Medical cannabis can have different therapeutic effects depending on how you use your vaporiser, so it’s important to understand what happens to terpenes and cannabinoids during the vaporisation process.
Each cannabis strain contains a unique set of cannabinoids and terpenes that react to specific temperatures. Knowing which terpenes react to certain temperatures lets you unlock their benefits with a vaporiser’s customisable temperature setting.
How Vaporisation Works
Vaping medical cannabis involves gently heating a dried cannabis flower until the cannabinoids and terpenes begin to evaporate and create a breathable vapour. When cannabis is smoked, some of the medicinal compounds are destroyed, creating toxic byproducts that can be harmful when inhaled.
This is why doctors and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) don’t recommend smoking medical cannabis. But vaping is medically approved, as it preserves more of the medicinal compounds in cannabis – rather than burning them away – and is easier on the respiratory system.
Different terpenes and cannabinoids evaporate at different temperatures, so it’s important to know what compounds you're interested in and adjust your vaporiser’s temperature accordingly.
At higher temperatures, some cannabis compounds may begin to burn. At lower temperatures, they may not vaporise at all. Speak with your doctor about the ideal temperature range for your specific condition, as even minor adjustments can subtly alter the effects.
Terpene Temperature Guide
There are many different terpenes in cannabis, all with unique effects and boiling points. A terpene’s boiling point is the temperature at which you would set your vaporiser to feel the terpene’s effects.
Here’s a chart to help you remember which terpenes are in medical cannabis, their effects, aromas and boiling points:
Boiling point (°C)
Found in the eucalyptus plant. Fresh, minty smell.
Found in the oils of cumin and thyme.
Sweet, floral scent. Commonly used as a sleep aid.
A component of tea tree oil.
Soothing, minty scent.
Fragrant, floral smell – similar to lilac.
Minty aroma, similar to camphor.
Gives hops their distinctive smell and taste.
How To Target Terpenes With the Mighty Medic Vaporiser
There are two TGA-approved medical cannabis vaporisers in Australia: the Mighty Medic and the Volcano Medic.
Both the Mighty Medic and Volcano Medic are used with dried cannabis flower. The Mighty medic is smaller, battery-operated and allows for temperature control, which is how you can target different terpenes depending on the therapeutic effect you’re after.
The Mighty Medic is easy to use. Here’s some steps to follow once you receive your prescribed cannabis flower:
Use the included herb mill to grind your flower.
Weigh out your prescribed amount of cannabis flower and add it to the dosing capsules.
Remove the cooling unit by twisting it 90 degrees. Then insert the dosing capsules into the magazine with the cap facing up. Replace the cooling unit.
Switch the Mighty Medic on by holding the power button for at least half a second.
The Mighty Medic will start to heat up. The display will show both the current temperature and your desired temperature.
Use the plus and minus buttons to set your preferred temperature. If you’re not sure which temperature to choose, a good starting point is 180°C.
You can set the temperature between 40°C and 210°C.
You can switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit by simultaneously pressing the plus and minus buttons.
With your doctor’s guidance, you can try different temperatures and strains until you find the therapeutic effects that work for you.
How Do I Use A Cannabis Vaporiser Safely?
Since the Mighty Medic and Volcano Medic are approved by the TGA, you can rest assured that they’re safe and effective medical devices. However, keep in mind that at temperatures of 210°C and above, some of the compounds in cannabis may begin to burn.
At these high temperatures, you may be exposed to some unhealthy byproducts created through combustion (i.e. smoking). Temperatures at 210°C and above may also cause some medicinal compounds to burn away. It’s important to discuss optimal temperatures with your doctor, as this will vary with different medical cannabis strains and from person to person.
Accessing The Therapeutic Effects Of Terpenes
It’s no surprise that inhalation remains one of the most popular methods of medical cannabis consumption. It’s a fast-acting, efficient way of delivering therapeutic compounds to your body and with vaping, cannabis inhalation is a lot more safe & effective.
The ability to precisely control the temperature with a medical cannabis vaporiser allows you to target specific terpenes and tailor your medication to best suit your needs. A doctor will help you throughout this process, helping you find a cannabis strain and temperature that delivers the best therapeutic effects possible for your condition.