be vaped, PLUS you can control this range within 1-degree increments, with a simple click on your vaporizer…
You start to see why vaping is so effective and convenient in controlling the effects of your cannabis through temperature control.
What Temperatures Produce What Effects?
To produce differences in the effects of your cannabis, you really don’t need to know the individual boiling points of all the 200+ compounds which are present in cannabis.
Instead, you can use specific temperature ranges as a guideline:
320°F(160°C) – 356°F(180°C):
- Light mental medication
- Very weak physical effects
- Only medical effects of THC
356°F(180°C) – 392°F(200°C):
- Moderate to strong mental and physical medication
- Mental and physical effects both equally apparent
- Medical effects of CBD start become more apparent (if your cannabis sample has adequate amounts of CBD)
392°F(200°C) – 446°F(230°C):
- Intense mental and physical medication
- Bodily effects will be very strong
- Medical effects of ALL cannabinoids and terpenoids become more apparent
Advanced cannabis consumers often prefer to start in the lower range and gradually work their way up, making use of all temperature ranges in a single session.
It’s the most effective way to vaporize cannabis, and if you’re vaping plant material you can often get by with less when vaping so thoroughly.