Vaping CBD is enjoyed by so many people because it doesn’t produce smoke and the CBD inside is consumed and begins working quickly. However, vaping can be more dangerous than people realize. Although CBD itself is completely safe, there is a huge lack of regulations in the cannabis industry as a whole. Many companies don’t concern themselves with making sure their products are safe. CBD companies don’t always test their products or share what ingredients go into their products. Because there is no regulation, they don’t have to take these steps. In 2019, researchers tested thirty CBD products and found that ten of them contained synthetic marijuana that was considered to be dangerous. In fact, all ten of these products either had only a small amount of CBD, or they had none at all. A study done in 2017 found that seven out of ten particular CBD products did not list the correct dosage on the label, and two of them contained more than the legal amount of THC.
In a span of a few months in 2018, around sixty soldiers at North Carolina military bases were sent to medical centers after vaping CBD. Their symptoms included headaches, seizures, and vomiting. Not long after this, thirty people were admitted to a North Carolina hospital after vaping CBD. Their symptoms ranged from hallucinations to heart irregularities. Many even lost consciousness. This brings into question what really goes into CBD pens. Hemp plants are covered by a fatty outer layer called cuticle wax. This cuticle wax is burnt away when smoking, but using a CBD pen doesn’t burn the wax. Vaping requires a lower temperature than smoking, so the cuticle wax doesn’t heat up enough to burn. Instead, that wax is inhaled and collects in the lungs. This can lead to serious respiratory problems, which can be a long-term issue.
Another common safety concern when using a CBD pen is the presence of thinning agents that are produced from harsh chemicals. Because CBD extract is too thick to use in vape pens by itself, it has to be treated to reduce how thick it is. Many companies use toxic chemicals because it makes the process less expensive. Two of these chemicals, in particular, are propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol. Both break down into carcinogens that can cause cancer, such as formaldehyde and acetaldehyde. This risk increases when they are used in a CBD vape pen because more and more carcinogens are released as they get hotter. Some of these carcinogens are even present in cigarette smoke. In fact, one study showed that the amount of formaldehyde someone breathes in from one inhalation of vapor would be about the same as if they had smoked one cigarette.
Propylene glycol, the most commonly used chemical, is found in many household items and, according to the FDA, is safe to ingest and use topically. However, it isn’t safe to inhale it. A 2010 study showed that inhaling propylene glycol (along with polyethylene glycol) can increase flare-ups of asthma, eczema, and allergies. These toxins are even worse for children, who are often around adults who are vaping because even these adults don’t know better. Flavoring agents are another common concern when it comes to vaping CBD, even those that have been approved by the FDA. Flavoring agents are safe to eat, but they are dangerous when inhaled. Some flavoring agents can irritate the lungs and cause respiratory issues. There are also many other substances used to flavor and dilute CBD for vaping that are safe to eat but dangerous to inhale, such as MCT and coconut oil.
Finally, it’s important to consider the amount of CBD being inhaled. A CBD vape pen shouldn’t change the profile of CBD, but it’s important to consider the dosage when you choose to inhale it as opposed to consuming it. There’s no real research on the topic yet, but it is estimated that CBD could be four times as potent when you inhale it than when you consume it. It’s highly possible that this excess amount of CBD could cause unwanted side effects, but more studies need to be done to know for sure. For people who choose to vape CBD, choosing a high-quality CBD pen can potentially make a big difference in health and safety. It is possible that the heater coil’s temperature is important for producing a vapor that is efficient and avoiding the production of carcinogens. It has also been suggested that most vape pens aren’t true vaporizers because they burn so much of the solution instead of allowing the user to inhale all of it.
Unfortunately, there currently isn’t much research on the long-term effects of vaping CBD. This topic is especially difficult to study when there are so many companies that don’t properly label their cartridges. It is also hard to do since studies all assume that different amounts of vapor will be inhaled, making it difficult for researchers to compare their results. Researchers also run into the problem of tracing the inhaled vapor, which has proved to be tricky. These concerns prove how important it is to be aware of what you’re paying for. Due to the fact that the CBD industry is so poorly regulated, potentially dangerous knock-offs are sold all the time. Read labels, review company websites, and do whatever it takes to get the information you need. Some people even choose to call companies to learn about products straight from the source. Lungs are very sensitive and vulnerable organs, so we have to be careful about what goes into them, as serious health issues can easily occur from unknown or dangerous substances. Vaping CBD could potentially be dangerous, so buying from reputable companies who test their products and are open about their ingredients is critical.