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vaping for beginners

Vaping for Beginners or All Experience Levels: Tips You Should Know

Medically Reviewed by: Christine A. Doerbecker, BS, RPh

Whether you’re interested in tips on vaping for beginners or are more experienced at vaping as part of your medical marijuana treatment plan, there are many helpful tips and tricks out there. With recent vaping health risks coming out across national news, it’s important that all patients stay informed about how to vape properly.

Although Pennsylvania is taking every precaution available to reduce any risks and ensure the purity and safety of all products sold in PA medical marijuana dispensaries, patients should also understand how to properly use their medical marijuana products to further avoid any risks. We’ve created four tips on vaping for beginners or patients of all experience levels to follow based on recommendations from our licensed Pharmacy Director, Richard Greer.

Medical marijuana, like almost all medical products, can come with potential side effects as well as the beneficial intended outcomes. Dr. Rachel Levine has reiterated that patients who vaporize medical marijuana should proceed with caution and talk with their physician. The licensed medical marijuana pharmacists at Solevo Wellness are also available to talk with patients, including what additional forms (tinctures, capsules, etc.) might be appropriate for patients that choose not to vaporize.

For patients who do choose to use a vaporizer, the Department of Health strongly advises that patients only choose medical products from licensed growers found at licensed PA medical marijuana dispensaries. These products are rigorously tested to be free of the additives that have been found in many of the black-market products. If you do choose to use a vaporizer, we recommend following the four tips on vaping for beginners and those of all experience levels below.

Tips on Vaping for Beginners and All Experience Levels

1. Address the temperature you’re using to vaporize.

If you’re having too much irritation (coughing, burning, etc.) from your vaporized product, one of the first things to address is the temperature you are using to vaporize. Not only does a higher temperature lead to more irritation (since a larger quantity of vapor is being consumed), but often it’s also unnecessary.  In addition, when a temperature that is way too high is used, there is a possibility of directly damaging the throat and lungs (burning).

2. If a product is too irritating, consider “minding your dose.” 

If you normally cough uncontrollably when you’re vaping, consider how long your inhalation is. People often use “3 seconds” as a recommended length of time to inhale when giving tips on vaping for beginners, but often you might need to try shorter inhalations. Although it can be hard to get an exact length of inhalation, if you’re taking 3 seconds per inhalation, try taking 2 “shorter” inhalations instead. This means taking a quick, split-second inhalation twice at the same time instead of one long inhalation. It’s important to note that two 1.5-second inhalations are the same amount of medicine but administering the medicine that way (essentially splitting the dose in to 2) is less irritating.

3. Try a different product. 

Remember that everything matters. It’s very likely that trying something different could fix any irritation issues. Whether something is a CO2 extraction versus a Liquid Live Resin (LLR) extraction can have a drastic effect on your experience with irritation. For example, often CO2s can be less irritating, but may lack some effects, taste, and smell. Sometimes a patient may respond better to a cartridge vs. a disposable pen. This is because a cartridge battery may have an adjustable, and therefore potentially lower, temperature. Pods seem to be the highest quality and consistent devices, so often the irritation is more manageable with them (especially the PaxPod). 

Although not appropriate for every patient, a true concentrate often has little to no irritation when compared to a pen, cartridge, or pod. You can also consider dry leaf vaporization as an option with very little irritation.  However, there is a lot of information surrounding that option. This means it can be hard to make any general recommendation that applies to the entire patient population. We recommend talking through your options with a pharmacist or PCC one-on-one at Solevo for a treatment plan that is specific to you.

4. Not inhaling at all is an option! 

Due to the recent vaping health concerns, all the focus is on vaping and inhaling products. Remember that one of the most fascinating aspects of medical marijuana is how versatile it is in terms of routes of administration. If you’re not interested in tips on vaping for beginners because you’re uncomfortable with vaporizing medical marijuana, you don’t have to administer it that way. Each way that medical marijuana is administered has a different medication profile. Although we cannot exactly mimic that inhaled effect in any other way, some patients may be able to get close by using a tincture.

Your pharmacist or PCC may even recommend a capsule regimen that is more consistent and scheduled, that way you’re not in discomfort waiting for the medicine to “kick in.”  In addition, there are other great forms of medicine including topicals, oils, and more. The important thing to remember is that there is always another option to pursue, including the option to avoid inhaling altogether. Figuring out the best treatment option for your specific condition and experience level is always recommended.

If you’d like to have a one-on-one with a licensed pharmacist or PCC to go over more tips on vaping for beginners or talk about other options, visit us at any of our Solevo Wellness locations. If you have additional questions for Solevo Wellness, please check out our FAQ page or follow us on Facebook and direct message our team anytime. We’d love to hear from you!