“Can I vape terpenes?”
“Great, so I just ordered some terpenes. I'll fill my pen/mod up and go to town right?”
Not so fast. There are a few caveats to consider.
If you plan on vaping terpenes, we're going to assume that you're already familiar with a few salient points. If not, here's a refresher:
- Terpenes are almost exclusively used with other botanical distillates or isolates - they are seldom, if ever, vaped on their own (suspended within a neutral carrier).
- You cannot, and should not, buy a bottle of terpenes, put it in your vape pen or mod, and puff away.
- Currently, manufacturers are looking for ways to homogenize terpenes (oils) into water-based e-juice solutions so you'll eventually be able to put terpene blends in your favorite mod…so stay tuned.
- Terpenes in and of themselves are non-psychoactive. Please don't create a blend of only terpenes and a carrier, expecting a head change.
- If you're using a vape pen, we assume here that you've done at least a little homework, and are fully aware of the 'other compounds' you're vaping. In these scenarios, terpenes are used for flavor, fragrance, and to drive and define the experience. As of yet, on the consumer level, no one has produced a vapable e-juice that consists of ONLY TERPENES - within the context of this article they are meant to be inhaled in conjunction with other compounds.
Let's try a visualization exercise to elucidate this point:
Imagine a car (your Prius, for example) is traveling at a humdrum 3 mph. Now turn the steering wheel a modest 2° in either direction. What do you notice? Little to no change in direction. Now pump the gas and accelerate the car to 100 mph. That same, modest 2° turn of the wheel now results in a massive change in direction. In this scenario, terpenes are the steering wheel, and the 'other compounds' are the gas that propel you to either 3mph or 100 mph. Without these other compounds, terpenes alone will get you almost nowhere (like steering a parked car). With these compounds (alcohol even) terpenes allow you to have significantly different experiences, as determined by your blend.
Terpenes are functional flavoring agents. Do not consume them by themselves! You wouldn't drink straight Vanilla Extract would you?
For the rest of this article, anytime we mention vaping terpene blends or isolates, it is always with respect to terpenes in a solution of other compounds, a carrier and perhaps a cutting agent.
Now that we got that all cleared up, let's dive a little deeper.
I vape, you vape, we all vape...Terpenes!
In our scene, the only thing trendier than terpenes themselves is vaping. And if you’ve ever been to high school you know that combining two big trends does, in fact, typically lead to one mega-big trend with enough momentum to push an activity, genre of music, or brand into the “instant legend” category. Just look at what happened when Abercrombie and Fitch melded with boy bands in the nineties:
The question is this: can you vape terpenes? And, if so, how can you use terpenes in vapes and what kinds should you use?
We’ll spill the beans early on this one -- you can vape terpenes.
You probably already are, if you own a vape pen, and those terpenes are likely enhancing the entourage effect that you feel after a nice, long pull. Just be forewarned -- now that we’re breaking this down and putting it out in the open, vaping terpenes might get so popular that your chances of spending your lunch break relaxing by yourself will disappear as fast as the cloud of smoke you exhale.
How to use terpenes in vapes
Step one is to identify the best vape pen for terpenes. You need a pen that is compatible with different products and isn’t “branded” to a specific line or “end result” after the vape. What you want is the ability to make an impulse decision (we have a few suggestions for you below) with confidence that it will work in your pen.
In essence, you need a pen that can vape terpene isolates, blends, and other products. Not just the oil form of the green stuff.
Here are a few pens we suggest:
And as for that impulse decision --
. . . INSERT ABSTRAX PRODUCT PHOTO/DESCRIPTORS HERE . . .
Which terpenes are the best for vaping?
If you already vape, you’ve likely been vaping terpenes without ever really thinking about it. Terpenes in their non-isolated form are found in the cartridges you put into your vape pen, providing the aromatic profile points that distinguish each brand.
But now that vaping terpene isolates is on the rise, there are two particular terpenes that are the best for vaping:
- Linalool -- the old standby prominent in floral-dominant extracts and those with a minty profile, along with cinnamon and rosewood, is an ideal terpene to vape because it helps you achieve calm and relaxation.
- Pinene -- there’s something about the smell of pine trees that helps you focus, and vaping pinene is the perfect way to experience this sensation (short of pulling sap from a conifer tree and vaping it straight up).
Beyond those two, you can vape any terpene isolate as long as it's compatible with your pen -- take your pick from Abstrax’s wide collection of terpene extracts.
What else do I need to know about vaping terpenes?
We’ve covered the facts above. This is the part where it gets fun.
Vaping terpenes is kind of like choosing a blend of tea. You begin with a general idea of the end result you’re after -- relaxation perhaps, or relief from a sore throat. In order to find the kind of tea that offers that effect. For that sore throat, for example, you want Throat Coat. For relaxation after a long day, a pot of Chamomile is in order.
Learn how to vape terpenes by learning how to match terpenes to your desired effect. Think about what you want and do a bit of research, then place your order. Check out our Flavor and Effect Chart to get started on the right path.
If you’re vaping other products also, use those first AND THEN vape the terpene extract of your choice afterward -- this is a surefire way to kick the entourage effect into high gear. This can also be a solid way to curb anxiety and paranoia, particularly if you’re vaping Linalool or another terpene known for its calming effect.
Now that you have a firm grasp on the basics of how to use terpenes in vapes, you’re cool factor just skyrocketed -- better be prepared to share your lunch hour.