A Beginner's Guide to Vaping
Now that dispensaries are open for business, there has never been a better time to get your West Virginia medical marijuana card. Once you have your medical card, you’ll be able to stop into retail cannabis dispensaries throughout the state and purchase cannabis products.
One of the most popular ingestion methods for medical marijuana patients is vaping. If you are new to cannabis, you may be curious to know how vaping works and why it is the preferred method for many cannabis patients. In this post, we will discuss vaping and products that you may be able to find in your nearest dispensary. We’ll also give you some info on how to use these products and list some pros and cons for each.
What Exactly IS Vaping?
In recent years, vaping has become an increasingly popular substitute for smoking. There are vaping products out there that allow consumers to inhale nicotine, herbal blends, and, of course - cannabis. (FYI - there are all sorts of vaping products out there. One company even recently launched a line of vitamin B-12 vapes). It’s a great way to be able to consume cannabis without inhaling smoke.
Vaping carries a heavy stereotype which is mostly due to people who enjoy letting out massive plumes of sweet-smelling vapor or doing fun party tricks like this guy does. However, vaping can be discreet and very convenient.
When you vape medical marijuana, you get something much different than those who are vaping nicotine.
Typically, vaping marijuana gives you a vapor that has been produced at the ideal temperature, designed to highlight the taste and effects of the terpenes in your particular strain.
Vaping Vs. Smoking: Which Is Better?
Your personal preference plays a major role in how you take your medicine, and everybody is different. We don’t favor flower over vaping or vice versa, because we know that cannabis affects everyone differently.
Some marijuana patients choose to smoke flower to help them kick their cigarette or chew habit. Others prefer it because it’s what they’ve enjoyed since their younger days, and that’s what they’re most comfortable with.
Regardless of your preference, we encourage you to choose the cannabis products that fit your lifestyle and taste in order to successfully treat your symptoms with medical marijuana.
Keeping that in mind, here are a few reasons you may want to consider vaping cannabis:
Vaping May Be Healthier for Your Lungs
One of the more logical reasons to consider vaping instead of smoking is that it might be easier on your lungs. When you engage in the process of vaping, your bud or cannabis oil is heated to a level that is just below burning. When you inhale from a vape device, you are inhaling a product that is at a lower temperature than when you smoke.
Vaping Allows You to Be More Discreet
When you use a dry vape or THC concentrate, you are able to be more discreet than you would if you were smoking cannabis. Vaping products are self-contained, so you won’t have to carry around a lighter or something to smoke out of. A vape pen can fit into your pocket (even most women’s pant pockets).
Although vaping still emits an odor, it is much lighter than the smell associated with smoking marijuana, and dissipates quickly. Plus, vape products don’t linger on your clothing. If you need to take your medicine into an environment that might not be so cannabis-friendly, a vape pen is a solid option.
Vaping Is Less Expensive Than Smoking
Concentrates are going to cost you more front, but they typically last longer because of their increased potency level. When you vape flower, the same principle applies. This is because vaping actually gets you higher, faster, and allows you to consume less product. The probable reason for this is that vaping releases terpenes rather than burning them.
Vaping Offers More Flavor Options Than Smoking
Of course, you may absolutely love the flavor of smoking cannabis like many marijuana consumers do. But, if you’re looking for a variation, and to really experience the flavor of the terpenes contained in your marijuana, a vape may be the way to go. Vaping brings out those terpene flavors. If you’ve ever wondered why Cherry Kush and Lemon Haze are named after fruits, that’s why.
Different Ways to Vape: Dry-Vape vs.Concentrates
There are two primary options when it comes to vaping: Dry-Herb and Concentrate. There are pros and cons to both. Let’s break them down.
Pros - Concentrate Vaping
The main difference between using a vape oil and flower product is that oils are able to concentrate THC levels to give you a much stronger product. Vape oil generally contains a 40% or higher THC concentration, while flower products typically top out at about 30%. Most strains you’ll find at dispensaries are between 18 and 20% THC, so if you want something stronger, a concentrate can give you that option.
Concentrates are also very portable: just pop a vape oil pen into your pocket and that’s all you need. With an oil concentrate, you don't have to worry about bringing a grinder with you and finding a place to prepare for your smoke session.
Cons - Concentrate Vaping
With concentrates, mixing and matching strains is not as accessible. With flower products, you can purchase multiple strains and mix them to achieve your desired effect. You can do that with a concentrate, but it’s not as cost effective. Plus, it’s just not as enjoyable when you have to pull on three different pens at the same time.
Pros - Dry-Herb Vaping
Dry vaping can give you a more authentic marijuana experience. If you are a cannabis purist, you may prefer this method. Dry-herb vaping tastes a lot more like smoking a joint or packing a bowl. You get a more pungent, skunky flavor, and when you inhale, you can really feel what you’re getting. With oil pens, it’s easy to over-do it, especially for beginners.
Cons - Dry-Herb Vaping
Dry-herb vaping is a little more time consuming because it does require some advance preparation. You have to grind and pack the flower product into your device’s heating chamber, and you will also have to regularly clean your vape device.
How to Vape: Vape Pens or Concentrate Cartridges
Disposable Vape Pens
The easiest way to vape cannabis is with a disposable vape pen. These devices are all-inclusive and self-contained. They have their own battery and the cannabis oil has already been added. With a disposable device, you just open the package and you are ready for relief.
For the environmentally conscious consumer, you should be aware that throwing them away is not as simple as tossing them into the garbage. Vape batteries come with the same hazards as standard batteries, and they should be disposed of in the proper manner.
Medical marijuana concentrate cartridges are more eco-friendly, and are nearly as convenient as disposable pens. They vary in size, have more flavor options, and are usually less expensive.
You should be aware that when you purchase a cartridge, you’ll still need a battery to use them. Some manufacturers produce a battery and a cartridge that are exclusively designed to work with each other while others make universal cartridges that will work with any standard vape battery. If you are uncertain, ask the professionals at your dispensary.
How to Vape: Dry-Herb Vaping
Dry-herb vaping isn’t nearly as convenient as using oil, but it may be worth it if you enjoy the feel, flavor, and smell of flower. To get started, you’re going to need a dry herb vape device, like this Pax 3.
The Pax 3 is great because it has an oven for heating your cannabis flower products, but it also can be used to vape concentrates as well. And the makers of Pax have also made an app to go with your device, so you can always be sure you have the perfect temperature to bring out all the best parts of your strain.
To get started, grind your flower to around the same consistency you would to roll a joint. Pack it into the oven tightly, so that there is consistent pressure against the heating element inside the battery. Turn on your vape and set it to the temperature you desire (some devices are more precise than others). Enjoy your vaping experience.
Ready to Try Your Hand at Vaping in West Virginia? You’ll Need Your Medical Card.
You can get your medical marijuana card in West Virginia by consulting with one of our compassionate cannabis doctors.They will help you navigate every step of the way.
West Virginia’s program offers medical marijuana to patients with certain conditions and even offers an online application process! That’s right- you can even get your medical marijuana card online from the comfort of your own home with West Virginia Marijuana Card!
To get your medical marijuana card online in West Virginia, simply schedule your medical marijuana evaluation appointment today and get access to legal marijuana products available at dispensaries!
Being a West Virginia medical marijuana patient allows you the freedom to take your medication the right way for you. We’re dedicated to helping patients every step of the way!
Feel free to give us a call at 877-303-8424 and we can answer your questions about getting a medical marijuana card in West Virginia.
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
West Virginia Marijuana Card’s mission is to help everyone achieve
wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana.
Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for
our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.
If you have any questions, call us at 877-303-8424, or simply book a medical marijuana evaluation to start getting relief you can trust today!
Check out West Virginia Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the medical marijuana conversation in West Virginia.