In 2017, very few Americans have access to clean and safe cannabis oil-filled vape pens. With hash oil cartridges in California still about a year away from being guaranteed to be lab-tested – and stoners in much of the rest of the country largely forced to buy from the black market – purchasing a vape pen that you feel comfortable with can be a daunting task. It’s buyer beware out there, but if you insist on vaping, there are a few key things to keep in mind when looking at the sea of unregulated products. Here is some basic advice, with a big helping hand from Americans for Safe Access’ Chief Scientific Officer, Jahan Marcu.
Buy a low-voltage battery with adjustable temperature settings.
Preliminary studies suggest that the hotter your vape battery gets, the more carcinogens you may be inhaling. “If you have a true vaporizer, it’s a great thing to reduce your exposure to smoke,” Marcu says. “But a lot of these devices are just burning oil, not vaporizing.”
Look for vape pen batteries that pack less of an electric punch, and don’t take long inhales that cause the electric coil inside a pen to get super hot. A recent study found that if your cannabis oil has been cut with popular additives like propylene glycol, a 3.3-volt battery was a lot safer than anything over five volts. The higher the temperature, the more formaldehyde gets released.
Ideally, Marcu says, you should buy a vaporizer that allows you to adjust the temperature setting. “280º is an interesting place to start, but if you’re getting above 380º-400º, you’re leaving the vapor zone.”
Look for oil that is the consistency of honey.
Shopping in an unregulated market for hash oil with the right thickness can be frustrating. Like Goldilocks, you’re looking for