When it comes to customizing your cannabis experience, most people focus on strain selection and THC concentration. However, temperature control is an equally important factor that often gets overlooked. Each cannabis compound has a specific boiling point, which refers to the temperature required to convert it into a vapor that can be inhaled. By understanding the boiling points of different cannabinoids and terpenes, you can fine-tune your vaporizer’s temperature settings and craft a unique experience that is tailored to your needs. In today’s blog post, we will take a look at the boiling points of some of the most common compounds found in cannabis, to help you unlock the full spectrum of effects, flavors and aromas that this extraordinary plant has to offer. Prepare to elevate your cannabis journey to new heights through the art of temperature control.
In recent years, there has been a growing interest among cannabis enthusiasts in exploring the role of terpenes to enhance their cannabis experience. Terpenes are aromatic compounds responsible for the distinct aromas and flavors of different cannabis strains. They work together in synergy with cannabinoids to create what is known as “the entourage effect”, where the combination of these compounds enhances the overall effects and benefits of the plant. Instead of solely pursuing the traditional “high” associated with THC, cannabis consumers are starting to appreciate the subtle nuances offered by terpenes such as caryophyllene, which adds a spicy touch; limonene, which provides a citrusy taste; and linalool which offers characteristic floral notes. In the section below, we will have a look at some of the most common compounds found in cannabis and explain how you can unlock their unique effects through temperature.
Boiling points of different cannabinoids and terpenes:
α-Pinene is a terpene commonly found in pine needles, which infuses cannabis strains with a sharp, sweet pine-like aroma. Research suggests that α-pinene exhibits anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, antiseptic, bronchodilatory, gastroprotective and neuroprotective properties, and can be used to boost memory and alertness (Russo 2011, Khoshnazar 2020, Hanus 2020). α-Pinene has a boiling point of 155°C, which means that you need to heat your cannabis flower to at least 155°C or higher in order to experience its unique aromas and effects.
THC, the primary psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis, has a boiling point of 157°C. Therefore, in order to experience the “high” associated with cannabis, it needs to be heated to 157°C or higher. While the subjective effects of THC vary from person to person, this cannabinoid generally produces a sense of euphoria and relaxation, and is often accompanied by an enhancement in mood and sociability.
β-Caryophyllene is a terpene responsible for the spicy, woody and peppery notes in certain cannabis strains and is also found in black pepper, cloves, hops, basil and oregano. Unlike other terpenes, β-caryophyllene behaves more like a cannabinoid, since it is able to interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system and target CB2 receptors. β-Caryophyllene has been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, antidepressant, pain-relieving, anti-cancer, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-viral, gastroprotective and neuroprotective effects (Hanus 2020).
Myrcene, the most abundant terpene in the majority of cannabis varieties, has a musky, earthy, herbal, clove-like aroma. Apart from cannabis, this myrcene can also be found in mangoes, hops, thyme, citrus and lemongrass. Studies suggest that myrcene possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, anti-anxiety, pain-relieving, muscle relaxant and sedative properties. Myrcene acts in synergy with THC to enhance its psychoactive effects, and their combination is believed to be responsible for the “couch lock” effect associated with many cannabis strains (Russo 2011, Surendran 2021, Hanus 2020).
Limonene is a citrus-scented terpene associated with uplifting, energizing and mood-enhancing effects. Besides cannabis, this terpene is abundant in the rinds of citrus fruits, juniper and peppermint. Limonene has various health benefits, including anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, gastroprotective, antispasmodic and immune-boosting properties (Russo 2011, Vieira 2018, Hanus 2020). In order to experience the unique flavor and effects that limonene has to offer, you should heat your cannabis flower to 176°C.
CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid which is widely used to help with conditions such as epilepsy, anxiety, pain and inflammation. In order to reap the full benefits of this cannabinoid, you need to ensure that your flower is heated to 180°C or higher.
CBN is a mildly psychoactive cannabinoid that helps to promote relaxation and sedation. When CBN is combined with THC, it causes greater sedation compared with either cannabinoid alone (Walsh 2021).
Linalool is well known for its floral scent and is commonly found in lavender. Due to its anti-anxiety, anti-depressant, pain-relieving and sedative effects, this terpene is particularly useful at night for those struggling with anxiety and sleep (Russo 2011, Hanus 2020).
α-Humulene is a terpene with an earthy, woody and slightly spicy aroma that is prevalent in cannabis, hops, sage and ginseng. Research suggests that α-humulene exhibits anti-inflammatory, appetite suppressing, anti-cancer, antibacterial and analgesic effects (Hanus 2020).
THCV is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that shows potential for weight management in those with obesity and type 2 diabetes (Abioye 2020). THCV can also help to reduce pain and inflammation (Walsh 2021).
Customizing effects with temperature:
Experimenting with different temperature settings is crucial to finding your optimal cannabis experience. We suggest starting with a low temperature and gradually increasing it until you find the perfect balance of aromas and effects that you desire. Remember that each strain has a unique terpene profile, so adjust accordingly for each strain you try. It is also worth noting that higher temperatures may lead to a more rapid depletion of cannabis material and potentially a shorter session, so to get the most out of your flower, we recommend to start low and take it slow.
Vaporizing at lower temperatures (155°C to 176°C) is ideal for achieving a clear-headed, functional high. This temperature range will preserve delicate terpenes and result in mild euphoria, improved focus, productivity, and subtle relaxation. It’s ideal for those seeking a functional and uplifting experience that will still allow you to get things done.
Moderate temperatures, from 165°C to 187°C, strike a balance between euphoria and relaxation. As the heat increases, more THC is released, intensifying the high. This range brings about more euphoric effects, elevates mood, relieves pain and stimulates the appetite. Within this temperature range, you will begin to experience the relaxing effects that lower temperatures spared you, while still maintaining functionality.
For those seeking intense euphoria and deep relaxation, higher temperatures ranging from 185°C to 198°C are the way to go. These temperatures release compounds like CBN and linalool, resulting in intense feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and sedation.
While certain compounds like THCV have boiling points above 200°C, it is important to note that this temperature range approaches combustion territory and can start to release harmful chemicals like benzene. For this reason, we recommend keeping your vaporizer’s temperature below 200°C.
Taken together, temperature control is a powerful tool that can be used to customize your cannabis experience. From uplifting and energizing to relaxing and calming, temperature control allows you to fine-tune your cannabis journey and enjoy the rich tapestry of aromas and therapeutic effects that this amazing plant has to offer.