Wondering whether or not it's safe to vape CBD? The short answer is yes - it's safe - especially for those who get their products from established sources like ProHealth CBD Store. The long answer, however, is a little more nuanced. Keep reading to learn more...
Vaping has gotten a bad rap recently.
And to be honest with you...it's deserved it. Who could forget last fall's tragic outbreak of vape lung disease, which claimed at least 354 lives in 29 US states?
For what seemed like ages, officials scrambled to find the culprit. Eventually VLD's cause was narrowed down to black-market, THC-infused vape pens. Even advocates of vaping were quick to condemn the illegal products: “people need to stop using these illicit THC products now,” professor of community health services Michael Siegel implored via the Washington Post.
By late winter the outbreak wound down - but not before damage was done to the public's perception of vaping on a whole. Guilty by association, as they say. Vape sales took a 15% hit across the US.
But could some of this caution be warranted, even when dealing with CBD? Probably so. Earlier reports, like this 2018 piece from Vice, seem almost prophetic in their warning against unregulated vapes - CBD vapes included.
Vice writers warned that CBD wasn't immune to industry-wide challenges. Indeed, “the problem many CBD vapers have faced recently seems to stem mainly from poor regulation over the vaping market in general, and the subsequent unreliable quality of any vape or vape oil.” Even the US army, spurred on by outbreaks at military bases like Fort Bragg, issued a warning of their own that simultaneously acknowledged CBD's safety while forbidding the use of CBD vape products.
Fast forward to 2020. Things have definitely improved - but some caution is still useful. Now that we've addressed vaping's downsides, let's take a look at its most important health benefits.
Vaping is a way to heat up CBD oil... without actually burning it. As its name implies, vaporization gently heats cannabinoids and releases their vapor into the air. No smoke is created at any point in this process.
Vaporizers often resemble thin, pen-shaped devices. On the inside, hidden from view, vapes contain tiny internal coils that heat up their oil to its atomization point. Many of today's vapes are even button-free - their coils are activated automatically whenever the user inhales. Overall, the process is discrete, professional, and much gentler on the lungs than smoking.
Vaping Benefit # 1: Optimal Absorption
The pharmacology of vaping is practically perfect. While more research is needed on CBD's absorption rates, a double-blind study at Johns Hopkins University found that “vaporized cannabis produced greater pharmacodynamic effects and higher concentrations of THC in blood compared [to] smoked cannabis.”
The same effect is generally seen with vaporized CBD: it kicks in quickly, is absorbed easily, and stays in the system for a while. Check out the below scenarios (each featuring an imaginary 10 milligrams of CBD) to get a better idea.
- CBD Oil: kicks in within 1 hour, lasts for up to 8 hours, and ~3 mg's are absorbed
- Smokable hemp: kicks in instantly, lasts for up to 5 hours, and ~3 mg's are absorbed
- Vaping CBD: kicks in instantly, lasts for up 8 eight hours, and 4+ mg's are absorbed
As you can see, vaping provides those who partake the very best of both worlds. One gets the fast onset time of smoking, without any lung damage - and the lasting power of CBD oil, without the low bioavailability.
Vaping Benefit # 2: Optimal Ingredients
Another plus: vaping's gentle temperature allows hemp's more delicate ingredients, like its terpenes, to be preserved. According to Leafly, the “dynamic convection” process vapes use to generate their heat “maximizes efficiency and optimizes the benefits of the entourage effect for the consumer.”
For those unfamiliar, the term ‘entourage effect' just refers to how hemp's cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other compounds work together to magnify the health benefits of one another. To experience this synergy best, opt for a premium-quality, full-spectrum vape like this one by Procana.
Vaping Benefit # 3: Many Roads Lead to Heaven
Vaping and other delivery methods aren't mutually exclusive. In other words, you can take CBD in more than one way if you choose! Depending on your health goals, diversifying might even be ideal. Those with chronic pain (from fibromyalgia, for example) may opt to take CBD oil daily, vape CBD as needed, and apply topical CBD to problem areas.
Vaping Benefit # 4: Fight Back Against Anxiety
Vaping is often a favorite of those with anxiety - and there's a reason for that. Vaping is virtually the only way to take CBD in the middle of a stressful situation, get instant relief, and still stay discrete. It may even be useful in countering panic attacks.
Studies affirm what our customers have been noticing: for anxiety, CBD really works. “Overall, existing preclinical evidence strongly supports the potential of CBD as a treatment for anxiety disorders,” says one 2015 review.
Another plus: vaping makes microdosing easy. And microdosing - aka taking small amounts of CBD consistently throughout the day - provides those with anxiety a steady stream of cannabinoids flowing into their system. If you have severe anxiety, you can safeguard against panic attacks by adding a CBD vape into your existing dosage routine. Remember, the small size of vape pens means they can be enjoyed virtually anywhere.
The Quality Question
To recap: vaping can provide a truly awesome addition to your CBD routine. Don't let things like vape lung disease scare you aware from trying it! Much like prohibition-era alcohol was more dangerous than its modern-day counterparts, today's black market vape pens are the only thing to really be wary of.
If you select your vape pen from a quality manufacturer (hint: they'll list their product's ingredients and lab tests online) then there's nothing to worry about. At ProHealth CBD Store, we've already done the hard work for you, sifting through thousands of CBD products in our mission to bring you only the very best.
The result is a carefully curated CBD collection with premium vape products.
Thomas Wrona is a cannabis consultant, health + wellness advisor, and former professional athlete. He enjoys writing about all things CBD, both here and at Wrona Inc.