Most marijuana users know that different cannabis strains offer varying effects. For example, one strain may offer more relaxing effects, while another can be used to help enhance the user’s creative flow. By choosing the right strain, users can achieve their desired effects.
One of the most common ways marijuana users customize their cannabis experience is by strategically selecting and pairing a specific cannabis strain with their elected consumption method.
But there is another factor that can impact the high you experience, and many people don’t think about it: temperature.
Think about grilling your favourite dinner. You can adjust the heat so you can cook your product low and slow to preserve moisture. Or, you can crank up your heat for a faster, more intense cook. The temperature you cook at can influence the flavour of your food.
Similarly, the temperature at which you smoke marijuana can influence the effects you feel while enjoying your favourite strain of weed.
The Relationship Between Heat and Cannabis
Cannabis is made up of many compounds, including more than 100 cannabinoids. But beyond cannabinoids, terpenes also play a role in a given marijuana plant’s effect, taste, and aroma.
All of these components work together to create each strain’s unique experience, including effects, smell, and even flavour.
Users will want to unlock each strain’s full potential so they have the best marijuana experience possible. To do that, it is important to take temperature into consideration.
Each compound found in marijuana has a unique “boiling point” or temperature it must reach to unlock each compound’s full potential. For example, CBD needs to reach at least 180 degrees Celsius for users to reap the full benefits CBD has to offer.
Heat also determines the intensity of the high users will experience. A higher temperature can exaggerate a strain’s effects, while a lower temperature offers a gentler experience for marijuana users.
Heat controls these two essential factors, which play a significant role in the experience users will have with a particular strain. But, how hot do you need to get your cannabis?
Common Boiling Points of Marijuana Compounds
To maximize your cannabis’ effects and unlock each compound’s full potential, it is important to know what temperature you will need to reach. A few boiling points for common cannabis compounds include:
- THC, which is responsible for the high users’ experience: The boiling point is 157 degrees Celsius.
- CBD, which offers relaxing benefits without the high: The boiling point is 180 degrees Celsius.
- Pinene, whose presence leaves cannabis smelling like pine trees: The boiling point is 155 degrees Celsius.
- Limonene, which is responsible for the lemony scent in some strains of cannabis: The boiling point is 176 degrees Celsius.
- Myrcene, known for a spicy, peppery smell and taste: The boiling point is 168 degrees Celsius.
By ensuring your product reaches these various degrees, you can experience all it has to offer, including its maximum potential effects, taste, and smell. Often, the higher temperature you go above the compound’s boiling point, the more powerful the effects you will feel.
The Effects Different Temperatures Offer Cannabis Users
Just like heat can unlock the full effects of different marijuana strains, it can also help create a different type of high and overall experience. Let’s take a look at what smoking at different temperatures can do.
- Low Temperatures (154 to about 165 degrees Celsius). Smoking at this temperature range is known for producing a mild high, subtly relaxing users, allowing them to continue to focus and be productive. Users who don’t want to get super high but instead want a pleasant buzz or help to get through specific tasks may find smoking at this temperature a good idea. This range allows users to stay functional.
Recommended for: Smoking at a low temperature is ideal for daytime users and those who don’t want to get super high, are sensitive to THC’s side effects, or are new to smoking cannabis.
- Moderate temperatures (166 to about 188 degrees Celsius). Smoking at a moderate temperature will give most users a slightly more powerful buzz than they experienced at the lower temperature. Since THC causes a more intense high, the higher the temperature, the more powerful the effects THC users can expect the experience. Moderate temperatures provide users with more euphoric effects that can elevate their mood and may even lead to a case of gigs. This range has also been known to increase people’s appetite.
Recommended for: Moderate-temperature smoking is ideal for people who are smoking during the daytime and who want the high THC provides, but also want or need to remain clear-headed.
- High temperatures (188 to about 221 degrees Celsius). Smoking at higher temperatures means THC will reach its maximum effects, and those specific terpenes, like linalool, will unlock, providing users with a quality high and maximum effects. Users who smoke their cannabis at high temperatures can expect strong highs and may even experience couch lock, depending on the strain they are using.
Recommended for: Smoking at a high temperature is ideal for experienced users who want to get as much THC as possible. It’s great for those who want a strong high and need help relaxing after a stressful day. Because high temperatures offer a strong high, it is recommended that this type of smoking be done in the evening or at night.
Cannabis Strains and Heat
It’s important to remember that although heat does impact the high you will experience, it’s not the only factor that determines the experience. The strain of marijuana plays a critical role in the experience people have, too.
The temperature you smoke your cannabis at doesn’t create the effects you experience; rather, the temperature can modify and enhance them. The actual effects you will experience are determined by the cannabis strain you have chosen to use.
Let’s look at the three types of cannabis plants out there to see what this means.
Marijuana plants are either Indica, Sativa, or a hybrid of the two. Indica and Sativa plants are known for offering unique effects to users, and the dominant strain of a hybrid will indicate what type of effects users can expect to experience.
Indica plants are known to provide users with a full-body high that will leave them relaxed and tired. This strain can also stimulate the appetite. Sativa plants, on the other hand, give more of a head-high, helping boost creativity and energy while also providing euphoric feelings.
In addition to each specific plant’s known effects, there is also the makeup of each strain. Some strains have high THC amounts, while others contain lower concentrations of THC. The amount of THC a specific marijuana strain contains will help dictate the power of the high users will experience. Higher THC content equals a stronger high, and lower THC means a less potent high.
Knowing the type of plant and the THC content it has will help users determine the effects they will likely experience. The temperature at which each strain is experienced can modify the effects. For example, a particularly potent strain smoked at a low temperature will likely not get users as high as it would when smoked at a higher temperature.
How to Manage the Temperature of Your Cannabis
So, how can you manage the temperature you are smoking your cannabis at? Not every consumption method provides users with this ability.
Smoking marijuana through traditional means, such as in a joint, will not allow you to customize the temperature it reaches, as it will get as hot as it is able. But, there are other ways of smoking weed that do allow users to customize the temperature.
Vaping or using a vape pen to smoke is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways for users to smoke. Vaping, also sometimes called e-cigarettes, allows users to smoke both dried cannabis flowers and cannabis concentrates.
If you are using your vape to enjoy cannabis flowers, the temperature you vape at will help influence the high you experience. Simply set your vape to the temperature you desire (using the information above to help guide you) and start vaping.
If you aren’t happy with the strength of the effects you’re experiencing, you can always adjust your temperature settings as you go. You can start on the lower end of the temperature scale for a few drags before upping it a little if you want a stronger effect.
Once you find the “sweet spot,” make a note of it so you know what to heat your vape pen to the next time you pull out this particular cannabis strain to enjoy.
Bongs are another way users can adjust the temperature at which they enjoy cannabis, though in a different way than vaping.
Bongs utilize water to filter the smoke cannabis flowers create when burnt. The water filters out many of the “bad” elements, while the distance the smoke must travel before reaching the lungs allows it to cool, creating a smoother smoking experience. The temperature of the water can impact the experience as well.
Using warm or hot water in a bong is said to provide a softer high in addition to thinner smoke that is easier on the lungs. Cold water, on the other hand, offers a slightly more powerful high and enhanced flavour from cannabis. It also is known for producing thicker smoke.
Vapes best allow users to better control the temperature of their smoke, thus better controlling the high. However, the temperature of the water in bongs does offer a little bit of control over the experience.
A Note on High Temperatures
Though high temperatures often provide a more potent high, they can also push the combustion point of marijuana. Too high of a temperature can burn your buds and lead to harsher smoke.
This harsh smoke can irritate the lungs of inexperienced users, causing coughing fits.
Those with sensitive lungs may find smoking at the lower or moderate temperature ranges more appealing and easier.
There are many pieces that make up the experience smokers will have when using marijuana, including:
- The cannabis strain
- The way they consume the product
- The temperature the product is heated to
The way a cannabis product is consumed can dictate how quickly effects are felt by the user and how strong the effects become, as different consumption methods are processed by the body differently.
The cannabis strain determines the effects users will experience based on its terpene profile, the type of plant it is, and the amount of CBD and THC it contains.
But, many people don’t realize that temperature can play a role in determining the type of high you have as well.
- Smoking at lower temperatures will provide users with relaxing effects and a slight buzz while allowing them to continue functioning.
- Smoking at moderate temperature will give users a little bit of a more intense buzz, thanks to the increasing heat of THC, while still keeping users clear-headed.
- Smoking at high temperatures will provide users with a strong high and maximum effects. This temperature is best for users who are ready to relax and stay in for the night.
Vaping is the easiest way for users to smoke and control the temperature their product reaches. Simply set the temperature where you want it and enjoy. It’s easy to adjust the temperature as desired to reach your desired effects.
The temperature of bong water can also influence the high users’ experience, but not to the specific degree that vaping does. Vaping is the best option if you want to fully customize and control your weed experience.
Heat can help unlock the full potential your cannabis strain has to offer while also allowing you to control the high you want. Once you find the sweet spot for you, make a note so you can get the effects you want right away any time you use that strain in the future.