Recycling Vaporized Cannabis

Written by Lance Griffin

Vaporized cannabis flower crispens and darkens in color from green to brown to black, depending on temperature. It becomes what is colloquially known as “already vaped bud,” or AVB. AVB has been heated to temperatures from roughly 325-430° F, depending on preference, which is below combustion and leaves desirable phytochemicals in the plant material. Luckily, this means that AVB can be recycled and re-used, giving seemingly spent cannabis flower a second life!

Acidic cannabinoids are decarboxylated rapidly (or near instantly) at the aforementioned temperatures, and indeed many phytochemicals are vaporized—which, of course, is the point. Higher temperatures are more effective and thus leave fewer phytochemicals in the AVB. Thus, green or brown, less charred AVB is generally associated with greater potential.

AVB can be re-used in many ways, including:

  1. Edible infusions: decarboxylation is the first step in creating cannabis edibles, making AVB perfect for any recipe. If you’re feeling adventurous, try making infused caramelized banana pie bom boms. If not, you can always just eat it straight—a perfect complement to raw eggs guzzled down, Rocky-style, before 4 AM training sessions.
  2. Tinctures: extract the trapped treasures in your AVB with high proof alcohol for a DIY tincture.
  3. Capsules: load the AVB into ready-fill capsules. It’s as easy as it sounds.

Water curing is a common practice to remove the potentially bitter taste by filtering out certain water-soluble compounds. There are different strategies and tutorials available for water curing.

AVB has some drawbacks, such as reduced potency and quality compared to using non-vaped dried flower. Anecdotes indicate that some individuals combust and smoke AVB, but this defeats the health purpose of the vaporizer (not to mention the taste). Using a vaporizer to decarboxylate dried flower for another primary purpose—decarboxylating flower with a vaporizer in order to make edibles, for example—would be inefficient, and the high temperatures (vaporization) are undesirable.

Nonetheless, re-purposing AVB rather than tossing it out allows the consumer to get the most out of their cannabis while taking a small step toward sustainability.


OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Ben Goodwin from Pixabay

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Lance Griffin


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