Dry heating cannabis buds in a dry herb vaporizer is one way to enjoy the benefits of the plant without smoking it. Dry heating is sometimes described as a vaping, though the two practices are technically different. Regardless, there are some things to know about dry heating if you are new to the cannabis scene.
Before we get into those things, let us discuss how dry heating actually works. The process is pretty straightforward. You place cannabis buds in your dry herb vaporizer, push a button, wait a few seconds, and inhale. The device heats the plant material to a temperature high enough to release cannabinoids and terpenes without bursting into flame.
Assuming your vaporizer is operating correctly, there is no combustion involved. That means you are not inhaling toxic smoke. You enjoy all the benefits of smoking without the hazards that come with it.
1. Decarboxylation Occurs On-the-Fly
Experienced cannabis users know that the cannabinoids in plant material are inactive in their natural state. That’s because they are actually cannabinoid acids. They have to be transformed into an active state through a process known as decarboxylation.
Decarboxylation separates the carboxyl group from the acid; it transforms inactive THCA into active THC. How is it done? By introducing heat. When you burn cannabis, the heat generated by combustion decarboxylates the cannabinoids on-the-fly. Likewise, the heat generated by a dry herb vaporizer decarboxylates cannabinoid acids.
2. The Effects May Not Be as Intense
People who prefer dry heating over edibles and topicals tend to cite the fact that they appreciate the nearly instantaneous effects that come with inhalation. However, there is a caveat. The experts a Utah Marijuana say the effects of dry-heated buds may not be as intense compared to smoking.
Utah is among those states with a medical-only cannabis program. Furthermore, state law does not allow patients to smoke cannabis buds. If they want the same instant results, they either have to dry heat plant material or use a vapor cartridge. Dry heating may be the less desirable of the two options given that the effects of vape cartridges can be even more intense than what smoking produces.
3. Plant Material Can Be Recycled
One of the nice things about dry heating is that the plant material isn’t totally consumed in the process. When you smoke cannabis, you are left with a pile of ashes. But when you dry heat, most of the plant material remains intact. Why does this matter? Because that plant material can be recycled.
Not all the cannabinoids and terpenes are released from cannabis buds during dry heating. Depending on the potency of the plant, there may be a significant amount of THC, CBD, etc. remaining. Users can recycle the plant material to sprinkle on their food or to add to recipes. They can use it to make cannabutter or cannabis-infused cooking oil.
Some users collect used cannabis buds until they have enough to make their own tinctures. In so doing, they extend the useful life of the original buds by extracting every possible drop of every cannabinoid they can get.
It goes without saying that dry heating isn’t for everyone. But it is an option. In states where smoking medical cannabis is illegal, dry heating makes a great substitute. And in recreational states with few restrictions, dry heating is an option for people who want the instant effects of inhalation without assuming the risks that come with smoking.
If you are new to cannabis, look into dry heating. You might determine that is the ideal delivery method for you.