How to Vape CBD Safely: A Helpful Guide

Vaping captured the hearts, minds, and imaginations of an entire generation and it’s easy to see why. It’s not only convenient, but it’s also the “coolest” way to smoke, and naturally, that has had a massive impact on the smoking community.

Almost overnight, vaping became a trend, and everywhere you looked, there was someone with a vape device standing nearby.

However, regardless of what you vape—juices with and without nicotine, marijuana, or CBD oil—vaping has risks. Research is still ongoing, but many believe that vaping does affect your lungs.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned almost everyone to stay away from vaping.

So, should you refrain from vaping altogether for the time being?

In this article, I’m going to cover the pros and cons of vaping, and also provide you with a step by step guide for how to vape CBD safely.

Let’s get started.

Table of Contents

Why Is Vaping So Popular?

Everyone has their own reasons for vaping. People start vaping as an alternative to smoking. Some do it as a hobby and because it’s the in-thing, and others could be looking for a discreet way to consume nicotine, marijuana, or CBD.

One of the main reasons vaping caught on so quickly is that it has appealing flavors and releases no odors, making it easier for people to puff from a vaporizer whether at home or on the go.

Initially the intended target for e-cigarettes were adults trying to quit smoking. But vaping has gone viral among young people, including minors. The record numbers reported from vaping come mostly from youngsters who’ve never picked up a cigarette in their lives.

Companies like Juul and a combination of cool devices, marketing, social media, and young influencers are arguably fostered as the culprit for the youth vaping epidemic. Juul e-cigs are the most popular vapes available on the market.

Juul pods contain as much nicotine as two packs of cigarettes. This is three times the levels permitted in Europe, which is why you can’t find Juul in any country in the European Union. So, with those levels of nicotine, Juul e-cigarettes are highly addictive.

The company is currently being prosecuted by the state of North Carolina. Juul is also facing congressional investigation and bans for entire countries for marketing its highly addictive nicotine pods as a safe way to quit smoking.

What Do the Experts Say?

Americans are waking every day to controversial news about the health risks of e-cigarettes and vape pens. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned almost everyone to stay away from e-cigarettes—including but not limited to non-smokers, and/or people who are pregnant, underage, and/or currently healthy.

Health officials are investigating the outbreak of a vaping-related illness that has sent over 2700 people to the hospital, and caused 60 deaths. Patients have been showing various respiratory symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, and coughing.

So far, vitamin E acetate (VEA) has been identified by the CDC as the culprit of this outbreak. VEA is a cheap diluent used in illicit THC vape products.

Are Cannabis Pens Dangerous?

There are plenty of vendors looking to make a quick buck rather than producing products that are really beneficial for people. Lack of regulation and clear guidelines from the federal government is fostering a market flooded with dangerous illicit products.

Most of the VAPI—vaping-associated pulmonary illness—cases are attributed to the use of cheap THC cartridges from the black market.

The real danger is NOT in the THC per se, but the additives mixed with it. These additives can be:

  • THINNING CHEMICALS

    They play a key role in the vaping experience by changing the viscosity of the compound to produce more vapor and less gunk when inhaled. These chemical agents can be propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), or Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT). The latter is usually found in coconut oil and is considered to be the least harmful to the body.

  • TERPENES

    Recent investigations to study what happens when additives from cannabis vapes are inhaled found that terpenes produces more toxins that THC during vaping.

  • FLAVORS

    E-juices contain FDA-approved flavoring additives, which are safe to eat but are dangerous when inhaled. Diacetyl is a flavoring additive that's believed to produce what is known as the popcorn lung, a rare obstructive lung illness.

IS VAPI CAUSED BY CANNABIS PENS?

Experts have found a link between VAPI and some THC products that contain high levels of vitamin E acetate, a thickening agent used to mask the dilution of THC oil in vape cartridges. 

It’s important to note that vitamin E acetate is safe to consume orally and topically but seems to be lethal when heated and inhaled. VEA has been previously linked to lipoid pneumonia. The products containing this toxic acetate are usually cheap items from underground manufacturers.

Around  82% of the people with vape illness have reported the use of THC vapes.

Vitamin E acetate isn’t the only harmful additive associated with the risks of vaping.

Other Health Risks of Vaping

While the science of the negative health risks of vaping isn’t clear, that doesn’t mean it isn’t harmful or doesn’t have any other health risks. Here’s why vaping might be a bad idea.

HEAVY METALS

Although vaping is touted as being safer than smoking cigarettes, a major study has revealed that toxic levels of heavy metals are getting ingested by vape users.

The study detected elevated levels of chromium and nickel on coils that break down after repeated use. These metals may end up in your lungs which can be dangerous as heavy metals have been linked with various cancers, cardiovascular disease, and brain damage.

ALLERGENS IN E-LIQUIDS

Basically, the juice being vaped contains a few ingredients:

  • CBD, nicotine, or THC
  • A thinning agent
  • Flavoring additives

The thing is that experts don’t know much about the potential toxicity of this ingredients when they’re heated and inhaled. You may suffer a bad reaction mainly because of these ingredients.

Thinning agents are good to vape properly. They ensure that CBD flows through without clogging the coils or burning. But this chemicals aren’t good for your health.

Propylene glycol can be harmful at high temperatures and can irritate the delicate lining of the lungs causing inflammation and other symptoms. PG can also produce byproducts when heated and nobody knows how dangerous they could be.

What About Vaping CBD?

To date there’s no evidence of a toxic CBD vape cartridge linked to VAPI. However, you could put your health at stake if you purchase from shady vendors. CBD and e-cigarettes are booming in a highly unregulated market, so be cautious, keep yourself informed and buy good stuff.

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Despite the possible health risk, vaping is still attractive to consumers because of its cool benefits. In terms of CBD consumption, tinctures, oils, and edibles are the most used methods, but, unlike vaping, they take longer to kick in.

It’s important to note that CBD is nothing like THC, the marijuana component that gets you high. CBD is non-intoxicating and doesn’t affect your normal functioning or reasoning. It doesn’t alter your conscious state and provides pain and tension relief, which is why it’s being used for treating depression and anxiety disorders.

Compared to other delivery methods, vaping CBD comes with a greater rate of bioavailability, up to 50% in some cases, and also has decreased breakdown rates, meaning that more of the compound is absorbed into your body at a faster rate, which can reduce an anxiety attack in just minutes.

When inhaling, the active ingredient of CBD is sent to your lungs and is quickly absorbed into your bloodstream, rather than going through the digestive system, which explains vaping’s high bioavailability.

So, anyone who’s looking to relieve anxiety and pain without getting high would find vaping CBD to be a quick and convenient alternative. You can easily vape CBD before going to work, or college for an instant relief.

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Now that you have a solid overview, it’s up to you to decide if you should be vaping or not. In a perfect world, the only thing your lungs should be inhaling is fresh air.

However, if, after analyzing the pros and cons, you’re still up for it, here’s a helpful guide for how to vape CBD.

Your Guide to Vape CBD Safely

There’s not conclusive data about the real dangers of vaping. It might be safer than smoking, but it still carries risk. So, let’s be clear that, currently, there’s not a 100% safe way to vape any substance.

To ensure you’re vaping in the safest way possible, learn as much as you can about your CBD product and vape equipment.

These are the steps you will need to take if you want to vape CBD:

  • Choose your CBD e-liquid.
  • Choose your equipment.
  • Calculate your dosage.
  • Keep your equipment clean.

Choose Your CBD E-Liquid

If you’re new to the game, the first thing you must know is that whenever someone mentions vaping CBD oil, they’re referring to a CBD e-juice that has been designed specifically for vaping and is known as “CBD vape juice” or “e-liquid.”

E-liquids are designed to be taken in vapor form. They’re usually mixed with a thinning agent to ensure the liquids flow through the equipment you use to vape.

To use them you simply apply the juice to the chamber of a vaporizer. They’re available in many different flavors, some are fruity, others resemble the flavors of popular cannabis strains. You can find them in quantities of 100mg up to 1000mg.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A SAFE E-LIQUID

Be wary of the e-liquid you choose to use, make sure you’re purchasing from a trusted brand that is committed to natural ingredients, particularly organic and certified if possible.

Check if the product has a thinning agent like MCT oil, which is a less harmful solvent. Also, make sure your juice has no flavoring additives that can be dangerous to inhale.

Be aware of the expiring date of the product. Like all consumables, e-juices are perishable, the estimated shelf life of your CBD e-liquid is 12 months.

Avoid improper additives at all costs. They’re easy to spot, because they usually come in hard-to-pronounce names. If you can’t say it, then you probably shouldn’t be inhaling it.

It’s also important to look for a recent third-party lab test or COA before you purchase. This report confirms that what the product says on its label is accurate.

The hemp industry is currently working on a chemical-free CBD vape juice, so probably in the near future we’ll have cleaner and safer ways to vape CBD.

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Choose Your Equipment

There are two types of vaporizers you can use to vape CBD juice:

  • Pen style vaporizers
  • Tank vaporizers or “mods”

PEN STYLE VAPORIZERS

As the name implies they have a compact look that resembles a typical pen, they’re lightweight and easy to use which make them very popular.

A vape pen consists of four main components:

  • The mouthpiece
  • The tank that holds the juice
  • The heating chamber or coil
  • The battery

This is how it works, the coil is powered by the battery which heats the e-juice until a vapor is produced, then you inhale it through the mouthpiece.

There are essentially two types of vape pens on the market:

DISPOSABLE CBD PENS

These are the easiest and most affordable option for vaping CBD. They’re small, easy-to-carry pens shaped like cigarettes. All you need to buy is a starter kit and you’re ready to go. You use them, and then you throw them away—which can be convenient for you but obviously have a negative impact in the environment.

These pens already contain CBD vape juice and are powered by a battery and a coil that comes with it. These disposable CBD pens are enough to provide you with 100 puffs before you dispose of them.

They’re usually made in cheap plastic material and metal heating coils that seem to leak toxic metals.

REFILLABLE CBD PENS

These are rechargeable vape pens that you can refill with CBD vape juice. These pens come with a simple tube-style battery that is connected to a vape tank with an internal coil. They end up producing more flavor and puffs than disposables and are also more cost-effective.

However, you’ll need to keep the tank clean and change the coil regularly, because they tend to burn out.

TANK VAPORIZERS

Also knows as modified “mod” vaporizers. This type of vaporizers are for vaping connoisseurs, who care about throat hit, vapor volume and power.

Its huge output requires a lot more e-juice than the pen style. They’re also larger, stronger and more complicated to start with.

One of the pros of this vapes is that you can tailor your mod by building your own coils, which saves you money on the long run.

Tank devices come in different types: RDA, RTA, RBA and Sub Ohm Tanks. They have different functionality and variation in vapor production.

REBUILDABLE DRIPPING ATOMIZER (RDA)

These ones don’t have any tank to hold e-liquids. It needs the liquid to get on the coil directly.

REBUILDABLE TANK ATOMIZER (RTA)

This is a tank system with a rebuildable coil. You fill up the tank and start vaping till the liquid is completely exhausted. These mods are difficult to build because they’re assembled with multiple parts.

REBUILDABLE ATOMIZER (RBA)

This tank is for people who want to build and calibrate their devices to their exact preference. It involves exactly control over voltage, temperature and wattage.

SUB OHM TANKS

Have you seen people blowing out those big, billowing clouds of vapor in social media? That’s sub-ohm vaping. Sub-ohm tanks are special devices with coils that have a resistance of less than 1 ohm, to produce great flavor and big clouds to give you the best vaping experience.

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST EQUIPMENT

You can choose whatever works best for you based on how often you will vape. It’s best to start with the easiest options and then move on to more complicated devices.

The best options for newbies who’re just starting vaping would be pen style vaporizers. They’re very simple and straightforward to use. Once you’re comfortable, then you can move on to mods, which are more cost-effective in the long run.

If your using a pen vaporizer wait at least 10 to 20 seconds between pulls to avoid the coil to burn out.

You should always start at the lowest voltage necessary and slowly ramp it up over about an hour.

Stay away from cheap pens with plastic wicks and metal heating coils that leak toxic metals.

Currently, on the market, you can find pens featuring ceramic and glass hardware that produce a cleaner vapor.

Keep Your Equipment Clean

Your health is your greatest wealth, and if you’re using a refillable device I strongly recommend vaping on a clean set up. You want a great experience when you invest in a CBD vape juice, thus, you need a clean vaporizer to make your experience as great as possible.

Vape juices can create gunk on your coils, which can shorten its life. Residues can also accumulate in the tank of your pen. They build up and eventually affect the performance of your favorite CBD juice.

That’s why you must clean your device regularly—at least twice a week—and a simple rinse will do the trick for you. Never skip this step.

You can use baking soda, vinegar, or dish soap to keep your vaporizer clean, then rinse it thoroughly and let it dry.

Calculate Your CBD Dosage for Vaping

First of all, go over the possible risks and benefits of CBD with your doctor and take his recommendations seriously.

E-liquids come in a wide variety of strengths and volumes, so it’s easy to customize your CBD vape juice kit to meet your needs.

The best way to calculate your CBD dosage when you’re vaping is by considering the multiple factors that determine the strength and dosage of your e-liquid. This means considering body weight, the severity of your health problems, and your body chemistry.

In general terms, the best technique is trial and error, it’s recommended to start with the lowest possible dose with inhalations. You want to try the minimum your body needs to bring relief and work up until you find your own perfect level or “sweet spot.”

Making dose adjustments is easy if you’re using a quality CBD vape pen. If a 100 mg pen provides 100 puffs, then doing the math is as easy as that one puff will provide one mg of CBD.

If you’re just starting out, begin with a single inhalation and wait 10 minutes for the effects to kick in before inhaling again. You can then take note of the effects and adjust your next vaping session accordingly.

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Wrap-Up

  • Vaping is a cool form to take your CBD and a safer alternative to smoking. But safer doesn’t mean 100% safe.
  • This trendy way to inhale is currently in the eye of the storm for the health issues associated with the toxic ingredients the e-liquids contain.
  • The dangers of vaping are still unclear. It looks like the main hazard is the unregulated market that attracts fly-by-night vendors putting dangerous additives in their cheap products.
  • A number of lung disease reports and loss of lives are associated with vaping, the medical community believe the culprit is a vitamin E acetate additive, but they still don’t have the whole picture.
  • If you’re pregnant, a minor or non-smoker you should stay away from vaping.
  • The main benefit of vaping CBD is the quick relief it provide, so if after analyzing the pros and cons. you’re still up for it, make sure you buy products from reliable brands with minimum additives.
  • The less additives the better, choose an e-liquid that has only CBD with MCT oil as a thinning agent, ditch the flavors.
  • Vape at your own risk and do it in moderation, leave the vape for extreme episodes of anxiety, panic or pain when you need an instant relief. For a daily wellness routine, oils and tinctures are the go-to.

Is vaping your favorite way to take CBD, or is it not for you? Share some thoughts in the comments below.