Vaping CBD: Weighing the Benefits and the Risks
There’s been an explosion in the alternative health scene in recent years. Cannabidiol, often called CBD, has been shown to treat all kinds of health issues and to offer pain relief for many suffering people. It has gone from a little-known compound in the cannabis plant to a hugely popular healthcare remedy in just a few years.
Because CBD is such a new drug, people are still figuring out the best ways to utilize it for its healing properties. In this article, we will talk about the benefits and drawbacks of one method of ingesting CBD, called vaping.
Is Vaping CBD Safe and Effective
There are two main questions that users have when it comes to vaping CBD: Is it safe? And, is it effective? We will answer those questions, but first, here’s an overview of what CBD is, and what the various other methods of consuming the powerful compound are.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of many compounds called cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis plant. It turns out that the human body has its very own endocannabinoid system that responds specifically to these cannabinoids.
As Project CBD states: “It is an established scientific fact that cannabinoids and other components of cannabis can modulate many physiological systems in the human brain and body. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that trigger cannabinoid (and other) receptors.”
The healing effects of cannabinoids are still being discovered today, but research suggests that they can help treat anxiety, depression, pain, seizures, and maybe even cancer. CBD is among the most well-known and well-studied cannabinoids.
It’s important to keep in mind that there two major kinds of CBD: that which is derived from hemp, and that which is derived from cannabis. Hemp-derived CBD will not give you the ‘high’ associated with marijuana and is less tightly regulated. Hemp-derived from marijuana will sometimes have some amounts of THC in it, the compound that’s associated with the marijuana ‘high’.
Different ways of Consuming CBD
There are many ways to consume CBD, and each user will have to decide which one is the most convenient and effective for them.
Topical lotions and creams can work well for people who have superficial conditions. There are CBD tinctures that can be administered sublingually (under the tongue), for a fast-acting dose. CBD oils are one of the most popular methods, and they can be taken straight or baked into edibles like pastries and chocolates. There are even some CBD sprays that can be sprayed directly into the mouth.
Vaping CBD has caught on recently as a popular way of ingesting the drug. It involves putting a CBD e-liquid into a vaping device and then inhaling the vapors that are produced. Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of this particular method.
Benefits of Vaping CBD
Many people who use CBD like the experience of vaping. For some, it is about the process of actually inhaling the ‘smoke’, which they find enjoyable. But there are other benefits as well.
Effects Begin Quickly
Many users who vape CBD say that they can feel the effects ‘almost instantaneously’. This is because the CBD is being absorbed directly into the bloodstream, rather than through the sluggish digestive system.
According to CBD School, “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).”
The fast-acting nature of vaping makes it ideal for those who use CBD to treat anxiety, seizures, pain, or other issues that can come on quickly.
Easy to Carry and Discreet
Vaping pens can vary greatly in their size, quality, and style. However, most of them are quite small and easy to carry. Keeping a vape pen in your purse or pocket is a lot easier than trying to keep a CBD pastry with you throughout the day. Oils and tinctures also have the risk of spilling, which would be an unfortunate mess.
Potential Health Benefits
When CBD is taken in any form it can offer substantial health benefits to the consumer. These include pain relief, anxiety relief, and protection from seizures. These benefits may be increased when the CBD is consumed by vaping.
When it is inhaled, CBD doesn’t have to make its way through the digestive system or the liver, which means that it may reach the bloodstream in more concentrated doses. While you don’t want to take more than the recommended doses of CBD, the more concentrated doses offered by vaping may lead to a more beneficial effect for some.
The Dangers of Vaping CBD
Despite the benefits of vaping CBD, there are some potential dangers that may make some users reconsider this method of consumption.
Potential Health Risks
Vaping CBD can trigger allergic reactions in some people. These allergic reactions can be caused by the tiny, particulate level metals that are sometimes present in vape smoke. They can also come from the CBD e-liquid that is being vaped. E-liquid is usually made with propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine, which can cause serious reactions in some rare cases.
CBD School also suggests that these two compounds, polyethylene glycol, and propylene glycol, “can potentially break down into carcinogenic compounds when they reach excessively high temperatures.” There are some CBD e-liquids that are made using only pure vegetable glycerine, but these are hard to use with a normal vape pen.
Some people with pre-existing lung conditions can also experience coughing and discomfort when vaping. If you are considering vaping and you have a pre-existing lung condition, you should talk with a doctor first.
Risk of Addiction
Much like cigarettes, vaping can become very addicting. Even when smoking a substance like CBD, which has been shown to not be addictive on its own, the very act of inhaling the vapors can be stimulating. Developing an addiction to vaping CBD could easily lead to an addiction to vaping other compounds, like more risky tobacco products.
Those who have a predisposition towards addiction may want to consider other methods of consuming CBD.
The Possibility of Heavy Metal Poisoning
Vaping devices are made with a metal coil that heats up the liquid inside, turning it into vapor. These coils can be made from many different metals, and some are of a higher quality than others. There has been some worry among health professionals that these metals can leach into the vapor and cause health problems.
A 2015 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that “overall exposure to metals from EC use is not expected to be of significant health concern for smokers switching to EC use, but is an unnecessary source of exposure for never-smokers.”
While this may not sound particularly alarming, it is worth noting for those who are considering vaping as their main form of consuming CBD. Some lower quality vaping devices may be more likely to leach toxic metals, so it is important to research the type of vape pen you plan to use for CBD consumption.
CBD Drug Interactions
No matter what method you use for consuming CBD, you should be careful of potentially negative drug interactions.
One major way that CBD can affect the proper absorption and functioning of other drugs is by disrupting the cytochrome P450 system in the human body. As CBD Oil Review states, “Cannabidiol can inhibit the cytochrome P450 system’s ability to metabolize certain drugs, leading to an overall increase in processing times.”
This increase in processing time can make certain drugs stay in your body for longer than is recommended, and it can also make certain drugs less effective.
Some of the drugs that the cytochrome P450 system is known to interact with include steroids, HIV antivirals, antibiotics, antihistamines, beta blockers, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. If you take any prescription medications and are considering using CBD, you should consult with your doctor first.
Weighing the Pros and Cons of Vaping CBD
Many people have discovered relief that they never thought they’d find from CBD. Children who suffer from serious seizures have seen their lives turned around. Older people suffering from serious pain have found some peace by using CBD products. This is why CBD has become so popular, so fast.
But, as with any medicine, you should weigh the benefits that it offers against the risks. Vaping CBD is generally considered safe, but the risk of allergic reactions, metal inhalation, addiction, and drug interactions may make some people consider other options.
Thankfully, there are many other ways of consuming CBD, such as tinctures, oils, and edible foods. If you want to experience the benefits of CBD, but feel that vaping is not right for you, then you can easily try one of these other consumption methods.