In what is being considered a national epidemic, vaping-related lung infections are ailing an increasingly high number of people across the US, prompting public health officials to look into some of the specific reasons that may have made their mark on the population in the past few years.
One of the most significant reasons is the recent rise in vaping practices among the general public, including those containing CBD, THC and other cannabinoids.
Besides, a huge majority of these vape cartridges involved in cases of lung disorders, like acute respiratory distress syndrome, come from black-market sources.
Most recently, a 20-year-old Wisconsin man was arrested for running a massive ‘THC-vaping scheme’. While the Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said Tyler Huffhines and his elder brother Jacob, 23, were taken into custody on several charges, including firearm and drug possession charges. However, the younger brother was the kingpin in the racket that has been going on for the past over one year.
The brothers claimed that there was only 5mg of THC in each cartridge (like that’s not high enough), the police say the actual amount is actually much higher.
Ironically, the fact remains that pharmaceutical medications have done enough damage to humans while trying to do good. Disheartened, disappointed, and perhaps even a bit disillusioned by the failure of these drugs in curing people, and, in part, due to some of the unscrupulous companies whose only aim is to make money, a large part of the population has lost faith in conventional medications and are looking for alternative methods of treatment.
As usual, some people have chosen to abuse this vulnerability among people and sought them out to fulfill their own vested interests. This is why you must be aware of what you put into your body before it’s too late. The same applies to CBD vaping juices.
Potential Dangers of Vaping CBD
Although most cases of pulmonary issues associated with vaping were caused due to the use of THC or oils in their vaping juices or use of unregulated vaping fluids, one cannot rule out the possibility of vaping CBD juices being responsible for health issues among users. Apparently, quite a few such cases in the past year have been found to be linked to CBD vaping. Their symptoms included:
- Chest pain
- Rapid and irregular heart rate
- Weight loss
- Loss of consciousness
Last year, over 90 patients were hospitalized in North Carolina alone with such complaints after using vape juices, most of which contain CBD.
Then the question arises: Is vaping CBD causing these symptoms and conditions?
Are these Health Risks Real?
These health risks are real, but not necessarily due to CBD.
Studies have shown that CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a well-tolerated substance with very few adverse effects.  So much so, no cases of overdose have been reported so far. Instead, CBD has been found to have quite a few therapeutic effects. 
While smoking marijuana comes with a lot of health hazards, vaping CBD is generally safe and can even help people overcome their addictions. 
So where do the problems lie?
Possibility 1: Interaction with other medications, like antidepressants, blood thinners, some pain killers (NSAIDs), and anti-seizure medications, among others.
Possibility 2: Some users generally experience some mild side effects, like lethargy, loss of appetite and/or weight, diarrhea, and even deterioration of mental issues. This is not common but may happen. So you need to be aware. This is irrespective of whether you vape it or consume it orally. While vaping has its own set of advantages, like easy and fast absorption and higher bioavailability, it also carries some health risks, like the aggravation of pulmonary and heart conditions among some users.
Possibility 3: Research on its dosage or method of administration has not yet been able to clearly establish its safety. We do, however, know that vaping is more effective and, hence, requires fewer doses to be effective. But how much is enough for an individual isn’t yet clear. It is still a matter of trial and error for most users. Although a CBD Calculator does help, it is not an exact science, rather an approximation based on trial and error and user experience.
Possibility 4: Moreover, no research is available on its long-term effects.
Possibility 5: A large number of unregulated cannabis cultivation practices around the world along with vendors and sellers eking out their name as a brand without any consideration about the safety of their customers have made for a very unhealthy marketplace environment. Ironically, a lot of consumers don’t bother to check for third-party lab tests done on the products they purchase, especially at a time when we already know that vaping is an extremely potent method of administering a substance (especially cannabinoids).
Possibility 6: There have also been cases of mislabeling among CBD products, especially vaping products . While some brands had high THC content, others had misrepresented the actual dosage of CBD in their products. You may consider this to be the work of unscrupulous sellers or human error owing to a lack of sufficient regulation of CBD products.
Is Vaping CBD safe for smokers?
Even though vaping carries some disadvantages, this form of using CBD can be quite advantageous for some users – people who are accustomed to smoking or vaping, in general.
In fact, CBD vaping has been found to inhibit and quit tobacco smoking and the cravings associated with smoking. [3, 4]
However, due diligence is required on the part of consumers as well. One needs to make sure that the lab test reports match what is mentioned on the product labels. Not everything is as per their advertisements.
Apart from harmful chemicals and heavy metals, there is also the possibility of substances used as carrier base that are not suitable for vaping (although they might be for oral consumption). Some substances are safe and maybe even good for your stomach and digestive system, but maybe harmful to your lungs and pulmonary system. For instance, MCT oil or other fat-based carrier oils used in tinctures are good for consumption but can damage your lungs or cause allergic reactions when vaped.
Owing to the rising popularity of this method of using CBD, the market is filled with adulterated products. It is up to the users to make sure you buy from the genuine brands that sell pure CBD products. It’s just like making sure you get fresh vegetables from the supermarket or the most recently manufactured groceries from the departmental store.
Is it legal to Vape CBD?
The legality of CBD had been shrouded in confusion until recently when hemp cultivation was made legal in this country. Only a few years later, the federal government made the sale and use of CBD products legal as long as they abided by the regulations, which requires the CBD products to be made from industrial hemp extracts, containing less than 0.3% THC, besides the cannabis being cultivated in regulated farmlands where their practices are approved by the government.
While vaping CBD is generally safe, some states have specific laws against smoking or vaping in public places. Look up the specific laws of the area you’re in and make sure you vape indoors in places where the law prohibits vaping in public.
Besides, there is the factor of carrying your vaping device in or over (while on a flight) places where vaping is prohibited in public places. Make sure to not violate such rules if you want to avoid a penalty or jail time, whichever may be the case in the state concerned.
As discussed earlier, CBD is a safe substance with many medical benefits. However, one can never be too sure as to how their body will react to it. This is especially true to vaping CBD, as it is a far more potent method of administering cannabinoids.
Vaping requires much less dose to have a much more effective result compared to edibles, tinctures, and topicals. So you must be careful about how much you vape.
One must be careful about the dosage, potency, and genuineness of the product, the laws of the place he is in while vaping CBD.
Vaping itself has a few downsides. It is also not the most convenient or comfortable route of administration for non-smokers, as the act of inhaling vapor is not easy for everyone else. It also carries some potential risks of pulmonary disorders and heart diseases.
Before you decide to take up vaping CBD, choosing it over other forms of using this substance, first, consult your doctor. Secondly, you must make sure you’re not violating any law by vaping in public.
Like we always say, it’s better safe than sorry!
- An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies; Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research; June 1, 2017; Kerstin Iffland and Franjo Grotenhermen; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5569602/
- A Cross-Sectional Study of Cannabidiol Users; Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research; July 1, 2018; Jamie Corroon and Joy A Phillips; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6043845/
- Cannabidiol reverses attentional bias to cigarette cues in a human experimental model of tobacco withdrawal; Addiction; June 3, 2018; Chandni Hindocha, Tom P Freeman, Meryem Grabski, Jack B Stroud, Holly Crudgington, Alan C Davies, Ravi K Das, William Lawn, Celia J A Morgan, and H Valerie Curran; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6099309/
- The effects of cannabidiol on impulsivity and memory during abstinence in cigarette dependent smokers; Scientific Reports; May 15, 2018; C Hindocha, T P Freeman, M Grabski, H Crudgington, A C Davies, J B Stroud, R K Das, W Lawn, C J A Morgan, and H V Curran; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5954148/
- Labeling Accuracy of Cannabidiol Extracts Sold Online; JAMA; November 7, 2017; Marcel O Bonn-Miller, PhD, Mallory J E Loflin, PhD, Brian F Thomas, PhD, Jahan P Marcu, PhD, Travis Hyke, MS, and Ryan Vandrey, PhD; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5818782/
- Drug vaping applied to cannabis: Is “Cannavaping” a therapeutic alternative to marijuana? Scientific Report. May 26, 2016; Vincent Varlet, Nicolas Concha-Lozano, Aurélie Berthet, Grégory Plateel, Bernard Favrat, Mariangela De Cesare, Estelle Lauer, Marc Augsburger, Aurélien Thomas, and Christian Giroud; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4881394/