When to Replace Herb in Vaporizer Oven

When to change weed in pax

If you’re new to vaping, then there might be many things about it that you are not used to. The need to recharge your vape might be one such thing, cleaning it might be another, after all, you never had to worry about those problems with a joint. You may also wonder how to know when your dry herb vaporizer is done, and it’s time to change herb.

Since vapes don’t burn the weed, it doesn’t become blackened, so knowing when it’s done and you need to refill can be tricky the first time around. This handy guide tells you how to know when your weed is fully vaped, so you don’t waste weed and have efficient sessions. We use the Pax 3 as an example here, but this holds for all dry herb vaporizers.

The Clues To Cashed Herb

Taste/Smell- Flavor will slowly diminish

When to change herb pax 3 vaporizer
You can open your lid (image: Pax 3) and look at your herb. Solid brown color means that’s it’s done. If you want to get efficient with your session- stir the oven once or twice during s session for a more even “burn”.

You can tell that your weed is done when it starts to lose its flavor. You’re familiar with how bubble gum eventually loses its taste after you’ve been chewing for a while. Well, a similar principle applies to marijuana, once it has been vaped to completion. All the terpenes that give each strain of marijuana its distinctive taste will have been used up, leaving the herb free of flavor.

A dry herb vaping session usually starts extremely flavorful & aromatic, and loses flavor as the session progresses. Once you feel a sharp drop of flavor and the vapor becomes harsh, your weed is done.

Once your herb has been thoroughly vaped, it starts to lose that sweet aroma. If you do it for long enough, it starts to take on a scent very similar to burnt popcorn, which is an unpleasant—but very noticeable—odor that no one likes. If you get that smell, it means that you vaped it way too much. If that’s what you’re smelling, it is time to dump the herb in your chamber for a new batch.

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Looks/Texture- Will become brown and crunchy

pax 3 vaporizer cashed herb
A perfectly vaporized herb is a solid Brown color, and the vaped weed is dry and brittle.

Normally, fresh herb is a bright green color, but once it has been cashed, all the color is drained out of it and it takes on a distinct brown color. As with any plant matter, Brown color is not a good thing and marijuana is no different. You can take a quick look at your herb chamber while vaping. If it’s a solid brown, your session is done.

Any good herb is soft and fluffy and it should retain that texture even after it has been completely ground up. Once it has been completely vaped, it becomes stiff, brittle, and it crumbles easily. You can examine the texture of your herb after your session and make improvements during your next sessions.

With the Pax 2 or Pax 3- You can open the oven lid and look at your herb. If you want to get super efficient, stir your herb once or twice during a session. It will circulate the herb in the oven and will make it vape more evenly.

Of course never touch herb as it comes out of the chamber. It’s hot.

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Know Your Vape- Experiment and improve

pax 3 vaporizer chage weed
Experiment with your own vape and make adjustments to your sessions duration. On the right side you can see herb that is not completely vaped. On the left side is herb that is cashed and should be replaced.

Most vapes have a preset “session duration,” which is typically between 5-10 minutes. One of the best ways to gauge the right amount of time is by trial and error. Using the techniques mentioned above, practice a few times until you know exactly how long it takes for the weed to be fully exhausted in your vaporizer.

Once you figure out how long herb lasts with your specific vape on a certain temperature level, you can time future sessions to achieve perfectly vaped herb. It’s a matter of trial and error, and experimentation will take your vaping to the next level.

With the Pax 3, it depends on the temperature settings. But generally I get around 5 minutes of really good fresh flavor, then it slowly declines. I start with temperature 3, and increasing to 4 towards the end. With these settings I get around 6-9 minutes of vaping, and at the end the weed is completely cashed.

Over time, examine your herb after sessions, and fine tune your session length for a perfectly cashed herb.

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Maximize your herb usage

There are a few things you can do to maximize the lifespan of your herb:

  • Low Temperature Vaping – Vaping at the lower temperature settings on your vaporizer will make your weed last a lot longer. Not only does it extend the life of your herb it is also a pretty pleasant experience since lower temperatures tend to bring out the flavor a lot better than higher temperature settings. You can try starting a session low and gradually increasing the temp to max out your herb.
  • Grind Your Herb Thoroughly – A nice, comprehensive grind makes your weed last for a long time because it maxes out the surface area of your weed, so you can get great vapor using less herb. This saves your herb’s flavor and it saves you money since you can use less with each session.

Oron has been vaping for over ten years, and been 100% combustion free since early 2016. He has tried and tested hundreds of vaporizers with every functionality imaginable. Some of Oron's favorite vapes are the Mighty, Solo 2, and Juul. After switching to vaping, Oron experienced first hand the benefits of being smoke-free and decided to help as many people as possible to make the switch. When Oron is not vaping, he is passionate about photography, technology, gadgets, health & nutrition, physical activities.

  1. Just bought the Xmas v2 pro which is my first vape. Do I have to fill it or can it be just what I need for one session? Can I fill it, use it once and empty it , then refill it with the one time used weed?

    • Vapes work best with a “full & fluffy” oven. And once you do a session, the herb is cashed. You can’t use the same herb twice. Luckily the XMAX has a small oven so it is efficient.

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