Less than a decade ago, only a few Americans knew about vaping. Since people had started looking out for a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes – vaping has skyrocketed in popularity.
The advantages are obvious – no smell, more flavors, and fewer carcinogens. Now, you could have all the “coolness” of smoking without the crippling future health problems with CBD vaping.
But at the same time, the “dangers of vaping” should not be ignored. Likewise smoking cannabis, vaporizing cannabis is supposed to be the healthier mode of administration. But, all vape oils aren’t created equal.
Thus, for the beginner, it becomes hard to determine which oil is the best to use and which ones are not safe to use. But, much depends on the quality of the product.
Theoretically, vaporization tends to heat the oil so much that it releases the volatile terpenes and cannabinoid compounds (THC, CBD) into the air. However, together they are not enough to create smoke.
Ivan at greenthevoteok says: It is always recommended to avoid vape oil products with PG, PEG and flavoring agents which have not been tested in the laboratory for heating and inhalation.
Common Addictives While Vaping CBD
Common additives used in cannabis oil vape pens include Propylene Glycol (PG) and polyethylene glycol (PEG). PEG, PG, and some pesticides degrade into stronger toxins at temperatures that vape pens can reach. Many toxic additives like propylene glycol, polyethylene glycol, VG, other medium-chain triglycerides, ethanol, isopropyl alcohol to petroleum-ether, and naptha are present.
About Propylene glycol (PG) – Propylene glycol is a syrupy, thinning compound and a widely used chemical that is mixed with cannabis or hemp in many vape pen cartridges. It is the primary ingredient in most of the nicotine-infused e-cigarette solutions. At high temperatures, it converts into tiny polymers that can create a problem for the lungs. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada have deemed propylene glycol safe for human ingestion and topical application. But exposure by inhalation is another matter.
About Vegetable Glycerin (VG) – This chemical forms the other most important base for vape oils. The non-toxic vegetable-based liquid is known for being safe. Derived from plants such as palm, coconut or soybean – it is a sugar alcohol. Believed to have been discovered as many as 2,000 years ago, due to its density, its base which is 100% VG is very thick and creates difficulty in effective vaping. And again, it is sweet, colorless, and odorless, providing a malleable foundation for a wide range of flavors. A combined PG/VG blend is, therefore, recommended.
What Does Research Have To Say?
In the year 2015, project CBD published a report by Dr. Jahan Marcu that exposed the potential hazards of heating and inhaling propylene glycol (PG). PG is a widely used thinning agent in many of the cannabis oil products, including vape pen cartridges. PG when heated in an electronic vaporizer, decomposes into formaldehyde – a potent carcinogen.
Thinning agents such as PG are usually present in hemp-derived oil extracts. Nearly every hemp CBD vape oil brand comprises of PG or, even worse, polyethylene glycol (PEG), another toxic additive. A 2010 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health concluded that airborne propylene glycol circulating indoors can induce or exacerbate asthma, eczema, and many allergic symptoms.
According to the article that appeared in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (JACM) validated that dangerous effects of PG. It also suggested that PEG is even more hazardous when heated. To study the degradation of PG, VG, PEG, and medium-chain triglycerides – the scientists at the Medical Marijuana Research Institute in Arizona conducted an experiment.
They heated all of these compounds to 230°C, a high but plausible temperature for a vaporizer. It was found that PEG produced a large amount of acetaldehyde and formaldehyde, two carcinogens
How to decide the right ingredients for vape juice?
Vape juice is made up of four basic ingredients, namely
• Propylene Glycol (PG) – an additive used in foods, medications etc.,
• Vegetable Glycerin (VG) – both an additive as well as preservative
PG/VG RATIO – PG and VG both are food additives that are used in a large number of consumable products from medications to toothpaste to shampoos. PG VG ratio differs from individual to individual. However, the 50:50 blend or exactly half VG and half PG is the most common ratio since it seems to serve the majority of people. The higher the ratio of PG, the thinner of the two substances, sharper is the throat hit you experience while vaping. If you’re fond of making clouds, higher VG ratio is the only option.
Flavorings – Flavor concentrates are water soluble and are manufactured by companies specializing in fragrances and food flavorings. From tobaccos to fruits to glazed donuts to chocolate – they are found in everything. Many of the commercial vaping juice also contain sweeteners, with the most common of these being sucralose.
Nicotine – Nicotine is optional and is based on the choice of the user. If the user is looking for non-nicotine e-liquid, then it is widely available, not to worry. To help you better understand the numbers, the vape juice labeled as:
• 0 mg/mL is completely nicotine-free
• 3 to 6 mg/mL is considered low in nicotine
• goes up to 12 mg/mL is preferred for a midrange experience
• from 18 to 24 mg/mL for a high dose of nicotine.
With so many nicotine levels available, it is very easy to find the e-liquid that will help you satisfy your cravings.
Choose The Right Vape Juice!
If you have never vaped before, then you probably don’t have any idea about the things to consider while choosing the right vape juice. They are as follows:
Manufacturing Process – The manufacturers are responsible for the quality of the products they manufacture. They ensure that they establish trusting relationships with top quality suppliers. The ingredients are weighted according to the composition set for each product. They are prepared by an International Organization of Standardization (ISO) certified lab.
Lab Test Reports – With the growing concern regarding the ingredients present in vape oil, it is recommended to check whether the vape oil has been lab tested or not. If so, do not forget to go through the lab reports on the contents used. Check whether the batch has been tested by an independent, third-party to ensure quality and traceability.
Premium Vape Juice – While choosing the right vape juice, know whether or not the vape juice has been labeled premium. Few points that make premium vape juice better than the standard one include – the consistent flavor. Also, the premium vape liquids are made in smaller batches, and their taste is unique.
If you have read this article diligently, you would have a fair idea about which all toxic additives must be avoided in CBD vaping. Compounds such as PG and PEG (Vitamin E) become more toxic and hazardous to health when exposed to heat.
While other compounds such as VG, other medium-chain triglycerides, ethanol, isopropyl alcohol to petroleum-ether, and naptha tends to break down and get converted into small components. These are less harmful components. Hence, it is vital to consider the context in which the chemicals have been used in a vape oil. Rather than simply assuming that they are safe to use, first know in-depth and discuss it with your doctor.