Vaping can be a very effective means of consuming CBD. However, a lot of CBD vape users don’t realize that not all products out there are created equal.
On the contrary, one has to choose their brands and cartridges very carefully. This is necessary to ensure that you’re getting a quality, effective, and most importantly, safe product that’s free of contaminants and other health hazards.
In this article, we point out some of the biggest dangers of vaping that you need to be on the lookout for. Given the current lack of regulations in the cannabis industry, a lot of companies out there are producing cartridges with virtually no regard for health or safety.
So, we’re here to try and make sure you know what to look for when choosing the best CBD vape juice for your specific condition.
Cuticle Wax in CBD Vape Liquid: What You Should Know
One of the lesser talked about aspects of CBD vaping safety is the potential respiratory hazard of cuticle wax. Cuticle waxes are basically the oily, fatty outer layer of lipids that cover the surface of most flowering cannabis plants, including hemp.
When these plants are smoked (with a bowl, joint, bong, etc.), the wax layer is burned away. This method of consumption isn’t believed to cause much concern in terms of respiratory health.
However, it’s known that because vaping incorporates significantly lower temperatures than smoking, it does not burn away the wax layer. Instead, it’s believed that the oily, waxy bits may collect together and eventually settle in the lungs, which may produce serious long-term health concerns.
In fact, as part of a statement to Rolling Stone magazine in October 2017, experts at Steep Hill Labs spoke of the potential dangers of vaping CBD oil. Steep Hill is an independent cannabis analysis company with several locations across the U.S. They suggested that vaping CBD oil may potentially cause these waxes to collect in the lungs and form solidified granulomas at some point down the road.
While this is no more than speculation at this point (there haven’t been any clinical studies to verify whether or not this is the case), it’s cause for concern.
In terms of what you can do to avoid CBD vape oils that have cuticle waxes, you can look for products that have undergone a process called winterization. Winterization of CBD oil is a technique that involves removing all (or at least a portion of) the waxes, fatty acids, and lipids, which have higher melting points than other parts of the plant.
If you’re unsure whether or not a specific CBD vape juice has undergone winterization, call the company and ask them. If they can’t tell you, then steer clear and look for another brand.
EDITOR’S CHOICE – FabCBD
When it comes to selecting the best and most effective CBD, it really comes down to trial and error and testing out as many products as you can. And that’s exactly what we did. Our review team tried and tested dozens of CBD brands, and we rated FabCBD as #1 overall for potency, value for money, quality & reputation. Try them today and you won’t be disappointed. You can also view the reviews of the best CBD brands here.
Thinning Agents in CBD Vape Oil: Another Potential Health Concern
A much more talked about safety concern of CBD vape oils that’s discussed far more often than cuticle waxes, is the potential presence of harsh chemicals that end up in the end product as thinning agent residues.
Raw cannabis oil that contains active CBD extract is much too viscous, or thick, to be used in vape pens with electric heater coils. Thus, the concentrate has to be treated in order to reduce the viscosity so that it can be effectively and efficiently vaped.
Cannabis oil is too thick for vaping. Manufacturers must thin them before use, and some use dangerous chemicals.
There are a few different ways in which this can be done. However, you need to be extremely wary as many cheap products (produced by inexperienced manufacturers) use harsh and even toxic chemical thinning agents in order to cut costs.
Two of the most commonly used chemical thinning agents are propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol. Both of these chemicals (propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol) can potentially break down into carcinogenic (cancer-causing) compounds like formaldehyde and acetaldehyde. This is particularly true when they’re sublimated in high-temp vape pen cartridges.
And lastly, a 2010 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that inhaling propylene glycol – even in low concentrations – can potentially induce asthma, allergic reactions, and other respiratory complications.
Is CBD Vape Safe for the Lungs?
As mentioned above, the use of thinning agents and the presence of cuticle waxes in vape oils can be dangerous.
Vape e-liquids are vaporized and inhaled through the lungs, meaning they can cause problems for the respiratory system. Concerns such as asthma and lipoid pneumonia, all lung-related issues, still plague the industry.
Common indicators of lung or respiratory irritation can include:
- Constant coughing
- Shortness of breath
- Discomfort while breathing
- Coughing up mucus or blood
If you experience any of these symptoms while or after vaping, it’s important to stop immediately and visit a healthcare provider.
So, is CBD vape safe for lungs? Not always, but luckily for vape enthusiasts, there are ways to severely reduce the risk of lung irritation and discomfort. Find out more below.
How to Vape CBD Safely: What Can You Do?
Ultimately, one of the most important things you can do to ensure your health and safety when vaping CBD is to invest in a high-quality vape pen. It’s being suggested more and more that the temperature of your pen’s heater coil is critical in terms of producing efficient vaporization that avoids the breakdown of thinning agents into carcinogens such as formaldehyde.
A lot of vape pens out there use e-coils that sublimate the oil at extremely high temperatures – far higher than what’s even remotely necessary.
As Dr. Jahan Marcu, Chief Scientific Officer at Americans for Safe Access, puts it, “the market is flooded [right now] with substandard products that have questionable safety… these companies are [ultimately] doing their safety testing on the public and their loved ones.”
And that’s likely putting it nicely.
We put together an article not too long ago on some of the best CBD liquids for vaping. It also discussed the differences between CBD vape liquid and regular CBD oil. That may be a good place to start in terms of picking out the best CBD vape cartridge that’s best suited to you and your needs.
Is It Safe to Vape CBD Oil?
Despite the health worries, vaping CBD still remains a popular method of consumption. Why?
Some research suggests that vaping increases the bioavailability of CBD when compared to other methods such as oral or topical use. This means that a higher concentration of the cannabinoid can reach the endocannabinoid system, causing a greater impact.
Additionally, the marketplace is full of flavored vape oils and impressive vaporization systems, making the physical act of vaping an enjoyable experience.
But this still begs the question; is it safe to vape CBD oil?
Research into the long-term effects of vape use is still very much in its infancy; this means it’s very difficult to surmise just how safe it is.
However, by seeking out high-quality e-liquids, users can still have an enjoyable vaping experience while trying to minimize the risk.
Final Thoughts on the Dangers of Vaping CBD
Like we mentioned, one of the most important things you can likely do in terms of making sure you’re maximizing health and safety while vaping CBD is to invest in a high-quality pen. This is particularly true if you’re vaping often, such as to provide relief from chronic conditions like pain, anxiety, depression, or insomnia.
The fact of the matter is that very little is actually known in regard to the long-term health effects of CBD vape juice. Much more certainly needs to be done in order to learn about potential respiratory complications and other health concerns that may arise further down the road.
For the time being, all you can do is know the contents of your CBD e-liquid, know how it was manufactured, and ensure that you buy from a well-known and reliable company.