Everything You Need to Know About Vaping CBD Oil
Sean is a fact checker and researcher with experience in sociology and field research.
Vaping has been around for more than a decade now and is growing in popularity—especially among teens and young adults. One of the newest trends impacting this growing vape culture is the desire to vape cannabidiol (CBD) oil. In fact, using this oil in vape pens is becoming increasingly popular and the industry is expected to grow exponentially over the next few years according to the Brightfield Group, a firm that studies the CBD market.
Part of the draw to CBD oil in areas where marijuana has been legalized is the fact that it has been touted as helping treat a host of medical problems. Some of the medical issues people claim that the oil treats include epileptic seizures, anxiety, inflammation, and sleeplessness. However, there is very little evidence backing up these claims with the exception of treating epilepsy.
In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved only one CBD-based medication, which is used to treat seizures associated with two severe forms of epilepsy. But, when it comes to CBD in general, they stress that it cannot be added to food, drinks, or dietary supplements. And although the FDA has warned manufacturers against making unproven health claims, it has not done much to stop the sale of CBD products.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is extracted from the flowers and buds of marijuana or hemp plants. Typically, it does not produce a “high” or intoxication because it contains very little, if any, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In fact, CBD oil is only permitted to contain less than 0.3% of THC. CBD oil is legal in states where medicinal or recreational marijuana is legal. Meanwhile, several other states have CBD-specific laws on the books even though marijuana is not yet legal there.
According to the FDA, it is currently illegal to market CBD by adding it to food or marketing it as a supplement. Despite these guidelines, they warn consumers that some CBD products are being marketed with unproven medical claims and are of unknown quality. They also caution consumers that CBD can harm the liver and may interact with other medications you are taking. And, it may even have a negative impact on male fertility.
Is Vaping CBD Oil Safe?
Generally speaking, vaping is an unsafe practice regardless of what substances are in the vape pen. And, CBD oil is no exception. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently linked vaping products to an outbreak of nearly 3,000 lung illnesses that were so serious that even young people were being admitted to the hospital. Meanwhile, nearly 70 people have died from what is now being called EVALI (e-cigarette and vaping associated lung injury). And, the CDC believes thousands more may have admitted to the hospital with lung issues related to vaping.
Although the CDC has traced many of the EVALI hospitalizations back to vitamin E acetate, a substance used to dilute oils used in vaping, the risks of vaping CBD oil are not without risk, especially if the vape pens are obtained from illicit dealers, online sources, or friends. At least 26 of the EVALI cases were hospitalized after vaping CBD oil.
Additionally, numerous scientists, doctors, and researchers are concerned with the safety of inhaling CBD oil because little is known about the long-term effects. What’s more, when vaping devices are heated, a chemical reaction takes place in the vapor, which could pose additional risks to the lungs, especially in young people.
And despite the fact that the 2018 Farm Bill removed CBD from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act, it is still subject to the same laws and regulations as other substances monitored by the FDA. Unfortunately, though, there is very little regulatory oversight of CBD oil in general—even though vaping is one of the most popular ways of using the oil. In fact, the FDA has not yet determined how to regulate CBD vaping products just yet.
But many people are hoping those regulations will happen soon. Even the CBD industry is concerned and asking for oversight. For instance, without more regulations, organizations like the U.S. Hemp Authority are unable to certify CBD oils as it does with CBD topicals, tinctures, and edibles. And, until that happens, consumers have very little way of knowing what they are getting when they purchase a CBD oil.
To make matters worse, this lack of certification has lead people to sell vaping liquid they claim contains CBD oil when it actually contains harmful chemicals, which is injuring and killing people in the process. To determine the extent to which this is occurring, the Associated Press (AP) commissioned a study to analyze the contents of nearly 30 oils claiming to contain CBD.
Their testing was completed by Flora Research Laboratories in Grants Pass, Oregon, which is licensed and inspected by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. What they discovered is that 10 of the 30 vapes contained synthetic marijuana while others had no CBD oil at all. Additionally, eight oils had no detectable level of CBD while 14 were less than 0.3% CBD by weight. The other six ranged between 1.07% and 8.87% CBD by weight.
Because this testing was a such a small sample, the AP noted that their sampling is not representative of the entire CBD market. However, their testing does show just how risky it is to vape CBD oil when there is little to no regulation of the product. Vapers have no idea what they are getting when they take a puff.
A Word From Verywell
If you are considering vaping CBD oil as a way to address a medical concern, talk to your doctor first. The risks associated with vaping and CBD oil are significant and may not provide the benefits you want.
And if you or a loved one are struggling with substance use or addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area. For more mental health resources, see Verywell’s National Helpline Database.
Vaping CBD oil is common, especially after claims about its medicinal properties. But, is it true? Sort out the facts about CBD oil and its safety.
Can you vape CBD oil?
Copy article link to clipboard.
Link copied to clipboard.
- Is it safe to vape CBD oil?
- Choosing the best CBD vape products
- Is flavored vape oil bad for you?
- Benefits of vaping CBD oil
When you think of using CBD oil, topical application probably comes to mind. But there are other ways to consume CBD oil to receive the same potentially therapeutic effects.
In this beginner’s guide to vaping CBD, you’ll learn how to safely vape, as well as which vape products to consider and which to discard.
In this beginner’s guide to vaping CBD, you’ll learn how to safely vape. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Is it safe to vape CBD oil?
CBD oil, which contains medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil derived from coconuts, may offer many health benefits including stress relief and pain management. Consuming it through a vape pen, however, introduces certain health risks.
Vape products have developed a negative reputation due to being possibly linked lung injuries, notably among underage users. Several factors could contribute to such injuries, including poor quality or counterfeit products laced with harmful chemicals. But there are other variables at work, as Erika Sward, assistant vice-president of national advocacy for the American Lung Association, described. In a 2020 article published in Consumer Reports, she wrote, “Ultimately, what is inhaled into the user’s lungs can depend, based on the device, its voltage, and even its temperature.”
For this reason, it is crucial to purchase a vape pen from a trusted merchant and monitor the voltage and temperature controls, keeping them lower rather than higher. In moderation, and with top-quality cannabis ingredients, vaping CBD oil may be safe if you obtain vape pens and other products from reputable sellers. However, you should always consult with your physician before beginning any CBD vaping regimen.
Choosing the best CBD vape products
The best CBD products will not only include food-grade ingredients but will also omit those that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned may be detrimental to human health. According to a public information page on the FDA website, the vast majority of lung illness patients who vaped CBD used products that contained vitamin E acetate. An additional third of the patients used vape pens with aliphatic esters and a tenth vaped with products containing polyethylene glycol. While users should avoid these ingredients, the FDA stressed that they may not be the only causes of related lung illness.
To find the best CBD vape products, stick with legal sources only, even if choices on the black market are cheaper and easier to obtain. As you shop, be aware of the three different types of CBD oil:
- Full-spectrum CBD oil — contains the full array of naturally occurring terpenes, cannabinoids, and other cannabis plant compounds plus trace amounts (0.3%) of THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis.
- Broad-spectrum CBD oil — contains everything that full-spectrum CBD oil does, except the trace amounts of THC.
- CBD isolate — contains pure, aroma-free CBD derived from industrial hemp.
Whichever type of CBD oil you choose, be sure that it passed strict quality control measures, so contaminants are much less likely to be present. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Whichever type of CBD oil you choose, be sure that it passed strict quality control measures, so contaminants are much less likely to be present. A reputable cannabis oil company will go through rigorous lab testing before products hit the market and will display detailed labels. Look for “Max Active CBD” and “Max Active THC” on the label to know exactly how much of each cannabinoid to expect. Steer clear of CBD products with potentially hazardous ingredients such as vitamin E acetate, propylene glycol, and vegetable glycerin.
Is flavored vape oil bad for you?
Taste is a touchstone of the cannabis experience, but flavors should come from naturally occurring terpenes rather than synthetic additives. In a 2019 investigative article titled, “How Much Do We Really Know About Flavored Vaping Products?” researchers from the Yale School of Medicine discussed the potential dangers of artificial flavors in vape juice. Of particular concern to researchers are acetals, a group of chemical compounds that can be strong lung irritants when vaped.
Hanna Erythropel, Ph.D., associate research scientist in the chemical and engineering department at Yale, said, “. chemical reactions create new molecules in the liquids… as chemists familiar with such reactions, we expected that the vegetable glycerin would react with vanillin to form acetals, and that’s what we found.”
The takeaway from this and other studies is to opt for flavorless vape oils that don’t cause damaging acetals to form during the process of chemical reaction. These “naked” vape juices are widely available on the market and may provide a safer alternative to flavored vape pens.
Benefits of vaping CBD oil
The possible benefits of vaping CBD oil are similar to those associated with topical and oral use of the cannabinoid through CBD tinctures and other mediums. Here are some ways that CBD vape oil could make you feel good:
Relaxation: Although full-spectrum CBD oil contains only trace amounts of THC, vaping may still help you unwind after a stressful day.
Pain Relief: Easing pain is the most common reason people turn to CBD products, as there are numerous studies that seem to demonstrate the cannabinoid’s efficacy in improving the symptoms of migraines, muscle spasms, and other types of discomfort.
Sleep Quality: High doses of CBD vape oil may lead to drowsiness and possibly to more sound sleep.
High doses of CBD vape oil may lead to drowsiness and possibly to more sound sleep. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Alertness & Concentration: Lower doses of CBD vape oil may have an energy-boosting effect and could make you feel more alert.
Mood Improvement: If you’re experiencing any or all of the above effects, your mood will likely get at least a temporary lift. However, vaping CBD oil will not get you high since there is not enough THC present, even in full-spectrum CBD oil, to produce this effect.
It is important to note that the potential therapeutic properties of CBD oil may be activated faster through vaping than other consumption methods. So, be cognizant of what you are consuming when you use a vape pen and observe how quickly your body absorbs CBD. When done in moderation and with your doctor’s approval, vaping CBD oil can be an enjoyable experience with possible health benefits.
Can you vape CBD oil? Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents Is it safe to vape CBD oil? Choosing the best CBD vape products Is flavored vape