Vaping is one of the most popular ways of consuming CBD. With many products on the market, here's 5 things you should know before buying them. In a world where people are more interested in getting effects from their CBD without the high, there is now a way to vape CBD.
5 things you should know about vaping CBD
To vape or not to vape, is it even a question? Vaping has quickly become one of the most popular methods of cannabis consumption—so much so that the emerging market sees an influx of new CBD vape products each day. With product catalogues being flooded with these products, it’s important that consumers stay informed about CBD vaping so you’re able to find which products are right for your body.
Here are a few key things to know about vaping CBD.
1. There are plenty of safe options
By now you’ve seen the news about people being seriously sickened and even dying from consuming sketchy vape products tainted with vitamin E oil.
As long as you’re buying legal lab-tested products from reputable retailers, there’s no reason to believe this will be your fate. To date, there’s no evidence of a tainted CBD vape cartridge sourced from the legal market (though it is not a 100% impossibility). With such a long history of fear mongering, it can be hard to know what’s dangerous and what’s perfectly safe when it comes to cannabis. The proper way to combat this is through education—and Leafly is here to help you with that.
2. Full spectrum, broad spectrum, and CBD isolate
CBD oils can be divided into three types: full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate.
Full-spectrum CBD products contain the full array of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds produced by its source plant. With CBD products, CBD will be the most pronounced cannabinoid, but these products may also include low levels of THC. A CBD product is unlikely to produce a high with only trace levels of THC (less than 0.3%), but it’s important to be aware of if you’re looking to avoid THC altogether.
Many consumers consider full-spectrum products to be the most effective due to the “entourage effect,” which refers to the theory that cannabis works best when all of its natural ingredients work together rather than in isolation. More research is needed to understand the entourage effect and to what extent it does result in more potent benefits—still, many swear by it anecdotally.
Broad-spectrum CBD products contain all of the cannabinoids but with THC removed. Because of this, most (if not all) of these products are produced from industrial hemp, which naturally produces far less THC than traditional cannabis. By retaining cannabinoids and terpenes, broad-spectrum CBD still produces the entourage effect— just without any THC.
CBD isolate products are pure CBD, meaning they contain only CBD and no other cannabinoids or terpenes. Because of this, CBD isolates lose the essence of the plant and have no aroma, but are still able to promote wellness qualities attributed to CBD. Much like broad-spectrum CBD products, CBD isolate products are typically derived from industrial hemp.
3. Vaping CBD flower vs. CBD oil
Vaping CBD can provide a variety of experiences, depending on how you consume it.
For one, vaping flower requires a flower vaporizer—like the portable Zeus Arc GT or the tabletop Volcano—while vaping oil requires a portable 510 thread battery like a Vessel, or proprietary pod systems like the PAX Era.
CBD flower will deliver a less concentrated dose of CBD than CBD oil, but it provides the most complete experience because it hasn’t lost any of its terpenes, cannabinoids, or other active compounds through extraction.
CBD-dominant flower typically has somewhere between 7-15% CBD. CBD flower contains some THC—anywhere from just trace, physically undetectable amounts to more significant levels that will lead to a gentle high.
So yes, vaping CBD flower will give you all of the wellness benefits of CBD, but may also get you high, even if it’s just a baby bit. Great strains to search for this experience include ACDC, Charlotte’s Web, and Cherry Wine.
CBD oil, on the other hand, will have a higher concentration of CBD due to the extraction process that isolates the compound. Many companies add terpenes after this process to encourage a more nuanced and flavorful experience. This is why many CBD oils have between 60-80% CBD, with varying levels of terpenes and other compounds.
Both flower and oil deliver the therapeutic properties associated with CBD, so the choice ultimately comes down to consumer preference. Vaping CBD oil will most likely provide a lighter high than flower, even if its full spectrum, due to the loss of other compounds during extraction. CBD oil is also an easier and more efficient consumption process—it portable, discreet, and easy to dose.
4. How to read CBD labels for potency
CBD vapor products produced from broad-spectrum or isolate oils, will have no THC. Even though they have the highest CBD percentages, they shouldn’t deliver any intoxicating cerebral effects.
Other CBD products have an equal balance of CBD and THC, and can only be purchased at a cannabis shop in areas with adult-use cannabis laws. Vaping these products will get you high, but are less potent than a THC-dominant oil.
It’s important to know the difference when reading labels for potency. CBD flower packaging will always have the CBD and THC numbers on the label. And at this point, in addition to the cannabinoids, some will also provide terpene percentages. Same goes for CBD oil cartridges, but they’ll also be more descriptive with the type of CBD (i.e., full spectrum, broad spectrum, isolate).
5. Where to buy CBD vapes
After learning of the various CBD products, the next and final question is: where should you buy CBD vape products from?
To buy CBD products derived from cannabis, you’d need to be in a legal state with access to dispensaries. This would be the best place to purchase full-spectrum products that are guaranteed lab-tested in compliance with local laws.
Because they contain less than 0.3% THC, you can obtain hemp-derived CBD products from dispensaries, grocery stores, online retailers, and even directly from the producers’ websites.
It is important to note that both products from cannabis and hemp can be labeled as full spectrum, but they are not one in the same. Hemp products as labeled this way because they capture the full chemical profile of the hemp plant. Though technically full-spectrum, these products may not provide the complete experience that many consumers associate with full-spectrum products from the more chemically diverse cannabis plant.
With full-spectrum CBD from hemp, broad-spectrum CBD, or CBD isolate products, the vetting process becomes a lot trickier due to the lack of FDA regulations. For these products, you’d need to purchase from a marketplace with clean, trusted, verified products. To learn more about what to look for when buying hemp-derived CBD, check out this guide.
What Does Vaping CBD Feel like and Can it Get You High?
Cannabidiol, known as CBD for short, is found in high concentrations in the Cannabis plant. CBD use has exploded in popularity in recent years due to its numerous and powerful therapeutic effects. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the more infamous cannabinoid found in marijuana, CBD doesn’t produce a “high.” As a result, CBD tends to be far less tightly regulated than the whole cannabis plant or extracts that contain THC.
THC produces the “high” that most cannabis users seek. As such, farmers and growers have, over the past few decades, bred strains of marijuana with increasingly high levels of THC. More recently, as the benefits of CBD have become known, some growers have turned to hemp, another strain of the cannabis plant with negligible levels of THC, to make their CBD products. As CBD and THC both come from the same plant, you may be wondering if CBD gives the same “high” as consuming cannabis, or indeed if it has any psychoactive effects at all. Read on to find out more.
Does CBD Get you High?
CBD is often touted as being “non-psychoactive,” but this is categorically untrue. For a substance to be deemed as psychoactive it must affect the user’s mental state or impact the way that they feel. Psychoactive substances often, but not always, have an intoxicating effect.
THC and CBD are both psychoactive substances, in that they alter the way that a person feels, but CBD, unlike THC, is not an intoxicant.
THC has a profound effect on the way that the user feels and their overall mental state. Using THC can result in euphoria, relaxation, changes in thought, and an altering of the perception of space and time. The experiences of music, food, and conversation are often enhanced with THC use, but this compound does sometimes come with unintended side effects.
CBD, on the other hand, has a subtler, sometimes barely noticeable psychotropic effect. In addition to the therapeutic effects of CBD on insomnia, inflammation, and chronic pain, it also has some mood-altering effects and can increase calmness and overall relaxation.
So does CBD get you “high”? Not exactly. Its psychoactive effects, though they occur, are much milder than those of THC.
Drug screening programs tend not to test for CBD, so as long as you are cautious in where you source your CBD products from, you can use them without fear of affecting your work life.
What is CBD’s Mechanism of Action?
Inside every one of us is an incredibly complex and finely tuned system of hormones, endocrines, nerves, and receptors that function together to produce every thought, feeling, and desire you will ever experience.
Different endocrine systems serve various respective functions. One of these, known as the endocannabinoid system, affects a large number of physical operations inside the human body, such as mood, pain, hunger, and more. The endocannabinoid system consists of two receptors, CB1 and CB2, as well as endogenous cannabinoids (produced in our bodies), other neurotransmitters, and specific enzymes.
Cannabinoids such as CBD and THC mimic in part the structure of our endogenous cannabinoids. As such, they bind in different ways to the CB1 and CB2 receptors. These exogenous (produced outside the body) cannabinoids cause a variety of effects and modulate some of the physical processes that occur in our bodies.
The stereotypical “munchies” effect is often reported by cannabis users. The “munchies” refers to the state of intense hunger that regularly follows cannabis consumption, and is one example of how these exogenous cannabinoids affect processes within us.
Both THC and CBD are effective analgesics, meaning that they reduce pain. CBD has been shown to have numerous other positive effects as well, which we shall look at in greater detail.
What effects does CBD have on the body?
Fortunately, the endocannabinoid system does not affect any of our vital, life-giving processes. Unlike opiates, cannabinoids such as THC and CBD will never signal your heart or lungs to stop, and therefore it is nearly impossible to overdose. To even approach a lethal dose of THC, you would have to consume a whopping 53 grams of the stuff (pure, which even the most expensive shatter is not), all at the same time – A feat even the most dedicated of stoners would likely find impossible.
CBD has a large number of purported beneficial effects, many of which have been confirmed by scientific studies. CBD has been shown to be effective at treating pain, battling treatment-resistant seizures, alleviating anxiety, and improving sleep.
Is CBD Psychoactive
Often you may hear people claim that CBD isn’t psychoactive, but even a superficial examination shows that this isn’t true. Of the many conditions and disorders that people take CBD for, anxiety and insomnia are two of the most common.
Both insomnia and anxiety are mental experiences. For CBD to be able to treat these two disorders of the mind, it must, by definition, be psychoactive.
Today’s high-THC powered weed strains have, in comparison to their cousin strains that people smoked 30, 40 years ago, a much higher THC to CBD ratio, as well as being higher in overall THC concentration.
Strains of cannabis that have a more even amount of CBD and THC are far less likely to create unwanted side effects in the user, such as paranoia, anxiety, and a racing heart. It appears that both cannabinoids compete for the same receptors and therefore dilute each other’s effect.
What does using CBD feel like?
By far the most commonly reported experience in people who use CBD is a sense of relaxation. Pains can feel lessened, as can mental stresses and anxieties. For other people, the feeling can be as simple as an absence of the negative things that were in their conscious awareness previously.
CBD has a proven anti-inflammatory effect, and this may in part contribute to the pleasant subjective feelings commonly described in people who consume it.
Generally, CBD extracts contain less than 0.3% THC. Contrast this with CBD flower, a type of hemp grown to maximize CBD and minimize THC, that can still contain enough of the more intoxicating compound to produce a notable euphoric high. Users who want to avoid any intoxicating effect should be mindful of the type of CBD product they consume.
How do you take CBD
There are many ways to consume CBD, each with varying levels of bioavailability and speed of absorption. Both vaping and smoking CBD products gets them into the bloodstream and over the blood-brain barrier much faster than other methods, and more of the consumed product ends up being absorbed.
A slightly slower, but still effective and controllable way to take CBD is by letting it pass through the mucosal membranes of the mouth. In practice, this involves dropping CBD tincture under your tongue and holding it there for as long as possible. Sublingual dosing in this way isn’t as quick to act as smoking or vaping, but it is still reasonably swift. Taking CBD orally in capsules or edibles is the method with the slowest onset.
Will CBD show up on a drug test?
CBD, being a legal and non-intoxicating substance, is seldom tested for on standard drug tests. However, that doesn’t mean you can ingest every CBD product out there entirely without risk.
There are many different types of CBD products available. Some of these are “isolates,” meaning they contain little to no CBD at all. Other products, sometimes marketed as “full-spectrum,” can contain traces of THC and other cannabinoids that could, in theory, give a positive drug test.
As long as you buy your CBD from a reputable source and check the third-party laboratory tests (which should be clearly displayed on the manufacturer’s website) you shouldn’t run into any issues with drug testing.
The legality of THC and CBD, as well as the severity of penalties if you are found to be using these substances, varies drastically from country to country. To avoid falling foul of the law, make sure you read up properly on the regulations regarding CBD, THC, and cannabis products for your jurisdiction.