CBD products are exploding in popularity recently. As more companies enter the market, the selection of products expands rapidly. This is both good and bad news for consumers.
The good is that there are more choices than ever. The bad is that these products are largely unregulated, and many suppliers cut corners and produce products with dubious safety ratings.
One segment of the CBD market that’s becoming quite popular is CBD vape oil products. Various manufacturers are offering CBD vape juice which is designed to be used in e-cigarettes and vaporizers. But is it safe to vape CBD oil?
Is Vaping CBD Safe?
Put simply – probably not.
The reality is that vaping in general – whether we’re talking about CBD vaping or e-cigarette products with nicotine – is quite a new phenomenon. We don’t yet have the long-term research to really evaluate the safety of vaping.
Researchers are starting to warn of the dangers of vaping (1), listing reasons including poor regulation and the use of unknown flavoring agents and potentially carcinogenic additives. Several states have now banned flavored vape products (both for nicotine and CBD vape products), including Oregon and Washington.
Recently, the American Medical Association even called for a full ban on all vape products. As the tide begins to turn against vape products in general, we expect more states and local jurisdictions to examine the potential for outright bans. And as so many prominent politicians and medical groups continue to warn the public of the health risks of vaping, vape users are starting to take notice.
It’s thought that CBD itself is likely safe for consumption, whether taken orally or vaped in its pure form. The problem lies mostly in the CBD vape additives that are commonly used in vaping liquids.
CBD Vaping Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is vaping CBD safe?
As discussed in the article above, vaping CBD may be safe, but it’s likely not. The questions over CBD vape safety mostly revolve around the additives, flavorings, and thinning agents used in CBD vape products. The reality is that we simply do not have enough evidence to prove whether it’s truly safe, and there are some studies suggesting that many vape additives may have harmful effects. We discuss this question in greater detail above.
Can you vape pure CBD?
Okay, so if it’s the CBD vape additives that are potentially causing harm, couldn’t you just vape pure CBD and skip all the filler? Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Pure CBD oil is thick and goopy, and would not work very well in a vape. It would likely work okay for a short time, but it would gunk up your vape and likely cause some burning/smoke. The reality is that truly pure CBD oil is not really commercially available for sale. Even our CBD oils here at NuLife contain hemp seed oil and grapeseed oil, which are added as carriers for the CBD molecules, and also to serve as thinning agents so the oil is easier to consume.
Can you vape normal CBD tincture?
CBD tincture is any CBD product that is designed to be taken orally. These products are often referred to as simply “CBD oil”. Usually these tinctures contain other ingredients, like food grade oils, that are used as carrier agents and thinning solutions.
Generally speaking, these products are not designed for vaping. The oils they use are safe for consumption, but do not necessarily vape well. If you do want to vape CBD, you’ll want to find vape-specific products.
CBD products will not get you high and should not interfere with drug testing. That said, there is a very small portion of THC in CBD products, which could potentially show up on a drug test, although it’s unlikely.
What’s the difference between CBD vape oil and CBD oil/tincture?
Both types of products contain the same active ingredient: CBD. The biggest difference is in the other ingredients included. CBD tincture/CBD oil usually contains food-grade oils like hempseed oil or grapeseed oil, while CBD vape juices contain thinning agents like propylene glycol, artificial flavoring agents, etc.
Essentially, CBD tinctures are formulated and designed for oral use, while vape oils are designed specifically for vaping. You should stick to the intended use for each category of product.
Will vaping CBD get you high? Or cause you to fail a drug test?
In short, no. CBD itself is not psychoactive, meaning it causes no “high”. THC is the active compound in cannabis that causes a high, and CBD oils contain very little to no THC. NuLife’s CBD products contain 0.3% THC or less, which is the legal limit.
The Problem with CBD Vape Additives
Vape juices typically contain additives, thinning agents and flavorings. Research suggests that these additives could be harmful when used in high-temperature vaporizers. Some categories of these additives include:
Thinning agents, such as Propylene Glycol and Polyethylene Glycol.
- Commonly used as thinning agents to achieve the right consistency for vape juice
- Included in most vape juices, both CBD and nicotine-based
- Generally considered as safe, when used in food products to be ingested
- Lack adequate evidence of safety when vaporized and inhaled
- Known to produce carcinogens including acetaldehyde and formaldehyde, when heated to high temperatures (2)
- May worsen allergy and asthma symptoms when inhaled (3)
Flavoring agents, such as “natural flavors” (there are thousands of different flavoring blends)
- Used in most vape juices to add flavor
- Include ingredients generally regarded as safe for ingestion
- Very little evidence of safety when inhaled
- Span thousands of different flavors, each one of which could have different effects (4)
- Many flavor compounds can suppress immune function – even more than cigarettes (5)
- Several common flavoring agents, including diacetyl, have been linked to severe respiratory diseases (6)
- One study found diacetyl – which can cause severe lung disease (7) in over 75% of vape liquids tested (8)
Looking at these notes, it’s easy to see why you may begin to question the safety of CBD vape products. The unfortunate reality is that we simply don’t have enough evidence to really know the safety of these products – but there’s enough risk involved for anyone to proceed with caution.
An Unregulated Industry
To add to the potential problems, the CBD vaping industry is almost entirely unregulated.
This means that, in many cases, it’s difficult to know what’s actually in your vape juice – and what it might be doing to your body.
Several instances of hospitalizations likely due to CBD vaping have been recorded. Over 30 patients were admitted to a North Carolina hospital with health concerns related to the use of CBD vapors (9).
Separately, about 60 soldiers were hospitalized with health concerns associated with low-quality CBD vape products (10). Interestingly, the press release – coming straight from the United States Army – noted that “pure CBD oil has not yet been associated with adverse health effects”, but warned against the use of unregulated CBD vape juices.
Furthermore, vaporizers themselves are largely unregulated. Many lower-quality vapes may contain plastics and toxic metals within the heating element, which could potentially leach harmful chemicals into the vapor produced. One study found that people who vaped had a higher concentration of potentially toxic chemicals and heavy metals in their urine (11) compared to non-vapers.
In summary – is vaping CBD oil safe?
It could be, but there’s enough evidence of risks and side effects to cause concern.
CBD is generally regarded as safe when consumed orally, so it’s a safer route compared to potentially dangerous vape products. If you’re using CBD products for your health, why take the risk?