With science finding so many great things out about CBD and most states legalizing it, many people are wondering if it is safe to vape CBD. Ingesting it is completely different than inhaling it.
We still aren’t completely sure of the effects of vaping let alone the effects of CBD vaping. However, there has been a lot of research that has been done. So, is CBD safe?
Here’s what research has to say so far!
What is CBD Vape Juice?
CBD vape juice is like a regular e-liquid product that is used in an electronic cigarette. However, instead of being infused with nicotine, it is infused with CBD.
Both CBD vape juice and e-liquid are used as the fluid for the electronic cigarette or vaporizer. CBD vape juice is considered a convenient and beneficial way of consuming CBD.
Most people choose to vape CBD for its medicinal properties. Vaping CBD allows it to enter your bloodstream much quicker than with CBD tinctures.
Does it Work the Same Way as CBD Tinctures?
Many people think that CBD tinctures and CBD vape juice are interchangeable. Although the CBD that is in each product is exactly the same, the two have different ingredients.
You CANNOT vape CBD tinctures. CBD vape juice is made specifically for vaping. Many tinctures include natural ingredients such as MCT that can’t be inhaled.
Although they are both different ways of ingesting CBD, CBD works the same way at its core.
How CBD Works in the Body
CBD is an acronym for Cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is only one of over 100 different cannabinoids found in hemp and marijuana plants.
What we have found is that Cannabidiol is much like our own cannabinoids that are body creates in our Endocannabinoid system.
Our Endocannabinoid system is a collection of molecules and cell receptors. The receptors are like locks around the surface of your cells. The keys to unlock these receptors and activate your cells are chemical molecules.
Every time a chemical molecule called an agonist binds to one of your cell receptors, it gives your cells specific instructions.
In your Endocannabinoid system, you have two cell receptors that are unlocked only by cannabinoids. These are called CB1 and CB2 receptors.
The keys that unlock these receptors are called endocannabinoids. Our bodies actually produce these endocannabinoids (endo means within) in our bodies. The two endocannabinoids are:
We actually found cannabinoids in cannabis plants before we found them in our own bodies. Therefore, these endocannabinoids got their name from cannabis plants.
What we learned through decades of research is that THC and CBD actually closely resemble our endocannabinoids and can affect the body in the same ways.
When are receptors are activated directly or indirectly by CBD, here is what it can do for the body:
The CB1 Receptor
These are found in parts of our brain including the hypothalamus, hippocampus, and amygdala.
These receptors keep our nervous system, intestines, connective tissues, gonads, and other glands throughout the body in homeostasis.
This means that when you receive extra cannabinoids that interact with the receptors, you can have the following effects in the body:
- Relieving depression
- Lowering blood pressure
- Decreasing intestinal problems
- Increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor (vital to learning, working memory, and higher thinking).
- Lowering anxiety
- Reducing fear
The CB2 Receptor
The CB2 receptors work on your bodies spleen, tonsils, thymus, immune cells, monocytes, macrophages, B and T cells, and the microglia.
This means that when a cannabinoid such as CBD activates CB2 receptors, it can quite literally affect every type of human disease in your body including:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Gastrointestinal diseases
- Neurodegenerative diseases
- Psychiatric diseases
- Autoimmune diseases
- Kidney function
- Bone and Skin Health
Because CBD has so many medicinal benefits, it has taken the market by storm. We know that CBD in itself is safe to consume.
But, is vaping CBD safe?
The Dangers of Vaping
Ingesting CBD tinctures has proven to be safe even in high doses. However, there hasn’t been a lot of research around vaping.
With that being said, we do know some of the dangers associated with vaping. Here are just a few dangers you should be aware of if considering to vape CBD:
One particular concern with vaping CBD is Propylene glycol. This is a widely used chemical that is mixed with cannabis or hemp oil in many vape cartridges.
It is a syrupy, thinning compound. This is also the primary ingredient in most nicotine infused e-cigarette cartridges.
Because vape pens and vaporizers contain a battery operated heating mechanism, high temperatures can transform solvents like Propylene glycol into carcinogens or dangerous toxins.
In fact, Propylene glycol, at high temperatures, converts into tiny polymers that can wreak havoc on your lung tissue.
Currently, however, there is no conclusive evidence that states frequent vapors will develop cancer or other illnesses if inhaling CBD vape juice.
This is because there is very little known about short or long term effects of inhaling Propylene glycol. Meaning this is a potential danger, but not known.
When choosing to vape CBD, you may want to find vape juice or cartridges without Propylene glycol. Stay away from the following brands:
- Alternate Vape
- Bluebird Botanicals
- CannaVape CBD Oil
- Cloud 9 CBD
- Delta Liquids
- Entourage Hemp Products also known as Cannoid LLC
- Hemp Life Today (also known as Cannazall)
- Hemp Pure Vape
- Hemp Vap
- Miracle Smoke
- Michigan Hemp Company (also known as Bluegrass Naturals)
- Pure CBD Vapors
- Pure Hemp Vape
- Tasty Hemp Oil
- Zamnesia CBD Smart Liquid
Another concern of vaping CBD has more to do with how the CBD is extracted then actually vaping. CBD must be extracted from cannabis plants. There are various ways to do this.
If CBD is extracted using the winterization method, it is soaked in an extract of alcohol and then frozen. Hence, its wintery name.
The concern with this method is the use of alcohol which is an unnecessary substance. The cleanest and safest method of extraction is the CO2 method.
Cuticle Wax Accumulation
Whether you have smoked marijuana or hemp plants before, it is important to know that there is a substance on the surface of the bud. It almost resembles a shimmer.
This shimmer is actually a layer of lipids that forms on many flowering plants. It is known as cuticle wax.
When cuticle wax is smoked through combustion (lighting it up), the wax is burnt away easily and is usually of no concern.
However, when CBD is extracted, this wax is not separated from the CBD and comes along for the ride. This isn’t a problem other than with vape users.
When you vape CBD that contains cuticle wax, the wax is not burned away. It stays with the CBD and enters your lungs.
Once cuticle wax is inside your lungs, it starts to build up and settle in small, waxy lumps inside your airways. This is similar to the process of tar settling in your lungs from cigarettes.
Some have found that the winterization method actually gets rid of the cuticle wax.
One of the concerns with vaping CBD is fatty oils. In order for CBD to be vaped, it is suspended in oil. The oil is usually coconut or hemp oil.
Although oils are great when ingested, they are not exactly good when inhaled. Whenever you vape something, you are aerating it and putting it into your bloodstream in the same way you would oxygen.
Oil, however, is not like air. In fact, the American Journal of Roentgenology has found that when you vape oils, you are introducing fats called lipids into your lungs.
When you do this, you can cause an accumulation of lipids to occur in your alveoli in your lungs. This means you will find fat clinging to the interior of your lungs. This is not good.
An accumulation of lipids can put you at risk of Lipid Pneumonia, a medical condition where your bronchial tubes become obstructed due to the lipids blocking them up.
Lipid Pneumonia can cause respiratory distress and in some cases death. Although this is extremely rare, it is still a concern.
Benefits of Vaping CBD
Although there are some dangers and concerns to vaping CBD, there are also many benefits to vaping CBD.
It offsets CBD Loss
There are various methods of getting CBD into your system. One of the main benefits of vaping CBD is that it minimizes CBD loss.
Typically, not all CBD you ingest will directly affect your body. In fact only a small percentage will be able to enter your systemic circulation and produce benefits.
The percentage of CBD that affects your body is referred to as bioavailability. This bioavailability strongly depends on which method you use to introduce CBD into your body.
For example, if you take CBD orally, you will only have a 15% bioavailability. This means that for every 100 milligrams of CBD you consume, only 15 milligrams will actually reach the bloodstream.
This happens because CBD is not water soluble. In the same way that most water doesn’t like to mix with vinegar, CBD does not like to stay in your bloodstream.
Therefore, CBD rapidly diffuses out of your bloodstream into your fatty tissues. This allows less CBD overall to be carried to your Endocannabinoid system thus lowering its effectiveness.
Not to mention, when CBD enters your gut, it has to pass through your liver before it can even enter your bloodstream. During this time, the liver will reduce the amount of CBD.
When you vape CBD, it goes directly into your bloodstream, bypassing your gut, liver, and allows your body to utilize more of the CBD. Thus, you receive more of the benefits.
It Gives Users Quicker Results
As stated above, CBD that is taken orally must go through the gut and the liver before reaching the bloodstream. This means it will ultimately take longer to feel the effects.
When you vape CBD, you will feel its effects much sooner as it goes straight into your bloodstream. In fact, you can feel the affects 30-60 minutes faster by vaping.
For those who are struggling with pain, anxiety, or seizures, this can make a huge difference in their lives.
In essence, vaping CBD is a very efficient delivery method.
Vaping CBD is a Better Alternative to Smoking
Let’s face it; there are a lot more chemicals, carcinogens, and cancer causing components found in cigarettes than what is found in CBD vape juice.
You may not like the above dangers, but those dangers are doubled and even tripled when compared to smoking cigarettes.
Ultimately, unless you are vaping pure CBD, you are still exposing yourself to chemicals and toxins. Therefore, it is always good to look at the pros and cons before you make that decision.
There is no Second Hand Smoke
Another great benefit to vaping is that vaping is not harmful to those around you. This is because it does not emit secondhand smoke.
Some scientists speculate that vapors could affect someone, but they have yet to find hard evidence. In fact, research seems to point in the other direction.
In a study done by Igor Burstyn from Drexel University called, “Peering through the Mist,” he found that there was little to no risk of bystanders being affected by vape clouds.
In this study, he conducted 9,000 observations on e-cig vapor. Royal College of Physicians also found that no chemicals from vapor could enter the body in a way that would cause harm.
Because of these studies, we know that vaping CBD is actually safe to bystanders around you.
Along with benefits to vaping, there are also therapeutic and medicinal benefits to vaping CBD oil.
Therapeutic Benefits to Vaping CBD
Because CBD works on our endocannabinoid system, research has suggested that vaping CBD can have various therapeutic benefits depending on our physiological makeup.
There are many studies regarding CBD and epilepsy. Other than those studies, we have found several other benefits that CBD has to offer:
CBD Helps with Pain
CBD helps with pain by lessening inflammation, heat, swelling and redness, CBD lessons pain. However, medical marijuana may be better at alleviating pain.
CBD Helps Inflammation
It is anti-inflammatory at its core. CBD reduces and prevents inflammation by blocking enzymes that produce inflammation called COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes.
It is Neuroprotective
CBD is neuroprotective. CBD protects nerves against degeneration, damage, and impairment. This is because it helps to keep your nervous system in homeostasis.
CBD has Anticancer Properties
CBD could have anticancer properties. Further research needs to be done, however, studies have found that CBD disrupts cells from invading, metastasizing, and spreading.
CBD does this by putting cells back in homeostasis and making them go through their programmed death cycle of a cell.
CBD Alleviates Anxiety and Depression
It helps anxiety and depression because CBD acts on the brain’s receptors for serotonin, studies have shown that CBD can help with treatment of anxiety and depression.
It May Slow Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
May slow Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. These diseases happen when oxidative stress is released.
Oxidative stress is generated when inflammation happens. Because of the anti inflammatory properties of CBD, it can slow them.
CBD Helps PTSD
CBD helps those with PTSD. Because CBD affects different states of aversive memory processing, this compound makes a great therapy for PTSD. More studies are needed.
It is also important to note that there is evidence that shows CBD is helping people with addiction which includes alcohol and opioid addiction.
Additionally, vaping CBD as opposed to ingesting it is reported to help with addiction of smoking. Instead of feeling stressed and lighting up a cigarette, you can vape CBD.
People across the states are turning to vaping CBD as an alternative to smoking and finding it to also alleviate other ailments they may have.
Alternatively, people are deciding to take CBD instead of pharmaceutical medication that may have worse or more dangerous side effects than vaping CBD.
Keep in mind that CBD still has additional studies that need to be conducted.
Is CBD Vaping Safe? Final Thoughts
When it comes to vaping CBD, it can be safer than other medications and even smoking. However, as with anything, there are riskis.
CBD is available in many forms, but many people are choosing to vape because it allows for a faster absorption.
Not only is it a quicker way of feel the beneficial effects of the CBD, but it gives you more CBD per dose. So, you actually receive more benefits.
When you ingest CBD, you limit the amount of CBD that gets used in your body. Sadly, this means you limit the medicinal benefits as well.
However, because CBD cannot be directly heated on its own, it must be mixed with other ingredients such as Propylene glycol.
Therefore, vaping isn’t for everyone. Because of the dangers stated above, here are few reasons you would not want to vape:
- You have a lung condition
- You are allergic to cannabis
- You are allergic to ingredients in the oil
- You have cancer
- If you are concerned about the risks
- If you have COPD
- If you have heart disease
- If you have emphysema
The best way to determine if CBD vaping is safe and effective for you is to talk to your doctor. You will want to find a doctor who is knowledgeable about CBD and its benefits.
To find a doctor knowledgeable in marijuana, hemp, and CBD, you can visit Leafly and put in your location to find a doctor near you.
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- Article, S. (2018, November 21). 'Should I Be Vaping CBD?': Why Vaporization Works Better Than Ingestion. Retrieved from https://www.leafly.com/news/health/vaping-cbd-oil-vs-ingesting.
- Is Vaping CBD Oil Safe? [Understanding the FACTS]. (2019, January 03). Retrieved from https://naturalwellnesscbdoil.com/is-vaping-cbd-oil-safe/.