If you’re in a state where weed is legal, you might be safer smoking (or vaping) it, by going to a licensed dispensary for a high CBD-strain or vape that’s subject to the same regulations that cannabis is. In states like California and Oregon, where cannabis is regulated by state agencies, products with THC are subject to testing for contaminants such as pesticides, heavy metals, solvents, and mold-related toxins. Again, hemp-derived CBD products are currently subject to … nothing.
We can’t reasonably expect dealers of illegal cannabis vapes would test their products for safety or share ingredient lists with customers. The thing is, consumers can’t necessarily expect that sort of testing or transparency from manufacturers of hemp-derived CBD vapes either—even if they’re buying them from vape shops, specialty stores, or websites that don’t appear to be breaking the law. The category is completely unregulated. And reckless players are not limited to labeling their products as THC. In September, the Associated Press tested 30 vape products marketed as CBD from brands that authorities had flagged as suspect, and found that 10 contained dangerous synthetic marijuana and many had little to no CBD at all.
A brief legal primer
“There’s no regulations, there’s no one telling companies what to do,” says Jonathan Miller, general counsel for the trade group US Hemp Roundtable. “I don’t want to say it incentivizes bad behavior but it certainly doesn’t crack down on bad behavior.”
“People have been vaping them for a long time, and haven’t had a problem,” he says. “That seems to be relatively safe, and that’s a solvent that dissolves them. The question now is, when you start messing with that process, what are you adding to it?”
And of course, not all CBD vapes are created equal. Many extracts sold in vape pens and cartridges are diluted with other substances, such as medium-chain-triglyceride, or MCT, oils—fats that are frequently derived from natural sources such as coconut oil. While these are known to be safe to eat—and are often found in CBD tinctures—there’s little if any evidence that it’s safe to vape them, despite some manufacturers touting them as an all-natural ingredient.
Sean is a fact checker and researcher with experience in sociology and field research.
Although the CDC has traced many of the EVALI hospitalizations back to vitamin E acetate, a substance used to dilute oils used in vaping, the risks of vaping CBD oil are not without risk, especially if the vape pens are obtained from illicit dealers, online sources, or friends. At least 26 of the EVALI cases were hospitalized after vaping CBD oil.
What Is CBD Oil?
Because this testing was a such a small sample, the AP noted that their sampling is not representative of the entire CBD market. However, their testing does show just how risky it is to vape CBD oil when there is little to no regulation of the product. Vapers have no idea what they are getting when they take a puff.
According to the FDA, it is currently illegal to market CBD by adding it to food or marketing it as a supplement. Despite these guidelines, they warn consumers that some CBD products are being marketed with unproven medical claims and are of unknown quality. They also caution consumers that CBD can harm the liver and may interact with other medications you are taking. And, it may even have a negative impact on male fertility.
Generally speaking, vaping is an unsafe practice regardless of what substances are in the vape pen. And, CBD oil is no exception. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently linked vaping products to an outbreak of nearly 3,000 lung illnesses that were so serious that even young people were being admitted to the hospital. Meanwhile, nearly 70 people have died from what is now being called EVALI (e-cigarette and vaping associated lung injury). And, the CDC believes thousands more may have admitted to the hospital with lung issues related to vaping.
CBD is a household term now. Most are familiar with tinctures and the popular choice of edibles like CBD gummies. If you’re new to vaping CBD, it can seem intimidating and overwhelming at first. You should understand that when people say “vaping CBD oil” they are referring to CBD vape juice or CBD vape carts, which are designed for inhalation.
Disposable CBD vape pens are by far the easiest and most inexpensive entry into vaping CBD oil. They are tiny lightweight cigarette-style pens that are pre-filled with CBD vape juice, powered by a built-in coil and battery. Disposable CBD pens are generally good for a few hundred puffs before you will need to dispose of them.
Determine your CBD dosage
Pod vapes that are refillable are suitable for use with CBD. They must be able to handle thicker viscosity e-liquids because most CBD vape juice contains 70% VG or more. Some of them may look like the JUUL, but they also come in a variety of forms and sizes.
See our guide on how to get the right dosage for vaping CBD, based on your personal needs. It is highly recommended that you start with the lowest possible dose and gradually increase in 5 mg intervals as needed.
These are the most common devices used to vape CBD vape juice. Some are easier to use than others, but you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to vape CBD e-juice, it’s simple. If you feel intimidated at first, just start with the easiest option and work your way up. Disposables, cartridges and pods are the simplest option if you’re new to vaping. Refillable vape pens are slightly more advanced, but more cost effective in the long run.