People are more skeptical than ever about vaping, and justifiably so. Lately we have been hearing wave after wave of negative vape press. From the popcorn lung created by the custard vape juice flavoring to the vitamin e scares from black market thc vapes.
These are legitimate concerns and really unfortunate incidents. These are also totally extraneous to the CBD vape market. “Vaping” often gets thrown into the same general off-hand reference. Everything has a vaporization temperature, some things vapors we prefer to inhale over others.
Some of these things have higher safety profiles than others. Water vapor is very safe, in fact people often use it for clogged sinuses. Unfortunately not enough research has really gone into vaping specifically. When there is investment into such research it is usually not investigating the type of things we sell or approve of, it often involves more of the outlier vape mistakes or mainstream nicotine and synthetic flavoring vapes.
All Vapes are not created equal
It is easy to just throw out the baby with the bathwater when it comes to vapes. But the truth, as always, is much more nuanced. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, CBD is a vasodilator, the implications of this are not necessarily clear but certainly imply a vast degree of different effects between the two.
Not to mention the synthetic flavors, PG and VG synthetic solution to carry the nicotine. You really cannot compare a cannabinoid rich vape to a nicotine one because of all these variables. I have not heard of any nicotine vape which is comprised of clean ingredients which makes sense for humans to expose their lungs to. We don’t use a single overlapping ingredient with any product within the nicotine space.
THC vs CBD vapes
Of course everyone knows thc vapes get you high, often very high. CBD can actually help to smooth out that intense upwards ride. Especially if you just took one hit too many off of a thc vape cart. Unfortunately even cannabinoid vapes like thc ones can often contain fillers such as large amounts of terpenes, pg, vg, or other even less transparent dilutent or thickening agents.
The vitamin e scare was all surrounding THC vape cartridges and the shady players who enter that space to meet the ever increasing tidal wave of demand. These profit motivated actors will use any means they can to increase profits and cut costs.
This often leads to cutting agents because they do not really care about quality as long as the sales are rolling in. THC vape carts usually are going to use thinning agents like either terpenes or other thin oils to give them better flow and to cut costs, because THC is very thick when highly concentrated.
Less often, THC cartridges can be so low concentration that they are actually thin and require a thickening agent to appear to be higher quality and potency than they are. Anyway, these are all gross practices and really bring a lot of shame onto the industry. CBD vapes often contain thinning agents too, but more so because higher concentrations of CBD will crystallize and separate from a solution.
We don’t do any of this in our vapes, our CBD vape only contains CBD and cannabis terpenes. We keep it simple and natural. Instead of just diluting and tinkering with chemicals like the rest of the industry, we found a stable type of extract which stays in oil form at high potencies.
See the difference our care makes in a CBD Vape
So when we are talking about a vape cartridge in this comparison with smoking we are going to of course be talking about OUR CBD vape cartridges.
It is pointless to speculate about the infinite different ways someone might be able to make a vape cartridge and generate more risks for users.
We want to break down some of the simple facts about the process of vaporizing CBD and minor cannabinoids.
Then we are going to break down the simple known facts about combusting hemp flower. We know people are very unsure weighing these health related decisions. Don’t worry, we are going to help you discern between the hype, BS and cold hard facts.
With this article you should be able to make a good decision about what is the best for your own health needs. We are never going to tell you what to do. We would rather just lay out the facts and let you decide.
CBD Vaping vs Smoking
The smoking process
Firstly let’s go through and actually break down the physical process of smoking hemp flower into its components. First you need a flame source, typically it’s not a magnifying glass or hemp-wick, but a butane lighter.
Next you either take that flame and use it to ignite one of a few types of apparatus from rolled paper, rolled tobacco wraps, glass pieces or even metal or wood. These all have various benefits and mitigating factors. Any rolled piece, a joint or a blunt, has the advantage of being lit by the lighter. This is before actual inhaling begins, so less butane which is unburned gets inhaled.
But these rollies have the disadvantage of being laced with many chemicals. This article actually outlines some of the difference between smoking blunts and joints. Mostly it refers to joints actually getting people subjectively higher and increasing blood levels of THC more and blunts increasing CO2 intake. Many articles outline how many toxic chemicals are found in joint papers and blunt wraps alike.
Joint papers which are white are always bleached. The paper industry in general also often uses formaldehyde, although I am unsure if it also used in joint papers, it would not surprise me. Here are just some of the articles on join papers and blunt wrap contained chemicals:
This article in beyond pesticides calls out even cellulose based papers, blunts and traditional papers as being laced with pesticides and heavy metals. So before you go losing your head over COAs from your flower, think about if you are undoing all that due diligence with how you are smoking that flower.
Here they discuss finding 4 Metals: Lead, Cadmium, Arsenic, Mercury. They also find 66 Pesticides + 5 Mycotoxins.
What does this article mean?
This article clearly shows there is a lot to be concerned about from just a lot of the top brands we use to roll up flower with. Even medicinal pre-rolls, no producers are testing those things and they aren’t making them in house either.
AOk, but what about glass?
Ok enough about the paper-ware. Let’s say we are smoking through a nice clean glass bowl or bong. We take the lighter to the bud, probably involving us inhaling some initial butane, but at least for the cherry hits we are doing better. Unfortunately even within the combustion process itself there are some icky byproducts.
There are a lot of compounds within the cannabis plant. One study found “For tobacco and marijuana smoke, respectively, 4350 and 2575 different compounds are detected.” That is a ton of compounds and only 536 of them are known.
We know what for sure we want to get out of the cannabis, cannabinoids and terpenes primarily. On one hand we want the variety of compounds which comprise full spectrum and enhance the experience, but do we really want to inhale all of these other compounds? I would prefer not to with this data in mind.
What compounds are in smoke?
Here is a study which measures the various chemicals found within tobacco and marijuana smoke. This can give you an idea of just how many compounds we are talking about.
It also outlines how many of them are known to be toxic and are created from both tobacco smoke and marijuana smoke. “The chemical analyses tentatively identified 536 and 670 compounds in marijuana and tobacco smoke particles, respectively, with approximately one-third being common to both smoke sources. Of those identified, 110 and 173 compounds found in marijuana and tobacco smoke (69 common to both), respectively, are known to pose health risks through carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic or other toxic mechanisms.”
Smoke is Smelly
We all know that tobacco smoke might smell up a room for days, or forever, and that is gross. But any experience pothead knows that marijuana will completely seal a bowl before long and forget about smoking it in a tobacco pipe, one bowl and its clogged. This really speaks to how much more resinous our cannabis is.
Smoking is just vaping with extra steps
When you smoke you are combusting plant matter to create a flame or a heat source. That source of heat is vaporizing nearby THC trichomes which you then inhale. So regardless the same process is happening, just way less efficiently.
You are then inhaling the byproducts of that combustion which is being used purely to vaporize the cannabinoids you love. That is like a coal power plant vs the nuclear or solar array. Everyone is super into terpenes right now, guess what? The boiling point of those terpenes is often 37C and that flame you are using is 1,970C, insane right? So much hotter than you think, not too many terpenes are surviving that blaze.
What happens when you vape CBD
In a CBD Vape, in OUR CBD Vapes, there are only cannabinoids and terpenes. You get all the things you want, and non of the extra stuff we are not sure about. You don’t need to sacrifice some material to much too high temperatures.
The cartridge heats up to just the right temperature to turn the thick oil into vapor to inhale. The byproducts within are only ones created by the active ingredients you are looking to use. Vape cartridges themselves are tested for heavy metals.
The oils used in our vape cartridges are all tested for heavy metals and pesticides. Basically when you vape CBD you are cutting out a ton of variables. Getting essentially the same active compounds and things you want from smoking but without the extra stuff.
To me leads to the logical conclusion that it should be safe to vape. There is more control in what you are exposing yourself to. There are less things being altered in more gentle ways. Also when you vape generally you take one or two puffs and then are satisfied. Usually when people are smoking they are hitting a joint many times, or smoking a whole bowl. Often this is over their intended dose and can have unintended effects.
This is the article they are referencing in beyond pesticides: https://leafly-cms-production.imgix.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/02114941/SC-Labs-Report-Rolling-Papers.pdf