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Ground cannabis bud that has been turned into AVB or "Already Vaped Bud", edited from an image by Stefan Tomic via iStock

What Is AVB? – Already Vaped Bud & What To Do With It

High There

By High There

March 9, 2022

If you’re fairly new to vaping or smoking cannabis, it can seem like there’s no end of terminology, technique and creative consumption methods to enjoy. 

For those into vaping flower, taking a deep puff doesn’t have to be the end of the line for your bud – as brown and toasty it may be, the resulting plant material left behind after any vaping session is known as “AVB” (short for “Already Vaped Bud”), and there’s still plenty of life left in those earth-colored flowers.

But what is AVB? How is it created? And why is it popular among cannabis consumers? After reading our guide, we hope to give you a better understanding of this useful, often overlooked way to make your stash stretch. Let’s dive in!

A dry herb vape with cannabis, by AHPhotoswpg via iStock
Photo credit: AHPhotoswpg via iStock

How is AVB Created?

The process of vaping weed requires using a vaporizer to heat up the bud just enough that the cannabinoids inside your plant matter are turned into vapor, as opposed to reaching temperatures high enough to combust your weed (IE: set it on fire) and generate smoke. 

After the weed inside your vaporizer has gone through the vaping process the resulting plant matter left behind is referred to as either “AVB” or “ABV” (“Already Been Vaped”) – and yes, in case you come across these acronyms somewhere out in the wild, both are referring to the exact same thing.

THC and Cannabinoid Levels in AVB

All cannabis strains have varying levels of THC and cannabinoids in them. Although it’s hard to say exactly how much cannabinoid content will be left behind after the process of vaping is complete, it’s estimated that around three-quarters of the cannabinoids are used while vaping, meaning there’s still a significant amount left behind.

Again, this amount will vary depending on the original strain’s THC and cannabinoid content, but there’s still plenty of cannabinoid goodness held within to extract post-vape.

Uses for Already Vaped Bud

You can enjoy an already vaped bud as it is, but there are many different ways consumers have found to utilize AVB. Let’s briefly go over some of the most popular:

Make Cannabutter

Even the word itself sounds tasty – cannabutter. Yes, a combination of butter and AVB cannabis is one you can make and utilize in many of your recipes when cooking at home, and even more easily than with traditional recipes, as your AVB has already been fully decarbed.

Making cannabutter from your AVB will require water, butter, filtration (coffee filters/cheesecloth/etc.), and, of course, your AVB. For a full writeup and recipe, check out our “How to Make Cannabutter” article, skipping the step for decarbing and going straight to the steep. 

Once processed, keep your AVB cannabutter cool in the fridge before consuming it for the best taste.

Extract an AVB Tincture

Tinctures are concentrated mixes of cannabinoids typically extracted with a high-proof alcohol. These can either be consumed under the tongue for effects to present themselves more rapidly, or you can add a cannabis tincture to any drink or food to create quick and easy home-made edibles (the effects of which can typically onset anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours after ingestion).

As with other edibles the effects of tinctures can last longer than smoking or vaping cannabis; they can also be easier to take for medical cannabis patients who cannot smoke or vape, and they can be applied in a variety of fashions.

To make your homemade AVB tincture, you’ll need AVB and a high-proof alcohol (high-proof grain alcohol being a popular choice). These two are combined to steep, before being filtered through a cheesecloth or coffee filter into a tight-lidded glass container; a medicine bottle with dark glass is preferred. Stored properly, your tincture should last for several months at a minimum.

Make Tea and Coffee

A popular method of using AVB is by combining it with your morning cup for an added kick. Cannabis is fat-soluble, which means stirring in some milk or cream will help release those activated cannabinoids from your AVB.

Though we link to coffee above, this can also be done with tea, hot chocolate or any other warm beverage you may enjoy. Again, though, the cannabinoids inside your AVB will leach out into your drink much more easily and thoroughly if using some fashion of fat, so a splash of cream or milk will always be recommended to get the most out of your brew.

Infuse into Coconut Oil

Just like cannabutter, infusing your favorite coconut oil with your AVB is easy to do, and it requires even less work than a traditional recipe since you can skip the step of decarbing. 

Our full writeup on how to infuse AVB coconut oil at home has the full details, but as with other infusion methods you primarily need your medium (in this case coconut oil), your material (your AVB), a strainer (the aforementioned cheesecloth/coffee filter), and a receptacle (IE: a jar). 

Coconut oil is a classic infusing medium for a reason, and it goes great with a wide variety of recipes. Though its health benefits can be debatable, it makes an excellent vegan alternative for cannabutter when making recipes such as weed brownies or cookies, and it can add an interesting flavor of its own to the finished dish.

Already Been Vaped ABV Cannabis Bud Wrapped in Cheesecloth Soaking in Water Cure Jar, by vienetta via iStock
Photo credit: vienetta via iStock

Water Curing AVB

Water curing is a process that can help remove the bitter taste and smell that comes with AVB, making it more enjoyable on the whole. Water curing doesn’t compromise the THC content or potency of the bud, just the taste.

In order to water cure your AVB, you’ll need to soak it in water for a few hours to a few days before straining and allowing it to dry thoroughly. 

For drying, we recommend using your home oven to speed up the process. Spreading your plant matter out onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, turn your oven on to its lowest setting and then turn it back off once it’s pre-heated. Place the cookie sheet into your oven with the door ajar; if using a convection oven, make sure the fans won’t blow your weed all over the inside of your oven (trust us when we say you don’t want to make that mistake).

If an oven is unavailable, make sure you leave your AVB in a well-ventilated, dry, and warm place to do so; you want to ensure that no mold ends up growing on your plant matter while it dries.

Eating AVB As-Is

As the flower has already been exposed to heat, the cannabinoids inside are fully decarboxylated – this means the remaining bud can be quickly used in a variety of fashions, or even eaten outright if so desired (and we have more on both decarbing and eating AVB in our FAQ section below).

Smoking AVB

You can also simply smoke the AVB if you prefer, and you’d prepare it just like you would with any fresh bud that you wanted to smoke. Likewise, sprinkling AVB onto a joint or a bowl of non-vaped bud can help extend your stash’s overall lifespan, and though the product itself may be a bit weaker, odds are against most cannabis consumers paying much notice.

Decarbed Weed: What Does It Mean?

Before any cannabis product can get someone high, it has to be decarbed first. 

In its natural, raw state, marijuana contains a chemical compound known as THCAnot THC, as most would believe. THCA, or “tetrahydrocannabinolic acid”, is a psychoactively-inert version of the THC most people seek out when consuming cannabis. 

How Decarbing Makes a Difference

When cannabinoids such as THCA are exposed to high enough temperatures their molecular structure begins to change; as per our example case, the acid chain is removed from the molecule, turning THCA into THC. This process is known as decarboxylation or “decarbing.”

Decarbing is, again, accomplished when cannabis is exposed to a high enough temperature, traditionally accomplished via being set on fire, or, in a more modern context (and relevant to today’s topic), heated to the point of the cannabinoids within turning into vapor. This is why eating raw cannabis has no psychoactive effects – without heat, cannabis cannot get you high.

How to Decarb Cannabis

Decarbing can also be done manually, to prepare cannabis for use in edibles, infusions, tinctures and other ingested consumables. This is done by putting the weed on a fairly low heat of 220ºF for about 30 to 45 minutes, to fully change the cannabinoid acids’ molecular structure into THC.

Though this process isn’t particularly tricky there are a number of variables to discuss and tricks to understand before potentially wasting an entire batch of weed; if new to this step, make sure to check out our article on how to decarb weed for a full, detailed writeup.

A small pile of "AVB", or "already vaped bud", by AHPhotoswpg via iStock
Photo credit: AHPhotoswpg via iStock

FAQs

What’s the difference between ABV and AVB weed?

None – there is no difference between “ABV weed” and “AVB weed.” Both are often used interchangeably when describing the process, which can often lead to confusion among those new to the terminology.

How much potency does AVB cannabis flower have?

The potency of already vaped bud is often difficult to know. When you vaporize the weed flower, you do lose a lot of the THC content that was in it to begin with, meaning it’s going to be weaker regardless.

When it comes to making your own edibles, it’s good to be wary of how much you’re using, even if you think the THC levels are fairly low when using AVB. You may end up getting a stronger batch than you anticipated if you use too much at once, and even though we estimate roughly three-quarters of the cannabinoid content is used up in the initial vaping process, we would consider it at half-strength for making any edibles and infusions (IE: double the amount of AVB from your non-vaped flower in a recipe).

Can I smoke my AVB weed?

Yes, you can. When you smoke AVB, it follows the same process as it would when you’re smoking a fresh bud. However, it’s worth noting that it won’t be as strong, and the “toasted” flavor may carry through to your smoke; for this reason, we often recommend using a mix of fresh cannabis and ABV.

Can I eat vaporized cannabis outright?

Yes! There are cannabis users who will eat AVB weed as it is, though it is typically best described as an “acquired taste.”

The overall flavor of AVB is about what you’d expect from cannabis, with a very funky, heavily “green” flavor, but also carrying a “toasted” or “nutty” taste that can be appealing to some. If you’re one of those who enjoy the taste as-is (as is your humble editor), you may find it tasty to sprinkle on a sandwich, salad or even freshly-baked breadsticks. 

“But how much ABV should I eat?” you ask? Again, it depends on your tolerance and how strong the weed was before vaping. Though this will vary highly from consumer to consumer, our recommendation is always to start small, with roughly a two gram starting portion.

Wrapping Up

AVB is another excellent way to enjoy your cannabis, whether you turn it into edibles, smoke it or eat it as it is. There’s more you can make from this leftover residue, and instead of just disposing of your AVB, we hope we’ve shown you some creative ideas on ways to get the most out of your stash. 

Know any neat AVB hacks or tricks we missed? Let us know in the High There app and join the conversation! We’ll see you there!

High There

About The Author

High There

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