Editor’s Note: Meet our new Ask a Budtender columnist, Erica Nahorniak. “Cannabis kind of saved my life,” Nahorniak says. She credits it with boosting her mental health, and in 2020, she left her job as a therapist to pursue her passion as an occupation. Now she works at Hatch Dispensary in Addison. “It can be such a great product,” says Nahorniak, who preaches individualized use. “I love talking about it.” Have questions for her? Email budtender@chicagomag.com.

Erica Nahorniak

Why do vape highs feel less satisfying?

Battery-powered vaporizers preloaded with cannabis oil are often recommended to new users to ease into finding their tolerance levels. But frequent vaping leads to shorter highs.

That’s because most cartridges and disposables cater to consumers who only want high THC percentages. Smoking a combination of flower and concentrate instead provides a more well-rounded high from the activation of all of a strain’s plant matter: compounds like THC, CBD, and the terpenes resposible for the yummy smells. This entourage effect results in a wonderful body-and-mind calm.

If you continue to consume items made to isolate THC, your high won’t hit all of your body and mind the same way as a product that includes more original plant compounds. This is why vape cartridges are often referred to as the TV dinners of cannabis.

Erica Nahorniak works at Hatch Dispensary in Addison.

Have a question for our budtender? E-mail budtender@chicagomag.com.