Most of us have enjoyed our share of hemp vape carts that are pre-filled with vape oil and attach easily to our 510-threaded pens. But, few people who use them have a strong understanding of their limits. Most importantly, it’s critical that you never let them get too hot, both for the sake of your health, and for the integrity of the compounds that are in those carts.
What’s the Ideal Temperature for a Hemp Vape Cartridge to Vaporize?
Most agree that somewhere around 350 degrees, give or take about 10 degrees, is the ideal temp for vaping just about any cannabinoid, with one exception: THCV, which doesn’t decarboxylate (activate) until it reaches 428 degrees.
Basically, all cannabinoids have a boiling point, and especially with THC compounds, you won’t get the effects you’re looking for until you reach that point. Now, you can vape a little higher than that for a more potent hit of vapor, but it comes with a cost as the terpenes may be less flavorful, and the inhale may be quite harsh, to the point of making you cough.
What’s the Maximum Temperature a Cannabinoid Can Reach Before Breaking Down?
Just like all cannabinoids have a temperature that activates their effects, they all have a temperature at which the compound becomes destroyed. Most cannabinoids begin to burn once they hit 450 degrees, and you’ll know that they’re burning because you’ll get a very harsh inhale that can truly irritate your throat, and a very unpleasant burnt taste. At 550 degrees, the cannabinoids are no longer vaporizing but rather combusting, and becoming carcinogenic.
The other thing that happens at this stage is that the cannabinoids break down. Letting your vape oil get too hot destroys the compounds in the vape oil, including the cannabinoids and terpenes, and this means that the vape cartridge is no longer worth using. Once those compounds exceed their maximum temperature, they change their chemical structures to the point of not producing desirable effects any longer.
The good news is that it’s easy to avoid this. Most vape pens don’t let you exceed a temperature that high to begin with, and even if they do, you just need to start with the lowest output setting and work your way up slowly until you get the quality of vapor you want, without going any higher than that.
The Other Compounds in Your Vape Cart
Of course, cannabinoids are not the only thing that make up a hemp vape cart. There are also terpenes, which many crave just as much as the cannabinoids themselves. Terpenes are compounds in the hemp plant that contribute to the positive effects of hemp, while also being solely responsible for the flavor and aroma that we get with each unique strain.
Terpenes, like cannabinoids, seem to do best below 450 degrees. Unlike cannabinoids, they don’t need to reach a certain temperature to be effective, which is why vaping at low temps can give you a really strong and delicious flavor and the effects we associate with these compounds.
Overall, it’s best to max out your device at no higher than 390 degrees, again with the exception of pure THCV vape cartridges. 390 degrees is hot enough to give you a potent cannabinoid effect, lots of terpene flavor and smooth inhales that are not highly irritating. And, most vapers actually prefer a little lower than that – somewhere between 350 and 375 degrees.
Exposing Your Vape Cart to an External Heat Source
The last thing that’s important to mention is that your vape oil can get too hot regardless of your device’s output settings. Leaving your hemp vape cartridge exposed to environmental heat can do the same amount of damage in terms of causing the compounds in the oil to break down.
This is why you should never leave your vaping products in a hot car, a sunny windowsill, direct sunlight outdoors or next to a heating vent. Gradual, sustained heat can be just as consequential as accidentally using the wrong temp setting on your vaping equipment.
Yes, Too Much Heat Can Damage Your Vape Carts
The hemp plant’s compounds can get destroyed if they’re vaped at too high of a temperature, and besides that, they can cause a lot of coughing, a terrible flavor and even risk causing carcinogenic effects. So, we always recommend being on top of your device’s output level, never letting it go really beyond 400 degrees at most to be on the safe side.
And, always use your vape carts with 510-threaded, low-wattage vape pens rather than the mods that are used with nicotine vaping products, since those devices operate at higher output levels that are simply too hot for cannabinoids and terpenes found in vape carts.