A few months ago, we had the chance to try out some e-cigarette type vaporizers with a medicated glycerine-based tincture in them. This intriguing method is significantly easier on the lungs than vaporizers that work by heating the plant matter to just under its combustion temperature, which can still be quite irritating to very sensitive lungs.
As someone who physically cannot smoke or vape, I find that the e-cigarette is a pleasant and effective way of medicating throughout the day, and it has very little impact on my breathing. The only real challenge was figuring out what sort of e-cigarettes worked, what sort of liquid was needed, and how to get the liquid into the e-cig. There is an intimidating array of options out there, but after a bit of trial and error, I’ve found what I think to be the best combination for medicating with cannabis.
Option 1: “Cartomizer” type e-cigs
While it may be possible to make these work for a cannabis-based liquid, I cannot recommend it. This was the first thing I tried, after buying a “kit” at a local store, consisting of a battery, a charger, and two cartridges that were already filled with regular cigarette juice. I washed the little filters and tried my best to get it to work, but it was just not good. I even bought blank cartridges and filled them myself, still was not a workable solution. Glycerine tinctures (which I prefer, they are the mildest and least likely to irritate) are thick, and thick liquids don’t work too well with that kind of wick.
Option 2: Cartridge + Atomizer
The second attempt was more successful: using an easily-fillable plastic cartridge that doesn’t use any kind of wick, and an atomizer which the cartridge just snaps into. Since all the parts I’d chosen had the same connector, everything fit, and this odd-looking contraption (affectionately dubbed “Frankentoke”) worked fairly well. This could also be used with the larger battery, but these tanks aren’t really the ideal solution — they are technically refillable, but the plug is quite fragile, and if they leak too much you’ll ruin your battery. The search continued!
Option 3: Clearomizer / Tincture Tank
Next, I got a very affordable “kit” that consisted of a battery and a CE5 tank. Pictured above, you see two different kinds of tank, the CE5 “Clearomizer” which holds 1.6ml of liquid, and a slightly larger tank that holds up to 3ml and has a different sort of wick. The CE5 has been the best of all the tank types I’ve tried, the wicks are ideally suited to very thick liquids and you can see exactly how much you have left.
The good news is that this combination is surprisingly affordable — I got mine from a small company that is based in Southern California. They don’t have much of a selection, but that may actually be a plus, since the array of options available can be quite intimidating at some sites. They have CE5-based kits at $30, which is all you’ll need to get started vaping a glycerine-based tincture, with the exception of the actual tincture.
Now, there are many more advanced vaporizer options, including ones that will also work for dried flowers and concentrates — we’ll cover this in a future post.
If there’s enough interest, we have the capability to offer glycerin-based tinctures — so if you have (or are considering getting) an e-cigarette setup like this, please leave us a comment and we’ll get some of those on the menu!