The Dangers of Vaping with a CBD Oil Pen
December 13, 2018

The Dangers of Vaping with a CBD Oil Pen

Revealing to you the truth
MarijuanaBreak Staff MarijuanaBreak Staff / Updated on December 13, 2018

The Dangers of Vape Pen CBD Oil

The common consensus among vape pen CBD oil users is that it’s a healthier option than other methods of consumption — namely smoking. And indeed, it is true that a quality vape oil might produce more potent (and ultimately effective) therapeutic results for patients that suffer from debilitating chronic conditions like pain, inflammation, and even severe forms of depression and anxiety.

But the thing a lot of CBD vape oil users don’t realize is that not all products out there are the same. On quite the contrary, one has to choose their brands and cartridges very carefully if they want to ensure they’re getting a quality, effective, and most importantly safe product that’s free of contaminants and other health hazards.

In this article, we point out some of the biggest dangers of vaping oil that you need to be on the lookout for. Given the current lack of regulations in the cannabis industry, a lot of companies out there are producing cartridges with virtually no regard for health or safety, so we’re here to try and make sure you know what to look for when choosing the best CBD vape oil for your specific condition.




Cuticle Wax in CBD Vape Oil: What You Should Know

One of the lesser talked about aspects of CBD vaping safety is the potential respiratory hazard of cuticle wax. Cuticle waxes are basically the oily, fatty outer layer of lipids that cover the surface of most flowering cannabis plants, including hemp. When these plants are “traditionally” smoked (i.e. with a bowl, joint, bong, etc) the wax layer is burned away and isn’t believed to cause much concern in terms of respiratory health.

However, it’s known that because vaping incorporates significantly lower temperatures than smoking, it does NOT burn away the wax layer. Rather, it’s believed that the oily, waxy bits may collect together and eventually settle in the lungs, which as you would imagine may produce serious long-terms health concerns.

In fact, as part of a statement to Rolling Stone magazine in October 2017, experts at Steep Hill Labs (an independent cannabis analysis company with several locations across the U.S.) suggested that vaping CBD oil may potentially cause these waxes to collect in the lungs and form solidified granulomas at some point down the road. While this is no more than speculation at this point (there haven’t been any clinical studies to verify whether or not this is the case), it’s definitely cause enough for concern.

In terms of what you can do to avoid CBD vape oils that have cuticle waxes, you can look for products that have undergone a process called winterization. Basically, winterization of CBD oil is a technique that involves removing all (or at least a portion of) the waxes, fatty acids, and lipids, which have higher melting points than other parts of the plant. If you’re unsure whether or not a specific CBD vape juice has undergone winterization, call the company and ask them. If they can’t tell you or they don’t even know what winterization is, then steer clear and look for another brand.

Thinning Agents in CBD Vape Oil: Another Potentially Major Health Concern

A much more talked about safety concern of CBD vape oils that’s discussed far more often than cuticle waxes, is the potential presence of harsh chemicals that end up in the end product as thinning agent residues.

Basically, raw cannabis oil that contains active CBD extract is much too thick, or viscous, to be used in vape pens with electric heater coils. Thus, the concentrate has to be treated in order to reduce the viscosity (make it more liquidy) so that it can be effectively and efficiently vaped.

There are a few different ways in which this can be done, but you need to be extremely wary as many cheap products (that are produced from inexperienced manufacturers) use harsh and even toxic chemical thinning agents in order to cut costs.

Two of the most commonly used chemical thinning agents, for example, are propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol. These are often used in nicotine-containing vape juices, and we all know about the cancerous dangers of tobacco and nicotine.

Moreover, it’s known that both of these chemicals (propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol) can potentially break down into carcinogenic (cancer-causing) compounds like formaldehyde and acetaldehyde – this is particularly true when they’re sublimated in high-temp vape pen cartridges.

And lastly, a 2010 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research found that inhaling propylene glycol – even in low concentrations – can potentially induce asthma, allergic reactions, and other respiratory complications.

How to Vape CBD Oil Safely: What Can You Do?

Ultimately, one of the most important things you can probably do to ensure your health and safety when vaping CBD oil is to invest in a high-quality vape pen. It’s being suggested more and more that the temperature of your pen’s heater coil is, perhaps moreso than anything else, critical in terms of producing efficient sublimation (vaporization) that avoids the breakdown of thinning agents into carcinogens such as formaldehyde.

A lot of products out there – even the best cheap CBD vape pens – essentially use e-coils that sublimate the oil at extremely high temperatures – far higher than what’s even remotely necessary.

At the end of the day, then, if you’re going to vape CBD oil for pain relief or any other chronic condition on a day-to-day basis, it is absolutely in your best interest to invest the money in a quality, reputable, and reliable vape pen – no matter the cost.

As Dr. Jahan Marcu, Chief Scientific Officer at Americans for Safe Access puts it, “the market is flooded [right now] with substandard products that have questionable safety … these companies are [ultimately] doing their safety testing on the public, and on their loved ones.”

And that’s likely putting it nicely.

We put together an article not too long ago on some of the best CBD oils for vaping, as well as the differences between CBD vape oil and “regular” CBD oil, so that may be a good place to start in terms of picking out the best CBD vape cartridge that’s most suited to you and your needs.

Final Thoughts on the Dangers of Vaping Oil (CBD)

Like we mentioned, one of the most important things you can likely do in terms of making sure you’re maximizing health and safety while vaping CBD oil is to invest in a high quality pen. This is particularly true if you’re vaping multiple times a day, such as to provide relief from chronic conditions like pain, anxiety, depression, or insomnia.

The fact of the matter is that very little is actually known in regard to the long-term health effects of CBD vape oil. Much, much more certainly needs to be done in order to learn about potential respiratory complications, and/or other health concerns that may arise further down the road.

For the time being, all you can do is know the contents of your CBD e-liquid, know how it was manufactured, and ensure that you buy from a well-known and reliable company. It’s ultimately best to steer clear of these “CBD stores” that you see popping up on the side of the road, as a lot of them are super questionable outfits that are simply selling glorified nicotine e-juices with tiny extracts of useless “hemp seed oil.” And moreover, the employees that they stick in there are often about as knowledgeable as your pet fish in terms of understanding cannabis and CBD vape oil manufacturing. The majority of the time, you’ll be much better off ordering online from a reliable, reputable, and well-established company.

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Article Sources
  1. Mark W
    No Vape is Safe

    It isn’t safe to breathe oils into the lungs, regardless of what anyone tells you…especially an article written by the people selling the product that they are writing about.

    Just look up “popcorn lung” on the internet. There has been a ‘study’ on the effects of vaping of a sort. The workers in the microwave popcorn industry are just now starting to have horrible inclusions in their lungs from breathing in the vaporized butter oils from the manufacturing process.

    Most of the workers with the illness have been working in the factory for years, but if you stop and think how long people typically smoke/vape before quitting it more often than not equals up to years

    Just take the CBD oil orally. Stop paying extra, exposing your lungs to toxins, and making these vape companies rich.

  2. Jamie Green

    My gosh it is a minefield of potential risks isnt it!

    Thank you for educating me, so many sites just share the good bits of CBD and the good bits of vaping.

    Goes to show how much more research each consumer should be doing!

  3. Maxman
    PG or not PG

    its ironic that you mention the dangers of thinning agents like PG but one of your highly rated brands, Hemp Bombs use it.

  4. rose glenny

    How do you findthe right combination of cbd oil for your symptons like a strok victom

  5. Robyn
    I hope Ill be ok this isn't normal for me

    I never understood about the safety part. Not naive just autistic and desperate for relief from anxiety. Anyhow i recently bought a different type of cartridge and Im dealing with a sore throat. No cold as far as I can tell maybe it’s a coincidence but the timing is suspicious.

    1. Robin
      my experience from vaping oil after I gave up dry herb

      you may have a vape pen that burns too hot for you. There are batteries that have three settings on it and perhaps trying the lower setting. Dabs and any of that stuff does KILL my throat. I think maybe you are just vaping too hot. Hope this helps!

  6. Devin
    do your HW!!

    Good article. It never. ceases to amaze me how naive people can be when it comes to retail products for sale – especially “health” related products like CBD oils etc. See a sign on the side of the road for CBD vapes and think ‘bingo’. Pretty ridiculous

  7. Shane
    Nice article

    Honestly, in 10 or so years we will probably find out that vapes and vape pens are way worse for us than any cigarette or tobacco could ever be. Who knows wtf kind of stuff they’re putting in those oils. That’s why I make my own from rosin pressed from actual buds

  8. portia edwards
    Value of Vape vaping

    I think what I wrote last time got lost so I’m going to say it again just real simply in case it’s a duplicate post or something I think an article needs to be written on the value of the pain how high they go the cost which are better with your worst and it would be an independent investigation by the writer so naming names would be an issue or not naming names you know cost-effectiveness refillable tanks wattage recharge ability those things listed would be nice for the older generation who just no conventional smoking and don’t enjoy smoking but would need the medicine or like the medicine in a vaping situation I think that article would be appreciated the one I’m commenting on is a wonderful article and thank you for all that information good luck

    And peace to the world

  9. sharon

    Does anyone know if I can use my cool fire 4 with a new tank to vape CBD oil? I can adjust the volts to a safe number.. thanks for answering my questions..

    1. Dylan

      Not really sure exactly what you’re asking – as long as the connections are the same (510, 710, 810 etc) then you can swap tanks in and out of your vape mod box. We certainly wouldn’t recommend “adjusting” any voltages

  10. John T.

    Thanks for this very insightul post on CBD Vape Oil

  11. Robin Bunker

    Can a mod burn off the wax? Having higher wattage and all?
    Thank you

    1. Dylan

      Hey Robin, yes mods that do not have temperature control can (and do) get so hot to the point that they can burn off/combust wax and other forms of concentrate. We advise investing in a top-quality mod that has a temperature range you can trust. There is no reason for vape pens (or other mods) to be operating at temps higher than about 400 deg F.

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