Keeping a journal of your usage and experiences while vaporizing herb or concentrates can be incredibly beneficial. For starters, it can help you better understand your body and flavor palate and it encourages mindfulness, which is always a plus. But knowing what metrics to track and write down can sometimes be intimidating. Here are some tips to keep in mind when first beginning to journal your experience:
HOW DO YOU FEEL RIGHT NOW?
In order to understand the effects of any given herb or concentrate, you need to be able to identify your starting point. Ask yourself how you feel in this moment, prior to vaping anything. Do you have any pain? tension? Are you distracted or stressed? Closing your eyes and taking a moment will help you better evaluate your physical and emotional state.
ARE THERE OTHER INFLUENCERS?
You should also take note of any other factors that might affect your experience. Are you thirsty? Have you eaten? Are you on any other medication? Is this the first time you’ve vaped today? All of these can greatly change the outcome you perceive by your vape session, and worth noting for future reference.
WHAT ARE YOU VAPING?
Next, write down some key points about what you put in your mod. Dry herb or concentrate? What is the strain, how was it grown or processed and what are the genetics? Are there lab results available? What is your temperature setting? Having a templated page to collect all these data points can be very helpful and it makes this part more approachable. Goldleaf makes two journals for this specific purpose, the Patient Journal & Taster Journal. Both include templated pages to help you know what is important.
WHAT DO YOU NOTICE?
There will be an initial wave of change you will feel when vaping dry herb or concentrates as the contents enter your body. This is the best time to think about flavor– since that sensory information is most fleeting. How does it taste? Is there an aftertaste? How dense is the vapor? Next, think about how you feel after your first few pulls. Compare your feelings to where you were before you started and hone in on any areas of tension or pain. Think about your attitude and emotions, are there any shifts? Are you more energetic or sleepier? Do you feel motivated and creative, or relaxed and mellow?
CAN YOU SUMMARIZE YOUR EXPERIENCE?
In addition to charting simple and clean cut data points, fill in any gaps by writing about your overall experience. This part can be the most useful when looking back since every experience is a complex one with lots of external factors. Consider your surroundings and environment, how many pulls you took, how you are feeling after some time has passed, and what effects you notice that might have taken some time to form.
FINALLY, WHAT IS YOUR OVERALL RATING?
It is always good to tap out the spent material in your vaper after vaping, avoiding a messier and difficult cleanout when you are ready for your next vape session. This is a good time to think about the whole experience and rate it. Would you recommend this strain or product? Would you try it again? What are some fibnal takeaways, lasting effects or negatives?
Following the above tips will help you begin to understand your own body and taste in a more meaningful way and empower you to experiment with other dry herbs or concentrates that more closely match what effects or flavors you are seeking. Although any journal or notepad could serve, we recommend one of the notebooks designed by Goldleaf. They are created specifically for tracking your vaping experience and come in two types: patient-focused (for medical users) & recreation focused (for enthusiasts and adventurers). All offer researched and thoughtful content, templated entry pages and plenty of infographics to help you better understand your body.