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Vaping Flowers: Not All Vaping Is The Same

Vaping Flowers
Photo courtesy of Swami Select

Joint Opinions

Vaping Flowers: Not All Vaping Is The Same

Vaporizing cannabis flowers helps a seasoned Emerald Cup judge stay on her game.

It’s been since early May when I smoked my last joint and that’s hard to believe. I have survived!

For the few first months, I researched the art of edibles, perhaps the most benign form of cannabis ingestion and yet also the most stoney and, depending on the dose, the most unpredictable. As the intention was to avoid aggravating my moderate COPD and still get high, it seemed to be the best solution.

I feel I have mastered that part of my research now as I know what dosing works for me at different times of the day or in various settings. I’m basically a 12 to 20 mg THC edible stoner, the stronger dose being for the evening when I am ready to either kick back or party. I have identified my favorite brands (Revive chocolate and Atlas granola clusters) and always have them on hand.

I am happy to say that my COPD has not worsened and if anything, it has slightly improved. Perhaps it is just because I am aware now to avoid carcinogens and combustive smoke and strong chemical smells. I purchased a large air filter for our home so Swami can still smoke his fatties on one side of the room on cold nights. I have increased my intake of Vitamin D, I drink lots of water and I take Rosette full-plant tinctures every day. I also have continued to squirt a small bit of strong thick cannabis oil onto my finger and rub it on my gums most every night before bed. Not only does this ensure a deep good sleep but I have reason to believe it will help with the COPD. Time will tell.

As a result of really listening to my body, I cannot help but notice other changes that have happened with my new regimen. I had an annoying toothache and observed that when I rubbed the cannabis oil onto my gums at night the pain went away. It’s been long enough that I have had the opportunity to try this more than once, and it has worked every time.

The other real bonus I have noticed from not smoking any longer took a few months to develop. Recently, as I washed the dishes one evening and was singing along, I was astonished to discover that I could reach some high notes which have eluded me for years. I was born a soprano and studied opera as a young woman, but over 50 years of smoking weed, my voice deepened into a rich alto tone. Finally, I could sing the blues like I had always wanted, but I did miss hitting those soaring notes. Now I may not be Montserrat Caballé, but I can sing soprano again and still belt out the blues!

With the advent of fall, the time has come to get into training for the Emerald Cup judging process which will start in late November. This will be my 16th year of judging sungrown flowers for the cup and it does take stamina. Hence, I have been considering for several months how I would do it this year. Luckily, founder Tim Blake understands my predicament and agrees that it makes sense for one of the judges to use a flower vape since it is becoming more commonplace as more and more people also have either lung diseases or are in situations where vaping is preferable. Considering the scandal around tainted vaping oils lately, the time has come to promote vaping pure flowers instead.

To that end, I did my homework and determined which devices seemed to be the best and complimented my lifestyle. The Pax and other sleek sexy versions didn’t really interest me, as I was in this for the long haul and need strong industrial equipment. The Volcano was my first inclination, yet I wasn’t about to carry the bulky vaporizer to judges meetings, but I realized it would work well for the judging that takes place at home.

Then I discovered the Mighty by the same folks who make the Volcano (Storz & Bickel) and got that one first. It’s small enough to carry and, not being exactly a tech wizard, I was happy to discover that it was easy to figure out. I set right down to filling the small bowl with about half a gram of our Swami Select flowers and got it going. Wow! What a flavor! The terpenes burst right out of the bowl and it was delicious.

It took a while for me to figure out the actual high attained from the Mighty. It seemed so mild at first, not at all like a full blast hit off a fat joint. It was much subtler, yet after several tests, I was able to detect differences in the effects from various cultivars. I do find that with vaping flowers the high comes on faster in general and fades away sooner. There’s this window of opportunity when you can really feel the effects. I decided this could work for judging.

My next move was to get the Volcano, the full monty. The new hybrid version allows you to both use the balloon bag system or a hose which gives a powerful hookah-style hit. It also has a digital readout, so you can preset the temperature. I loaded up the large bowl with about a gram of flowers and tried both delivery methods. I enjoyed how it did not take re-filling as often and could be passed around like a joint. The Mighty, on the other hand, is a much more personal piece. Both have their benefits.

The whole concept of choosing your preferred temperature on either device intrigued me and so I studied the myriad of effects. What I found most helpful was a site that provided a site that provided a list of temperature ranges according to what compound they release and what effect they have. For example, if the vaping device is set at about 315 degrees, euphoria is the prime outcome, while inhaling at around 350 degrees it can feel more psychoactive. But there’s also a serious warning: at 392 degrees it releases the compound benzene which is a toxic carcinogen.

With this in mind, I have decided to judge all the flower entries in the cup in the 315 degree-range to be fair and equal.. and euphoric!

My one complaint about vaping is the upkeep involved, but it’s really only once every couple of weeks that I need to take the equipment all apart and clean it out. I’d still rather be rolling joints, but considering the option is lung disease, I count my blessings that vapes even exist. At a time when vaping unknown substances added to cannabis and nicotine oils is being exposed to cause illness and even death, it is such a relief to find there is a way to do it right: with pure organically sungrown flowers.

Hopefully, this information will help inform others that they can continue to vape, but they should avoid vaping the oils and stick with the flowers. Who needs those super high THC levels that cut out all the other excellent compounds available in cannabis, anyways?

I admit it still feels a little awkward to smoke out of a plastic device, but the Mighty and the Volcano are not single-use disposable items and will last for years to come, avoiding the massive landfill issues associated with most vape pens. If you know that your flowers come from a reputable farmer and are grown pesticide-free with love and gentle care, you can feel free to vape away. Thank Goddess for modern technology!

TELL US, have you ever tried a flower vape? Which is your favorite?



  1. Jimmy

    May 28, 2020 at 1:33 am

    I have the mighty and my next purchase is the volcano but it’s expensive. My go to is the dynavap, best way to vape flowers
    Trust me – check them out

  2. laz

    December 7, 2019 at 8:16 am

    my concern with vaping (which i have done off and on since i got my first vaporizer in the late 1990s, a shallow metal bowl that heated up, a glass bubble to contain the vapors and a plastic hose to inhale through) is not about the weed material being inhaled via vape. i would never vape the liquid chemical crap they create with butane, isopropyl alcohol, jet fuel and who knows what else. my concern now is the breakdown and related affects of the materials in the vaporizer itself. with traces of metal apparently being found in vapers lungs, i have to wonder how the devices themselves are constructed, and with what materials and tolerances, etc.

    there is no question that in this world, the profit motive will always supercede any health concerns, and even vape makers with the best of intentions still rely on manufacturing processes and materials outside of their control.

    what i would like to see is some comprehensive information on vaporizer construction, materials, and especially, how that construction and materials are affected over time by high-heat usage.

  3. Malcolm

    November 22, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    Like to know what website you can purchase vape bag thing

  4. VS

    November 22, 2019 at 10:05 am

    I tried few vaporizers and like it more than smoking. I prefer devices with convection heating like CFX. It does the job and is not that expensive as Crafty.

  5. Ital Boogie

    November 12, 2019 at 4:31 am

    Vaping is nice, but it does’t provide the hit to the mouth, throat and lungs that a lot of smokers enjoy

  6. John DeBlanc

    November 11, 2019 at 6:30 pm

    Been a fan of the Volcano since I tried one at Barney’s in Amsterdam. Purchased one the day I got back. That was 15 or 16 years ago this month, and the fan just went out in it in May.

  7. Ron G.

    November 11, 2019 at 5:18 pm

    After decades of smoking, I gave it up a couple of years ago for vaping. It was a slow transition; for about ten years I used both methods, vaping at home and smoking everywhere else. Then portable vaporizers improved, and I quit smoking for good.

    Now I feel like I’m enjoying peak weed, the best years of my stoner life. Living in a legal state, I can grow fresh, clean buds in my yard, and there are dispensaries all over town for variety or shortages. And using a vaporizer is the best way to get the full flavor and range from those buds.

    That is, with one exception, one part of the buzz that’s missing. Vaporizers don’t bring the couch lock. That stays in the ABV, the Already-Been-Vaped weed. Seriously, because it’s been decarboxylated, ABV will affect you, but all that’s left in it is the couch lock. Eat it, and take a nap.

    But, to your question, my favorite vape is the simplest, one which solves Nikki’s problem with vaping through plastic (I have plenty of plastic vapes, including a Mighty, so I understand). My daily driver is a desktop, an Underdog log vape. This is a simple wood cylinder with a heater inside which acts like a low-temp lighter. It is magical through a bubbler. It’s all wood, steel, and glass.

  8. Denisio Fabuloso

    November 11, 2019 at 5:55 am

    Concur wholeheartedly with Nikki. Being introduced to the vape experience by a friend and watching a health documentary, which indicated vaping eliminated up to 99% of harmfull components generated by combustion, convinced me. I have an excellent Crafty Vape. Nikki is right…great flavour, fast onset and altho not so long lasting. So just vape up some more if needed I guess? I will never go back to smoking… ever. Tonight: White Strawberry Skunk x Super Blue Dream. Salam Alaikum fellow travellers.

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