With a growing interest in alternative remedies and plant based products, CBD has been gaining popularity in recent years and has made its way into the world of vaping. Vaping CBD, like with vaping nicotine, offers an incredibly quick absorption rate into the body. People use it for generalised pain, inflammation, stress and anxiety.
With that increasing popularity, we’re here to explain in some more detail what CBD e-liquid is, what it does and how to use it.
WHAT IS CBD IS AND IS IT LEGAL?
CBD (also known as Cannabidiol) is just one of over 100 compounds found in the hemp plant and in the UK is completely legal. Industrial hemp is naturally high in CBD and incredibly low in THC, unlike marijuana which is high in THC and illegal.
Unlike the THC compound in marijuana, which has psycho-active properties, CBD is non psychoactive. It's been legal in the UK since 2016, when government advisors recognised that the substance can being restoring, correcting or modifying. In the UK, CBD comes from hemp. It's the same plant as cannabis, but while cannabis is high in THC compounds, hemp contains less than 0.3% THC and is high in CBD.(1)
CBD OILS VS LIQUIDS- WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
Both oils and liquids have a common ingredient - CBD isolate. The other ingredients are what defines whether you administer them orally or through inhalation with a vape.
Until recently, getting your hands on quality CBD products was limited to various oils (also referred to as tinctures), crystals, waxes and topical treatments. Oils are designed to be taken orally and in this instance, the oil acts purely as a carrier for the CBD isolate. Oils aren’t safe to inhale for your lungs and as such these should only be administered under the tongue.
CBD vape liquids use a different base than a carrier oil to get the CBD into your system. In the same way that propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin are used in normal e-liquids, they serve the same purpose in CBD liquids. Both are safe to inhale but are not ideal to use orally.
HOW IS CBD LIQUID SOURCED?
Now we’ve looked at the difference between oils and vape juices and established that CBD isolate is their common ingredient we can look at how it’s made. CBD isolate is extracted from industrial hemp, naturally high in CBD and law-compliance means that hemp is an EU-approved crop that's 100% legal and THC-free.(1)
Extraction methods range between liquid solvent methods, CO2 and oil solvents. The preferred method is supercritical CO2 extraction as it maintains the structural and organic integrity of the compound.
Once extracted, the substance forms an oil. This can be further distilled into CBD isolate, removing the other cannabinoids that give it a “green” flavour and fragrance. This leaves you with pure CBD that can be mixed into CBD e-liquids or with carrier oils like olive oil to make oral drops. Generally speaking, CBD e-liquids come in a higher PG solution as CBD can separate slightly when the VG level is higher.
Flavours are often added to CBD e-liquids to make them an even more enjoyable experience. Some manufacturers use original hemp terpenes to add an authentic flavour, others add fruit or dessert notes like those you’d find in your usual vaping e-liquids. Much like vaping's varied nicotine strengths, CBD liquids are also available in a variety of concentrations.
HOW DO I VAPE CBD LIQUIDS?
There are a few ways you can use CBD e-liquids, again, somewhat similar to how you’d use regular e-liquids. There are cbd vape pens with prefilled cartridges you can just screw into place and inhale to vape. You can also buy pre-mixed CBD e-liquids to put in the tank or pod of your existing vape setup, typically these come in higher PG levels (many are around 80:20 PG:VG) meaning they’re best used in lower powered devices. You can also make your own CBD shortfill by adding a highly concentrated CBD shot to your nicotine free e-liquid. Pop it in the bottle, mix it up and you can vape your usual favourite flavour with CBD instead of nicotine. Never attempt to vape with CBD oils that are for oral consumption. Always use vape-specific CBD liquids.
Alongside the device itself and flavour range of CBD liquids you can also choose from a wide variety of concentrations. Which you choose depends on a few things like body size, what you’re using it for and how long you’ve been using CBD. Strength-wise, you can start low, at 30mg, then up it at your will. Popular strengths are in the mid range - 100mg to 300mg. There are even higher strengths you can go to, finding the right one for you requires a little bit of experimentation.
Based on our experience, we would typically recommend starting on the slightly higher of two strengths you’re looking at. If you’re torn between a 100mg and 300mg, starting on the higher one will help you find your perfect dose a little quicker. If you go too low you may not notice any relaxing benefit whereas when it’s slightly higher you can always dilute it slightly with some regular e-liquid.
There are a few benefits from doing it this way:
- If you’re vaping CBD e-liquids, you’ll know much faster how much you need to feel an effect.
- Adding to this, starting out with a higher strength will often mean you need to use less in the long term. For example with a lower dose like 100mg you may find you need to vape 2mls to feel the effects. With a 300mg being three times as strong, you’d in turn need less than 1ml for the same effect.
- Higher dose liquids are often more cost effective in this sense - if you need 1ml a day of a 300mg strength it’ll last you 10 to 15 days. A 2ml application of the lower dose would last you half that time.
- Higher doses also mean you don’t need to commit to vaping an entire tank full to get your required dose.
A NOTE ON CBD SHOTS:
If you’d like to mix your own strength CBD, you can do just that with a CBD shot. Acting in the same way as a nicotine shot does in a shortfill, you add it to nicotine free juice and mix. Depending on how strong you’d like it to be, you can add it to a different sized bottle. For example:
- If you had a 25ml bottle and added a 2ml/500mg CBD shot you’d end up with a juice that gives you a generous 18.5mg CBD dose with every ml.
- For a milder dose, adding the same 500mg vape shot to a 50ml bottle would result in a 9.6mg strength per ml of juice.
PICKING A CBD FLAVOUR
This one's kind of similar to finding your perfect e-liquid. If you’re looking for something herbaceous and authentic tasting, there are plenty of CBD e-liquids made with the terpenes from different hemp strains. They’re more “green” in flavour and range from carrying notes of lemon, pine, lavender or spice.
Plenty of ranges have added flavouring you’d find in your every day vape too, from fruity staples like apple or strawberry to multi-layered and complex dessert blends. You can enjoy your favourites with a CBD additive instead of nicotine, ideal for when you want to unwind or want something calming for the evening.
To find out more about vaping, all the cool gear, sensational juices and more, have a browse around the site, get in touch, or visit one of our in-store experts.
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