Health & Wellness

Your Guide to CBD Vape Oils, Juice, and E-Liquids

By Melena Gurganus

E-cigarettes, vaporizers and vape pens have quickly become favorable alternatives to traditional cigarettes. Harmful chemicals like acetone, butane, and tar can enter your lungs when smoking regular cigarettes, which sounds like something out of a horror film. Vaping products present a less daunting list of ingredients, but still provides users with a rush of nicotine. Unfortunately, nicotine is a highly addictive chemical whether inhaled via cigarettes or vape.

This is where CBD vaping may help.

Cannabidiol, often shortened to CBD, is available in vape oil formulas and can be used in any type of vaporizer that allows for oil refills. CBD vape products are extracted from cannabis plants and do not contain nicotine or other harsh chemicals like tobacco or e-cigarettes. On top of its non-addictive properties, CBD itself has shown potential in offering chronic pain relief, anxiety reduction, and other health benefits.

[ See a full list of the potential health benefits of CBD ]

CBD Vape Oil Explained

Also referred to as an e-liquid or vape juice, CBD vape oils come in a variety of different styles. You’ll have a wide range of options that you should take into account before purchasing anything, including:

  • Flavor—This is left up to your personal taste. Just like traditional vape juices, there a plenty of different options to choose from for each flavor palate.
  • CBD concentration—Vape oils can vary greatly, with some products containing only 25mg of CBD while others have 500mg. It’s best to start at the lower end and work your way up if you’re inhaling CBD for the first time.
  • Consistency—You’ll want your CBD vape juice to look the same throughout the entire mixture. Separation can occur between CBD compounds and other ingredients, so you should make sure that the vape oil is well mixed together. This will give you a more consistent amount of CBD when the e-liquid is put into a vaporizer.
  • CBD isolate—Some CBD vape oils are advertised as “pure CBD” or “100% CBD,” which typically means that these products contain a CBD isolated formula. A CBD isolate is a very concentrated form of cannabidiol. This can only be created after other cannabis compounds are further extracted, and leave pure CBD behind.
  • Full-spectrum CBD—In opposition to isolated CBD, there are other types of vape juices that incorporate an array of compounds from hemp plants. These may include other cannabinoids, terpenes, and perhaps a very low percentage of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Full spectrum formulas may offer more benefit since the cannabis extracted ingredients can work together to produce greater effects. However, choosing between isolate or full spectrum CBD is completely up to you and what works best for your body.

Vaping vs. Other Methods of CBD Use

It’s important to distinguish between a few different misconceptions about CBD in order to understand the other types of application methods.

For starters, CBD oil is not the same as vape juice, but this term is sometimes incorrectly attributed to e-liquids since they are a vape “oil”. CBD oil can be ingested, or applied topically to soothe the skin or muscles below the surface. CBD vape oil is entirely different since it is inhaled and immediately absorbed by the lungs. The difference between these two is paramount when it comes to vaporization. CBD oil is not a replacement for CBD vape juice. Only products that are designed for inhalation should be used in vaporizers. The ingredients in regular CBD oil are suitable for ingestion, but this does not mean they are safe for your lungs.

When compared to some other CBD application methods, vaping presents a few advantages that include:

  • Fast relief—once the atomizer in a vape pen or vaporizer heats the CBD e-liquid, it will turn into a vapor which can then be inhaled. The CBD within the vapor will then be immediately absorbed by the lungs and enter the bloodstream directly. CBD vape juice delivers a much faster response than regular oils, capsules, and other methods that have to go through the digestive tract to take effect.
  • Ease of use—this is especially true for people that already vape or smoke. All you have to do is purchase CBD vape oil and use it just as you would a nicotine infused e-liquid. If you’re new to vaping, just put a few drops of CBD vape juice into the refillable cartridge (usually located at the top of the vaporizer or vape pen) and inhale slowly.
  • Good taste—other CBD products that are administered orally and make contact with your taste buds do not always have the most appealing taste. Many tinctures and CBD oils have an earthy flavor that is difficult to disguise. Not only do CBD vape oils have many flavors, but the act of vaporizing the CBD itself reduces its naturally potent taste.

While vaping seems like a simple and quick way to use CBD, there are some drawbacks. For instance, people that have never smoked or vaped feel that the warm vapor is harsh when inhaled.

Vaping is not for everyone, and CBD itself may not work for everyone either. Many people commend this cannabis-extracted compound for its symptom relief and health benefits, but it’s up to you to determine what kind of effect it has on your body.

Can vaping CBD help you stop smoking?

Vaporizers and e-cigarettes have helped many people stop smoking tobacco cigarettes by providing them with a less carcinogenic nicotine fix. CBD vape oils do not usually contain nicotine, so what benefit can they give to those looking to quit smoking?

Research performed by the Society for the Study of Addiction (SSA) found that CBD was effective in reducing attention bias in dependent smokers. Essentially, this means that the study participants who were given CBD supplements were less likely to respond to cigarette cues. This led researchers to believe that CBD could help alleviate their smoking addiction. Another study actually employed an inhalation method for individuals that wished to stop smoking. The research found that people treated with CBD reduced the amount of cigarettes they smoked by roughly 40% during treatment, which suggests that CBD can help curve the need for nicotine.

In addition to these scientific findings, CBD vaping also mimics the physical act of smoking without the addictive consequences that nicotine e-liquids produce. People that are used to the habitual feeling of inhaling smoke or vapor can still get that effect from CBD vape oil, while potentially decreasing their dependence on nicotine. This is not to say that you can quit smoking cold turkey by transitioning to CBD vape, but it’s worth a shot.

Is vaping CBD really safe?

CBD vape pens and e-liquids have not been evaluated by the FDA, but “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile” according to the World Health Organization. However, a lack of FDA approval also means that the manufacturing process of CBD products is not regulated, and brands or packaging may not be true to their claims. If you’re willing to take this risk, do your research first. Finding appropriate CBD vape oils that provide lab test results or an accurate ingredient list can help you have a better experience with CBD.

While CBD can help alleviate symptoms in some users, it is not meant to replace prescription medications. CBD is not intended to diagnose, treat or prevent illness or existing medical conditions. Doctors do not prescribe CBD for medicinal use, but it’s still a good idea to consult with a physician before trying CBD vape oils for the first time.

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