What to know about vaping CBD
With its legalization in many countries around the world, many people have started to use cannabidiol (CBD) products for its potential medical benefits. CBD users ingest the compound in various ways, including vaping.
Some studies suggest that CBD may help treat some chronic conditions, such as anxiety and pain. However, most studies have evaluated the effects of taking CBD orally and not through inhalation.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend against vaping, as the long-term effects are still unknown.
Keep reading to learn more about vaping CBD and its potential therapeutic uses, as well as information about certain vape pens, formulations, and the risks involved.
Is CBD legal? Hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC are legal federally but still illegal under some state laws. Cannabis-derived CBD products, on the other hand, are illegal federally but legal under some state laws. Check local legislation, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have not approved nonprescription CBD products, which may be inaccurately labeled.
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Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound derived from cannabis. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not produce a high. People use CBD in a wide variety of ways for its potential therapeutic effects , which may include:
- pain relief
- seizure and epilepsy treatment
CBD may also have antioxidant properties and may be toxic to some cells. Researchers are currently investigating the use of CBD in several disease states, including:
- neurodegenerative diseases
- anxiety disorder
- childhood diseases, such as tuberous sclerosis complex that has a prevalence lower than 5 in 10,000 individuals
Approved uses and studies
Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Epidiolex, a CBD oral solution, indicated for use in Lennox-Gastaut or Dravet syndrome, which are rare forms of epilepsy.
In Canada and Europe, doctors can prescribe Sativex , which is a mouth spray that contains both CBD and THC to treat spasticity in multiple sclerosis.
According to the United States National Library of Medicine, there are currently 228 studies on CBD that are completed, active, or pending results.
People may also find CBD in commercial products, such as health and food supplements.
One of the challenges that consumers and doctors face is the lack of standardized dosing and an understanding of what dose is therapeutic. Today, dosing recommendations for CBD are still unclear.
The challenge is extended further with the different routes of administration. People consume edibles, vape, and apply topical CBD to their skin.
For more information and resources on CBD and CBD products, please visit our dedicated hub.
Many people are now using e-cigarettes as a device for marijuana-based products, including CBD.
Studies on vaping CBD oil are lacking. Most clinical trials around CBD have focussed on oral capsules, sublingual sprays, or oral solutions.
People living with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease often use aerosolized therapies . This delivery system supplies the medication directly into the lungs, which results in a rapid clinical effect. Generally, people also need smaller doses compared with oral or subcutaneous injections.
The features of condensation aerosols can make vaping seem like a more effective method of taking CBD. However, since vaping is still a relatively new practice, researchers are unclear about its benefits and risks and need to conduct further investigations.
In the United States, CBD extracted from the plant Cannabis sativa is still a Schedule I drug as the FDA have not approved its use for medicinal uses.
Also, the FDA do not regulate the manufacturing and labeling of CBD oil products in the U.S.
The condensation aerosols in vape pens can be useful delivery systems for drugs. However, an article in the Frontiers of Pharmacology warns that people must be aware that not all products contain the amount of CBD that the label suggests.
In one study , researchers analyzed two e-liquids, Cloud 9 Hemp Yellow Brick Road and Easy Rider. According to the label, each product consisted of 3.3 milligrams per milliliter (mg/mL) of CBD. However, researchers noted that Cloud 9 Hemp Yellow Brick Road had 7.6 mg/mL of CBD, and Easy Rider had 6.5 mg/mL . These deviations illustrate the consequences of a lack of regulation.
Without quality control, people have exposure to unknown doses of CBD, as well as other components that may carry risks.
According to an article in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health , the oil may contain lower levels of CBD than the label lists.
This might occur because some oils may have been in storage for long periods under conditions that promote its instability. This can account for lower concentrations in the final purchased product.
Recently, doctors have reported several cases of severe lung injury in people who vape. According to a report from the CDC, as of February 2020, 2,807 people in the United States have received hospital treatment for e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI). Of those people, 68 died.
The CDC recommends that people who wish to vape should:
- not use THC-containing e-cigarettes or vaping products from unreliable sources
- not use e-cigarettes or vaping products that contain vitamin E acetate
- not add additional ingredients to a vaping product
Vaping products and e-cigarettes are also not safe for youth, young adults, or anyone who is pregnant.
When selecting pens and formulations for vaping CBD, people should buy from reliable sources. All manufacturers make their products differently, and they lack the rigorous quality control that FDA-approved products undergo.
There are many pens and formulations available for purchase. Choosing an appropriate one is a challenging task, as there is a lack of evidence to support the use of vaping CBD for medicinal purposes.
Pain is the number one reason why people consume cannabis. However, at present, there are no studies that specifically evaluate the effect of vaping CBD on pain.
One review study evaluated the effect of cannabis-based medicines for chronic neuropathic pain in adults. The researchers suggest that the potential benefits of cannabis-based medicine may outweigh its potential harms.
This study did not focus primarily on CBD but explored the effects of herbal cannabis, plant-derived or synthetic THC, and THC and CBD oromucosal spray.
The researchers conclude that there is no high-quality evidence to support the efficacy of any cannabis-based product. At best, a few people with chronic nerve pain will benefit from long-term use of cannabis-based medicines.
Although some surveys show that people are using cannabis for pain, anxiety, and depression linked to insomnia, other studies do not demonstrate a consistent effect of CBD on depression.
However, researchers did find that formulations with high doses of THC may adversely affect mood.
Other studies show a greater level of depressive symptoms in chronic users of cannabis compared with light-users and non-users. One observational study demonstrated that over 50% of 1,400 study participants used cannabis for symptoms of depression, despite the lack of information on its efficacy.
Researchers have demonstrated that studies support the effects of CBD as a treatment for:
- generalized anxiety disorder
- panic disorder
- social anxiety disorder
- obsessive-compulsive disorder
- post-traumaticstress disorder
The effects were evident from acute dosing (short-term or a one-off dose). Researchers are unsure of the effects of chronic dosing (long-term, low-dose).
Although clinical data support the anti-anxiety effects of CBD, researchers need to carry out further studies to confirm these findings and determine appropriate dosing guidelines.
Still, many studies included oral dosing of CBD.
Those studies that used inhaled forms of CBD did not consistently show a positive effect on anxiety.
Each country, state, and province has its own laws and regulations surrounding the use of CBD.
CBD is still a Schedule I drug, as the FDA have not regulated it for general medicinal use. They have, however, approved the use of CBD to treat rare forms of epilepsy.
Despite many clinical trials and studies on the effects of CBD, researchers are still unclear on the exact medicinal purposes of CBD.
Most studies on CBD to date focus on oral forms of the compound, not vaping. Further studies are still needed to determine the specific benefits of vaping CBD.
People should be wary of the risks associated with vaping products, and researchers must continue to study the risks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend against vaping, as the long-term effects are still unknown.
CBD is becoming increasingly popular in various forms, including vaping. Learn more about vaping CBD, including information on pens and formulae, here.
Benefits of CBD: What it Does and How it Helps
- What are the effects of CBD?
- What are the benefits of CBD?
- Should you vape CBD oil?
CBD is a compound found in cannabis plants that has a variety of known health benefits—notably the ability to relax and soothe the user. Unlike its cannabinoid relative THC, the effects of CBD (which is short for cannabidiol) are produced without intoxication. CBD is psychoactive—it reduces anxiety—but it doesn’t create a “high” like THC does.
Hemp has been cultivated for thousands of years for its fiber, and more recently as a source of CBD. The 2018 Farm Bill that legalized industrial hemp production in the U.S. pushed the already growing CBD industry into overdrive, and now CBD is legally available in most places in the country—as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC. Hemp-derived CBD doesn’t usually contain measurable amounts of THC.
CBD is extracted from industrial hemp or marijuana plants (both are cannabis) and processed for several methods of consumption. Vaping is the fastest way to experience the effects of CBD, because inhalation delivers your preferred CBD dose to the bloodstream and brain much more rapidly than other methods.
In addition to being absorbed more quickly, inhalation provides greater bioavailability, which means you can absorb more CBD from the same quantity than you would using other methods. While there is still more to learn about the long-term effects of vaping CBD, vaping is considered to be much safer than smoking, while being equally effective.
CBD e-liquid is sometimes called CBD oil, but it contains no actual oil, which can be dangerous to inhale. Like all e-liquid, CBD vape juice contains vegetable glycerin (VG) and propylene glycol (PG). But CBD tinctures and edible products contain actual oils, which are perfectly safe to swallow. (You can use CBD vape juice orally too, if you prefer.)
There is considerable research suggesting that cannabidiol produces positive effects that can treat a variety of conditions and symptoms. In this guide, we look at the most well-documented effects and benefits of using CBD oil.
What are the effects of CBD?
The most commonly reported effects of CBD are a sense of calm or relaxation, relief from pain or anxiety, and an overall improvement in mood. In high doses, CBD can induce drowsiness or sleep, but in small amounts, it can actually have the opposite effect, promoting alertness. These are the effects most CBD users seek:
- Relaxation or calmness
- Reduced anxiety and stress
- Improved mood
- Pain relief
- Sleepiness (in high doses)
- Alertness (in low doses)
CBD oil made from hemp typically doesn’t contain enough THC to get you high, but it can produce a strong sense of calm without the uneasiness, paranoia and other side effects some people experience from marijuana. That’s actually why a lot of people use CBD. Many users specifically take CBD oil for anxiety.
But there’s a caveat: the speed and intensity of these effects depend on how it’s consumed. The effects of vaping CBD come on faster. Even though the sensations will eventually be generally the same, a CBD oil tincture, or a CBD edible will take longer, and will probably require more CBD content to deliver the same benefits.
These are the most common ways of using CBD, listed from the fastest delivery to the brain and body to the slowest:
- Vaping in a mod with CBD vape juice, or using CBD oil pens or cartridges
- Vaping or smoking CBD-rich hemp flower or high-CBD cannabis strains
- Using CBD oil tinctures sublingually (under the tongue)
- Wearing a CBD transdermal patch
- Eating CBD gummies or edibles
- Swallowing CBD capsules or pills
- Using CBD creams or topicals
One last thing to remember is that the faster you absorb and process CBD, the more quickly it leaves your system. Vaping is the quickest way to feel the effects of CBD, and it’s also the quickest to process through your body. Edibles or other products that are processed through the liver and digestive system linger in your body for a longer time.
What are the benefits of CBD?
Scientific research suggests that CBD has a wide range of therapeutic properties. Here are some of the benefits and potential benefits studies show that CBD may provide for a variety of conditions.
Epilepsy and seizure disorders
As far back as 1973, research showed that CBD actively reduced or blocked convulsions in rodents, which was confirmed by other studies soon after. In later research, epileptic patients that received 200-300 mg of CBD per day had fewer seizures.
One of the most well-documented examples of CBD as an anti-convulsant was a young girl named Charlotte Figi who suffered from Dravet syndrome, a rare condition that conventional medication was unable to treat effectively. She was given a tincture derived from a low-THC/high-CBD cannabis strain, which was later named Charlotte’s Web in tribute to the young patient. Charlotte’s seizures were drastically reduced—from about 1,200 a month to just two or three.
In June 2018 the FDA approved Epidiolex, a CBD-based drug for treating Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes in patients two and older. Epidiolex is the first drug to gain FDA approval that contains a purified substance derived from cannabis. In April 2020, the Drug Enforcement Administration removed Epidiolex from the controlled substances list, making it much easier for doctors to prescribe the drug to epileptic patients.
One of the most common effects of vaping CBD oil is drowsiness, especially when administered in higher doses. An animal study conducted in the early 1970s first showed the sleep-inducing effects of CBD. In people with insomnia, CBD has been shown to increase sleep time when taken in a dose of about 160 mg. In non-insomnia patients, a similar effect was observed at much higher doses. In micro doses, CBD may promote alertness, instead of inducing drowsiness.
Multiple studies have shown that CBD can effectively treat anxiety. Research using advanced brain imaging has confirmed the anxiolytic effect of CBD. These mood-regulating effects of cannabidiol may also be used to treat depression. Researchers believe that CBD also has the potential to treat other anxiety disorders such as OCD and PTSD.
A 1982 study showed that CBD seemed to inhibit THC-induced symptoms associated with psychosis. Another study from the same year suggested a variety of neural pathways by which CBD might treat psychosis. Researchers believe that CBD can also be used to treat depression and other psychiatric disorders.
CBD is cardioprotective, showing a “tissue sparing effect” during chronic myocardial ischemia and reperfusion. British researchers have also shown that cannabidiol reduced the number of ischemia-induced arrhythmias in rats when given prior to ischemias. This research could prove beneficial to cardiovascular disease patients.
Israeli researchers believe that CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties could prove beneficial for treating type 2 diabetes. Because chronic inflammation can lead to insulin resistance, treatment of inflammation with CBD could improve metabolism and ward off diabetes. The scientists believe that the actions of CBD in the body could also be modified to work on other receptors, and that the compound might be used to treat other diseases caused or worsened by chronic inflammation.
Side effects from chemotherapy
THC has long been accepted as a therapy for nausea induced by cancer treatment. Marinol, a synthetic THC drug, has been approved for that purpose since 1985, and THC in various forms has been widely prescribed to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. But CBD may also serve as an equally effective treatment for nausea.
CBD interacts with receptors that release the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is partially responsible for causing nausea. In small doses, CBD can help reduce the symptoms of nausea. And an acidic form of CBD called CBDA may be an even more effective anti-nausea drug than CBD or THC, based on early animal studies.
Anti-oxidative and neuroprotective effects
CBD appears to have antioxidant and neuroprotective effects that are unrelated to the cannabinoid receptors. A 1998 study from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke—a rare federally funded study on a Schedule 1 drug—found that CBD “may be a potentially useful therapeutic agent for the treatment of oxidative neurological disorders such as cerebral ischemia” (an artery blockage that can lead to strokes). CBD also shows promise as a therapy for neurological diseases like Parkinson’s.
Should you vape CBD oil?
CBD shows huge potential for treating a variety of medical conditions and diseases, and researchers have barely scratched the surface. When federal legalization of cannabis comes, research funding will open the floodgates, and scientists will begin to explore thousands of therapeutic possibilities for CBD and other cannabinoids.
But until then, many people have found that the currently known benefits of CBD can help them live better lives. If you decide CBD is right for you, there are many ways to use it—not just vaping, but also tinctures, and topical and edible CBD products.
Research shows that CBD provides a variety of benefits, including reducing inflammation and pain, and relaxing users suffering from anxiety.