With the explosion of vaping coupled with new laws related to marijuana and THC being enacted in many areas, vaping THC has unsurprisingly grown in popularity.
However, due to all the possible variations in the ways you can do it, things are now a bit more complicated than simply rolling a joint – so to help you understand one of the most important variables, in this post, we discuss the question of the best voltage for THC carts.
How higher voltage changes your THC vape
Before we talk about finding the perfect voltage for vaping THC carts, let’s take a step back and think about why we even need to ask this question – how does voltage change what happens when you vape THC?
To make things simple, the easiest way to understand voltage and vaping THC is that using a higher voltage setting means the THC product you are vaping is subjected to higher temperatures. This, in turn, affects how you experience your THC vape.
We’ll go into more detail in just a moment, but generally speaking, lower voltages – and so lower temperatures – equal a smoother vape but with more prominent flavors since the delicate terpenes are preserved.
However, it also means less of a vapor cloud and – crucially for many – less THC in each puff, which equates to a less intense hit.
Conversely, using a higher voltage setting means a bigger cloud, more THC in each puff and a more potent hit – but this comes at the expense of a loss of flavor.
Also, at higher temperatures, each puff will feel harsher on the throat and may induce coughing fits, something that people who are sensitive to this may want to avoid.
Personal preference – and other variables
What all this means is that finding the perfect voltage for you is largely a matter of personal preference, and there’s no objective answer to the question of the perfect voltage.
Instead, to a certain extent, finding the best voltage will involve a certain amount of experimentation since you will need to find the right balance of flavor, smoothness and potency to enjoy the best possible THC vaping experience.
However, it’s a bit more complicated than just this – because just as each vaper is different, so there is great variation between vaping devices.
One important variable is the resistance of the coil in a vape. Since resistance varies from device to device, the same amount of voltage in two coils with different levels of resistance will result in the coil producing different levels of heat.
In consequence, using the same voltage on two different devices may produce quite a different experience.
This means that to find the voltage that gives you the kind of experience you most enjoy, you will have to experiment a little when switching vape devices and even when switching cartridges in the same device.
Having said all this, it’s still possible to give a few guidelines for vaping with different THC products, so let’s do this now.
Best Voltage for Vaping THC oil
Perhaps the most popular way to vape THC is to use carts filled with THC oil, and when vaping regular THC oil, a voltage range of around 2.5-3.3 volts is considered normal – with something of around 3.0 giving the most rounded experience.
The best advice when using a new device or a new cart is to start at the lower end of this range and then adjust up until you find the best balance of flavor, cloud and effect.
However, when using thicker THC oils to vape, you may need to use a higher voltage of up to around 4.0 volts – so if you have a thicker oil, you can start a bit higher than with regular oil and work up from there.
Best Voltage for Wax and semi-solids
THC wax and semi-solids are THC products that require even higher temperatures to vaporize, so if you are using these, you can start with an even higher voltage than with thick THC oils and take it from there.
Best Voltage for Live resin
Live resin is one of the more recent forms of cannabis concentrates to appear, and it’s extracted from fresh cannabis that has been frozen right after harvest.
It offers several advantages in this form since the terpenes are well preserved, producing a rich flavor – while at the same time, the THC content remains high, making live resin a potent way of consuming cannabis.
However, when vaping it, the temperature – and therefore voltage – should be relatively low to preserve all of these desirable qualities. Otherwise, the terpenes will break down and you won’t be able to enjoy the full flavor.
This means the best starting point for this kind of product is around 2.2 volts, and you can then work up from there to find the most pleasurable experience for you.
Best Voltage for Delta 8
Delta 8 is an isomer of delta 9, the cannabinoid we normally refer to as THC. An isomer is a compound that has the same chemical formula as another but has a different structure – and in this case, it makes delta 8 slightly less potent than delta 9.
It is often found in cannabis products, including in vaping products, and is generally thought to provide a milder high. It is also legal in some places where delta 9 THC is still illegal, making it an excellent alternative for those who live in such places.
However, when it comes to vaping temperatures and voltages, it behaves broadly the same as regular THC, so you can start at around 2.5 volts and increase the voltage until you find the perfect balance.
Best Voltage for Distillate
Distillate is a thicker type of cannabis concentrate, and to vape it, you will need to use a higher voltage.
Many people find a voltage of around 4.0 to be perfect for this kind of product, but if you are experimenting to work out the best voltage for you, it’s recommended that you start at around 3.0 volts and work up from there.
Best Voltage for CBD oil
CBD is another type of cannabinoid that’s also found in marijuana, and although it won’t get you high, it’s thought to provide users with a whole range of health benefits.
One way of using CBD is vaping it, and to do so, you’ll need to set your vape to a higher temperature setting than when vaping THC. As ever, the ideal setting can vary, but most people find that somewhere around 3.3-3.8 volts is best.
To be sure, it’s a good idea to start at around 3.0 volts and then take it from there.
Devices with displays in watts
As we’ve already mentioned, even if you know the perfect voltage for using a particular cart with your vaping device, this may well change if you switch to a different device or another cart.
To solve this problem, some devices display the power output in watts – and then when you change carts, the device can calculate the necessary volts required to produce the same vaping experience as you are used to by taking into account the resistance of the coil.
When using this kind of device, you will still have to experiment in the same way to work out your favorite settings for different types of THC products, but the advantage is that it’s easy to enjoy consistency when swapping between different carts.
The main thing to remember, however, is that increasing the wattage has the same basic effect as increasing the voltage, namely that it increases the heat – so the best advice is always to start with a lower setting and increase it until you find the wattage you prefer.
Sometimes, the most basic devices for vaping THC don’t even allow you to change the voltage settings at all – and generally, they come with a relatively low voltage setting because that’s what the majority of THC vapers prefer.
The advantage to using a simple device is that you don’t have to worry about messing around with the settings, just like with a regular disposable vape – although you won’t be able to customize the experience.
The same advantages and disadvantages apply to non-THC vapes like the Spiritbar Katana 10000.
This newcomer to the market features a sleek design reminiscent of the handle of a Japanese katana sword and provides 10,000 puffs before you need to replace it.
Although there isn’t much scope for adjusting the settings, many users prefer the convenience and simplicity of such a device.
Can the voltage setting be too high?
As we’ve mentioned several times in this post, using a low voltage will give you more flavor but less THC in each puff while higher voltages will give you bigger clouds and a stronger hit at the expense of flavor.
However, some vapers who are more interested in potency than taste might be tempted to put the voltage right up right from the start to obtain the strongest hit – so is this a good idea?
In a word, no.
As the temperature rises, the terpenes are lost first, but when even higher temperatures are reached, the oil (or other THC product) begins to degrade too – and this means that beyond a certain point, you will start losing potency as the THC begins to break down.
When vaping THC, there is a sweet spot – which might be different for everyone due to personal preference – but if you turn it up too much, you are likely to have an unsatisfying vaping experience.
Furthermore, cranking up the volts too high can even break the wires in the coil, making the cart unusable – so in short, always start low and work up.
Experiment with your vape to find the best voltage for you
As we’ve seen, there are several reasons why it’s impossible to give a simple answer to the question of the best voltage for vaping THC – there are just too many variables, including the vaping device you are using, the THC product you want to vape and personal preference.
However, in this post, we have provided some guidelines that should give you somewhere to start – and after that, it’s all about experimenting to try to find the kind of voltage that produces the best combination of flavor, vapor cloud and THC hit you love.