Cannabis Vaping Mistakes that All Beginners Make

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Vaping seems like a beginner-friendly way to use cannabis. But, if you’re new to vaping, there are some things you should be aware to ensure you’re vaping safely and getting the best vape experience possible.

Unlike smoking out of a pipe or a joint, vaping weed can be cleaner and smoother. When it comes to vaping with cannabis oil vape cartridges, you don’t have deal with offensive odors and the mess of sticky fingers when rolling a joint for example.

Although vaping weed can be easy and enjoyable, vaping comes in many different forms, has a learning curve, and isn’t entirely foolproof. There’s vaping, as in vaping nicotine and e-juice, and then there’s learning how to vape cannabis – they are two completely different worlds of vaping.

Here are a few critical vaping mistakes that could be damaging your vape rig, harmful to your health, or otherwise ruining your weed vaping experience.

Vaping Any Cannabis Oil

When vaping cannabis oil or other extracts, you want to be sure that what you’re vaping is good quality with safe ingredients, and that you’re using a compatible vaporizer.

E-liquid, e-juice or whatever you call typical cannabis vaping material is made from various ingredients using different extraction methods. Because of current cannabis laws and developing regulations, cannabis production and quality can be inconsistent.

When heated in the right way, active cannabis compounds reach their boiling points and are inhaled as vapors. Because vaporizers are able to heat cannabis at lower temperatures, combustion of plant material is avoided and should produce virtually no smoke. Inhaling pure vapors full of beneficial compounds provides a flavorful and effective vaping experience.

Most e-liquids and cannabis distillates are slightly amber in color and a bit viscous. There are dozens of other forms of cannabis extracts ranging from thick waxes to thin oils, and crystalized or isolate powders.

Some of these thicker extracts can be used in a dab rig while liquid cannabis oils are pre-filled in vape cartridges. Your vape may be equipped to work with only one of these types of cannabis extracts. Perhaps you also have a hybrid or 2-in-1 combo vape that can use all types of cannabis. So, you will need to be mindful of the type of cannabis oil you buy.

Being mindful of the cannabis oil you buy is especially true considering the outbreak of “popcorn lung” or EVALI, which affects those who vape blackmarket THC juice in vape cartridges. This disease is characterized by shortness of breath, coughing, chest pain, rapid heartbeat and even nausea and vomiting. 

Though many healthcare organizations advise staying away from all THC vaping liquids, the truth is that the most likely culprit is an ingredient called vitamin E acetate. Some unlicensed and untested blackmarket manufacturers add this as a stabilizing ingredient in their vape cartridges.

You should be careful to avoid buying a vape cartridge that contains vitamin E acetate. While you may find cheaper prices on the streets, it’s not worth the risk. Instead, buy your cannabis oils from licensed cannabis dispensaries and manufacturers. States with legal cannabis markets require lab testing of all cannabis products to ensure quality, potency and clean ingredients for consumer safety.

Kurvana ASCND vape cartridges
Only buy quality lab tested cannabis products.

Aside from having clean ingredients in your cannabis oils, you need the right type of vaporizer to vape safely. If you want to start vaping hashish oil and other cannabis concentrates, you should talk to your local budtender about choosing the type of cannabis that works with your vaporizer or read our Vaping Cannabis 101 guide.

Vaping Isolates & Ignoring the Entourage Effect

Like oil, cannabis isolates don’t belong in most vaporizers — and for the same reasons, too. Isolates need to be heated in a specific way at specific temperatures to release their cannabinoids as vapor. Isolates are expensive and difficult to find. However, cannabis isolates are available at a particular Maryland medical marijuana dispensary as well as in states with large, legal cannabis markets like California and Colorado.

Vapes that are not meant to use e-liquids simply don’t function well when loading their chamber with a liquid or powder form of cannabis isolates. This is a sure fire way to break your vape rig and waste a ton of money on burnt-up isolates.

For example, the DaVinci IQ vaporizer won’t work with liquid CBD isolate as it’s designed primarily for vaping dry cannabis flower instead.

Davinci IQ dry herb vaporizer
DavInci IQ for vaping dry herb.

To use a CBD juice, you’re better off buying and filling your vape cartridges. You can buy cannabis oil kits that include both vape battery and empty cartridge.

Rokin Mini Tank Vape Oil Kit

Also, keep in mind that you won’t benefit from the cannabis “entourage effect” when using isolates. Unlike isolates, it is the whole plant, broad or full-spectrum cannabis products that contain the wide-range of additional beneficial compounds that are naturally present in cannabis.

Vaping Old Metal Cartridges

It might seem like a good idea to buy vape cartridges in bulk. But, doing so could actually cause you to waste money and harm your health. Vape carts that are made with metal components can leech harmful chemicals into the e-liquid over time, especially after they are repeatedly heated in your rig. Although rare, can lead to a rare lung condition in some cannabis vapers known as hard-metal lung disease

Essentially, the disease is caused by particles of metal alloys like tungsten carbide and cobalt lodging themselves in lung tissues. You can mitigate this risk by always buying quality ceramic cartridges or other carts that use very limited plastics and metals.

Vaping at the Wrong Temperature

One of the most common vaping mistakes i vaping at too high of a temperature. Regardless of what you are vaping, whether e-liquid, dry herb, concentrates, or isolates, etc. – you should keep a close eye on the temperature of your rig.

Cannabinoids are much more delicate than nicotine for example. Cannabinoids evaporate at lower temperatures which means they are remarkably easy to burn, rendering them essentially useless. Also, vaping at the wrong temperature is an easy way to get too high by taking a bigger hit than you thought.

Single-setting vape pens aren’t ideal for cannabis because they don’t allow you to manage temperature with fine control. It is worth it to buy a slightly more complex vape rig that can vape flower and extracts at controlled temperatures. This will allow you to have the best vape experience possible. There’s lots of options when it comes to temperature controlled or variable voltage vapes. Browse our reviews of weed vaporizers to find the right one for you.

Vape cartridge batteries like the Rokin Dial offer the widest range of voltage control. This allows fine-tune control over the voltage settings so you can be sure to keep your vaping temperature low.

Rokin Dial cannabis oil vape battery
Rokin Dial has a wide range of voltage control.

Another great option for the beginner vaper is the updated Rokin Mini Tank. This vape uses Rokin’s wave technology to auto-tune the optimal vape temperature without needing any adjustments for your vape oil cartridge.

Dr Dabber Switch vaporizer

The Dr. Dabber SWITCH is an excellent vaporizer that is compatible with both cannabis extracts as well as flower. It uses induction heating technology which allows for precise temperature control. In fact, this particular vape has over 20 different heat settings

Making a Poor 510-threaded Connection

A very common issue with 510-threaded vape cartridges is screwing them in too tight into your vape pen. Overtightening can cause damage to the cartridge’s hardware and possibly your vape battery.

Screw in the cartridge just enough to stop before it starts getting tight and won’t fall off. You should check that your vape pen works by activating and inhaling. As you are screwing in the cart, test if it works, before having to screw in all the way.

Another common issue is causing a poor connection by not tightening the cartridge enough. Some vape pens will indicate when there is a bad connection by showing some sign as blinking. Check the instrucitons included with your vape pen.

PAX Era pod vaporizer uses pin connections instead of 510-threading.

One reason that vape pod systems are superior to 510-threaded vape cartridges is that they do away with threading and screwing action completely.

Pods have better hardware technology, using pin connections, often times these can be magnetic, and allow you to simply pop a cartridge into the battery instead of turning to screw it in. With pod vapes, there is no guessing game about how tight to screw in the cartridge to make a good connection.

Vaping Too Much at Once

No matter how you consume your cannabis, whether you take an edible, smoke or vape, it’s always possible to accidentally get too high. It can be tempting to mindlessly puff away or chain-smoke on a cannabis vape, just like you would a cigarette or joint. But, THC and CBD vapor tends to be much, much more potent, especially if you’re dabbing or vaping concentrates.

Although you might not feel the effects of too much CBD, you definitely can overdo it with THC. Too much THC can induce anxiety, cause you to be too high for a quite a while, and ruin the experience.

It’s always a good idea to wait several minutes, even as much as an hour, between puffs. You should feel it out to get a better understanding of how the dosage of the vapor affects you.

One easy way to find your optimal dosage without getting too high is to start out using a THC vape with CBD oil or buying a pre-filled disposable vape pen. You can find vape pens with balanced ratios of THC and CBD which tend to make the high effect more mellow. If you don’t want a high effect from THC, CBD vaping is the way to go. CBD does not cause a high effect.

Another way to make sure you don’t overdo it is to start out with microdosing your cannabis. Microdosing is taking a low or sub-perceptual amount of an active compound. By microdosing, you may feel the benefits of cannabis without an overwhelming high effect.

A disposable vape pen simplifies the vaping experience by combining cannabis oil and a battery, all-in-one vaping device. These type of vapes are widely available in dispensaries throughout California and other states where cannabis legal. Disposable vape pens are not just convenient, but they are designed to dispense consistent doses. The pre-filled oil is lab tested so you know the cannabinoid contents and can reliably predict the strength.

Improperly Packing Bowls

Whether you’re using a conduction or convection dry herb vaporizer, you’ll want to make sure your flower is properly ground up and packed down tight to produce the best vapors.

If you break up your nugs by hand to pack them into the oven or heating chamber of your vape, often times, it’ll be too coarse. When dry herb is not broken up enough, the heat produced in the oven can not pass through the weed evenly. This not only wastes your weed, by diminishes your overall vaping experience.

It’s worth investing in a quality dry herb grinder that will break up your weed more finely than breaking it up by hand. The Kannastor GR8TR grinder pairs perfectly for dry herb vaping as this grinder allows you to customize your grind between coarse and fine.

kannastor gr8tr multi chamber grinder
Grinding your bud allows for more even vapor production.

You’ll find that with a finer grind, your weed will burn more evenly which results in better taste, high effect, and thicker vapor production.

The last thing you’ll want to consider after grinding your buds is packing the bowl fully and packing it down gently. This will also help your buds to vaporize more evenly. The oven will not be able to properly heat your cannabis material if the oven is too empty or the bud is packed in too loosely.

Scoop and Tamp tool for loading and packing flower
Load your dry herb and pack tight bowls with the Scoop-N-Tamp tool.

Vaping accessories like the Scoop-N-Tamp tool are really useful. The scooper end helps you load the dry herb from your grinder into the bowl of your vape and the other end has a flat round surface to pack the bowl down tightly.

Vaping doesn’t come naturally to many stoners, but vaping is a cleaner, more sophisticated way to get high. With a bit of practice, experimentation and research, you can avoid these common vaping mistakes and start vaping like a pro.

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Cannabis Vape Reviews is operated by a small team of Los Angeles-based, cannabis industry pros, product reviewers, and vape enthusiasts.

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