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Vaping 101: Vaping for beginners

What you need to know about vaping and how to get started

 

woman vaping ohm

You’ve probably have heard the word ‘vaping’ on multiple occasions. You may have seen pictures of vaping devices or have come across them in a tobacco shop. However, do you know what vaping really is? Many people confuse vaping with e-cigarettes, but the two are not exactly the same.

So, let’s start with the basics – the definition.

What is vaping?

Vaping is the process of inhaling and exhaling an aerosol or vaporized particles. Vaping devices, or vape pens, consist of three main parts:

  • A cartridge filled with a liquid, 
  • A coil that turns that liquid into vapor, 
  • A battery that powers the coil.

There are various vaping devices on the market and the technology has evolved significantly since 2003, when Hon Lik, a Chinese pharmacist, came out with the first e-cigarette (though the history of vaping goes back to ancient times). 

Vaping vs smoking

With so many options in the modes of inhaling substances available on the market, figuring out the difference may be confusing at times. That’s why we thought we’d break it down for you.

Smoking regular cigarettes or weed involves burning tobacco or cannabis and breathing in the smoke to absorb the active substances into the lungs and consequently into the bloodstream.  The process of smoking – be it a hookah, a cigarette, or a joint – produces tar and other harmful substances to the human body due to the process of combustion.

Vaping, as opposed to smoking or using hookah, heats up cannabis or tobacco substances just enough for them to vaporize without actually burning them. The result is a silkier, smoother, more flavorful experience.

The cannabis vaping experience

The experience of vaping far exceeds that of smoking. Flavour tends to be more pronounced as it is not entangled with the taste of tar and other burning substances. It’s a purer direct delivery of cannabis to your system. 

Vaping devices also give you more control over the intensity of your experience. By regulating and adjusting the heat temperature you can decide how much air vs cannabinoids you’re inhaling, thus deciding whether you’d like to prolong the experience or use your device on-the-go. 

Finally, the process of vaporizing cannabinoids is more efficient as you can get multiple sessions from a single cartridge.

 

THC vs CBD

Now that you know how vaping works and how to get started, you need to select the right cannabinoid. By understanding the difference between THC and CBD – the most common types of cannabinoids – you will be able to pick one that best matches your lifestyle and needs. 

 

THC stands for Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. It’s a psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant. Due to its strong connection to your brain, it is this compound that delivers the feelings of hunger, invigoration, or joy – your regular ‘high’, if you will.

 

CBD stands for cannabidiol. It’s a non-psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant. As it doesn’t bind, or does so very weakly, with the cannabinoid 1 receptors in your brain, it delivers the feelings of relaxation and helps alleviate pain.

 

In other words,  if you want to feel more energized, increase your appetite, and/or reduce the feeling of nausea THC is a better choice. If on the other hand, you are looking to unwind after a long day, help with insomnia, or reduce pain CBD is the way to go.

 

How to get started with vaping

If you are used to smoking cannabis via the old-fashioned way of burning it or if you’ve never smoked before, the first time you vape may feel odd. That’s because there is a big difference between the experience of inhaling smoke versus vapour. Vaping delivers the substance to your lungs with higher intensity, which is why you should start with shorter drags and slowly build-up to the level you are comfortable with. Sometimes strong pulls can also result in the liquid going into your mouth before it has time to vaporize.

 

Inhaling methods

There are two main ways to inhale cannabinoids when vaping. The first one is a straight-to-lungs hit. This means you let the vapour pass quickly through your mouth and go directly to your lungs. While this results in stronger and faster delivery of cannabinoids to your system, it also reduces the experience of tasting the flavours as the vapour doesn’t stay in contact with your taste buds for long.

The other type of inhaling is mouth-to-lungs hits. You first gather vapour in your mouth and, after tasting the individual terpenes and cannabinoid profiles, you direct the vapour towards your lungs. 

For a smooth, pleasant experience, avoid taking dry hits. They happen either when the wattage is wrong or the wick doesn’t have enough liquid, both resulting in the burning process as opposed to gentle vaporization of a substance. 

Vaping is a highly personalized experience. From finding the right flavour to learning how to adjust the intensity of each pull through temperature control, to trying out different methods of inhaling, don’t be afraid to experiment.