There is countless contradicting information and a multitude of opinions floating about online about the “right” temperature to vaporize your botanicals. Although vaporization temperature is, in general, a personal choice based on the quality of vapor you wish to receive, there is a science behind why we recommend vaporizing between 190° C- 235° C. So, lets dive into the dubious topic of vaporization temperatures to help you better understand how the temperature you vaporize at affects your vapor quality and vaporization experience.
Best Temperatures for Vaporizing
For a little background information, the goal of vaporization is to convert the compounds and essential oils in your botanicals into vapor, or gas form. This is done by heating them to a certain temperature range, to vaporize efficiently and avoid combustion. Some botanicals have several different compounds you may wish to vaporize, and by understanding how different temperatures effect and release the active components in your botanicals you can control your vaporization experience.
We mentioned that vaporization is a heating process that avoids combustion, by heating your botanicals at a low enough temperature. Whereas vaporization can release your botanicals compounds in a controlled manner, based on temperature control, combustion releases all components instantaneously, as soon as they are heated at this high temperature. Every botanical’s combustion point is slightly different due to moisture content, but in general, combustion occurs at 400 degrees Celsius. Combustion burns and releases, along with the essential oils, harmful by products such as tar and carbon monoxide through smoke. Avoiding these harmful by-products by vaporization is just one of the reasons many people find vaporization to be a healthier alternative to combustion based smoking and therefore note the benefits of vaporizing.
Choosing a Vaporizer
When choosing a unit, you will notice vaporizers come in many different styles and therefore are manufactured for various methods of temperature control and adjustment. Some vaporizers allow precise temperature control to the degree allowing you to choose your ideal temperature shown on a digital display screen, such as the Volcano Digital Vaporizer. Vaporizers with temperature precision set the maximum temperature setting far below the possibility for combustion to ensure you receive pure vaporization. On the other hand, other units vaporize strictly at one fixed temperature set by the manufacture such as the GPen or Iolite vaporizer, generally around 190-200 degrees Celsius. However, it is common for vaporizers to combine temperature control styles by allowing you to choose between either a fixed number of temperature, such as the Arizer Solos 7 presets, or by use of a dial to give you a range of approximate temperature settings such as the DaBuddha. When choosing a unit to vaporize with, you may want to take into account the temperature control features if you value being able to control the vapor you wish to receive.
The Right Temperature
Vaporization temperatures greatly effect the quality of your vapor by releasing different amounts, and types, of compounds released at different temperatures. For example, at a lower temperature, approximately 190-210 degrees Celsius, you will receive thin & wispy, yet very flavorful vapor. In most botanicals, the first compound to vaporize, as it’s boiling point is the lowest, is terpenoids. Terpenoids are the ‘flavor and aroma’ compounds. Terpenoids, although most noticeable due to its properties, are not the only compound that can be start vaporizing at a lower temperature. If you feel that vaporization is not occurring because you cannot actually see visible vapor, by using senses other than sight, such as smell and taste you can determine that vaporization can be occurring even on an invisible level. However, many people find visible vapor more satisfying as it allows them a sense of vapor inhalation control. Those who prefer thicker, denser or more visible vapor should consider vaporizing at temperatures between 210 - 235 degrees Celsius on the ideal vaporization spectrum. Check out our post about Vapor Tasting, Vapor Shocking and Vapor Stepping for some vaporizing techniques.
When manufactures allocate temperature control settings and indicate the set temperature, it is a measured display of the internal temperature of the unit, rather than the temperature of your botanicals. Charts, graphs and images with temperature advice, wether online or in manufacture instructions, are designed to give a general guide to vaporization temperatures and are meant to relate to the boiling point of the botanicals in which their compounds will be fully vaporized and converted to gas. Vaporization and heating occurs as a process and is not a fixed entity occurring only at one specific temperature. Just like when a pizza in an oven will start to cook before the oven has reached the recommended baking temperature, compounds in botanicals are heated and turn into gas before the technical boiling point for vaporization is reached.
It's Your Choice!
As mentioned before, vaporization temperatures are an extremely personal choice and it is recommended that upon starting vaporizing with a new unit to experience with different temperature settings, if the unit allows, to find a temperature most satisfying for you. Some vapor temperature experimentation techniques include vapor stepping and vapor tasting which are the perfect combination of low and high temperature settings. The important thing to take away from this blog post is that the science behind vaporization temperatures rely on a variety of factors related to your specific unit, but in general it is recommended to experiment with a multitude of temperatures and vaporizing techniques to release the combination of components best for your needs. For some useful tips for a better vaporization experience check out our Vaporizing Tips blog post.
We hope you enjoyed today's Vaporizing Temperatures post. Let us know if you have any questions or ideas for future posts by commenting below. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ for lots of fun posts and prizes!
Until next time... Keep Vapin ;) !