One of the perks of vaping weed is precise temperature control. But you’re probably wondering what the best temperature to vape weed really is, especially because there isn’t a lot of high-quality information on the topic.
The best temperature to vape weed usually falls between 320℉ and 446℉, but the precise answer depends on the effect you want.
Generally speaking, you’ll get a more flavorful experience if you vape at lower temperatures. On the other hand, the compounds with the greatest impact on psychoactivity reach maximum potency at higher temperatures.
Why Vape Temperatures Matter
Before we get into the specific numbers, let’s talk about the cannabis compounds affected by heat: cannabinoids and terpenes.
Cannabinoids are chemicals that interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a collection of neurotransmitters and receptors located throughout the body. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the most abundant cannabinoids in weed, which is why they have the greatest impact on how you experience your high.
But cannabinoids are not the only compounds responsible for weed’s effects. Each strain’s aroma is evidence of its terpenes, the compounds responsible for how all plants (not just cannabis) smell.
According to cannabis researcher Ethan Russo, the synergy between cannabinoids and terpenes makes whole flower cannabis better medicine than isolated compounds derived from the plant. This is why vaping flower or whole spectrum oils can provide so much relief, and why controlling the temperature matters.
When it comes to vaping weed at the right temperature, the trick is to heat your cannabis enough to decarboxylate the cannabinoids (so they actually produce the psychoactive and physical effects you want) without burning them or the terpenes.
Use the following temperatures as guides to create your perfect vape experience.
Best Temperatures for Vaping Weed
Want to vape in the morning and get on with your day? Or do you want to slide into a heavy body high that turns into sleep? Take a look at the following temperature ranges to get the effect you’re after:
- 320℉ (160℃) — 356℉ (180℃): This lower temperature allows you to capture terpenes and decarboxylates enough cannabinoids to leave you buzzed.
- 356℉ (180℃) — 392℉ (200℃): You’ll still enjoy the aromatic bouquet your terpenes produce, but it won’t be as flavorful as in the lower temperature range. On the other hand, you’ll notice more potent effects.
- 392℉ (200℃) — 446℉ (230℃): Enjoy the maximum physical effects from the cannabinoids in your weed at these high temperatures.
Understanding Cannabinoid and Terpene Boiling Points
There are over 100 terpenes and a similar number of cannabinoids housed in the cannabis plant. Cannabis can be the most effective medicine when all of its compounds are activated. This is why it’s important to understand the different boiling points of these important compounds.
Heating a cannabinoid to its boiling point vaporizes the chemical while preserving its potency. Heating it past that boiling point can burn it, rendering it useless (or, as with combustion, mildly toxic).
Cannabinoid Boiling Points
Take a look at the most abundant cannabinoids’ boiling points along with their medicinal properties:
- THC — 314.6℉ (157℃): euphoriant, analgesic, antiemetic, antioxidant.
- CBD — 320℉ - 356 (160℃ - 180℃): anxiolytic, analgesic, antipsychotic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic
- CBN — 365℉ (185℃): sedative, antibiotic
- CBC — 428℉ (220℃): anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antifungal
- Delta 8 THC — 347℉ - 35.4℉ (175℃ - 178℃): antiemetic
- THCV — <428℉ (<220℃): analgesic, euphoriant
Why are these boiling points important? If you want to experience maximum effects, you should keep your vape temperatures below 428℉ (220℃). However, vaping at temps lower than 314.6℉ (157℃) may produce a weaker high.
Keep in mind, manipulating your vape temperatures isn’t necessarily going to produce the exact results you want every time. Every strain is different, and the high you experience is largely dependent on the quality and chemical makeup of your weed.
For example, if you’re vaping weed you’ve kept in a transparent, non-airtight storage option, you’re likely starting off with much less THC. That’s because THC degrades and converts to CBN overtime. So if you’re vaping improperly stored (or older) weed, try to keep your vape temps as close to 314.6℉ (157℃) to maximize THC content.
Terpene Boiling Points
Terpenes can enhance your high by amplifying the effects of certain cannabinoids and producing their own medicinal effects. Check out the boiling points of cannabis terpenes below:
- Beta-myrcene — 330.8℉ - 334.4℉ (166℃ - 168℃): analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, antibiotic
- D-limonene — 350.6℉ (177℃): antimutagenic, antidepressant
- Alpha-pinene — 312.8℉ (156℃): bronchodilator, stimulant, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, AChE inhibitor, antineoplastic
- Beta-caryophyllene — 246.2℉ (119℃): Antimalarial, anti-inflammatory, cytoprotective
- Linalool — 388.4℉ (198℃): sedative, anxiolytic, antidepressant, immune potentiator
- Nerolidol — 251.6℉ (122℃): antioxidant, sedative, antibiotic, antifungal, antimutagenic
- Phytol — 399.2℉ (204℃): antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiallergic, antinociceptive
These numbers suggest that keeping your vape temps at or below 399.2℉ (204℃) will avoid destroying all of the terpenes present in your weed. But terpenes are extremely volatile. Every time you touch your cannabis or expose it to air, your bud loses a little of its flavor.
Controlling your vaporizer’s temperature will likely improve the quality of your high, but it’s not the only factor that contributes to your experience.
Why Vaporizing Cannabis is Better Than Burning It
The most popular cannabis consumption method is to smoke it. Most people light their bud in a bowl or rolled joint, using combustion to burn the weed so they can inhale the smoke. However, when you combust cannabis, you burn unwanted plant matter instead of just vaporizing its medicinal chemicals.
While cannabis smoke does contain cannabinoids and terpenes, the heat of combustion destroys a large concentration of these compounds (along with causing lung irritation). The smoke also delivers chemicals that can be toxic when consumed at high rates. Vaporizing avoids these risks, making it a healthier and more comfortable alternative to smoking weed.