Photography by Sarah Johnson
Does vaping CBD produce a different effect compared to other methods of taking CBD? In fact, vaping CBD is one of the easiest and most effective ways to take it. Previous articles on HealthyTOKYO have focused on the possible benefits associated with CBD, particularly CBD oil. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of using CBD vape juice.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a type of cannabinoid. Cannabinoids are a class of compounds that bind to specific cannabinoid receptors in the body. The body creates its own cannabinoids, known as endocannabinoids, which form part of the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is responsible for regulating homeostasis (equilibrium), hence affects functions including sleep, pain, memory, and the immune response. CBD binds receptors in the ECS and promotes overall balance, improving health and wellbeing. Read our previous HealthyTOKYO articles on CBD to find out more about specific conditions that CBD has been shown to alleviate, for example, CBD for Anxiety and CBD for Epilepsy.
There are different ways in which CBD can be ingested, which all have their own advantages. One method is vaping CBD juice. This involves using a vape which contains a heating element to vaporize CBD vape juice in a chamber. The vapor is then inhaled through a mouthpiece.
Many argue that ingesting CBD through vaping is better than other methods such as taking CBD oil sublingually or eating CBD edibles. There are three main advantages to vaping CBD:
1. High Bioavailability
“Bioavailability” refers to the percentage of CBD that enters your circulation and hence is able to produce an effect. This percentage can vary dramatically depending on the way in which CBD is ingested. As an example, when taken orally, the bioavailability of CBD is around 15%. The hydrophobic (water-repelling) nature of CBD is one reason why bioavailability is fairly low. CBD accumulates in fatty tissues in preference to the aqueous bloodstream, hence only a small percentage can travel to active sites. Another major cause of CBD’s low oral bioavailability is the effect of the liver. When taken orally, CBD must pass through the liver where its bioavailability reduces due to degradation by enzymes and absorption by the liver.
Vaping CBD removes the passage of CBD through the gut and liver. Instead, CBD enters via the lungs and moves directly into the bloodstream. This increases the bioavailability of CBD to around 50-60%, compared to 15% for oral usage. Therefore, vaping CBD can result in a much greater bioavailability than other methods of consumption.
2. Fast absorption
Since CBD does not pass through the gut when vaped, it takes less time for it to reach active sites in the body compared to oral consumption.
Finally, vapes are compact and portable. This makes vaping CBD an easy and convenient method to administer CBD wherever you are.
Is Vaping CBD Safe?
CBD itself has been shown in scientific studies to be non-toxic with minimal side-effects, which are non-severe. It is not psychoactive, therefore does not result in a “high”. However, it should be noted that, since inhaling is a more effective method than oral consumption, vaping CBD has been estimated to make the same dose four times more potent. Therefore, care over dosage should be taken. It’s best to start with a low dose and adjust as necessary.
Research suggests that vaping is potentially harmful if care isn’t taken. Many vapes use a coil as a heating element to vaporize the oil. These coils eventually oxidize, and a study at John Hopkins University shows that they leach heavy metals. This can result in metal nanoparticles (like chromium and nickel) becoming part of the vapor that is inhaled into the lungs. It’s unknown what long-term effects this could have. A studypublished in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health states that the amount of exposure to metals from vaping “is not expected to be of significant health concern for smokers switching to electronic cigarette use, but is an unnecessary source of exposure for never-smokers.”
Finally, vape liquids are often poor quality and contain substances that when heated in a vape can cause lung irritation or damage. In particular, many contain thinning agents such as propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol to make the vape juice easier to inhale. These can cause respiratory issues and allergic reactions in some people when inhaled. More worryingly, these have been shown to break down at high temperatures into potentially carcinogenic compounds. It is important to ensure that you buy high quality CBD products specifically designed for vaping, which do not contain harmful thinning agents. Our CBD vape juice is of the highest quality and reputable company. The hemp is CO2 extracted with no toxic solvents or chemicals, and certificates of analysis confirm its clean composition.
Overall, vaping seems to be a faster and more effective method of consuming CBD when compared to oral methods. However, there are potential health risks associated with vaping and longer term studies need to be carried out. If you choose to vape CBD, be sure to check the purity and quality of the vape juice. Our Elixinol CBD Vape Juice is available to buy online, and is of the highest quality. If vaping isn’t for you, but you are still keen to try CBD, why not check out our other CBD products online. Alternatively, visit our HealthyTOKYO Cafe and Shop in Haneda Airport to buy CBD products and try CBD edibles and CBD-infused drinks.