Why Vape CBD
There are countless reports that vaping CBD oil from cannabis can ease the debilitating effects of diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and epilepsy. The vaping of CBD oil can also reduce stress and anxiety, help with insomnia and sleep apnea, and even lower high blood pressure. But, one of the most proven benefits of vaping CBD is that it has anti-inflammatory properties, in other words, it actually reduces the swelling of muscles and joints that lead to increased pain signals. A study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine found that CBD significantly reduces chronic inflammation and is a safer alternative to over-the-counter drugs for pain relief.
The reason that vaping of CBD has become so popular in today’s society is that the results are almost instant. After vaping CBD oils via a CBD “pen” or “cartridge”, one can feel the benefits begin to take effect immediately. By vaping CBD, it’s absorbed into the body through your bloodstream, rather than your digestive system. When inhaled and sent to your lungs, the CBD molecules instantly redistribute throughout your bloodstream. Once in your bloodstream, you will begin to feel the effects of the CBD. This fast absorption can alleviate anxiety attacks and pain flare-ups very quickly.
Inhaling CBD by vaping also comes with a higher bioavailability than other consumption methods which means more of it is absorbed into the body compared to other methods (with the same amount of CBD). For example, the oral bioavailability of CBD is roughly 15 percent. That means for every 100 milligrams of CBD that you eat, only 15 milligrams will actually reach your bloodstream. When an organic compound like CBD enters your gut, not only does it have to survive the digestive juices required to melt that pill covering, it also has to pass through the liver before it enters your circulation. During this transition, our spongy liver will actively reduce the amount of CBD, either through direct absorption or through chemical breakdown by liver enzymes. This phenomenon is called the “first-pass effect,” where passing through the liver reduces the concentration of bioactive compounds.
During vaporization, CBD enters your lungs and diffuses directly into your bloodstream rather than passing through your gut and liver. This avoids the first-pass effect altogether, allowing nearly four times as much CBD to enter your circulation for a maximum bioavailability of roughly 50 to 60 percent. Essentially, this means you can achieve the same beneficial effects with a much smaller amount of CBD.
So, why not vape CBD ? What are the side-effect? Any risks?
Some CBD users have reported increased irritability, lethargy, reduced appetite, difficulty with urination, gastrointestinal distress, rashes, breathing issues, and, in the worst instances, exacerbations of their mental health issues. Earlier this year, the United States Army issued a public health warning after medical centers at two bases in North Carolina saw some 60 patients for issues that officials linked to their use of CBD vape oils. The symptoms included everything from headaches to nausea and vomiting, to disorientation, agitation, and even seizures. North Carolina health officials later issued their own warning after local emergency rooms saw another 30 patients come in suffering from hallucinations, loss of consciousness, and heart irregularities linked to vaping local CBD products.
These reports should be enough to give anyone vaping CBD concern. Experts and existing evidence largely agree, though, that CBD by itself, (even when vaped), is largely safe. But that is only if you can get your hands on unadulterated CBD tinctures to vape. The problem seems to stem mainly from poor regulation over the vaping market in general, and the subsequent unreliable quality of any vape or CBD oil. For example, the use of toxic thinning agents in CBD vape oils. CBD extract is naturally too viscous to be used in vape pens so thinning agents are used to treat the concentrate. Two common thinning agents used are polyethylene glycol and propylene glycol which can potentially break down into carcinogenic compounds when they reach excessively high temperatures. A study in the International Journal of Environmental Research found that inhaling even low concentrations of propylene glycol induced respiratory complications like asthma and allergic reactions like those described during the North Carolina incidents.
So, if you’re leaning towards embracing the vape life, be sure you’ve done your research on the CBD concentrate you intend to consume. Without sufficient regulatory oversight in the emerging vape and cannabis industries, few companies have been able to produce a clean and homogenous CBD solution. The milligram amount in CBD products is often inconsistent with the amount claimed on the label. Be sure to inquire about any added ingredients like fruit flavorings that are known to cause lung damage.