How to take: Vape, Don’t Smoke

shutterstock_673267672We know that smoking is bad for your lungs.  It turns out that smoking marijuana does not seem to cause lung cancer the way that smoking tobacco does.  Is this because marijuana smoke has fewer carcinogens than tobacco or maybe because it also contains some cancer-fighting chemicals?

CBD hemp flower is too new for studies of the effects from smoking it – but we do know that vaping it is healthier than smoking it.  Most newcomers to vaping CBD hemp don’t know where to start. Here are some ideas. [10/19 note: The term “vape” in this context refers to heating dry cannabis herb (either hemp or marijuana) and inhaling the vapors.  It does not refer to inhaling liquid concentrates that are mixed with other chemicals. The vaping hospitalizations and deaths occur from using these vaping liquids.]  

Arizer Extreme Q Desktop Vaporizer
Arizer Extreme Q Desktop Vaporizer

Dry herb vaporizers started out as desktop devices (think desktop computer).  They plugged into the wall and you used them at your desk.  These units are still around and have been updated with digital features. They can cost several hundred dollars.  The vapor can be captured into a balloon-like bag and inhaled from the bag or shared around the room. The Arizer Extreme Q costs closer to $130 and is sometimes available on Amazon. It can use a flexible tube (a “whip”), a short glass tube, or a balloon-like bag.

Portable vaporizers arrived soon after.  The best models are still well over $100 but they have the advantage of portability.   The dry herb vaporizer that I bought at a local vape shop was around $60 and I was not pleased with the build quality or the battery life.  I did some research and picked up an Arizer Solo online.  There is a newer version (the Solo II) that has digital temperature control.  I didn’t think I needed that, and this model was cheaper.  It’s a bit bulky for a portable, but battery life is good.  You inhale through a glass straw after filling the bottom part of the straw with the flower.  There are 4 small holes for the air to come through or you can add a screen.

Arizer Solo

The manual for the Solo list the following temperatures:

  • Level 1 – 50°C / 122°F
  • Level 2 – 185°C / 365°F
  • Level 3 – 190°C / 374°F
  • Level 4 – 195°C / 383°F
  • Level 5 – 200°C / 393°F
  • Level 6 – 205°C / 401°F
  • Level 7 – 210°C / 410°F

There are lots of models out there.  Two sites that compare different recommended models are Vape-nation and  PersonalWeedVaporizers. Sneaky Pete’s reviews on YouTube are also good. These are not “fake review” sites that are really just selling you stuff through affiliate links.  These reviewers have taken their time.  Like lot of sites the emphasis is on the Marijuana side of cannabis, but almost everything also applies to the Hemp side of cannabis.

I’m new at this.  I’ve settled on starting at level 2 and slowly progressing to level 5 over the course of the vape session.  I may miss out on CBC, but I found the vapor getting harsh by the time I hit level 6.  The Solo turns itself off after 10 minutes. Sometimes that is just right and sometimes a bit short – so I just turn it back on if I need to.  I stop when the amount of vapor decreases or it starts to feel harsh.


Vaping CBD hemp flower will not get you high like marijuana bud.  It does deliver a faster and somehow deeper body high than other ways of ingesting CBD.  Pain relief is quick. I sometimes even get a mild feeling of “munchies.”  I am clear-headed throughout the experience with no impairment or paranoia.

There are other good vaporizers out there.  There is a community of people willing to help at r/vaporents at Reddit.  They have a wiki that may also answer your questions and a vape consensus that may help you decide which vaporizer to buy.

If you smoked pot in college the learning curve won’t be steep.  If you are new to smoking or vaping dry herbs it may take a while to get the hang.  Inhale for part of a breath and then inhale room air for the last part.  Don’t hold your breath for more than 3 seconds.  You get most of the good stuff in the first 3 seconds and holding your breath may irritate your lungs.  You will likely get dry mouth/throat so have a beverage to sip on.

Vaping dry herb flower can be one of the most economical ways to get CBD into your system.  Dosing is tricky, and it doesn’t feel like you are taking medicine.  The room will smell a bit like marijuana smoke, but the smell doesn’t linger as long in the air or on your clothes.

Other ways to vape include using liquid-filled CBD cartridges or CBD concentrate and a vape pen or e-cigarette. Check out sources for CBD Hemp Flower here.

AD: Buy the Arizer Extreme Q Vaporizer Medium Black on Amazon

Author: cannabispharmacy

Before Covid I worked with chronic pain patients as a clinical psychologist. Many of them reported significant relief from cannabis and CBD. I was ready to retire anyway, and the pandemic hastened my retirement. I have been studying cannabis for several years and used CBD products for my own chronic pain. THC has been illegal where I live, but was recently approved for medical use.

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