Prescription drugs have been commonplace in the West for many decades. But while pharmaceutical-grade medication was considered to be a health revelation, the drawbacks of these treatments are increasingly clear to see, with mental dependency and harsh side effects worryingly prevalent. The limitations of SSRI antidepressants, opioid-based painkillers and more have led some patients to look for fresh solutions. And it seems that the old ways may be the best, with the revival of medical cannabis research reaffirming the benefits of plant-based medicine.
A combination of 20th and 21st century science has demonstrated that the effects of cannabis differ wildly, depending on how expressed various cannabinoids are. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is responsible for the intriguing psychoactive effects of cannabis, but these are rarely ideal when using the plant medicinally. However, cannabidiol (CBD) also has medicinal properties, but sans the psychoactivity. Understandably, therefore, the specific effects this cannabinoid has on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and the body in general have been studied intensely in recent times.
The success of the newly-formed CBD market has resulted in a long list of new products, such as CBD edibles, e-liquids, concentrates, syrups, topicals and water.
In this post, we’ll focus on the variety of CBD vape oil and e-liquid products available and assess the benefits of vaping from a medical cannabis perspective.
As the cannabis industry has all types of users to consider, it’s no wonder that the range of products is so broad. Recreational smokers favor strains high in THC for more intense psychoactive experiences, whereas medicinal users opt mostly for CBD-dominant strains – although for some conditions, high-THC and one-to-one strains (even mix of CBD to THC) are better suited.
However, for many people and especially for the government, it’s the psychoactive properties of cannabis which have been a bone of contention. That CBD products have become popular almost instantly confirms that issues with cannabis are down to its psychoactive effects rather than the plant itself – but it’s only in recent decades that we’ve been able to make this critical distinction.
Vaporizing CBD helps to eliminate anxiety, provide relief from chronic pain and tackle inflammatory conditions caused by a dysfunctional immune system. The compound’s interactions with the ECS do not – unlike opioids in the opioid system – lead to dependency, even with heavy, long-term use. The combination of no addiction and no overdose risk is a huge plus for CBD.
Enjoy rapid relief with CBD vape juice
CBD e-juice is made for vaping, and mostly consists of a high-CBD extract taken from the hemp plant, and a carrier oil, typically propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin. However, the latter should perhaps be avoided since the extra viscosity of the e-liquid makes it incompatible with some devices.
While the media has indulged some scare stories on vaping, the scientific research tells a different story in regard to its relative safety. The United Kingdom’s government-funded healthcare service carried out a long-term study, which was published in 2015, finding vaping to be 95 percent safer than smoking. Furthermore, as there is no smoke formed in the vaporizing process, the skin is not exposed to free radicals, uncharged molecules which prevent the creation of new skin cells by destroying its DNA.
Since most cannabis strains have high levels of THC, manufacturers have had to turn to hemp in order to make CBD-rich extracts which can be used to produce e-liquids legal all over the United States. Hemp does not contain huge quantities of CBD, but the low concentration of THC means that large amounts of plant matter can be used in the extraction process, without exceeding the federal THC limit of 0.3 percent. In fact, CBD’s influence on the CB1 receptor in the ECS gives it an antipsychotic effect, which dampens the hallucinogenic properties of THC when the two are taken in conjunction.
The onus has been on the manufacturers of CBD products to prove the safety and quality of their e-juices, since the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate the market. As a result, respectable companies get third parties to test their products in laboratory conditions, to confirm the claims being made. There are possible health risks from low-quality oils not manufactured with supercritical CO2 extraction – inferior methods of extractions may not filter out metals and toxins that hemp plants pick up while growing.
When starting out with vaping, there’s no benefit in trying to run before being able to walk. Begin with low doses, and gradually increase the strength if more potent relief is required.
Why vaping CBD outshines other methods of consumption
The vaping process involves heating cannabinoids until they reach an activated temperature, at which point they can be inhaled into the bloodstream as part of vapor. The alveoli absorb the cannabinoids, which have a higher bioavailability when inhaled, into the bloodstream, which then allows CBD to function with the ECS. This all takes just a few minutes, whereas edibles often take 45 minutes to an hour to kick in. Edibles, such as CBD gummy bears, are best reserved for when therapeutic effects do not need to be instant, but instead, last for many hours.
Combining e-liquids has also become unpopular – some like to mix in special flavorings, whereas others mix together nicotine-based and CBD e-liquids.
Getting the most out of your CBD e-liquid
Vaporizing can be somewhat intimidating for newbies, and particularly those who have no experience with inhaling foreign substances (i.e. cigarette smoke). But vaping is actually rather simple, as this initiation will hopefully show.
A vigorous shake of a CBD e-juice bottle is recommended before filling up a vape tank, as it’s possible that residue containing CBD will get stuck, otherwise. Start with a low-strength bottle, ideally consisting of no more than 100mg of CBD in total. Consider journaling the effects of various dosages, as this will help build up a picture of how the body responds to various quantities, and which dose provides the most substantial relief. This is for financial reasons as much as anything – there’s no value in consuming more CBD than necessary.