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Fact or Fiction: The CBD Vape Edition

05/05/2021 15 MIN. READ Alyssha Bal
05/05/2021 15 MIN. READ Alyssha Bal

Vaping doesn’t have to be vapid (lacking in flavour, zest, or delight). In fact, CBD vape accessories might represent a perfect opportunity to experiment with cannabidiol - an exciting hemp compound with purported wellbeing benefits. Sometimes, the world of vaping seems like it’s filled with smoke and mirrors. In this article, we’re setting the record straight on CBD vape products. Be sure to read to the end for a lightning round of ‘fact or fiction.’ 

 

Table Of Contents

  1. What is CBD?
  2. Inhale, Exhale: The Basics of Vaping
  3. The Potential Appeal of Vaping
  4. Vaping Vs Smoking

What is CBD?

Rather than holding our breaths, let’s take a moment to introduce CBD - a substance which we’ll refer to frequently throughout this text. As you may already know, CBD is an acronym for a unique hemp-derived compound (or ‘cannabinoid’) called cannabidiol. CBD is found in the leaves, stems, and flowers of hemp plants, and is a typically sustainably sourced substance with intricate chemistry. According to some anecdotal reports and preliminary evidence, it may even be bursting with botanical potential as a food supplement and cosmetic ingredient. Here at VAAY, CBD is in our DNA, and we believe that premium CBD products are a versatile and planet-friendly way to add hemp to your life. We’ll talk more about these possibilities later, but first of all, let’s explore the world of vaping.

Inhale, Exhale: The Basics of Vaping

What is vaping? Put simply; it is an activity that involves inhaling vapour (a substance infused in the air) with the help of an electronic cigarette, vape pen, or similar device. According to Professor John Britton and Dr IIze Bogdanovica, e-cigarettes were invented in China in 2003 as a tool for consuming doses of nicotine. Consequently, people who already smoke may find CBD vapes a natural addition to their routine. 

However, vaping is by no means an activity that’s exclusively for former smokers! Some people who have never smoked in their life may also enjoy vaping as a way to unwind. Despite the innovation that hemp-derived vaping products represent, it’s important to remember that the practice of inhaling vapour dates back thousands of years. 

Something Old, Something New

Did you know that rudimentary forms of vaping existed long before the invention of electricity, not to mention electronic vape pens? In his accounts of ancient India, historian Louis Rousselet suggests that the hookah (water pipe) may have been invented as early as 1600 AD. Hookahs are large and decorative instruments that utilise heat, water, and plant matter to create a botanical infusion that users can inhale. Plants such as mint, and other herbs are typically used as a base. Still to this day, hookahs carry significant cultural weight in South Asia and the Middle East. Rather than being intended for personal and portable use, close-knit groups often use these contraptions in family homes according to social rules and rituals. Sometimes, the process can last for several hours! 

Diverse steam inhalation techniques - ranging from saunas and natural hot springs, to aromatherapy diffusers - have been utilised throughout the ages. Alongside their potential wellbeing properties, a sense of community remains at the heart of many of these practices. For example, bathhouses and spas are often social venues, while religious groups worldwide continue to use herbs and steam for ceremonial purposes. However, research indicates that some shared inhalation activities might make you more vulnerable to contagious illnesses, mainly if you are enclosed or using shared equipment. Thankfully, vaping is a more independent and on-demand activity, and most vape pens are designed for personal use only. 


The Potential Appeal of Vaping

According to market analysts at Grand View Research, the global vaping industry may be worth over £48 billion by 2027. Suffice it to say, vaping is on the rise, which begs the question: why is it so popular? Some frequent vapers say that vape pens are suitable for instant use and come in different shapes and sizes. Others appreciate that vaping is a customisable experience catering to a wide array of flavours, aromas, and airflow preferences. As we’ll explain shortly, you can even choose an e-liquid infused with CBD oil for a potentially uplifting experience with a botanical twist. While the possibilities of vaping are often intriguing and highly personalised, let’s not neglect the scientific evidence. 

So far, vaping is a relatively under-researched area. The preliminary evidence paints a limited picture, and some studies flag possible risks which may be associated with excessive vaping, cheap, poor-quality vape fluids and faulty equipment, among other things. It’s always important to do your research and source your vape fluids and accessories from a reputable manufacturer.

Some anecdotal and clinical research suggests that vaping might potentially:

  • Impact your self-perceived sense of social connectedness and freedom
  • Offer some possible calming properties as part of a broader ‘winding down’ ritual
  • Hold some potential promise as a form of smoking relapse prevention

  • Vaping Vs Smoking

    While vaping is characterised by water-based vapour, smoking is an entirely different activity - it’s about breathing in the fumes from ignited plant material. Smoking involves burning dried tobacco or “cannabis”, and this combustion process causes different chemical reactions to occur. Unfortunately, burnt plant material can emit toxins such as arsenic, benzene, and even formaldehyde. In the UK, National Health Service (NHS) experts indicate that e-cigarettes carry a mere fraction of smoking risks. 

    Is vaping ‘better’ than smoking? Preliminary observations suggest the following possibilities:

  • Unlike smoking, vape fluid does not contain harmful tar or carbon monoxide.
  • Cigarettes typically expose you to far more toxins than vaping.
  • Vapour can be emitted at the push of a button.

  • While further evidence is required to establish any possible long-term effects of vaping, most commentators suggest that this practice is preferred over smoking. Better still, nicotine-free vaping may open up a new world of possibilities. Now, let’s consider what CBD oil might bring to the equation. 


    Is CBD Oil the Ultimate E-Liquid Ingredient?

    What is CBD oil? It is a best-selling mixture of CBD extract and base oil (such as MCT, coconut, or hemp seed oil). As a stand-alone product, CBD oil is developed for ‘sublingual’ use, meaning that you can take it by administering one or two drops under your tongue and allowing up to sixty seconds for absorption to take place. Beyond this oral formula, you can think of CBD oil as the “mother” of all CBD-themed products (excluding tinctures). 

    Manufacturers often use CBD oil to produce infused foods, massage oils, and even CBD bath bombs. Not surprisingly, CBD oil is also an essential ingredient in hemp-themed vape oils. Vaping is one of the quickest ways to consume CBD, but before we explore this method in full swing, there are some general questions we must cover:

    Is CBD Oil Legal?

    Since hemp is a subspecies of cannabis Sativa, it only follows that hemp-derived products, such as CBD oil, face legal scrutiny. If you live in the UK or Germany, you can breathe a sigh of relief: regulation-compliant CBD products are perfectly legal. As long as the raw material used to create your infused oil or vape fluid can be traced back to registered hemp crops, and your product contains no more than 0.2% THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), you can use it in these countries. Similar conditions apply throughout most of the European Union, the United States, and Canada.

    Often referred to as CBD’s chaotic cousin, THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid that can potentially produce euphoric effects if you consume it in significant quantities. Most experts suggest that this compound is responsible for the signature “high” that we associate with some forms of cannabis consumption. As a low-THC plant, hemp presents minimal risks of THC contamination, particularly after refinement. After extracting CBD and other cannabinoids from the plant, manufacturers often utilise other purification techniques to comply with relevant policies, constantly ensuring their products contain only trace elements of THC, if any.

    It’s Not Suitable For Everyone

    Since CBD is still a relatively ‘new’ substance, there are some restrictions on using it. In the UK, CBD products cannot be sold to people under the age of eighteen. Similar rules apply to vape accessories in general. If you have any respiratory troubles, it’s vital to speak to a healthcare provider before adding vaping to your routine. While research is limited, current experts suggest that cannabis compounds are not appropriate for children, teenagers, or pregnant/breastfeeding women to consume. Otherwise, if you’re an adult who is open to the idea of using cannabidiol, then CBD vape juice may be just the ticket for you (more on this soon!)


    Alternative CBD Products and Consumption Methods

    Aside from using infused oils and CBD vape pens, there are a couple of other popular ways to incorporate cannabidiol into your routine. However, it’s helpful to keep in mind that inhalation may be the quickest and most direct way to absorb CBD. Other methods may require some additional patience - which doesn’t suit everyone. 

    CBD Edibles

    Hemp-infused foods such as CBD gummies, snacks, and even gourmet chocolates can be a delicious treat. Additionally, you can enjoy high-end botanical concoctions such as CBD tea, coffee, and even soft drinks. Since edibles must be absorbed via your digestive system, it may take up to an hour or more before you notice any potential CBD effects. 

    CBD Cosmetics (Topicals)

    If you want to show your sore back or stiff muscles some love, you may wish to consider CBD gels, balms, creams, or even a luxurious bath bomb. It may take up to 90 minutes for any potential CBD absorption to take place, but most topicals contain other botanical ingredients, such as herbs and spice extracts, to make the wait more gratifying (plus, they smell great while you wait!)


    What is Full-Spectrum CBD Oil?

    Next time you examine a CBD product label, you won’t be left scratching your head over the phrase ‘full-spectrum’. Just as a colour wheel reveals a full range of tones, Full-Spectrum CBD represents a diverse range of hemp compounds - including cannabinoids, terpenes (fragrant plant molecules), and flavonoids (possible antioxidants). Aside from being the least processed version of CBD extract, full-spectrum also contains a potentially rich collection of botanical substances that might possibly work synergistically. This is known as the “entourage effect”. 

    In addition to Full-Spectrum CBD, some manufacturers develop more distilled extracts, such as:

  • Broad-Spectrum CBD (a potentially safer, THC-free version of full-spectrum)
  • CBD Isolate (isolated CBD compounds free from all other companion molecules, and are simply pure CBD)

  • Possible CBD Oil/CBD Vape Oil Benefits

    Anecdotal first-person accounts and CBD reviews suggest that people may gravitate towards cannabidiol for many different reasons. Some earth-conscious audiences appreciate hemp-derived products as sustainable and vegan-friendly supplements. Others may be drawn in by the healthy nature of the CBD market. Many celebrities have shown their support for cannabis-inspired wellness - from social media moguls, such as Kim Kardashian, to Grammy-winning musicians like Will.I.AM. Perhaps the most unifying factor that inspires people to experiment with CBD is this: it might potentially influence some of the more chronic and uncomfortable wellbeing symptoms that many of us face in daily life.

    While new studies investigating the possible effects of CBD consumption are published regularly, the preliminary evidence we currently have access to reveals some intriguing possibilities. 

    As summarised in a recent study by José Crippa and others, CBD oil may potentially:

  • Improve your sleep and impact your self-perceived wellbeing
  • Impact some of the physical and psychological symptoms of anxiety
  • Influence some symptoms associated with substance abuse or addiction
  • Affect some common signs of inflammation and associated pain symptoms
  • Hold clinical and therapeutic possibilities for future investigation

  • Let’s put these ideas in the context of the inhalation method - otherwise known as CBD vaping.

    How Does a CBD Vape Make You Feel?

    As we know, feelings are often entirely subjective. Most likely, your experience with using CBD will be highly personalised, along with any potential benefits or effects you might notice. Once you’ve done your research and selected a product you feel comfortable with, it’s best to go in with an open mind. But here is an interesting question that’s worth exploring: Can CBD help you feel as ‘free as air’ when you inhale it? While there is no definitive way of answering this, we can appreciate some possible practical and atmospheric attributes that may characterise CBD vaping. 

    The ideas detailed below can serve as a launching pad as you reflect on whether this particular method of CBD consumption may suit you. Remember, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy CBD, so there’s no pressure to vape. You may even wish to try a combined approach (keeping a careful eye on dosage, of course).

    CBD Vape May Be An Instant Way to Explore Calming Self-Care

    Have you ever tried to focus on slowing down your breathing in a moment of stress or anxiety? According to a 2017 study, deep breathing exercises can quickly engage your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) - a regulatory system that then activates your ‘rest mode’ and helps you to relax more. Consequently, taking complete, smooth breaths can impact your self-perceived relaxation levels. Many activities involve conscious breathing: from swimming and meditation, to mindfulness and even vaping. 

    Each month, there are many online search queries on the theme of ‘CBD for anxiety’. Some people casually refer to CBD as the “calm” compound, but what does the evidence say? 

    In 2019, Scott Shannon and others conducted a study involving 103 adults - many of whom suffered from anxiety. After using CBD for one month, almost 80% of the final sample group said they noticed some improvements in their sense of wellbeing. Many other researchers are exploring a similar topic. While there is not enough evidence to reach any formal conclusions, there is a possibility that inhaling CBD might help to impact some symptoms of anxiety.

    Vaping CBD May Be a Way to Add More Depth to Your Pre-Sleep Ritual

    Many hemp researchers suggest that CBD might potentially influence one of our bodies’ natural regulatory systems: the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). This system may mediate some of the diverse processes that impact our stress responses, pain signals, inflammation, and even our sleep patterns. While the complexities remain a mystery, CBD’s possible interactions with the ECS are worth bearing in mind as we consider sleep. 

    Can CBD help you get some shut-eye? According to a recent research review, cannabidiol may possibly hold some promise regarding symptoms of sleep disorders, and even some forms of persistent daytime drowsiness. Further observations indicate that frequent CBD consumption might potentially reduce some signs of insomnia, and subsequently help you experience a more satisfying rest. 

    Take a Deep Breath and Enjoy the Natural Flavours

    Let’s not forget how vaping can engage your senses - offering attractive aromas and a burst of refreshing flavour. While some CBD vape brands use all manner of chemical ‘nasties’ to pump artificial flavours into their products, the VAAY way is much closer to nature. You won’t find any abrasive bubble gum or cookies-and-cream vape fluids here. Instead, we load our classic black CBD vape diffuser pens with simple, down-to-earth flavours, such as lemon, mixed fruit, mint, and mixed herbs. 

    Each VAAY diffuser offers anywhere between 150 to 200 flavour-filled puffs. We even have a Diffuser Pen Takeback Program that allows you to return five empty diffuser pens in exchange for a voucher!

    Other CBD Vape Juice Ingredients

    Before we tackle some of the most notorious myths about CBD vaping, let’s take a moment to appreciate the other natural ingredients that can help create a superior formula.

    MCT Oil

    What does MCT stand for? It’s an acronym for medium-chain triglycerides - fatty acids that exist in a relatively short-chain and may potentially be easier for your bloodstream to absorb. In most cases, MCT oil comes from coconut oil, and roughly half of the fats found in coconut oil are medium-chain. While coconut oil tends to be solid at room temperature, the medium-chain fats derived from it are liquid. As a result, MCT oil is a natural and lightweight substance that can be absorbed relatively directly. Some studies even explore the possibilities of MCT oil as a supplement that may impact wellbeing on a more comprehensive scale.

    Terpenes (Natural Aromatic Plant Compounds)

    Do you remember the natural CBD vape flavours we mentioned earlier? We have terpenes to thank for these. While terpenes are found in hemp, they are also present in many other species’ of plants. You may even be able to guess the smells and tastes associated with certain aromatic plant compounds just by looking at their names. For example, limonene is often described as ‘lemony’. People typically refer to alpha-pinene as smelling coniferous and pine-like.

    Now that we’ve considered the possible benefits and user experiences that may come with inhaling cannabidiol, it’s time to separate fact from fiction.

    Full of Hot Air: Debunking CBD Vape Myths

    Myth #1: CBD Vape Juice Can Get You “High”

    Fact: Regulation-compliant CBD vape oil cannot get you “high”,  but it’s essential to confirm your product’s chemistry with a Certificate of Analysis (COA) to rule out any possible contamination.

    In the UK, Germany, and many other countries, legal hemp products (such as CBD vape oil) must come from registered crops and contain minimal THC concentrations (up to 0.2%). While consuming THC in substantial quantities may result in a psychotropic experience, it’s important to note that regulation-compliant CBD products should never contain enough THC to trigger any sort of “high”. Depending on the spectrum of CBD you choose, your product may even be distilled to the extent that it is entirely free from all THC molecules. There is currently no evidence to suggest that cannabidiol can produce psychotropic effects like THC. 

    By opting for a premium CBD brand, you can receive the added security of a Certificate of Analysis (COA). This lab-verified document confirms the precise chemistry of your CBD vape oil - including its THC content and any other unwanted ingredients. Without a COA, there is no way to be 100% sure of what you have purchased. In some circumstances, this might put you at risk of possessing a CBD product with illegal concentrations and potentially hazardous chemicals.

    Myth #2: CBD Vape Products Are Dangerous and Addictive

    Fact: CBD e-liquids typically do not contain any nicotine (the addictive substance that’s found in most conventional e-cigarettes). Any CBD product from a premium brand with a COA should have non-addictive chemistry, and be relatively safe to consume.


    No activity on earth is entirely risk-free, and vaping is no exception. However, the factor that differentiates vaping from CBD vaping is (surprise, surprise) CBD. As we touched on in this text, pure CBD that’s free from contaminants, and excess THC is usually a relatively safe and well-tolerated substance. However, the chemical integrity of CBD e-liquid largely depends on the manufacturing techniques and standards maintained by your chosen brand. You should avoid cheap CBD vape products and try to source your equipment from premium hemp specialists, rather than a generic vaping company.

    To prevent disappointment, it’s also wise to read some customer reviews and COA documents before making any decisions, commitments, or purchases.

    Myth #3: You Can’t Vape With CBD in Public

    Fact: If you’re in a public space that tolerates vaping, and are in a country where cannabidiol is a legal substance, you can vape CBD in public. However, you should not vape in places where vaping is banned (surprise, surprise).

    While people who consume illegal substances such as “recreational cannabis” tend to avoid doing it out in the open, vaping with hemp-derived CBD is usually a different story. Provided that you are using CBD vape fluid in a country where cannabidiol is a legal substance, you have the same freedom to vape in public spaces as all other e-cigarette users. You should always refer to the laws where you live for guidance. For instance, in the UK, ‘smoke-free’ laws do not currently apply to vaping. While smoking in public places is restricted on a national level, business owners, public transport providers and other authority figures must decide the extent to which they will tolerate vaping. 

    Some venues may impose no restrictions whatsoever, while busy transport providers may deem vaping disruptive. The individuals in charge of managing any given public space (particularly enclosed spaces) should communicate their on-site vaping rules via signage and announcements. As a vaper (using CBD or any other legal e-fluid), it’s your responsibility to respect these policies wherever you are.

    Myth #4: CBD Vape Pens are Unregulated

    Fact: While some substandard CBD manufacturers might try to slip under the radar, premium brands adhere to high chemical and industrial standards to ensure their CBD vape products are worthy of consideration. 

    Most premium CBD vape brands work hard to meet strict criteria relating to UK controlled substance policies and the vaping industry. Since CBD vape products are nicotine-free, they do not fall under the broader e-cigarette regulations enforced by the Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). Instead, manufacturers must conform with the emissions tests and other requirements outlined by the EU General Products Safety Directive (GPSD) or British equivalent. According to the UK government, CBD e-fluids packaged as vape refills should be marketed very cautiously. Authorities may take legal action against any claims that might suggest that ‘tobacco products’ have health benefits. Yes, even though CBD is tobacco-free! Combined with the strict parameters of the Food Safety Act, manufacturers producing high-quality CBD vape pens certainly have their work cut out for them.

    Even with all these conditions in place, some CBD developers may attempt to sell substandard and potentially dangerous vape accessories. It always helps to choose a premium CBD brand with a strong reputation and lab-backed ingredients.

    Myth #5: CBD Vape Liquid Can “Cure” Anxiety and Illnesses

    Fact: There is no evidence to prove that any form of CBD consumption can “cure” your wellbeing issues. However, CBD vape liquid may be a convenient way to explore any potential CBD benefits and possibly impact some uncomfortable symptoms.

    Have you ever heard companies promote their CBD products as “miracle cures”  imbued with near-magical properties? While this is a relatively common practice among disreputable brands, it’s crucial to clarify the truth. Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that CBD has the power to eradicate disorders or illnesses. Not only is it unreasonable and manipulative to promote CBD supplements and cosmetics as “cures”, but it also violates UK Food Safety policies. 

    However, as we reviewed earlier in this text, emerging evidence indicates that using CBD may possibly impact your self-perceived sense of wellbeing. Some research suggests that it may also help you feel better amidst symptoms of anxiety, inflammation, pain, and tension. Ready-to-use CBD vape products might just be one of the most convenient methods of consuming cannabidiol, and you may notice any potential effects in as few as ten minutes! 

    Conclusion

    Hopefully, this article has helped you to assess whether vaping is the right CBD consumption method for you to try. We’ve reviewed the trending practice of vaping and appreciated some of the questions that preliminary research has raised. While further evidence is required before scientists can reach any conclusions about the effects of vape products, it is always important to do your research and choose a reputable brand. As long as you are an adult and not pregnant or breastfeeding, specialised CBD vape devices, such as diffuser pens, may potentially be an excellent opportunity to explore cannabidiol. 

    You may even hold your breath in amazement  - as emerging studies suggest that using CBD may potentially help with some symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, and more! 

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