With the cannabis industry still in somewhat of its infancy, there is a TON of confusion and misunderstanding out there surrounding the difference between CBD oil and CBD vape liquid. In fact, when it comes to CBD and cannabis terminology in general, it seems that the majority of people really have no clue what’s going on.
What’s scarier, though, is the fact that a lot of CBD companies don’t really have a clue what’s going on, either. Truth be told, the cannabis industry is probably in a bit of a “blind leading the blind” stage right now, if we’re being honest.
However, this is where we can (hopefully) come in and offer some sort of help and clarification. In this article, we’ll do our best to clear up any confusion and misconceptions regarding CBD oil, CBD tinctures, and CBD vape liquids. We get asked all the time “can I vape CBD oil?”, so we figured we might as well do a quick article on the topic to try and offer some sort of a definitive answer.
“Can I vape CBD oil?”
Well, can you? To answer this question correctly, we have to be able to first distinguish between the terms “oil” and “liquid.” In general, CBD oils are concentrated products that are made to be taken orally (i.e. under the tongue). In other words, they are NOT made to be smoked or vaped with a vape pen.
CBD liquids, on the other hand (or CBD vape juices, e-liquids, etc) are specifically made to be vaporized and inhaled as steam. So to answer the question correctly, no, you shouldn’t vape CBD oil – what you need is a vape-specific CBD liquid.
That being said, however, a lot of CBD vape juice manufacturers out there are still using the term “oil” rather freely and loosely. For instance, they’ll label a product something like “CBD vape oil,” when in reality what they should probably be calling it is CBD vape liquid.
Perhaps we’re splitting hairs here, (or perhaps we’re the ones that don’t know what the hell we’re talking about), but it is frustrating to know that a large portion of the cannabis industry doesn’t even know the correct terminology.
At the end of the day, if you’re going to vape CBD, make sure that you’re vaping a “vape-specific” product – you definitely don’t want to vape a CBD oil that’s made to be administered orally under the tongue.
CBD Oils vs. CBD Liquids: Subtle Yet Significant Differences
Before we go any further, let’s do a little bit of clarification with regard to the differences between the terms CBD “oil” and CBD “tincture,” because we know that this is a lot to take in, and it’s likely enough to instigate an anxiety-induced panic attack.
In short, CBD tinctures are products that are made to be taken orally and administered sublingually (under the tongue). However, you will find that the term “tincture” is very commonly interchanged with the term “oil” – there’s rarely a discrepancy between the two.
What you should never see, though, is a product labeled “CBD vape tincture” – this would just sound ridiculous.
Whatever term you choose to use, it’s important to understand that all of these products (oils, tinctures, and vape liquids), are made using some kind of oil as a carrier for the actual CBD. In its pure, isolated state, CBD that’s extracted from the raw cannabis plant exists as a solid – it kind of looks like salt, actually. So, in order for it to be consumed and absorbed efficiently, it needs to be dissolved in a carrier oil that can be either burned (vaporized) and inhaled, or broken down by the body’s digestive system. This is where the real difference between CBD oil and CBD vape liquid comes in.
CBD oils (or CBD tinctures) generally use some kind of food grade oil like olive or canola oil (or hemp seed oil, of course) as the carrier so that it can be absorbed and digested efficiently by the body.
Vape liquids, on the other hand, need to use a different kind of carrier oil because typical vegetable oils (like olive oil) are too viscous to be burned with vape pen heating coils (try putting some olive oil in a vape pen and tell us what happens).
What manufacturers typically do, actually, is they’ll use a thinning agent in order to make the carrier oil less viscous, which allows it to be vaped properly and efficiently. If you try and vape an oral CBD oil or tincture, you’ll likely just get a weird, disgusting taste in your mouth, and very little CBD.
To read more about how CBD oils are made, and the potential dangers of CBD vape liquids, check out our in-depth article that discusses CBD Vape Pens.
Final Thoughts: CBD Oil vs. CBD Vape Liquids
Hopefully this information has been able to help clear up any confusion and misunderstandings you may have had in regard to CBD oil terminology. If you’re still a little hazy on the subject, though, here’s a general summary:
- CBD “oil” is a broadly-used term that can technically be used to describe either oral (under the tongue) CBD products or vapable CBD products
- The vast majority of products labeled “CBD Oil” are oral-specific products that are made to be administered under the tongue.
- The terms CBD “tincture” and CBD “oil” are largely interchangeable; they both refer to products that are to be taken orally.
- Some companies still refer to their CBD vape products as “vape oils,” but the more appropriate term is CBD “vape liquid”
- CBD vape liquids are much less viscous (less syrupy) than CBD oils or tinctures – if you try to use an sublingual (under the tongue) oil in a vape pen, it’s probably not going to work very well
In short, if you’re wanting to try CBD in your vape pen, make sure that you use a vape-specific CBD liquid. Even though the terminology is ambiguous and confusing, there is definitely a difference between CBD oil and CBD vape liquid.
Also, let us give you a fair word of warning that there are some seriously sketchy products out there on the market right now. Given that CBD is still not regulated by the FDA, a lot of manufacturers are pretty much having free reign when it comes to labeling and marketing their products. Make sure you do plenty of research before deciding on a brand, and make sure that the brand you do decide to go with has a solid reputation and plenty of reliable customer feedback. PureKana and Elixinol are two brands that we generally recommend, as they’ve both had excellent track records over the years.