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How to Vape Weed: Your Beginner’s Guide to Vaping Cannabis

John Doe

Written by: John Doe

Updated on May 7, 2024

How to Vape Weed Your Beginner’s Guide to Vaping Cannabis

Vaping cannabis has become an increasingly popular way to consume marijuana in recent years. Its rise to mainstream popularity is largely due to several key factors, including the higher potency and efficiency of vaporization compared to smoking.

Weed vape pens and vaporizers are also portable and offer a discreet way to consume cannabis, much like weed edibles, topicals, and tinctures. As vaping cannabis continues to grow in demand, a wide variety of vaping devices and consumption methods have flooded the market.

In this beginner’s guide desktop vape weed using, we provide a top-down overview of vaping weed. We’ll cover the differences between vaping and smoking and the types of vape devices available, and step-by-step instructions for various weed vaping methods.

Smoking Versus Vaping Weed: Know the Difference

While both methods involve inhaling cannabis, there are notable differences between smoking and vaping weed that are important to understand. Smoking involves combustion of the cannabis flower, wax, or concentrate, which burns the material and creates smoke containing tar, carbon monoxide, and other potential carcinogens from the burning process.

Vaping weed involves heating cannabis flower or concentrate to a temperature that allows the active compounds like THC and CBD to transition into an inhalable vapor. This aerosol can become a THC-rich vapor without reaching the point of combustion and smoke creation. That’s why the American Heart Association says vaping marijuana may be a little safer than smoking marijuana.

Because vaporization occurs at lower temperatures than combustion, it is generally considered to be a potentially healthier alternative to smoking as it may reduce exposure to certain toxic byproducts. Of course, vaping cannabis may also be safer than nicotine vapes.

However, research on the long-term health effects of vaping cannabis is still limited. While vaping cannabis eliminates certain toxic byproducts like tar and carbon monoxide from smoke, the long-term effects of inhaling propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin carriers in vape oils are not yet fully understood.

What Are Weed Vapes?

Weed vapes, also called cannabis vaporizers, are devices specifically designed to safely heat and vaporize cannabis wax, concentrates, and dry flowers. They can also be used to vape cannabis-infused oils, shatter, and vape juices.

They provide a smoke-free way to inhale active cannabinoids like THC and CBD. However, not all cannabis vapes are created equal. Let’s take a closer look at the most common types of weed vapes:

Disposable Weed Vapes

These are slim, lightweight vape pens that come prefilled with a cannabis oil or distillate cartridge. They are entirely disposable, as once the oil is depleted the whole pen is discarded. They are highly portable and discreet, too.

Dry Herb Vaporizers

These are vaporizers made for vaping ground cannabis flower rather than oils. They contain a heating chamber where the dry herb is loaded and heated to the same temperature setting or vaporization point through conduction or convection heating. If you want to learn if these vapes are better than smoking, watch this video.

Refillable Vape Pens

Refillable vape pens have a rechargeable battery that connects to a refillable cartridge that can be filled with your choice of cannabis distillate or CO2 oil. More advanced models of vape products may have adjustable voltage and precise, temperature control controls.

Dab Pens

These are pen-style vaporizers with a slightly different heating system designed specifically for vaporizing concentrated cannabis extracts like wax, shatter, and other dabs. They have atomizers with coils that heat up the waxy concentrate.

Dual Use Vaporizers

Some vapes are designed to work with both dry herb and cannabis concentrate, giving you the flexibility to vape cannabis use whichever form medical marijuana you prefer with one device.

How to Vape Cannabis: Different Techniques for Vaping Weed

Vaping cannabis can be done using various forms of the plant – either dry herb flowers, cannabis concentrate including wax, or pre-filled cannabis oil cartridges and vape juices. The ideal vaping method depends on which form you prefer how to vape weed to consume. Let’s look at the step-by-step technique for each:

How to Vape Dry Cannabis Flowers or Herb?

Vaping dry herb is a preferred method for many consumers who want to experience the full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes present in dry herb vape than the raw cannabis flower. It is also one of the more cost-effective methods in the long run.

Method #1: Using a Dry Herb Vaporizer

What you’ll need:

  • Portable or desktop dry herb vaporizer
  • Cannabis flower, finely ground
  • Grinder
  • Pipe cleaners or cotton swabs for cleaning


  1. Grind your cannabis flower to an even, medium-fine grind using a grinder.
  2. Remove the vaporizer’s oven or chamber cap and fill the oven with your ground herb. Slightly pack it down, but avoid overpacking which can restrict airflow.
  3. Replace the oven cap, connect any mouthpiece, and turn on the vaporizer to allow it to heat up to your desired temperature (usually 350°F-400°F)
  4. Once heated, inhale slowly from the mouthpiece, savoring the flavors and effects. Many dry herb vapes use some form of air path or heating technique to create vapor without directly combusting the herb.
  5. To maximize your dry herb, you can often reload the same oven multiple times before the flower is spent. Stir and repack the oven each time.
  6. When finished, allow the vape to fully cool, then carefully empty the oven of any remaining flower material.
  7. Use an alcohol-dipped cotton swap or a pipe cleaner to clean out the vape’s oven, air flow duct, and any other areas exposed to vapor after each use.

Method #2: Using a Tabletop Vaporizer

What you’ll need:

  • Desktop vaporizer
  • Cannabis flower, finely ground
  • Grinder
  • Poker tool or stirring stick
  • Pipe cleaners or cotton swabs for cleaning


  1. Grind your cannabis flower to a medium consistency using a grinder.
  2. Remove the desktop vaporizer’s chamber lid and load the chamber with your ground herb. Gently tamp it down without compacting too tightly.
  3. Replace the chamber lid and turn on the vaporizer, setting it to your desired temperature between 350°F-400°F. Allow 5-10 minutes for it to fully heat.
  4. Once heated, connect the whip, bag, or however your tabletop vape is intended for inhalation, and inhale the vapor slowly.
  5. Between hits, use your poker tool to stir the herb and expose fresh material to the heating element.
  6. When the chamber is spent, let the vape fully cool, then empty out the used herb.
  7. Thoroughly clean the chamber, vapor path and any other areas using pipe cleaners, cotton swabs dipped in isopropyl alcohol, or following the cleaning instructions for your device.

Some advanced tabletop and portable vapes may also feature a burn-off or self-cleaning cycle by maxing out the temperature for a period of time after each use.

How to Vape Cannabis Concentrate and Wax?

Cannabis concentrates are highly potent and contain a higher percentage of active cannabinoids. That’s why vaping them requires specialized equipment to properly vaporize the thick, viscous oils and waxes.

Method #1: Using a Vape Pen

What you’ll need:

  • Vape pen designed for cannabis concentrates or wax
  • Cannabis concentrates like distillate, wax, shatter, etc.
  • Dab tool or packing tool


  1. Ensure your vape pen battery is charged and turned on.
  2. Use your dab tool to carefully load a small amount of your cannabis concentrate directly onto the heating coils of your vape pen’s atomizer.
  3. Reassemble the mouthpiece and any components.
  4. Engage the battery heating element by pressing the button or sensor. Some allow temperature adjustment – aim for 350°F-450°F.
  5. Inhale slowly from the mouthpiece, savoring the flavor and potent effects of the vaporized concentrate.
  6. For cooler hits, inhale more gently and slowly. For bigger rips, inhale more intensely.
  7. Once the concentrate is depleted from the atomizer, turn off the battery and allow it to fully cool.
  8. Use a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol to carefully clean out any remaining residue from the chamber and heating coils.
  9. Reload with a new concentrate dab when ready to continue vaping.

Method #2: Using a Dab Pen

What you’ll need:

  • Dab pen or wax pen
  • Cannabis concentrate (wax, shatter, or thick oil)
  • Dab tool


  1. Remove the mouthpiece and expose the heating chamber or atomizer of your dab pen. This video will come in handy, especially if you’re a beginner.
  2. Using your dab tool, carefully apply a small amount of your cannabis concentrate directly onto the atomizer coils.
  3. Replace the mouthpiece and any components.
  4. Most dab pens utilize a button that needs to be pressed 2-5 times to turn on the heating element.
  5. Once turned on, allow 10-30 seconds for the atomizer to heat up fully.
  6. Inhale slowly from the mouthpiece to draw the vaporized concentrate.
  7. Take inhales as needed to consume your dab, adjusting length and intensity.
  8. Once the chamber is empty, turn off the dab pen and allow it to cool completely.
  9. Dip a cotton swab or pipe cleaner in isopropyl alcohol and clean out the heating chamber to remove any remaining residue.

How to Vape THC or CBD Oil?

If you prefer the convenience of pre-filled cannabis oil cartridges, vape pens provide a portable and discreet way to vape THC or CBD oil on-the-go.

What you’ll need:

  • Cannabis oil vape pen battery
  • Pre-filled cannabis oil or CBD distillate cartridge (510-threaded)
  • Cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol for cleaning


  1. Ensure your vape pen battery is fully charged.
  2. Carefully connect your pre-filled oil cartridge to the battery by screwing it onto the 510-threaded connection.
  3. Most batteries require 5 clicks of the power button to turn on and start heating the cartridge.
  4. Adjust temperature if your battery allows. A common range is 2.8V – 3.6V.
  5. Inhale slowly from the cartridge mouthpiece, taking long draws to fully vaporize the oil.
  6. Don’t cover air intake holes and inhale at your preferred rate to control vapor production.
  7. When the oil level gets very low, you’ll taste a slight burnt flavor – this is your cue to replace the cartridge.
  8. Turn off the battery when not in use to conserve charge.
  9. Periodically remove the cartridge and use a cotton swab dipped in alcohol to clean the 510-threaded connection on both battery and cartridge.

9 Tips for Vaping Weed

Maximize your enjoyment and get the most out of your weed vaping experience by following these tips:

Tip 1 – Clean Your Weed Vape Regularly

One of the most important things you can do to ensure a great vaping experience is to keep your vaporizer clean. Built-up resin can clog airflow, cause bad flavor, and impact performance.

For dry herb vapes, make sure to brush out the heating chamber and air path after each session using pipe cleaners. With concentrates, use a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol to remove any residue left behind on coils and chambers.

For oil vape cartridges, periodically clean the battery connector threads to ensure a tight fit. Proper cleaning is key to smooth, flavorful vapor and long vape life.

Tip 2 – Sanitize Your Vape Regularly

On top of regular cleaning, it’s a good idea to fully sanitize your vape every few weeks by:

  • Doing a dry burn by heating up the bare heating chamber/coils without any dry herb or concentrate loaded. This burns off minor residue.
  • Soaking removable mouthpiece and air path components in isopropyl alcohol for 30 minutes, then rinsing thoroughly.
  • Using pipe cleaners and alcohol swabs to deep clean the heating chamber area.

Sanitizing prevents bacteria growth and ensures a fresh taste.

Tip 3 – Grind Dry Herb to a Medium Consistency

For dry herb vaporizers, using an inconsistent grind can lead to uneven vaporization. A fluffy, coarse grind won’t vaporize evenly, while an overly fine grind can restrict airflow. Go for a fine to medium grind, consistent grind, which is broken up entirely without being a fine powder. It exposes the most surface area while still allowing airflow.

Tip 4 – Start Low and Slow With Temperature

When first trying a new vape or cannabis product, it’s best to start with lower temperatures and work your way up rather than cranking it too hot right away.

Lower temperatures around 350°F-400°F provide smoother, more flavorful vapor while still effectively vaporizing cannabinoids. Going too hot too fast can harsh the vapor and even combust your material.

Tip 5 – Microdose With Portable Vapes

Portable vaporizers excel at microdosing and consuming cannabis in moderation thanks to their on-demand heating and reduced odor. After all, microdosing has been found to make for a pleasant weed experience. Check out this video for first-hand testimony.

Load just a small amount into the chamber and take short, measured sips rather than large rips. This allows you to stretch out your supply, easily regulate your intake, and remain more discreet and in control of your consumption.

Tip 6 – Try Different Temperatures

Most vaporizers designed for dry herb or concentrate allow you to adjust the precise heating and temperature settings. This opens up a wide range of potential experiences with the same strain.

Lower temps around 320°F-390°F tend to produce a more energizing cerebral effect, while higher temps from 400°F-430°F lean more indica and couch-locking. Play around same temperature yourself to home in on your preferred temperature range.

Tip 7 – Pack the Oven Properly for Convection-Style Vaporizers

For convection-style vaporizers that use hot air to vaporize rather than direct contact with a heating surface, it’s important to pack the oven and vaporizer correctly. A loose, breathable pack allows the hot air to fully circulate.

Packing too tightly can restrict airflow and result in uneven heating. A fluffy, gently loaded oven provides the ideal environment.

Tip 8 – Try Different Forms of Weed

Whether you gravitate towards potent concentrates, flavourful dry herb, or the convenience of pre-filled cannabis oil cartridges – make sure to experiment with all the different forms that cannabis products can be vaped in.

Each format offers unique advantages, effects, and avenues for exploration. An open mind leads to the fullest experience.

Tip 9 – Store Vape Gear & Cannabis Properly

Proper storage of your own cannabis dry herb vaporizer,-izer and cannabis material is important to maintain longevity and prevent degradation. Store dry herb in airtight containers in a cool, dry place away from heat and light. UV light degrades cannabinoids. For oils and concentrates, keep in airtight silicone or glass containers in the fridge ideally. Avoid exposure to heat.

Let your vaporizer fully cool and clean it before storage. Keep instructions handy for reference. A little care goes a long way in preserving your vape device, collection and cannabis properly.

Frequent Ask Questions

John Doe
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