Which isn’t to say that no one is testing CBD products. As the Hemp Roundtable’s Miller said, “some very well-meaning companies will try to promote the best practices.”
Kathryn Melamed, a pulmonologist at University of California, Los Angeles, Medical Center who has seen patients affected by vaping, agrees that smoking oils can be dangerous, and notes that the vaping-related illness bears some resemblance to lipoid pneumonia—a direct reaction to lipids or oils in the lungs.
But here’s where it gets complicated, because the FDA hasn’t regulated vaping yet.
A brief legal primer
The difference between cannabis and industrial hemp in the eyes of US law is the content of THC, the intoxicating compound in cannabis: If a plant contains more than 0.3% THC by dry weight, it’s cannabis, and still considered federally illegal despite the many states with legalized recreational and medicinal use. If it’s less 0.3% THC by dry weight, it’s considered hemp, which is being incrementally regulated by government agencies. The 2018 Farm Bill removed industrial hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, essentially declassifying it as a dangerous controlled substance of no medical use, clarifying its status as an agricultural product, and making it legal under federal law under some circumstances.
Stem speculates the tendency to mix cannabis extract with MCTs might come down to greed or ignorance, and a misunderstanding of the term “cannabis oil,” which is something of a misnomer since CBD and THC extracts are not fatty lipids at all.
Benowitz said the effects of vaping MCT oil, however, is an understudied area.
People like vaping because it’s a smokeless, convenient, and fast-acting way to consume pleasure-inducing chemicals including THC and nicotine. It’s also potentially quite dangerous—and that’s also true when it comes to vaping cannabidiol, the popular cannabis-derived compound known as CBD. In fact, thanks to a regulatory no-man’s-land, a consumer craze, and manufacturers who dilute extract with oils better suited for salad dressings, CBD vapes are uniquely risky.
Disposable CBD vape pens are by far the easiest and most inexpensive entry into vaping CBD oil. They are tiny lightweight cigarette-style pens that are pre-filled with CBD vape juice, powered by a built-in coil and battery. Disposable CBD pens are generally good for a few hundred puffs before you will need to dispose of them.
Pod vapes that are refillable are suitable for use with CBD. They must be able to handle thicker viscosity e-liquids because most CBD vape juice contains 70% VG or more. Some of them may look like the JUUL, but they also come in a variety of forms and sizes.
See our guide on how to get the right dosage for vaping CBD, based on your personal needs. It is highly recommended that you start with the lowest possible dose and gradually increase in 5 mg intervals as needed.
Choosing your CBD vape
The first step to vaping CBD properly is knowing how much to vape, and which strength to buy. There are multiple factors that need to be taken into account when determining CBD dosage. This includes body weight, body chemistry and severity of your condition.
Refillable CBD vape pens are rechargeable vape pens that you fill up with your own CBD vape juice. They usually consist of a simple tube-style battery attached to a vape tank with an internal coil. CBD vape pens generally produce more vapor and flavor than disposables, and are more cost effective in the long run. They require some basic maintenance, like changing the coil and keeping the tank clean.
CBD pods are similar to CBD oil cartridges, but with a modern twist. They’re compatible with a JUUL battery, which is one of the most popular vapes on the market today. JUUL users can now easily swap between CBD or nicotine, just by snapping in a JUUL-compatible CBD pod.
CBD is a household term now. Most are familiar with tinctures and the popular choice of edibles like CBD gummies. If you’re new to vaping CBD, it can seem intimidating and overwhelming at first. You should understand that when people say “vaping CBD oil” they are referring to CBD vape juice or CBD vape carts, which are designed for inhalation.