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Arkansas Cannabis Guide: Vaporizing

Updated: Oct 12, 2021

Vaporizing: How It Works

Arkansas medical marijuana patients enjoy a lot of variety in how they use their medicine. While smoking might be the obvious first choice, it isn’t the healthiest option for all patients. Many Arkansas cannabis consumers choose vaporizing as a healthier alternative to smoking, an option which might be more appropriate for those already suffering from lung or breathing issues. In this article we’ll cover what vaporizing is, how it works, and what it does.

Arkansas Marijuana Card Guide: The Basics of Vaporizing Cannabis

It seems like cannabis has been used in a million different ways for a million different reasons. Though we’ve been smoking cannabis for thousands of years, we’ve also been evolving the way we use cannabis for thousands of years.

Humans have been updating the ways we use cannabis for as long as we’ve been consuming it.

From the invention of bongs to help reduce the harshness of smoke, to the creation of hash as a more compact and potent form of the plant, we’ve historically always tried to make cannabis consumption more efficient and more effective.

As we are increasing our detailed knowledge of the components of the cannabis plant and how they interact with our bodies, we are simultaneously designing tools and technology to capitalize on this knowledge.

One of the clearer evolutions in cannabis technology is vaporizing.

Vaporizing is the act of converting plant material into vapor, as opposed to smoke.

Smoking vs Vaporizing – Is it Healthier?

Vaporizers came onto the market after we discovered that certain compounds in the cannabis plant can be isolated at specific temperatures for consumption.

Vapor and smoke are two very different things.

Smoking is caused by combustion, the process of burning the material.

Vapor is produced by changing the state of the material.

· Smoke is what is produced after plant material has combusted by reaching critical temperature, altering its chemical composition and creating new compounds as a byproduct of combustion.

· Vapor is what is produced after plant material has been converted (vaporized) into a gas phase at a temperature lower than critical.

The differences between smoke and vapor are extreme, smoking by default produces new chemical compounds that are introduced as a byproduct of high temperatures destroying the plant material.

Some of these new compounds are carcinogenic and undesirable for consumption.

Vaporizing releases specific compounds from the plant material by heating to much lower, exact temperatures, producing an aerosol form of a gas state, like boiling water.

Because vaporizing cannabis does not produce the byproducts of combustion, the vapor that is inhaled does not contain the same toxins as smoke, and doesn’t actually contain the same ingredients as smoking at all.

What Does Vaporizing Do?

It turns out different parts of the plant convert into vapor at different temperatures.

The essential goal of vaporization is to isolate, activate, and release specific compounds like terpenes and cannabinoids into an inhalable vapor.

Cannabinoids can start to vaporize as low as 140°C (285°F) and are commonly vaporized for consumption around 180°C (356°F).

This process happens way before the plant reaches temperatures capable of combusting.

Far before the buds are set aflame and combusted by a lighter, many compounds, including terpenes, are being destroyed by reaching such high temperatures so fast.

This means you lose some measurable number of cannabinoids before you consume them by smoking the plant.

The traditional method of smoking cannabis involves heating the plant material to very high temperatures which combusts and releases smoke that is inhaled.

A conventional cigarette tip burns at around 900°C (1652°F), this produces more than enough heat to combust materials and produce smoke, which can also contain unpleasant things like tar and carcinogens.

The sweet spot for effective vaporization of cannabis is somewhere between 180 – 200°C(356°F – 392°F), much lower than the temperatures at combustion and do not contain the carcinogens or tar produced by smoking.

Vaporizers use different heating methods to cause the plant material to reach specific temperatures, which then release the compounds into a vapor that is inhaled.

Types of Vaporizers and How They Work

Vaporizers come in all shapes and sizes, can be designed for flower or concentrates, and utilize different technologies to produce vapor.

Many vaporizers have modes for both flower and concentrates, and can be as small as portable handheld devices or as large as desktop plugin devices.

While they all attempt to vaporize the substance they’re designed for, they aren’t all created equally.

Some vaporizers will use conduction heating, which is when heat is physically transferred from one material to another (i.e., from a hot bowl to the plant material).

Other vaporizers will use convection heating, which is when heat is applied to the material from the air, not a surface (i.e., in an oven the air is heated which then heats the food). This method is typically preferred for more accuracy and efficiency in vaporizing cannabis flower.

Many cheaper devices like those found at gas stations are notorious for having inaccurate temperatures or using technology that actually combusts your flower or oil.

You can find everything from pen style cartridge vapes to full on volcano bag vaporizers on the market, and vaporizers can typically be broken down into these product types:

Vape Pens/Cartridges/Handhelds

Possibly the most common form of vaporizing currently, vape cartridges or “vape pens” are cannabis distillate oils that are loaded into a cartridge container and attached to a device or battery. Handheld dry herb vaporizers are also available.

Devices that are made to accept the cartridges, pods or vape dry herb can be as complex as having voltage regulation, temperature adjustment, or as simple as only an on/off button. Examples of handheld vapes include the KandyPens Special-K, Gpen Dash, and the KandyPens Session.


E-Rigs are more commonly made to vaporize concentrate oils for dabbing (but can be made for flower) and come in a variety of sizes and applications. They can be desktop models that are larger and designed to plug into the wall, or portable and smaller than desktop models but larger than vape pens. E-Rigs can be as complex as fully adjustable electronic devices with built in platforms to house and heat concentrates, or as simple as a titanium bowl that is electronically heated to exact temperatures. Examples of E-Rigs are the Puffco Peak Pro, Pax 3, and Arizer Extreme Q.

Desktop Vaporizer

Desktop vaporizers are usually differentiated not just by their size, but also their function. They can commonly accommodate both flower and concentrates, and are by far the most powerful and least portable products. Desktop vaporizers often incorporate glass, tubes, or bags to deliver the vapor before inhalation. These devices often have multiple modes and applications. Examples of desktop vaporizers are the Dr. Dabber Switch and the Volcano Hybrid Vaporizer.

Vaporizing can be an excellent choice for those looking to extract the most flavor and THC from their cannabis. It’s also a great option for those looking for an alternative to smoking, as vaporizing doesn’t produce the same harmful toxins as smoking does.

Have a favorite vaporizer?

Send us a picture of your piece at @arkansas_mmj on Twitter!

Get Your Arkansas Marijuana Card

Vaporizing cannabis is one of the healthiest ways to consume cannabis, and as an Arkansas marijuana patient there are a lot of options to choose from!

Being an Arkansas marijuana patient allows you the freedom to take your medication the right way for you.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana program is available for anyone with a qualifying condition, and getting your card is fast and easy with Arkansas Marijuana Card.

We’re dedicated to helping patients every step of the way, feel free to give us a call at 844-249-8714, and we can answer your questions about getting medical marijuana in Arkansas.


Doctors Who Care. Relief You Can Trust.

Helping everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.

If you have any questions, call us at 844-249-8714, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!

Check out Arkansas Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in Arkansas.

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1 Comment

Vaibhav sharma
Vaibhav sharma
Jun 28, 2023

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