THC Vape Juice: What It Is & How To Use It
Wanna vape your weed instead of smoking it? You’re gonna need at least two things: a vape pen and some THC vape juice. In this article, the experts at Honest Marijuana reveal everything you need to know about THC vape juice so that you understand what it is and how to use it.
Along the way, we’ll even show you how to make your own THC vape juice and how to gauge the dosage for the best high possible. Let’s get started.
What Is Vape Juice?
Vape juice (a.k.a. e-juice or e-liquid) is a mixture of water, sometimes alcohol, sometimes nicotine, food-grade flavoring, and propylene glycol (PG) or vegetable glycerin (VG).
Vape juice first popped onto the scene when e-cigarettes were introduced as an alternative to regular cigarettes. For that reason, those in the know usually reserve the term “vape juice” (by itself) to refer to a liquid that:
- Contains nicotine
- Is used as a replacement for smoking cigarettes
So, just like some of the other slang in the cannabis community, it’s not OK to say vape juice when you actually mean THC vape juice. If you do, those who know better may get confused…or at the very least, think you’re a tool.
If you’re talking about a replacement for cigarettes (with or without added nicotine), say vape juice. If you’re talking about vaping to get high, say THC vape juice.
What Is THC Vape Juice?
THC vape juice is basically the same thing as vape juice — it’s water (or alcohol), flavoring, and PG or VG — except that THC vape juice also contains … wait for it … a THC concentrate.
The most common forms of THC concentrate are:
You can also use cannabis oil (a.k.a. Rick Simpson oil) as long as you dilute it before applying heat. We’ll explain all that in greater detail in the Can You Make Your Own THC Vape Juice? section later in this article.
What Are The Effects Of THC Vape Juice?
Because THC vape juice is basically concentrated THC, the effects will be the same as you’d experience when smoking a high-THC strain. Common effects of THC vape juice include:
- Distortion of time
- Increased receptivity to stimuli
- Hunger (a.k.a. the munchies)
The intensity of those effects depends in large part on your metabolism, body composition, and a whole host of other factors.
That means the amount of THC vape juice (or the number of tokes) that sends you into the stratosphere may only send your friend to the top of the Empire State Building (metaphorically speaking, of course).
Are There Any Side Effects Of THC Vape Juice?
As with all THC products, there is always the potential for a really bad trip. Because THC vape juice is often made from high THC strains, they contain very little CBD, CBN, or CBG.
These cannabinoids temper the effects of THC and make them more enjoyable. Without CBD and the like, too much THC can cause:
- Debilitating anxiety
- Unconsciousness (not the good kind)
So tread lightly when you first start using THC vape juice. There’s nothing worse than a bad trip … especially when you can prevent it.
Is THC Vape Juice Legal?
Yes and no. We know that’s confusing, but so are the laws about marijuana in the United States. Essentially, it all comes down to where you live.
Some states have legalized both recreational and medicinal marijuana, while other states have only legalized medicinal marijuana. Hopefully, you live in (or near) one of those states. If you’re really unlucky, you live in a state where both types of cannabis are still illegal.
If that’s the case, all we can say is, “Be patient.” The times they are a-changin’.
If you live in a state where recreational marijuana is legal (and you’re of a certain age), you can purchase THC vape juice at your local dispensary. If you live in a state where only medicinal marijuana is legal, you’ll have to see a doctor to get a prescription.
If you live in a state where neither is legal, you’re just S.O.L., my friend. Sorry.
Can You Make Your Own THC Vape Juice?
Yep. There are actually several different ways to make your own THC vape juice, each with its own pros and cons. The simplest method (not necessarily the quickest) is to make a tincture. You can then use that tincture as your THC vape juice.
Here’s how to do it.
DIY THC Vape Juice
- Chop your plant matter and decarboxylate it in a 230℉ oven for 35 minutes.
- Place the decarboxylated cannabis in a quart (32-ounce) mason jar.
- Pour in 32 ounces of the highest-proof alcohol you can get. Everclear works well, but by all means, avoid isopropyl alcohol.
- Cover the jar tightly. A screw-on lid works nicely here.
- Shake well.
- Place the mason jar in a brown paper bag and store in a cabinet or closet. Storing the jar in a bag in a dark place keeps sunlight from spoiling the tincture.
- Monitor the location where you store your brew. It should be warm/room temperature, NOT hot.
- Let the mason jar sit for 30-60 days (the longer the better).
- After the steeping period, remove the plant matter from the remaining liquid by straining through a cheesecloth.
- Store the liquid in an opaque bottle out of the sun to preserve its potency.
This type of THC vape juice is very watery (because it’s just alcohol and marijuana), but some of the other products you can make yourself (like cannabis oil and liquid THC) may turn out more viscous (a fancy term for “thick like grease”).
If you end up with one of these thicker forms, it’s not the end of the world. You just need to add another ingredient to thin out the mixture. That’s where vegetable glycerin (VG) and propylene glycol (PG) come in.
A Bit About VG & PG
Vegetable glycerin is a clear, odorless liquid extracted from plant oils such as palm, soy, and coconut.
VG is produced through hydrolysis, which breaks the bonds of the ester molecules in the oil so that they can combine with water. The result is a syrupy goo much like the maple syrup you would drizzle on your pancakes or waffles.
Propylene glycol is similar to vegetable glycerin but is produced by combining molecules instead of breaking them apart.
For those of you chemistry buffs out there, the chemical formula of propylene glycol is C3H8O2. Propylene glycol is added to many foods and beverages to help distribute flavors evenly throughout.
Here’s a table that illustrates the differences between vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol.
Vape juice manufacturers use VG or PG (sometimes both) as a base in which to mix all the other ingredients. In fact, most commercially produced THC vape juice is 90 percent VG or PG with THC and flavorings making up the other 10 percent.
That shows you just how powerful the THC oil or tincture really is. At only 10 percent of the total mixture, it still packs a pretty hefty punch.
How To Gauge Your THC Vape Juice Dosage
If you buy your THC vape juice from a local dispensary, the label will tell you the correct dose of the liquid to use. It will also tell you how much THC you’ll get in that dose. Follow the instructions to get the best results.
If you make your own THC vape juice, it’s very difficult to gauge how much THC you’re getting. Start with a small amount and take it slow at first. THC vape juice, by nature, is more concentrated than regular dried bud, so it may take fewer hits of THC vape juice to get you plenty high.
One of the many nice things about vaporizers and vape pens is that you don’t have to consume all the liquid right away. It’s not like a joint, blunt, or Thai stick that, once blazing, you should smoke to the end.
With a vape pen, you can take one hit, set it aside, and a few minutes later, come back and take another hit. So you can really experiment with how many tokes it takes to get you good and high.
With that information, you’ll know exactly how much THC vape juice you’re going to need for a quality smoke sesh. That can save you money — and THC vape juice — over the long term.
THC vape juice is an essential part of the vaping process. The pros at Honest Marijuana reveal everything you need to know about this revolutionary liquid.
Vaping Marijuana Gets You Way, Way Higher Than Smoking It, Study Finds
Scientists have proved that inhaling vaporized marijuana will get you, like, way higher than smoking the exact same amount of weed.
The new research, led by scientists at the Johns Hopkins Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit in Baltimore, tested the effects of smoked versus vaped marijuana on 17 participants who had smoked marijuana before, though not in the 30 days before the study’s start (participants had smoked once in the last year, on average). Over the course of six 8.5-hour sessions, these participants got very, very high for science.
The study was funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, though one of the study’s authors reported that he has previously received fees from, or consulted for, companies with ties to cannabis. [25 Odd Facts About Marijuana]
During each session, participants either smoked or vaped a dose of marijuana containing 0 milligrams, 10mg or 25mg of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the primary psychoactive component in cannabis. While each participant ended up both smoking and vaping all three possible doses over their six sessions, they were blind to how much THC they were consuming each time. The participants were kept in the dark in order to prevent bias while filling out a subsequent drug-impairment questionnaire — which, as every pot enthusiast knows, is the most fun thing you can do while super-high.
In addition to self-reporting how stoned they felt via questionnaire, participants were also subjected to a battery of physical and cognitive tests throughout the duration of each high. The stoners had their heart rates and blood pressures measured 10 times over 8 hours, and were asked to complete computerized tasks that involved replicating shapes on a screen, solving simple addition equations and responding to two different stimuli simultaneously with a mouse and a computer keyboard. Again: The apex of weed-enabled fun.
The results of these tests showed that, first of all, inhaling a 25mg dose of THC will get you really, really high, regardless of whether it was smoked or vaped. (After taking this dosage, two participants vomited, and another experienced hallucinations.) Likewise, for both smokers and vapers the majority of drug effects — including high heart rate, dry mouth, red eyes, paranoia and the munchies — peaked within the first hour after getting high, and sometimes did not return to baseline levels for more than 8 hours. (Often, these effects persisted for hours after the participants’ blood THC concentration returned to normal.)
Overall, the effects of vaping proved much more potent at every dosage.
“Vaporized cannabis produced significantly greater subjective drug effects, cognitive and psychomotor impairment, and higher blood THC concentrations than the same doses of smoked cannabis,” the researchers wrote in their study, published today (Nov. 30) in the journal JAMA Network Open.
At both the high and low doses, vaped weed resulted in significantly higher concentrations of THC in participants’ blood than smoked weed. And the vapers made roughly twice as many mistakes on the cognitive tests and felt greater negative drug effects, including dry mouth, itchy eyes and paranoia, than the smokers did.
Simply put: Vaporized weed got people higher. And, according to the researchers, their doses weren’t even that strong compared to what’s commercially available.
“Notably, the highest dose of cannabis administered in this study (25mg of THC: 0.19 g; 13.4 percent THC) is substantially smaller and has a lower THC concentration than what is typically contained in pre-rolled cannabis cigarettes available for purchase in cannabis dispensaries, which commonly contain roughly 1.0 g of cannabis with THC concentrations often exceeding 18 percent,” the study authors wrote.
With recreational weed now legal in nine American states and all throughout Canada, it’s important to remember that even moderate amounts of THC can have significant impairing effects on casual consumers, and that not all methods of consuming cannabis are created equal.
Originally published on Live Science.
In a new study, 17 willing participants got very, very high for science — and they found that vaping marijuana is way stronger than smoking the exact same amount.