With more than 20 states still debating on whether or not they should legalize marijuana for medical use, only 29 states have officially implemented frameworks that allow residents to apply for medical marijuana. And of that 29, only 8 have allowed marijuana for recreational use. With these restrictions in place, CBD oil has become the latest trend and has slowly been dominating the cannabis market for the past 18+ months.
To put the massive CBD boom into perspective, did you know that Forbes estimated CBD’s market to generate $2.1B by 2020, with hemp-derived CBD to account for more than $450 million?
The fact is, over the last couple of years CBD oil has penetrated the market with dozens – if not hundreds – of companies selling various forms of extracts, tinctures, liquids, and oils both online and in stores. Dispensaries have cleared shelves to make room for CBD oils and other CBD products, as they sell like hot cakes.
However, while CBD oil might seem like the miracle cure for many, lack of regulation is allowing CBD companies to cut corners, giving them the possibility to produce low-quality CBD oil that has been poorly manufactured and isn’t third party lab tested. Unfortunately, these companies claim the steps are “needed” in order to increase profit margins and keep prices low. Worse, some of these products sometimes contain unrecognized chemicals or ingredients other than those listed on their labels – some of which are potentially harmful and even carcinogenic.
Thus, it’s important that consumers educate themselves about CBD oil and all of its different forms. In this article, we are going to try to explain the difference between the various oils available on the market, what to look out for when purchasing CBD oils (as well as vape juices and e-liquids), and how CBD oil is best used — especially when vaping.
The Difference Between CBD Oil and CBD Hemp Oil
While CBD oil may seem like a straightforward topic, there is a lot of confusion on the subject, as the term CBD oil is often used as an umbrella term to describe many different oils available on the market. The truth is, there are hundreds of different oils on the market, and each oil is different from the next. Some are CBD oils, some are hemp CBD, and some simply “claim” to be CBD oil when they are actually CBD hemp oil.
While CBD oil and CBD hemp oil are both individually good and can help treat a number of different medical conditions, they are in fact different from one another. Standard pure CBD oil is made from the Cannabis sativa plant, where the CBD oil is extracted from the flowers, stalks, and leaves, leaving a tincture with high levels of CBD (2%-99%). Because the majority of marijuana strains contain high levels of psychoactive THC, select strains have to be used in order to extract pure CBD oil. Some of these strains include Charlotte’s Web, AC/DC and Harlequin, which have all been specifically bred to contain potent levels of CBD and almost no THC.
It’s important to note, however, that CBD oil is only permitted in states that have adopted a medical or recreationally legal approach towards cannabis. If you are thinking of using CBD oil, then it’s important to understand your state’s laws as some states specify that CBD oil can only be used to treat specific medical conditions, such as epilepsy.
Medical card holders can legally access CBD products with different CBD/THC ratios, while those that live in restricted states can only obtain CBD hemp oil.
Also, CBD hemp oil is typically extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant using a cold-press process, and most CBD hemp oils you see sold are extracted from industrial hemp, which is specifically bred for its stalk and seed. Industrial hemp, also known as the C. ruderalis species of the cannabis plant, produces significantly low amounts of the cannabinoid Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), yet still has a fair amount of the cannabinoid Cannabidiol (CBD), if extracted correctly. While many claim that CBD Hemp oil is less effective than CBD oil, that is far from the truth. Numerous studies have proven CBD hemp oil to be a good source of vitamins and minerals, which of course are crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. These vitamins include:
- Vitamin B1, B2, B3 & B6
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin C
From a legal perspective, CBD that is derived from hemp is completely legal to import and purchase in all 50 U.S. states, without a prescription. The reason for this is because cannabidiol itself isn’t listed in the Controlled Substances Act like THC and marijuana are.
Where is Hemp Grown and Why is it Imported?
In 2014, the Farm Bill Act legalized hemp farming in the U.S but “conveniently” granted only a few states with licenses for commercially cultivating hemp. The fast demand for hemp-derived products forced producers to seek alternative solutions and import from countries such as China and eastern Europe. This solved the lack of supply, but it also opened a gateway of problems including transparency and quality control over the imported goods. This means that a patient has to be extremely cautious when purchasing CBD oil, and it is advised to purchase oil only from reputable sources with a verifiable history.
Related Article : Watch Out For These 5 Traps When Going to Buy CBD Oil
What’s the Difference Between CBD Vape Juice and CBD e-Liquids?
Now that you understand the difference between CBD oil and CBD hemp oil, let’s explain the difference between CBD vape juice and CBD e-liquids. Once upon a time, it was simple — you would buy an extract, place a few drops under your tongue, and you were done. Nowadays there are so many different ways to consume CBD that it’s often hard NOT to get confused.
CBD vape juice, sometimes called CBD e-liquid or vape oil, is often the general term used to describe a CBD oil that was specifically developed to be vaped.
E-liquids, aka CBD vape juice or CBD e-juice, is the name given to pre-filled cannabis CBD oil cartridges. Unlike pure CBD oils that you find in a bottle, these have to be made with Propylene Glycol or Vegetable Glycol, which are thinning agents that make the “juice” viscous enough to work with the electronic heater coils that are found in vape pens. These cartridges are created typically using a CO2 extraction method, and can be replaced over and over again with CBD-infused liquid.
In recreational states, you will find CBD vape juice produced from the cannabis plant, and you may even be able to purchase pure CBD isolates, which means there are no other cannabinoids in the mix. However, it should be mentioned that 100% pure CBD isolate is not as effective as full-spectrum CBD products, as it’s been discovered that cannabinoids work better when they are present along with other whole-plant cannabis compounds like terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids like CBG and CBC.
Once extracted, these oils are usually mixed with different additives and isolates to make tinctures. Those who prefer the “spliff” style of smoking may add nicotine juice, but companies that sell CBD oil tend to mix vegetable glycerine (VG), which allows vapes to separate the oily CBD goodness from the oil during the smoking process. This allows the smoker to maximize his/her experience from the CBD substance. Also, it’s important to realize that the CBD e-liquid or oil is homogeneous, as a 100% mix allows for maximum utilization of the oil.
Another substance that is sometimes added to vape oil is called Propylene Glycol (PG). This substance thins the oil and allows for the mixture to easily wick. Unlike Vegetable Glycerin, PG tends to have side-effects and may cause allergic reactions, irritations, and inflammation. Therefore, most producers nowadays normally use PG. (And also, it’s known that Propylene Glycol will break down into formaldehyde and acetaldehyde over time, which are known carcinogens).
What About CBD Vape Juice – Is It the Same as Vape Oil?
Believe us, keeping up with the “cannabis lingo” and all the various terminologies out there is definitely not easy — or fun. And we do this full-time!
Basically, to answer the question of whether or not CBD vape juice and CBD vape oil is the same thing, yes, they are…. for the most part.
As we mentioned earlier, the broad term “CBD vape oil” is generally used to describe any CBD-based product that has been made specifically for a vape pen. The thing you need to understand is that there are massive differences between CBD oils that you ingest orally (i.e. that you place under the tongue and swallow), and CBD vape juices that you put in a vape pen and inhale.
Think about – two very different “mechanisms” of consumption are at play when you put an oil under your tongue and swallow it, compared to when you sublimate a viscous liquid and inhale the vapor. While the end result is ultimately the same (i.e. CBD is administered into your bloodstream), these processes are not interchangeable. In other words, DO NOT try to vape an oral CBD tincture, or sublingually “ingest” a vape-specific CBD vape juice. The results will not be favorable.
Why Extra Caution Needs to be Taken When Shopping for CBD e-Liquid
Another thing to consider altogether when shopping for CBD vape products (and something which definitely is not considered enough in today’s market), is safety.
I mean we get it – when thinking about doing something like smoking or vaping, safety is probably the farthest thing from your mind. If 99% of tobacco smokers, for example, had any regard for safety, do you think they’d do it at all? Probably not.
And the same goes for CBD “vapers” – if there is a patient out there who is vaping CBD as a means to achieve relief from a medical condition, do you think that the “safety” of their oil is the first thing on their mind? Highly doubtful.
However, people who vape CBD e-liquid need to take considerable precaution when choosing their product, as the current unregulated nature of the industry is making for some VERY questionable products to hit the shelves both online and in stores/vape shops.
Consider this – while the dangers of tobacco have been extremely well-known and well-documented for decades, at least the industry is regulated in a way that allows consumers to KNOW what they’re ingesting. For instance have you ever seen the massive “This Product Causes Cancer” warning labels on the side of cigarette packs? It’s scary, but at least it’s transparent.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the current state of the cannabis industry, which includes CBD e-liquid. While there are plenty of very high-quality, professionally manufactured vape liquids out there that are probably 100% safe to consume, there are dozens (if not hundreds) more that are totally bogus- and potentially dangerous.
Take the CBD extraction method, for instance. As we already discussed, one of the most common thinning agents that is used in order to convert raw CBD concentrate into a viscous liquid compatible with vape pens, is propylene glycol. While we’re no doctors or molecular pathologists, this is NOT a substance that you want to be inhaling. There are distillation methods out there that are fully capable of purifying and ridding the concentrate material of residue chemicals like propylene glycol, but these methods are only used by the most sophisticated, knowledgeable, and reputable companies out there.
As such, moreso than cigarettes or any other tobacco products, one must take considerable caution when selecting a CBD e-liquid for use in a vape pen, as the current unregulated nature of the industry has resulted in some HIGHLY sketchy products to make their way onto shelves and online stores alike. In short, the old saying “you get what you pay” has probably never been as relevant as it is right now in the CBD oil industry – if in doubt, simply don’t buy cheap CBD products. It’s not worth it. (For a list of several CBD manufacturers whose products have withstood the rigors of both time and third-party lab testing, check out our recommendations below).
What to Look Out For When Purchasing CBD Oil
1) The CBD Oil Milligram Catch
One of the main things to watch out for when purchasing CBD oil is the “milligram catch.” When written on the bottle 350mg, this doesn’t mean that you are getting 350 mg of CBD. What it means, rather, is that you are getting 350 mg of CBD Oil. There is a big difference. As we explained above, CBD oil is a mixture of different ingredients, one of which is pure CBD. When purchasing CBD oil or CBD hemp oil, it is always important to understand the level of real CBD within the bottle, which should be clearly labeled and written as a percentage on the label.
Anyone out there in internet land can say that they have the best product on the market, but third party proof can’t lie. As we mentioned, the CBD oil market isn’t a monitored and regulated one as of present day, and therefore it is often hard to determine the good oils from the bad. Established brands understand this, and therefore use third party testing labs to review their products. If you are considering purchasing CBD oil from a brand – especially online – then always make sure that they use a third party lab to test their products and that they have no problem sharing the lab results with their customers.
3) Overselling with Popups
One of the major things that make us question a CBD oil brand is their marketing efforts. You can tell a lot about a company by the way they market. We don’t tolerate pop-ups or different promotions that try to get you to leave your details, as the minute you enter your email and phone number, you are constantly spammed with promotions telling you to buy different CBD bottles or liquids that you don’t really need. An established and trustworthy company shouldn’t have to oversell its products. You should be able to shop around, view their products, and make an educated decision, without them harassing you.
4) “Free” Samples, But They Take Your Credit Card
Free samples sound amazing, but sometimes they’re a trap to overcharge your credit card. Time and time again we receive stories of patients telling us that they received a free sample from “XYZ brand,” only to be charged at a later date for the whole bottle, without their permission. Some CBD oil companies tell you that you are going to receive a FREE sample, but ask you to pay for shipping. If you are receiving a sample from a reputable company, one that is trustworthy, then giving over your credit card details shouldn’t be a problem. If you have never heard of the company, though, you should definitely think twice – if a company is willing to give you a free bottle of CBD oil, then they can certainly afford to pay a few bucks for the shipping.
5) The CBD Oil Extraction Process
The extraction process will ultimately determine the quality and purity of the CBD oil. There are many different extraction processes out there, but the one you want your product to have is called CO2 extraction.
CO2 extraction is a sophisticated method that uses pressurized CO2 to extract the goodness (aka the active cannabinoids) from the plant. At specific pressures and temperatures, the CO2 acts like a solvent without really being one. The CO2 extraction method divides into a few sub-categories, which include supercritical CO2 extractions, sub-critical CO2 extractions, and mid-critical.
Supercritical is a procedure that harms most terpenes but can extract much larger molecules such as lipids, chlorophyll, and waxes. Subcritical CO2 extractions take longer and produce smaller sized yields than super-critical, but their main draw is that they retain the important oils, terpenes, and other sensitive chemicals within the plant. A perfect full-spectrum CO2 extract combines a sub-critical extraction and supercritical extraction to create two oils and after that, homogenize both oils into one (this is also known as a CO2 Total).
How to Use CBD?
CBD can be consumed in many different forms, but the most popular form is CBD oil drops, also known as tinctures. These tinctures come in a variety of different flavors, and a patient simply needs to place a few drops under his/her tongue to consume the oil. Proper dosage can range from 100mg-1000mg, and a single dose should normally be written on the label of the bottle. In terms of what dosage you need, it is important that you do your own research.
Another way to consume CBD is to use a vape. If you decide to use a vape, it is important to ask the CBD oil company if its products are suitable for vaping, because not all oils are alike and not all CBD products are good for vaping. Some are better for standard oral consumption, and some are good for both. If you recall, we mentioned that CBD Vape Oil should be mixed with vegetable glycerine (VG) so that the vape pen or e-cigarette is viscous (liquidy) enough to be able to function with vape pen e-coils. Vape pens will heat the cannabis oil at a low temperature which creates a smooth vapor stream, rather than a harsh smoke. CBD Oil that’s made to be administered under the tongue is generally not good for vaping, as it’s much too thick to work with the vape pen e-coils (and in fact, it can actually be really dangerous to use oral CBD oils with vape pens as you might end up inhaling cuticle wax and “residue” chemicals rather than the actual CBD).
Also, apart from drops and vaping you can also consume CBD by chewing CBD gummies. Gummies tend to contain 10mg of cannabidiol per piece and are extremely easy to consume. There are a few different companies on the market worth checking out that sell high-quality CBD Hemp gummies, including a Florida-based brand called Green Roads. They are made without preservatives or artificial flavors, and have even been shown to fight dental cavities and plaque.
Related article: Best and Most Tasty CBD Gummies of 2017 [Review]
Where to Start with CBD?
Whether you decide to take CBD as an oil, edible, CBD vape juice, e-liquid or even gummy, you’ll find that CBD is helping millions of people worldwide, and it can probably help you. Below you will find a list of CBD oil providers ranked by quality, purity, and transparency. Some are good for vaping while others are excellent to take in the form of drops. It’s important to do your own research before purchasing any vape juice or oils, and if you have any questions at all, feel free to reach out to us through our Facebook page.
We hope you found this article to be informative and useful. Stay healthy.
- Full-spectrum Hemp extract
- No pesticides, solvents or chemical fertilizers
- 3rd party laboratory tested
- Price Range ($48.00 – $139.00)
- Maximum potency and purity
- Compounded by a licensed pharmacist
- Highly concentrated extraction process
- Price Range ($26-$169)
- Over 5 Years Experience
- 3rd party laboratory tested
- Organic hemp CO2 extract tincture
- Price Range ($62.00 – $204.00)
- CBDPure uses a chemical-free CO2 extraction process
- 3rd party laboratory tested
- Certified hemp grown in Denmark
- Price Range ($29.99 – $79.99)