Vaping medical marijuana in Missouri: A guide for beginners
Summer 2021 is going to be an exciting time for medical marijuana cardholders in Missouri. Despite political battles and a slow rollout, dispensaries are opening and new products are hitting the shelves at lightning speed.
It’s easy to qualify for and get a MO medical card. Once you do, a whole new world opens up! In this post, we are going to dive into the world of vaping with the products you can find at Missouri dispensaries, how to use them, and the pros and cons of each.
What is Vaping, Anyway?
Vaping is a popular way to consume lots of inhaled products these days, including nicotine, herbal blends, and cannabis. People often picture massive sweet-smelling plumes of vapor cloud and fun party tricks (remember parties?) like the ones performed by this guy when they think of vaping.
However, vaping cannabis products is not quite as showy as the results you get when you use a sub ohm vape and a vape juice flavored like Fruity Pebbles. The vapor produced from cannabis usually pretty much smells like cannabis, and it’s more muted than the white, dense clouds from popular mainstream vape products.
What you get, though, is way better than a party trick and a bunch of nicotine. When you vape medical marijuana, the results are a vapor that has been produced at the ideal temperature to highlight the flavors and effects of the terpenes in your chosen strain.
Vaping Vs. Smoking: Which is Better?
At Missouri Marijuana Card, we are not here to put a qualitative value on smoking flower over vaping. Some people have chosen to smoke marijuana flower to help them kick their cigarette or chew habit. Others have been smoking flower since their younger days, and it’s just what feels right.
Regardless of the reasons for your preference, it’s important to go with the products that work for your lifestyle and your taste, in order to have success using cannabis to treat your symptoms.
With that in mind, here are four reasons you might try vaping cannabis:
1. Vaping May be Less Damaging to the Lungs
One of the biggest reasons to vape instead of smoking, is that may be easier on the lungs than smoking. When you vape, your bud or oil is heated to just below burning. This means that what you inhale from a vape device is not as hot as what you inhale when you set your buds on fire.
2. Vaping is More Economical Than Smoking
Concentrates are more expensive up front, but they usually last longer because they are more potent. When you vape flower, it’s the same deal. Vaping gets you higher, faster, with less product. This is likely, again, because of the fact that vaping releases the terpenes in your cannabis, rather than burning them up before they make it to the moist end of a joint.
3. Vaping is More Discreet Than Smoking
The guy with the sub ohm may not be discreet, but using a dry vape or concentrates can be far more discreet than smoking. First of all, everything is self-contained. You don’t need to bring a lighter, and you can usually fit your device into your pocket (even women’s pants pockets). Additionally, even though your vapor still smells like cannabis, it’s generally a much lighter odor that dissipates quickly and doesn’t linger on your clothes.
4. Vaping Can Be More Flavorful Than Smoking
While this author loves the flavor of a good blunt, I also think that marijuana has two basic flavors with a little variation: Skunk, and hay. Some people (myself included) love the way their weed tastes when they pull it through a bong, or when they take a drag on a joint. However, vaping cannabis brings out the terpenes, and that means more flavor. Ever wonder why Lemon Haze and Cherry Kush are named after fruits? The taste definitely comes out more when you vape rather than smoke.
Types of Vaping: Dry-Vaping Vs. Vaping Concentrates
With the exclusion of wax pens, which are like a subset of dabbing (which is a cousin of vaping and the subject of a future beginner’s guide), there are two main types of vaping: Concentrate and dry-herb.
Concentrate Vaping Pros:
Concentrates are More … Concentrated
The main difference between a vape oil and flower, is the concentration of THC. Vape oil generally contains a 40% or higher THC concentration. Flower often tops out at about 30%, and the majority of strains at dispensaries have between 18 and 20% THC.
You can stick your vape oil pen in your pocket and take it with you to use all day and night, without ever having to bring a grinder and duck out to prepare your session.
Concentrate Vaping Con
No Mixing and Matching
Personally, one of my favorite things about flower, is that it’s affordable to buy multiple strains at the dispensary, and you can mix and match to get exactly the effect you want. You can do that with a concentrate, but it’s going to cost you, and it’s just not the same when you have to pull on three different pens at the same time.
Dry-Herb Vaping Pros
Offers a More Authentic Experience
If you are an old-school cannabis enthusiast, you may prefer dry-herb vaping because it tastes more like what you get when you smoke a joint or pack a bowl. That skunky flavor is definitely more pungent with dry-herb vaping than with oil. You can also feel what you’re getting when you inhale. This helps you avoid a hacking fit because you couldn’t tell how much you were getting—a common occurrence with oil pens.
Portable … in a Different Way Than Vape Oil
A dry-herb vaping device generally does not have anything that will break if you sit on it. You have to be careful to remember if you put a vape oil pen in your back pocket, or you could end up with broken glass and a sticky pair of jeans.
Dry-Herb Vaping Con
Vaping Requires More Preparation
With dry-herb vaping, there is a bit more maintenance involved. You have to grind and pack your product into the heating chamber, and your device will need to be cleaned regularly.
How to Vape: Vape Pens or Concentrate Cartridges
Disposable Vape Pens
The simplest device to use for vaping is by far the disposable vape pen. It is all-inclusive and self-contained. For example, the Sinse Pineapple Upside Down Cake vape pen sold at Greenlight and other Missouri dispensaries, comes with a cartridge containing .3g of product, already attached to its disposable battery.
All you have to do is open the package and you are ready to go. What to do with it once you’re finished is the challenge that most companies don’t mention. Some disposable vape batteries are actually rechargeable, and you may want to keep them around if you can find individual cartridges that fit the pen.
However, throwing them away is not as simple as tossing them into the wastebin if you are concerned about the environment. Vape batteries come with the same hazards as regular batteries, and they should be disposed of in the proper manner.
Concentrate cartridges are a lot more eco-friendly, and they are still almost as convenient as the disposable pens. They come in varying sizes, there is more variety in what’s currently available, and they are generally less expensive.
The thing with just purchasing a cartridge is that you still need a battery to use them. Some manufacturers make a battery and a cartridge, and they are exclusive designs that only work with each other. Others make cartridges that are more universal, and will work with a standard vape battery that you can pick up at any smoke or headshop.
Using a concentrate cartridge is simple. All you have to do is screw it or drop it into your battery, and you are ready to start enjoying the natural relief you deserve!
How to Vape: Dry-Herb Vaping
Dry-Herb vaping is a lot less convenient than using an oil, but it may be the favored method if you just really enjoy the flavor, feel, and smell of flower. To get started, you’re going to need a dry herb vape device, like this Pax 3.
The Pax 3 is great because it has an oven for heating your cannabis flower products, but it also can be used to vape concentrates as well. And the makers of Pax have also made an app to go with your device, so you can always be sure you have the perfect temperature to bring out all the best parts of your strain.
To get started, grind your flower to about the consistency you would to roll a joint. Pack it into the oven tightly, so that there is consistent pressure against the heating element inside the battery. Turn on your vape and set it to the temperature you desire (some devices are more precise than others). Enjoy your vaping experience.
A Note on Vaping Homegrown Buds
One more note of interest in the dry-herb vape vs. concentrate oils for anyone looking forward to their first homegrown harvest: It’s a fun project to make your own DIY concentrates to use in a vape oil, but it’s way easier to use a dry-herb vape device with your cured homegrown buds. Just be careful to make sure they are in fact well-cured so you don’t gunk up the device with wet flower.
Ready to Dive into the World of Vaping Medical Marijuana? Get Your Missouri Marijuana Card Today!
In order to enjoy the variety of medical marijuana products at dispensaries all over MO, you need a marijuana card. We are excited about helping people get simplified, quick access to medical marijuana, and our doctors are compassionate and understanding.
Book a private telehealth appointment with one of our marijuana doctors today, in order to start getting the natural relief you deserve in the format that works best for you!