Vaping CBD oil has become one of the most popular ways to use it. And with the diverse range of products available, it’s important to know which ones are suitable for vaping, and how you can verify their quality. This guide covers the essential things to know about shopping for CBD vape oils and how to use them properly. One caution: if you use prescription medications, you may want to consult your doctor before incorporating CBD into your regimen.
What is CBD?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a naturally-occurring cannabinoid found in hemp, a type of cannabis plant. Cannabidiol is known for its therapeutic properties and has been growing in popularity in recent years. CBD oil has a range of benefits.
What is CBD oil?
CBD oil is also referred to as hemp oil and has been traditionally used as an oral tincture. It usually contains MCT oil (derived from coconuts) and is not suitable for inhalation! Studies have shown that inhaling oil like that can pose serious health risks like lipoid pneumonia.
Unlike CBD vape juice, CBD tinctures are strictly for ingestion. Unfortunately many of them do not have proper warning labels and are sold in e-juice style dropper bottles.
There’s an important distinction to make between CBD oil tinctures and CBD oil made for inhalation. CBD oral tinctures are oil-based whereas CBD vape oil is not. Now let’s take a look at the types of CBD oil that are suitable for vaping.
- CBD vape – CBD made for vaping is sometimes referred to as “CBD vape oil”, but it doesn’t contain any actual oil. A more appropriate name for it is CBD vape juice or CBD distillate. They’re generally made with food grade ingredients, so they can also be taken orally, but are very different from oil-based tinctures. Look carefully at the ingredients. If it contains anything other than PG, VG, CBD extract, terpenes and cannabinoids, then it’s most likely unsuitable for inhalation. Don’t take the risk. It should say something about vaping, vape juice, e-liquid or e-juice on the label and should not contain any actual oil.
- CBD cartridges – Similar to THC oil cartridges, these are slim disposable e-cig tanks filled with CBD e-juice. (Some contain pure CBD distillate, made using a CO2 or a solvent-based extraction method.) They connect to a standard 510 battery and provide an easy entry into vaping CBD. There are also cartridges, known as pods, that are compatible with popular devices like the JUUL.
What dosage should I take?
Unfortunately, there is no “one-size-fits-all” dosage for CBD. It greatly depends on a range of factors, including the symptoms being treated, body weight and tolerance. In addition, everyone’s metabolism and endocannabinoid system is slightly different, which can yield unique results for each person.
A typical CBD vape cartridge containing 100 mg of CBD delivers about 1-2 mg CBD with each puff. If you’re using a CBD vape pen or tank, you’ll be taking in a bit more CBD per puff, depending on your device and the strength of your CBD vape juice.
The best way to find your dosage is to start low and then work your way up. Start with the minimal dosage, 1 to 2 mg of CBD and wait about six hours until your next dose. Gradually increase your dosage each time by 5 mg. Pay close attention to how you feel after each dose. It might not be noticeable right away, or even overnight. As soon as you experience positive effects, lock in that dosage and stick with it.
The average CBD user takes an average of 10-30 mg per day. For serious conditions, some users take as much as 200-1000 mg per day. See our full guide for more specifics on how to determine your ideal CBD dosage.
What are the side effects of vaping CBD?
Research into the side effects of CBD is still in its infancy. A comprehensive study was released last year that concluded there were in fact some side effects associated with CBD. The most commonly documented side effect of CBD is mild drowsiness. This is more common with first-time users and can subside with regular use.
This drowsiness is most often caused by high doses of CBD, whereas low to medium doses can actually produce the opposite effect. The other side effects observed were slight euphoria, hunger and red eyes. Compared to many prescription drugs, the side effects of CBD tend to be much less pronounced.
Here’s a study on the safety and side effects of CBD.
Does vaping CBD oil get you high?
No, vaping CBD will not get you high, unless it is derived from marijuana containing THC. Most CBD formulated for vaping is derived from industrial hemp. It contains trace amounts of THC (up to 0.3%) which isn’t enough to get you high. There are many THC-free CBD e-liquids for people who are concerned about failing a drug test.
Furthermore, CBD can actually moderate the high that THC produces, by preventing your body from fully breaking the THC down.
Source: Project CBD
Is it legal or illegal to use?
CBD made from hemp is no longer criminalized by the federal government, and most states treat it the same way. Idaho, Nebraska, and North Dakota still have restrictions, because their laws lump hemp products together with all cannabis products. You may need to obtain a prescription from a doctor to use CBD in those states. If you happen to be in a state where marijuana is legal, you’ll have access to CBD products containing more than the 0.3% legal limit of THC.
In 2018, the US Senate introduced The Hemp Farming Act, effectively removing the DEA’s authority over hemp, turning it into a hot commodity, instead of a Schedule 1 narcotic. Cannabis and THC are still illegal or restricted to medical patients in 40 states.
Can you overdose on it?
The Americans for Safe Access stated at a 2016 medical cannabis conference, “To date, there has never been a single well documented case of human fatality attributable to an overdose of cannabis or its components, and no experimental or non-extrapolated LD50 can be attributed to a toxic or lethal overdose.”
Research has shown that CBD is very low in toxicity. A study from 1981 determined the LD50 for CBD to be 212 mg per kg of body weight when given to monkeys intravenously. This suggests that humans must consume hundreds of times the average daily dose of CBD (30 mg) in a relatively short period of time to be at risk for overdosing. It is highly unlikely that anybody will ever take enough cannabidiol to induce lethal consequences.
Why are lab tests so important?
Lab tests are conducted to verify cannabinoid content, THC levels, residual solvents and contaminants. Always make sure they’re up to date (preferably from within the last nine months) and are from a credible lab. You might feel intimidated when looking at some of the technical data in the report. Don’t worry, the THC and CBD levels are usually bold and easy to identify. You want to look for “Max Active THC” and “Max Active CBD” to determine the levels of THC and CBD. They are generally represented in “mg per mL,” “mg per bottle,” and as an overall percentage, which is useful for calculating dosages.