Portable electronic vaporizers or “vape pens” are becoming increasingly popular because they are a convenient, discreet, and presumably benign way to administer cannabinoids like CBD. Vaporizing CBD has many benefits, including increased bioavailability and the faster onset of the effects, but what if any are the risks? Do you know what you are actually inhaling when you are vaping CBD?
Have You Tried Vaping CBD?
Portable electronic vaporizers or “vape pens” are becoming increasingly popular because they are a convenient, discreet, and presumably benign way to administer cannabinoids like CBD. While convenient, what are the benefits of CBD vapes, and what are the risks? Do you know what you are actually inhaling?
Vaporizers usually refer to two types of inhalers: e-liquid vaporizers or concentrate vaporizers, that being said, e-liquid vaporizers are the more common type.
The two different types of vaporizers:
- E-liquid Vaporizers: Also known as electronic vaporizers, e-cigarettes, e-cigs, e-hookah, vape sticks, and vape pens, these devices vaporize a combination of CBD and base ingredient. Two ingredients commonly used as bases are propylene glycol (PEG) and vegetable glycerin (VG). A less common base is polyethylene terephthalate resin (PET). Vegetable glycerin is the preferred base, as it is the safest option. Some devices use pre-filled cartridges, while others use disposable coils and refillable tanks.
- Concentrate Vaporizers: These devices are designed to vaporize pure CBD concentrates that contain no added ingredients. Some use pre-filled cartridges, while others are designed for the concentrate to be put directly onto the device.
For the purpose of this article, we will be focused on e-liquid vaporizers.
What Is CBD?
According to Wikipedia, “Cannabidiol is a naturally occurring cannabinoid constituent of cannabis. It was discovered in 1940 and initially thought not to be pharmaceutically active. It is one of at least 113 cannabinoids identified in hemp plants, accounting for up to 40% of the plant’s extract.”
For more information on CBD, check out “CBD 101: Basic Cannabidiol Education“.
Benefits of CBD
Scientific and clinical research—much of it sponsored by the US government—underscores CBD’s potential as a treatment for a wide range of conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, alcoholism, MS, chronic pain, schizophrenia, PTSD, depression, antibiotic-resistant infections, epilepsy, and other neurological disorders. CBD has demonstrable neuroprotective and neurogenic effects, and its anti-cancer properties are currently being investigated at several academic research centers in the United States and elsewhere. Further evidence suggests that CBD is safe even at high doses.
Benefits of CBD Vaporization
One of the biggest benefits of CBD vaporization is the increased bioavailability when compared to other consumption methods, such as oils and topicals, another is the rapid onset of effects.
During vaporization, CBD enters your lungs and diffuses directly into your bloodstream rather than passing through your gut and liver. This avoids the first-pass effect altogether, allowing nearly four times as much CBD to enter your circulation for a maximum bioavailability of roughly 50 to 60 percent. Essentially, this means you can achieve the same beneficial effects with a much smaller amount of CBD.
Not only that, but vaping will greatly decrease the amount of time it takes for the CBD in your body to become active, since you don’t have to wait for it to travel through your gut. By vaporizing a CBD e-liquid or high-CBD concentrate, you could potentially feel its effects 30 to 60 minutes faster. This makes vaping CBD an extremely efficient delivery method.
How To Vape Safely
CBD by itself isn’t dangerous, but the base chemicals can be. As we indicated earlier, to ensure your safety, always use vegetable glycol, and avoid both propylene glycol and polyethylene terephthalate resin. If you can’t, make sure you vaporizer at lower voltages; we recommend staying below 4 volts to maintain lower vaporizing temperatures.
Of particular concern: Propylene glycol, a widely used chemical that is mixed with cannabis or hemp oil in many vape pen cartridges. A syrupy, thinning compound, propylene glycol is also the primary ingredient in a majority of nicotine-infused e-cigarette solutions. At high temperatures, propylene glycol converts into tiny polymers that can wreak havoc on lung tissue.
Scientists know a great deal about propylene glycol. It is found in a plethora of common household items—cosmetics, baby wipes, pharmaceuticals, pet food, antifreeze, etc. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada have deemed propylene glycol safe for human ingestion and topical application. But exposure by inhalation is another matter. Many things are safe to eat but dangerous to breathe.
To guarantee your safety, whenever you purchase CBD, always remember to research your vendor and only purchase from a company you can trust. For your next CBD topical purchase purchase, try TheraJoy. We offer purity you can trust, guaranteed. TheraJoy is always made with 99% pure CBD derived from medical grade, non-GMO hemp, sourced directly from Switzerland, and we’ve been proudly manufacturing our product in the United States for three years.
Remember, always consult your doctor before you begin taking a supplement or make any changes to your existing medication and supplement routine. This blog post is not intended to be medical advice, but it is information you can use as a conversation-starter with your doctor at your next appointment.