In 2018, the Agriculture Improvement, popularly known as the Farm Bill, legalized hemp and hemp-related products. It defined these products as containing 0.3% THC or less. Since THC is the active chemical in marijuana with psychoactive effects, the legalization excluded the marijuana plant, which contains a much higher content of THC.
Ever since this legalization, the popularity of some cannabinoids in the cannabis industrial hemp plant has skyrocketed. One such is CBD. Researchers have looked into and discovered the numerous health benefits of this substance. As a result, CBD products have exploded in popularity. Today, it is not uncommon to vape CBD, consume CBD edibles, use CBD tinctures, CBD topicals, and so on.
A poll by Single Care found that about one-third of Americans have used CBD in some form. Also, the CBD market had a value of about $5 billion in 2021, which is predicted to grow annually by roughly 16% between 2022 and 2030.
This shows how much Americans are invested in CBD products and that their use will only continue as time goes on. Consequently, examining popular means of consuming CBD for safety is crucial for public health. One of the most common ways of ingesting CBD is vaping CBD oil. But is vaping CBD bad for you or not?
Is Vaping Bad For You?
Many prefer CBD vape oil because, unlike other means of consuming CBD, you can feel the effects of vaping CBD immediately. Also, for many who are used to smoking, vaping represents a healthier compromise. However, the truth is that much research has not gone into the effects of vaping on health. Talk more about CBD vaping.
The Center for Disease Control reports on its website a 2019 outbreak of lung disease and injury related to vaping. These health issues are generally referred to as EVALI, which stands for E-cigarettes or Vaping use-Associated Lung Injury.
According to reports from the outbreak, vaping products containing THC, especially those acquired informally through friends and family, were most associated with EVALI. Vitamin E acetate, which many vaping products contain, was strongly connected with lung injuries.
However, there was not enough evidence that other chemicals in vape CBD vape juice were not also culprits. Hence, vaping CBD is a means of consuming it that has a dark cloud over it. Using the best CBD vape carts could be the least healthy way to use CBD.
To examine the extent to which CBD vaping is unsafe, it is crucial to evaluate the content of the CBD oils in most vape pens. Afterward, the general safety behind the mechanism of vape pens needs to be considered.
CBD Vape Oils
A CBD vape pen could contain three types of CBD oil. They are full spectrum oils, broad spectrum, and CBD isolates. Full spectrum vape oil contains CBD and other cannabinoids, terpenes, and compounds that occur naturally in the hemp plant cannabis sativa.
This means that most full-spectrum CBD vape oils contain a level of THC. However, it is usually below 0.3%, in line with federal provisions. The idea behind full-spectrum CBD products is that the compounds in the cannabis plant work best together and will create an ‘entourage effect’ when used in the same product.
Similarly, broad-spectrum oils contain CBD and other cannabinoids, excluding THC, while CBD isolate contains only CBD. People may choose vape cartridges containing any of these types of oil for various reasons.
However, CBD oils contain more than the hemp compounds used to advertise them. This calls for concern as, several times, other ingredients used in the product may pose health risks to the consumer.
The hemp plant material has a cuticle wax coating, as most flowering plants do. These waxes are thicker than the oils extracted from the, and they find their way into the oil extract during the process. The problem is that these chemicals do not vaporize or burn at the same temperature as your CBD oil.
So what happens is that the cuticle waxes do not vaporize or burn but rather you inhale when you vape. When smoking dry herbs, these things traditionally burn away, so you would not inhale them. With constant vaping, on the other hand, all this wax accumulates in the lungs and may cause many health issues. These waxes can be especially delicate for people with asthma or other respiratory conditions.
The best way to avoid cuticle wax is through Winterization. It is a process where cuticle waxes and other thicker oils with higher melting points are removed from the CBD oils. You can contact your supplier to confirm if their oils have gone through this process. If they are unwilling to disclose this, you may need to stop buying from them and look for a more transparent brand.
Vape juice is usually thick and requires thinning agents for you to vaporize it. These thinning agents may be harmless on their own, but when vaporized, they may break down into harmful compounds called carbonyl.
One common by-product of these thinning agents is formaldehyde, a gas that is popular for its adverse effects on people. Exposure to formaldehyde has been associated with cancer, with excessive exposure. Lower to moderate exposure may irritate the eyes, nose, throat, and skin.
It may also cause internal symptoms like gastrointestinal bleeding, diarrhea, nausea, kidney failure, etc. How it affects you depends on how and when you are exposed to the gas. Another gas that is a common by-product of thinning agents is acetaldehyde which is associated with brain damage.
Vaping usually only minimally exposes you to these things, but over time, it may build up to cause more severe health issues. A study tested four common thinning agents – medium chain triglycerides [MCT], propylene glycol, polyethylene glycol 400, and vegetable glycerin. After heating them to 230 degrees Celsius, they released formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and acrolein.
Vitamin E Acetate
Vitamin E acetate is a form of Vitamin E which has many uses. It has many alternative names. Some of its other known names are Alpha tocopheryl acetate, Tocopherol acetate, and Alpha-tocopherol. It is often found in cosmetic and dietary products and is the only form of vitamin E used to treat vitamin E deficiency. Also, the vitamin is now in some vaping products.
This vitamin E acetate is sometimes added to THC to achieve specific purposes. Some studies have confirmed the presence of these chemicals in some vape cartridges. The presence of chemicals has also come with some effects on the vaping society.
Many products containing THC, such as e-cigarettes and vapes, use it to make their product look high quality. This is because of what it can bring to the table. Manufacturers may add it to THC vaping liquids to make them thicker and dilute. Because of this, it is now used in low-quality products to deceive people that they are good products.
Several observations have been made on the effects of vitamin E acetate. In some places like Minnesota, it was found to be associated with an outbreak of lung injury cases that occurred. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sees it as a potential toxin. This is because it can stay in your lungs long, leading to other complications.
Propylene Glycol is a synthetic liquid used for various purposes. It can absorb water, and because of this, it is used to maintain moisture in several items. You can use it to create fake smoke in training firefighters and theatrical productions. It also has other names that people refer to it as. Some of them are Trimethyl glycol, Methyl ethyl glycol, Dihydroxypropane, and Propanediol.
It is often used alongside vegetable glycerin as a carrier for flavoring and nicotine. Many people believe that it carries flavor better. It also creates a throat hit like smoking a cigarette.
As manufacturers use this chemical for many other things, it also creates mixed opinions. Some say it is harmless to vape propylene glycol, while some say it is harmful. However, heat propylene glycol can change the chemical composition. New research shows that it can produce methylglyoxal which can cause bronchiolitis obliterans.
Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) are a kind of fatty lipids that are common in palm kernel and coconut oil. Coconut oil is a popular carrier oil for regular CBD oil/tincture for oral consumption, So if you vape your regular CBD oil, you’ll likely inhale this compound. However, MCT oils are not necessarily bad.
On the contrary, they have a lot of positive effects on the body. One study revealed that they might help with weight loss even more than olive oil. In another, it helped its subjects with exercise endurance. Furthermore, it is a form of healthy fat for the body and the brain. But all of these health benefits only apply to oral ingestion.
Not much research has gone into discovering its effects when people inhale it because, historically, people have only orally ingested it. However, there are claims that heating and vaping could predispose you to lipoid pneumonia, a lung deterioration caused by inhaling fatty acids.
Some disreputable brands opt for substandard ingredients to manufacture their products much cheaper. One of the cheaper products they may use include synthetic cannabinoids. These are products that lab scientists manufacture to mimic the real content of the cannabis plant material.
They are extremely dangerous and may have psychoactive effects similar to THC. They are also unregulated by the government and likely produce severe side effects. These cannabinoids are illegal, so you should stay away from them.
Natural CBD is more expensive than these cheap products, so they usually package their products as CBD vape oil, whereas it does not contain any CBD. The effects can be fatal, so the best way to avoid these is by only patronizing trusted CBD vape oil providers or avoiding vaping completely.
How Vaping CBD Can Affect Lungs?
Lung irritation is a common side effect of vaping. Due to inhaling e-juice, which is usually oily, your lungs react by getting inflamed, leading to the rare condition lipoid pneumonia.
With this condition, you will likely cough a lot, cough out blood, and find breathing hard. This condition can only be cured by allowing the lungs to heal while avoiding inhaling more fatty acids into the lungs.
Popcorn lung is also another rare lung condition that vaping may cause. With this condition, the smaller pathways of the lungs become inflamed and permanently scarred. This would make it difficult for a person to breathe, causing chest pain and cough.
The cause is an ingredient called diacetyl. It is common in e-juice to add flavor and improve the taste. Diacetyl is not harmful when eaten with food and passed through the digestive tract. It is only harmful when inhaled.
Finally, according to research conducted by the CDC, frequent smoking up to five times daily predisposes vapers to the highest chance of lung issues.
Access to Teenagers: CBD Vapes
Another prevailing problem with vape carts is that they are easily accessible to underaged children and teenagers. Substandard vape products can be much more dangerous to younger people since they are still in their developmental stage.
For example, the CDC reports that e-cigarettes containing nicotine can harm parts of the brain of people below 25. It could cause mood disorders and attention, learning, and impulse issues. Also, underdeveloped organs may find it much harder to cope with the abuse.
The FDA recently banned the unauthorized sale of vape cartridges with flavorings except for tobacco and menthol. This is because of the alarming rate at which illegal vaping has become popular among young people. They believe flavoring to be the factor attracting young people.
More than that, most of these flavorings are not added to the ingredient lists of these products. So most people do not know the chemicals they are inhaling. Also, flavoring is not approved by the FDA as safe for inhalation.
Why Vape CBD?
Despite widespread worries about vaping CBD’s safety, some people still favor it as their favorite method of taking CBD. Below are some of the reasons you may still prefer CBD vaping to other forms of consumption:
Bioavailability of CBD
One of the things that affect the effectiveness of CBD is its bioavailability. This refers to the amount of the compound that can be absorbed into the bloodstream. The more CBD makes it into the bloodstream, the more effective it will be for whatever symptoms you are trying to use it to treat.
Oral methods of consuming CBD that involve the digestive tract reduce the product’s bioavailability. This is because some of it metabolizes along the digestive tract, and a lot gets excreted. However, with vaping CBD, the compound goes into the lungs, which are rife with blood vessels. As a result, there is more bioavailability. The blood absorbs the majority of the CBD you consume, leading to higher effectiveness.
Speed of Effectiveness
Vaping CBD is one of the fastest ways to get results. Because it goes into the bloodstream almost immediately, you feel the effects in a few minutes or an hour after vaping. Meanwhile, with things like edibles, one might have to wait several hours to feel the effects. Vaping will likely be your most attractive option if you use CBD to treat acute conditions like severe pain.
The only other CBD oil consumption method that could yield as fast results is the sublingual consumption of CBD. However, people who prefer smoking may prefer the vaping method.
The Vaping Experience
CBD vape oil does not taste very great, but vape oils usually contain artificial flavorings that make the experience more enjoyable. Vape juice of different flavors is readily available, and users might enjoy experimenting with them.
Also, high-quality vapes provide an elite experience that you cannot get from ingesting CBD through any other method. Some vapes have cool features, from their cloud production capacity to customizable temperature controls, self-cleaning features, and sleek design. Vapes are just a cool accessory to have.
Vaping on the Go
No other method of CBD is as stressless to do on the move as vaping is. Once your cartridge is full of oil, your vape does the rest, and you can take it with you anywhere, as most vape carts are very inconspicuous.
The topical application of CBD salves in public may not be comfortable. It would likely elicit stares and unwanted attention from strangers. Using edibles and powders may be inconvenient or impossible in public if you like to take them with food and drinks or cook them in your meals. As a result, vaping still seems to be the most convenient option.
Benefits to Smoking Addicts
A lot of people who vape are people who are trying to discontinue smoking cigarettes. Although the extent to which vaping is harmful is not fully clear, there is a general consensus that smoking tobacco is much worse for the lungs and overall well-being.
Therefore, for people who cannot completely quit at once, vaping CBD oil is a healthier way to cope with their addiction. They still get the feel of holding a cigarette-like substance and the satisfaction of immense cloud production that some vaping devices are capable of. Also, they get the added health benefits of CBD rather than all the negatives of burning tobacco.
Refillable and Replaceable Carts
Some CBD vapes come with removable cartridges, so you can simply change them after using the vape and wearing the cart out. You don’t have to spend any money replacing the entire vape elongating its life span by many more years. You’ll have a long-lasting companion with a durable vape and replaceable cartridges.
Furthermore, most cartridges are refillable. So, getting a CBD vape cart just makes sense if you have a stable supply of oils, perhaps from a partner, local store, or friends.
How To Safely Vape CBD?
The suspected negatives to vaping do not make taking bad completely. There are a few ways to minimize the negative effects of vaping and get the best out of CBD vape oil. They include:
Buy CBD Oil
CBD vape oil does not actually contain carrier oils like coconut oil that are common in regular vape oils or tinctures. The reason is that the consistency and makeup of these oils cause them to burn when heated. They do not vaporize. As a result, if you vape these oils, you will be inhaling smoke rather than vapor, and this smoke has no health benefits whatsoever.
In addition, burning most of these oils may break them down to create toxic compounds for you and the environment. Not much research has gone into the side effects of vaping regular oils, so it is best to steer clear of them.
Furthermore, oil does not dissolve with the other ingredients in the e-juice. Rather it will sit on top and may form a film that will eventually clog and spoil your vape. Instead of putting your tincture inside your vape cartridge, it is much safer to buy specialist-made CBD oils. You can also learn how to make CBD vape oil to prevent health issues.
Have a Reliable Supplier
In order to vape CBD, you’ll need to buy a vape, and you might need to buy refills of the CBD vape juice. Your supplier(s) for these two things must be a solid brand that you can trust regarding quality. The most important thing is the oil and the content of the oil.
If you don’t have a regular brand you patronize, try to do a lot of research to find a good vendor. Finding an established vendor online may be better than patronizing an offline store without much reputation. Make sure to do your due diligence by checking things like customer feedback, the Certificate of Analysis of their products, and their ingredient lists.
Also, don’t hesitate to contact the company to inquire about their products and services. Ask all the questions you need to, and if they are finding it hard to disclose certain information from you, it might be best to avoid buying from them.
Also, ensure that your supplier is not a family member or friend. The 2019 lung injury outbreak indicated that people who use such products have one of the highest chances of developing EVALI. You also don’t need to be your supplier if you are not a CBD vape oil expert. Otherwise, you might accidentally vape the wrong thing and yourself.
You check this list of the best CBD brands that sell all kinds of CBD and Delta products.
High-Quality Vape Pen
The quality of your e-cigarette is almost as important as the quality of the substance you are vaping. It is worth investing in a solid, high-quality product to preserve your health. The heating coil of vape pens plays a significant role in efficiently vaporizing your CBD vape oil.
If the temperature is too high, it could break down some of the thinning agents in the cannabis oil into harmful carcinogens. Most vape pens heat their content far above the necessary temperature for effective vaporization. That is why you need to buy an e-cigarette that meets the required specifications in that regard.
Also, the vape pen you purchase should be intact and not modified by you or your supplier. Sometimes, you may want to experiment with the cart to get different effects when vaping, but modifying your pen is dangerous and puts you at a high risk of EVALI.
Visit a Healthcare Provider
Once you notice things like pain in your chest or other symptoms of a problem after vaping, visit a medical practitioner immediately. Delays can be fatal, so it is better you act fast. Also, make sure you discontinue vaping until you have determined the cause of the problem.
Furthermore, if you are at higher risk of health conditions, it would be wise to avoid vaping or vaping CBD without the permission of your primary healthcare provider. This applies to people with chronic conditions, compromised immune systems, and pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Lastly, you should not be vaping CBD or anything else if you are a minor. Confirm the legal age for vaping in your state before venturing to do it.
If You Want To Try CBD Carts, Read & Learn.
In summary, CBD carts are not necessarily bad for you if you vape responsibly. Adhering to the safety measures guiding vaping can help minimize potential side effects. However, there is no assurance that you still won’t experience some associated issues.
The content of CBD vape oils is an ongoing concern. Furthermore, there is not much research into vaping and its possible health effects, so at the end of the day, you are vaping with your carts at your own risk. However, if you feel that CBD’s benefits are greater, you can go for it.
You could also go for other forms of CBD ingestion that are less harmful to your lungs, like sublingual consumption. It affords you the immediate potency of vaping without the associated risks. However, if you think you have a smoking problem, it is best to seek professional help. There are a lot of free resources online that you can access.