You may be wondering, why do some vapers bother buying expensive vapes with complicated temperature control features when they can just roll a joint or pack a pipe and blaze away?
They are not just being fussy. While it might not be obvious for the casual pot smoker, using the right temperature can get you more mileage out of your weed. The amount of heat used in vaping buds matter significantly since the compounds in weed change their chemical structure at certain temperatures.
This also means that there is no one optimal temperature that you should vape your weed at. It all depends on what you are looking for when vaping marijuana. So it might be more appropriate to say that there’s an optimal temperature range
- So many strains, so little time
- General vaping temperature ranges & effects
- Cannabinoid activation temperatures & benefits
- THCA: 140 – 257°F (60 – 125°C)
- CBDA: 176 – 275°F (80 – 135°C)
- CBCA: 212 – 293°F (100 – 145°C)
- THC (Delta 9): Boiling point – 315°F (157°C)
- THC (Delta 8): Boiling point – 347°F (177°C)
- CBD: 320 – 356°F (160 – 180°C)
- CBN: Boiling point – 365°F (185°C)
- CBE: 140 – 257°F (60 – 125°C)
- CBG: Boiling point – 126°F (52°C)
- FAQ about marijuana vaping temperatures
So many strains, so little time
At present, there are practically hundreds upon hundreds of marijuana strains, each with their own particular cannabinoid and terpene profile. The content of desirable compounds in a marijuana flower can further be affected by its genetics and how it was grown, dried, and cured. In fact, there are a lot of things that can affect the kind of experience a particular strain can deliver. This said, the only way to see what temperature works best for you is to do a bit of experimentation.
As mentioned, marijuana contains lots of desirable compounds that are activated and degrade at different temperatures which means there will always be a tradeoff. In general, terpenes and most flavor compounds are more volatile and are the first ones to go once the heat goes up. However, the effects from the cannabinoids will be stronger at higher temperatures.
Now if you think that this means you can’t have your cake and eat it too, well you can! Some vapers use two devices set to different temperatures to get the full experience. Clever eh?
General vaping temperature ranges & effects
Low and mellow – 325° F/163° C to 350° F/177° C
Typically, the lowest recommended temperature you can vape your weed at would be around 325° F/163° C which is a tad bit higher than the boiling point of THC. You can dial up to around 350° F/177° C if you want more flavor and vapor that’s not too hot on the throat. Many say that at lower temperatures, the experience is more of a light euphoria which can either be calming or invigorating, depending on the strain. Beginners who don’t typically smoke weed may want to start at this temperature.
Balanced buzz – 350°F/177°C to 400°F/204°C
Heating up to around 350°F/177°C to 400°F/204°C, you start to get a more balanced experience. You may get a slightly different flavor profile but there’s still a lot of terpenes. The vapor will be thicker and warmer, which transitioning smokers may find more pleasant. The effects from the cannabinoids are more pronounced but rarely induces drowsiness.
Hot and heavy – 400°F/204°C to 430°F/221°C
If you just want a full hit of THC and a bunch other cannabinoids, then turn it up to around 400°F/204°C to 430°F/221°C. This will feel close to getting a puff from a joint and can be hot enough to make you cough. At this temperature, the flavors will mostly be muted but what you’re after here is the full psychotropic effect: you’ll get euphoric, lethargic, or whatever the strain you’re using is known for.
To give you an idea on what compounds are activated at a given temperature range, check out this decarboxylation temperatures chart:
As you may have noticed, the effects of cannabinoids like THC that affect the mind and consciousness (head high) are more pronounced at relatively lower temperatures. When you go higher than 200°C, the effect becomes more of a “body high” because of cannabinoids like CBD, CBN, and CBC.
Cannabinoid activation temperatures & benefits
Above we detailed temperature ranges you can use for vaping to get the desired “high” effect and general benefits. Below we discuss the specific cannabinoids, the temperature required to release those compounds, and the potential benefits.
THCA: 140 – 257°F (60 – 125°C)
THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) is the compound in cannabis that converts to THC (the compounds that makes you feel high).
- Anti-inflammatory for arthritis & lupus
- Prevents growth of cancer in prostate cancer studies
THCV, or tetrahydrocannabivarin is another non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in trace amounts in marijuana.
- Appetite suppressant
- May help with diabetes
- May help with Alzheimer’s
- Anxiolytic (anti-anxiety)
- Stimulates bone growth
CBDA: 176 – 275°F (80 – 135°C)
CBDa (cannabidiolic acid) is the acidic precursor of CBD and is often extracted by raw juicing cannabis. It possesses most of the benefits of marijuana even without the need for decarboxylation.
- Potentially a powerful anti-convulsive and anti-depressant
CBCA: 212 – 293°F (100 – 145°C)
CBCa (cannabichromenic acid) is the acidic precursor to CBC and occurs in very minute amounts in cannabis. Because of this, the studies on it are scarce.
- Shows potential against cancer cells
- May fight against oxidative stress
THC (Delta 9): Boiling point – 315°F (157°C)
THC (Delta 9) is the main cannabinoid in marijuana that gives it its psychoactive properties but has a lot of therapeutic benefits as well.
- Used as glaucoma medication
- Helps with pain & muscle spasticity
- Appetite stimulant
THC (Delta 8): Boiling point – 347°F (177°C)
THC (Delta 8) is the more stable and less potent psychotropic cousin of THC (Delta 9). Found in lesser quantities in marijuana, it provides almost all the same benefits of THC-9 and is said to give a “clearer” high.
- Used primarily for anxiety, insomnia, pain management, muscle spasticity
- Helps prevent seizures
- Has been shown to help against depression, PTSD
CBD: 320 – 356°F (160 – 180°C)
CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the most well-researched cannabinoids because of its abundance and the number of benefits it provides without the “high” associated with marijuana.
- Anti-nausea, anti-inflammation
- Appetite stimulant
- Helps with anxiety and pain relief
CBN: Boiling point – 365°F (185°C)
CBN (cannabinol) is often found in older cannabis where THC has largely been oxidized. It has also been shown to possess most of the beneficial effects of marijuana.
- Used to help with glaucoma
- Has been observed to have a neuroprotective effect
- Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial
CBE: 140 – 257°F (60 – 125°C)
CBE (cannabielsoin) is another cannabinoid that forms from CBD during the metabolic process. It occurs in minute amounts in marijuana which is why it has been largely unstudied.
- Is speculated to play a big role in the entourage effect
CBG: Boiling point – 126°F (52°C)
CBG (cannabigerol) is formed from leftover CBGa after decarboxylation. CBG occurs in higher amounts in hemp than in high-THC marijuana but breeders are able to get high-CBG cannabis by cross-breeding strains that lack enzymes to convert CBG to other cannabinoids.
- Powerful vasodilator and anti-inflammatory properties
- Might have the best antibacterial properties of all major cannabinoids.
FAQ about marijuana vaping temperatures
There is no “best” temperature for vaping marijuana. Rather, there is a a recommended temperature range for vaping where the desirable effects of marijuana flowers can be maximized.
Yes because marijuana contains cannabinoids, terpenes, and other desirable compounds that have different boiling points. This means that the experience you get from vaping at lower temperatures will be different from that at higher ones.
Yes. You’d want to vape at around 350°F/177°C to 430°F/221°C to maximize the extraction and decarboxylation of THC and other cannabinoids in the marijuana flower.
As you can see on the decarboxylation chart, THC (delta 9)’s boiling point is around 157°C/311°F, so vaping at somewhere slightly above that temperature should give you a high.
Ideally you would not want to go beyond 205°C/401°F since toxic compounds would already start to form at this temperature.
Whatever strain you may be using, the decarboxylation chart should give you an idea of roughly what kind of effect you’ll get at a certain temperature range. The temperature doesn’t need to be exact and as mentioned, you’ll need to do a bit of experimentation because the kind of strain and the kind of vape that you have will also make a significant impact on your whole marijuana vaping experience.