Vaping CBD oil

CBD oil has exploded in popularity thanks to the many potential therapeutic properties associated with it. Vaping CBD oil is one of the most common ways people consume the potent cannabinoid. In this article, you'll learn the possible benefits of vaping CBD oil, how to shop for CBD vaping products, and how to vape CBD oil.

Why vape CBD oil?

With conflicting reports on the reported dangers of vaping, you may be wondering why you would choose to consume CBD oil in this manner rather than through a topical or edible. According to Dr. Adie Rae, neuroscientist at the Legacy Research Institute in Portland, Oregon, and a scientific adviser to Weedmaps, "There are many personal reasons someone might vape CBD oil. Some use it as a ritual or tool to help stop smoking or vaping nicotine, some use it because they find it helps them sleep, relax, relieve pain, or manage other chronic illnesses like epilepsy. Some people even keep a CBD pen on hand in case they use too much THC because CBD helps offset the negative feelings of THC overdose."

woman smoking vape pen red eyes
Vaping CBD oil is one of the most common ways people consume the potent cannabinoid.
Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

Rae is quick to emphasize, however, that no medical studies have explicitly examined vaped CBD oil for any of these reasons. Further research and clinical trials are essential to determine if CBD will be proven helpful to vape for health benefits.

Does vaping CBD get you high?

Though scientists are still exploring the health effects of CBD, one point is clear: vaping CBD products will not get you high unless these products are derived from marijuana that contains significant amounts of THC. Since the vast majority of CBD products are formulated from hemp containing 0.3% THC or less, getting high is not likely.

Is vaping CBD better than eating CBD?

Consumers have a variety of methods to choose from with regard to CBD. Besides vaping, sublingual (under the tongue) application is another popular way to consume CBD, as is ingesting CBD edibles. If you're looking to maximize the potency of CBD and experience the cannabinoid's potential healing effects, then vaping may be the way to go, according to Rae.

man vaping weed vape pen
Vaping CBD is a better choice than eating/swallowing it because the lungs are far more efficient at getting CBD into the bloodstream.
Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

As Rae asserted, "Vaping CBD is a better choice than eating/swallowing it because the lungs are far more efficient at getting CBD into the bloodstream. The bioavailability of CBD is greater through the lungs than through the gut. Specifically, about half of the CBD you inhale makes it into the blood, but only 5% of the CBD you eat gets into your blood."

What should I look for in vaping products?

Buying a high-quality CBD vape product is similar to buying any other kind of CBD oil in that there are several key indicators of quality. For example, Rae stated that it is critical to purchase USDA-certified organic CBD products from a licensed cannabis dispensary. Both these precautions should ensure that the source plant was not sprayed with toxic pesticides. Such toxins are never a good idea to ingest, but especially when inhaling since the body does not get the benefit of a process known as first-pass metabolism. 

weed vape pens
It is critical to purchase USDA-certified organic CBD products from a licensed cannabis dispensary.
Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

Rae explained, "When you eat something, the liver filters out all the toxins before things go into your bloodstream. When you inhale something, there is no protective filter. Toxins and all go straight into the blood and get distributed throughout the body."

In addition, opt for full-spectrum CBD oil when possible. Scientists believe that there may be greater benefits with full- or broad-spectrum products that you miss when consuming CBD isolate. Full-spectrum is a quality to look out for, but it shouldn't prevent you from experimenting with CBD oil if CBD isolate is all you can find. Rae added, "Look for pure cannabis/hemp ingredients: no added ingredients whatsoever, just 100% hemp/cannabis oil. Some additives have been linked to lung injuries, and others (added flavors, even terpenes) have not been studied enough to know their safety."

To recap, here are the top three things to look for when shopping for CBD oil:

  • Type: Full-spectrum (when possible) and organic
  • Ingredients: Pure cannabis or hemp, no flavors or other additives
  • Source: Licensed cannabis dispensary

How do I vape CBD oil?

There are many vape pens on the market to choose from, but Rae offered these tips: "Use a variable-voltage battery, set at its lowest setting. Look for a cartridge with a ceramic heating element. Both of these help to ensure that your oil vaporizes at the lowest temperature possible as studies have shown that the higher the temperature is, the greater number of toxic byproducts are produced."

In fact, one 2019 study, published in the scientific journal ACS Omega, supports the notion that higher vaping temperatures lead to increased levels of toxicity. To be on the safe side, buy a vape pen with an adjustable heating element and turn down the heat. 

What dosage of CBD oil should I vape?

Only your physician can advise you about CBD vaping dosages, so be sure to schedule a consultation before you start a vaping regimen. Your healthcare practitioner can tell you if any of your prescription medications could interfere with vaping pure CBD. Rae recommended, "Like any other CBD product, be careful if you're taking any kind of prescription medication that has a 'grapefruit' warning on the label. CBD can interact with these medications, sometimes dangerously."

For example, CBD may interact with certain classes of drugs including immunosuppressants, chemotherapeutics, and antidepressants, according to a 2019 report published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine. Specifically, the side effects of these medications may become more pronounced when taken in conjunction with CBD. While interactions will vary in severity among patients, it is still crucial to discuss the possibility of an adverse reaction with your doctor.

Is it safe to vape CBD oil?

The bottom line is that vaping pure CBD can be a safe and enjoyable experience if your doctor gives you the green light. 

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The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical or legal advice. This page was last updated on August 11, 2020.