What’s the best temperature to vape cannabis? That question might be one of your first if you’re new to the world of dry herb or cannabis vaporizers. In this blog post we will provide some advanced insight into the temperature setting that can play a role in the vapor quality.
Understanding Vaporization & Temperature
For a little background information, the goal of vaporization is to convert the compounds and essential oils in your botanicals into vapor, or gas form.
This is done by heating them to a certain temperature range, to vaporize efficiently and avoid combustion. Some botanicals have several different compounds you may wish to vaporize, and by understanding how different temperatures affect and release the active components in your botanicals you can control your vaporization experience.
Each vaporizer is different
Most devices allow you to set your own exact temperature, or at least choose from different available presets. If you’re particularly new to the world of vaping weed, you might not know where to start at all! We’re here to give you a deep and comprehensive overview on setting the best temperature for your vaporizer!
Devices that provide pre-set temperature like the Zeus Arc GT will give you a decent range to vape with allowing you to target more terpenes at once. While precise temperature control units like the Arizer Solo 2 will give you the ability to target individual compounds with the temperature dial.
We mentioned that vaporization is a heating process that avoids combustion, by heating your botanicals at a low enough temperature. Whereas vaporization can release your botanicals compounds in a controlled manner, based on temperature control, combustion releases all components instantaneously, as soon as they are heated at this high temperature.
Every botanical’s combustion point is slightly different due to moisture content, but in general, combustion occurs at 235 degrees Celsius. Combustion burns and releases, along with the essential oils, harmful by products such as tar and carbon monoxide through smoke. Avoiding these harmful by-products by vaporization is just one of the reasons many people find vaporization to be a healthier alternative to combustion-based smoking and therefore note the benefits of vaporizing.
Choosing a Vaporizer
There is also the decision of whether you want a convection vaporizer or conduction vaporizer. Conduction & convection devices produce different results with even different flavors, our vaporizer buyers guide goes into this in more depth, but we will go over the principles quickly.
Conduction vaporizers like the Davinci IQ2, heat the herbs with direct contact to the heating source. In the case of the IQ2 and a lot of vaporizers, the chamber is made of ceramic, however other materials are also used, like stainless steel, aluminum, even gold.
Conduction vaporizers tend to produce much less vapor at lower temperatures, especially below 200°C or 392°F. They produce more vapor as you increase the temperature. Stirring is also important with these types of vaporizers.
Convection vaporizers like the Utillian 722, use hot air to generate the vapor. This air is pre-heating before it hits the chamber as you draw. Convection vaporizers can produce better vapor at lower temperatures and a more even cook in general.
The Right Vape Temperature
Vaporization temperatures greatly effect the quality of your vapor by releasing different amounts, and types, of compounds released at different temperatures. For example, at a lower temperature, approximately 190-210 degrees Celsius, you will receive thin & wispy, yet very flavorful vapor. This is very evident in vaporizers like the Arizer Air 2 which has a glass mouthpiece to help preserve flavor.
In most botanicals, the first compound to vaporize, as it’s boiling point is the lowest, is terpenoids. Terpenoids are the ‘flavor and aroma’ compounds. Terpenoids, although most noticeable due to its properties, are not the only compound that can be start vaporizing at a lower temperature.
If you feel that vaporization is not occurring because you cannot actually see visible vapor, by using senses other than sight, such as smell and taste you can determine that vaporization can be occurring even on an invisible level. However, many people find visible vapor more satisfying as it allows them a sense of vapor inhalation control.
Those who prefer thicker, denser or more visible vapor should consider vaporizing at temperatures between 210 – 235 degrees Celsius on the ideal vaporization spectrum. A unit like the Utillian 620 has a digital display that will allow you to dial the vaporizer right into this range.
How do I set temperature on my vaporizer to get the best vapor quality?
We can split the temperature range into 3 different setting to make it simple. Check out our vaping temperature chart below. Each strain will have notably different effects, flavors and odors emitted from them, so it’s a good idea to do a bit of research on the strain you’re about to use.
Low Temperature Vaporization
160°C – 180°C/320°F to 356°F
Great Flavor, Little Visible Vapor, Low Extraction
Chemical Compounds: THC, Delta-8-THC, CBD, CBG
Terpenes Extracted: Beta-Caryophyllene, Alpha-Pinene, Beta-Pinene, Beta-Myrcene, Delta-3-Carene.
Time of Day: The lower end of the temperature spectrum is great for those looking to consume there herbs during the day as it produces the lightest effects.
Medium Temperature Vaporization
180°C – 200°C/356°F – 392°F
Good Flavor, Slight Visible Vapor, Medium Extraction
Chemical Compounds: THC, Delta-8-THC, CBD, CBG, CBN, CBE
Terpenes Extracted: Cineole, P-Cymene, D-Limonene, Linalool
Time of Day: The middle of the temperature spectrum is best suited for afternoon use with the effects of your herbs being more pronounced at this temperature.
High Temperature Vaporization
200°C – 220°C/392°F
Okay Flavor, Very Visible Vapor, Full Extraction
Chemical Compounds: CBC, THC-V, THC, Delta-8-THC, CBD, CBG, CBN, CBE
Terpenes Extracted: Terpineol-4-ol, Borneol, Alpha-Terpineol
Time of Day: The high end of the temperature spectrum is best suited for nighttime use with the effects of your herbs being the most pronounced at this temperature and will engage terpenes that some use to promote relaxation and sleep.
The most common temperature to vaporize at is between 190 to 235 degrees Celsius (374 to 455°F). To make things simple to understand, I will divide the heating techniques into three categories: Vapor Shocking, Vapor Tasting and Vapor Stepping.
Vapor Shocking: If you like to have thick vapor and don’t want to deal with different temperature settings, just put your vapourizer up to 235°C and vaporize till there is no more vapor coming out of the unit. Then you know that your botanical is fully vaporized, at which you can replace it with new material. The Zeus Arc is very good at vapor shocking.
Vapor Tasting: If you want to have very thin vapor, which is also much easier on your lungs, you might want to try the following technique. First you set the unit to 190 °C. Give it about 10 – 15 minutes of time to fully get up to that level. Then you start vaporizing and will notice that your vapor is relatively thin and has a nicer taste. As the vapor becomes thinner, you can put up the temperature 10 degrees at a time and make up for the thinning of the vapor. This is recommended for individuals that are health conscious. The Mighty vaporizer is ideal for vapor tasting.
Vapor Stepping: This method is just an in-between of the previous two methods (my personal favorite). What you do is that you start at 200°C, till the vapor starts thinning out. Then you go up to 220°C (428°F) and continue to vaporize till the vapor thickness falls below the level you like. Then you jack it up to 235°C and vaporize till there is no more vapor coming from your product. The 722 vaporizer excels all vapor stepping.
Target terpenes for a more tailored session
Anyone who has smelled the cannabis plant has noted its unique and pungent odor. These odors are created through the terpenes found in the trichomes of the plant.
Terpenes are oils that exist in a large variety of plants giving them their unique aroma’s and flavors. The cannabis plants shares terpenes of other plants as well as having its own unique terpenes which add the plants overall profile. These scents can range from earthy, skunky to sweet and citrusy and each strain will have its own unique aroma.
Though there are over a hundred different terpenes around, we’ll go through the 7 most common terpenes found in cannabis. Each one has a distinct aroma/flavor, therapeutic properties and boiling point.
Being able to control the boiling point/temperature at which you use your herb with a vaporizer can be a valuable tool in dialing in the perfect experience. In conjunction with the different boiling points of various cannabinoids, using the power of terpenes can yield you some results never thought possible!
Odor/flavor: Pine, sage, woody.
Therapeutic properties: Anti-inflammatory, bronchodilator, anti-microbial.
Boiling point: 155°C/311°F.
Found in: Pine, rosemary, sage, conifers.
Other: Alongside beta-pinene, alpha-pinene is one of the most common terpenes found in nature. Largely responsible for a woody/earthy scent in any cannabis strain, it’s also suggested to partially aide short term memory and wakefulness.
Odor/flavor: Cloves, Earthy
Therapeutic properties: Sedative
Boiling point: 155°C/311°F.
Found in: Mango, Lemongrass, Thyme, Hops
Other: Myrcene is one of the most common terpenes found in fruits such as mangos. Largely responsible for an earthy scent, myrcene helps with the permeability of cell membranes helping increase the transportation of other cannabinoids.
Odor/flavor: Citrus, sweet, fresh.
Therapeutic properties: Anticancerous, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal.
Boiling point: 176°C/349°F.
Found in: Lemons, oranges, limes, fennel.
Other: Another one of the most common terpenes found in nature, limonene is very common in any citrus-themes strain. Limonene is also thought to be partially stimulating and to promote wakefulness.
Odor/flavor: Spicy, sweet, peppery.
Therapeutic properties: Anti-microbial, analgesic, anticancerous
Boiling point: 262°C/504°F
Found in: Rosemary, hops, clove, black pepper, lavender.
Other: One of the most common terpenes found in cannabis plants, Beta-Caryophyllene was actually found to enhance the efficacy of anticancer drugs alongside its relative, humulene. The aroma is also suggested to produce slightly stimulating effects.
Odor/flavor: Floral, fresh, sweet.
Therapeutic properties: Antioxidant, sedative, anxiolytic, anti-depressant.
Boiling point: 198°C/398°F.
Found in: Lavender, bay leaf, basil.
Other: Used in around 60-80% of household cleaning and personal care products, linalool is extremely common. Known for its relaxing, stress-relieving and sedatives, lavender and its terpene linalool has a long history of use.
Odor/flavor: Woody, pine, hops
Therapeutic properties: Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-bacterial, anticancerous
Boiling point: 107°C/225°F
Found in: Clove, hops, sage, ginseng, ginger.
Other: Similar to its sibling β-caryophyllene, humulene synergizes well with its brother for its medical properties. In differences, it has a slightly different fragrance and boiling point than its brother. It is noted to have a stimulating and refreshing aroma.
Odor/flavor: Tropical, woody, citrusy.
Therapeutic properties: Antifungal, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory.
Boiling point: 100°C/212°F.
Found in: Mango, pepper, hops, mint, neroli.
Other: Another terpene widely found in nature, ocimene was found to have strong antifungal, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. The fragrance is also thought to be slightly stimulating and promoting clear-headedness.
In the end…
There is no single best temperature setting for a vaporizer. Everyone has a different preference and some temperatures are better for different times of day.
It is possible however to tailor your experience by releasing specific cannabinoids and terpenes. Use the information provided here to help fine-tune your experience to what suits you best and be sure to check our vaporizer ranking chart to help find the best vaporizer for you.