There are few aspects more important to vaping than temperature. Temperature influences the entire vape experience, from vapor production and quality to flavor.
Every vaporizers has its own temperature range and temperature settings. Ultimately, the exact temperature you use will come down to a matter of personal preference, but there are some basics to know before you have your next vaporizer experience.
Understanding vaporization and temperature
Let’s start with a brief science lesson to understand how temperature influences vaporization. Vaporization occurs when material is heated to a point below its combustion threshold. Vaporizers heat material up just enough to convert the material into vapor, hence the name. Most vaporizers use one of two heating methods: conduction heating or convection heating.
Conduction heating involves the direct heating of material, either dry herb or concentrates, with an electronically-heated surface. As this surface heats up, the material will vaporize and become ready for inhalation. Convection heating separates the material from the heating element altogether. Instead, hot air passes over the material, heating it in the process and vaporizing it. Convection heating is either done with the use of a fan or simply occurs during inhalation, depending on the device that’s being used.
The importance of temperature control in vape
We’ve covered that vaporization relies on lower temperatures than combustion, but there’s more to it than that. Dry herb material or concentrate all vaporize at different temperatures. As such, setting your vaping device accordingly can produce different flavor and aroma experiences.
Vaporizers are commonly capable of producing temperatures that vary based on the cannabis they’re designed to vaporize, although the range varies from device to device. Some devices allow for precise degree-by-degree control, while others have temperature presets that you can toggle between to control your sessions. The key is becoming comfortable with your vape's temperature control.
How temperature affects vapor quality and production
Vapor quality refers to the fraction of material that is vaporized in a liquid/vapor mix. It’s a basic thermodynamics principle that as temperature rises, the vapor quality increases; in other words, the hotter it gets, the larger the fraction of cannabis material that becomes vaporized.
What does this mean for vapor production? Low temperatures produce less vapor, as well as vaporize fewer materials. Lower temperatures also tend to preserve the most flavor. Low temperatures are good for conserving material and keeping the size of vapor clouds to a minimum.
Conversely, higher temperatures tend to produce a lot of vapor and big clouds. Knowing how your temperature settings will impact sessions is as much about knowing your material as it is about knowing your vaping device.
How to set vape temperature based on your material
The first step to setting your vape temperature is understanding the vaporizer temperature range and heating settings. This can vary from device to device, so check your manual or guide if unsure.
Next, you must consider the material loaded into the vaporizer. Dry herb often vaporizes at a lower temperature than concentrates. Select a low-temperature setting and allow the vaporizer to heat up before consuming the flower. Cannabis concentrates tend to vaporize at a much higher temperature than flower, thus requiring a higher temp setting.
Understanding how your material responds to higher temperatures is key to creating an optimal session. Additionally, you can research the boiling point of the material you're using, and set the temperature accordingly. Testing will help you find the righ temperature setting.
Precise temperature is a matter of preference
Now that you understand the basics of vaping and temperature, you’re ready to start experimenting. What kind of experience do you want to have? How much vapor do you want to produce? Which aromas and flavors are you trying to bring out?
Temperature can influence each of these elements and make for a vastly different session using the same material. By trying different temperature settings, you’ll soon you’ll know which ones most closely match your preferences.