Written by: Jacob Greenberg
I don’t know if you are aware, but there is a new trend happening. People young and old, and adults, workers and relaxers, are all doing it. It’s cheap, effective, tasty, and easy!
It is not without confusion. Some people don’t understand the terminology, and some people don’t understand the point. Some people want to try it but are intimidated, and some people want to try it but have concerns.
We are talking about vapes. Vaping, vaporizers, vapes, vapors. You might have a friend doing it. Or a son. Or grandson! Maybe you’ve seen a Youtube video and have some questions, or maybe you just want to read about something cool. Nevertheless, here is the burning question: why is a CBD company talking about this popular trend?
What is CBD
CBD is this really nifty chemical that comes from Cannabis or Hemp. It won’t get you stoned, but it can potentially benefit you in multiple ways! From managing chronic pain to helping with acne and bug bites, an antiemetic and an appetite regulator, to helping alleviate feelings of anxiety and depression, Cannabidiol (CBD) is a healthy and helpful medicine that has been around since ancient China!
Though the ancient Chinese could only burn or eat the plant, modern-day science has brought CBD into many different forms. There are CBD oil tinctures that you can place under your tongue for consumption. There are CBD gummies, or CBD soft gel capsules filled with CBD oil extract. There are balms and lotions to keep your skin healthy. You can also smoke CBD flower, the same way the Chinese smoked it.
And then there are CBD vaporizers that contain CBD vape oil.
What is a vape? And how to vape CBD oil?
A vaporizer is basically a handheld, portable heating coil. The way it works is simple: a flavored e-liquid is applied to the coil, which is then heated. The e-liquid vaporizes and you inhale the vapor. Though this trend started as a way to help people kick their cigarette habit, vapable e-liquids can be made to contain CBD or THC instead of nicotine.
There are two types of vapes: disposable and reusable. Reusable vapes are typically larger than their disposable counterparts, and have a battery pack that can be recharged. Reusable vapes also require you to purchase e-liquid, to put onto the coil by yourself. Disposable vapes are vapes that come with a tank of e-liquid built in, and once you deplete the tank you throw away the vape and get a new one. Disposable vapes are cheaper (per vape) and easier to use, but cost more in the long run. For people who are not frequent CBD users, disposable pens are the way to go. You should only invest in a larger, reusable vape if you intend to use it frequently.
Now for the good news: vaping CBD is easy! There are one of two ways to go about obtaining a vaporizer for CBD purposes:
- Purchasing a CBD vape outright. Most CBD companies carry CBD vapes (NOT E-LIQUIDS) which are disposable vape pens with CBD oil already inside. They will usually be flavored, and have a dosage for the liquid in the vape. In Maku’s case, the vapes contain 200mg of CBD within the e-liquid.
- Purchasing a nice vape separately, and then purchasing CBD e-liquid direct from a company.
Remember: you only buy e-liquid if you have your own vape. If you do not have your own vape, nor do you intend to purchase your own vape, purchasing vapes already filled with liquid is the cheapest and easiest way to get started with vaping.
Is Vaping Safe?
It’s a bit challenging to talk about the safety of vapes, since vapes are such new tech that there haven’t been any long term studies done on safety. In general, vaping is considered safer than smoking. Many of the side effects of vaping, and of negative health benefits of vaping, aren’t with the vape itself but with the nicotine products inhaled by vaping. Most of the side effects for vaping are just side effects of smoking.
Another issue with vaping is the quality of vape itself. Vaporizer pens from China can leak trace metals, such as nickel and lead, into the oil being vaped. While this sounds dangerous and scary, it is important to remember the facts.
- The amount of metal being leaked is minute. Immeasurably small. Of all the reasons to be wary when approaching vapes in the wild, this is not one of them.
- Not every vape pen is going to leak metals. Just because there is evidence of some pens leaking does not mean that every pen always leaks. Higher quality products, and American-made tech, is not going to leak metals. The only vapes found to leak metals were cheap plastic vapes from overseas.
- It’s difficult to vaporize the metal. In order to successfully inhale metal you have to have a cheap pen AND have the temperature up high. Being able to control the temperature is a feature on many vaporizer pens, and at lower temperatures the metal is both less likely to leak, and if it does leak the metal is less likely to actually get vaporized.
Now it’s just common sense. If you buy a vape pen from your local gas station, it’s probably not going to be a quality product. Conversely, if you buy a vape pen from a well-established CBD business, you are getting a higher quality oil and a higher quality pen, and the pen is not going to leak metals into your oil.
Types of vape oils and the differences between MCT, TECT Temper Oil, PG, and VG
Within both e-liquids and CBD tinctures, there are binding agents. These chemicals do nothing other than make the liquid more consistent, and make it able to be vaped successfully.
You will either have PG (propylene glycol) or VG (vegetable glycerine) in an e-liquid, and most CBD tinctures will have MCT (mixed-chain triglycerides). For CBD oils, the MCT is coconut oil and it’s a carrier oil: it helps the oil make it safely to the bloodstream, where the CBD will begin to take effect.
PG makes the process of vaping less abrasive on your throat, but the result is that you produce a lower quantity of vapor. VG has a better taste, but due to a thicker consistency, more dense smoke can irritate the throat and cause an excess of phlegm. There are also mechanical differences: because VG is thicker, it is easier to “glob up” the coil, meaning you have to clean your vape more frequently.
The conclusion here is that you should try both to experience which additive (PG or VG) gives the most desirable vaping experience. However, most people opt for the PG which is why PG is the main additive in e-cigarettes and most e-liquids.
There is a third vape additive: tec temper oil. Both PG and VG have benefits and drawbacks, and the efficiency of MCT in helping CBD oil enter the bloodstream is in dispute. That’s why tec temper oil is really cool: it’s flavorless, odorless, and doesn’t cause any irritation. There are even preliminary studies suggesting that it is more helpful than MCT as a carrier oil!
Good news everyone! Maku is technically vapable. That’s right: if you have a vaporizer, you can put our oil in your vape and inhale it. We do not recommend this. In order to maximize the potency of our oil, we mix it with something called MCT, which is the complex chemical name for fractionated coconut oil. Because our oil has a bit of coconut oil inside of it, the vape needs to burn at a hotter temperature and at high temperatures CBD loses its potency. MCT does not burn smoothly or evenly, and as such the vapor from burning Maku has higher chances to irritate your throat. So while you are physically able to apply Maku to a coil and vaporize it, we do not support doing this.
If you want to experiment, we want to hear about it. We have vape products specifically so people aren’t as likely to vape Maku oil (or any CBD tincture not meant for vapes), but if you decide to try vaping Maku, we want to know what it’s like. Tell us!
Is CBD Vape Oil Legal?
Basically every CBD company in America has touted the 2018 Farm Bill to say that CBD is now legal. And it’s true, to a degree: the 2018 Farm Bill did make growing and cultivating hemp legal. Manufacturing products with less than 0.3% THC is also legal.
The bad: even though CBD is legal at the federal level, states are moving at a snails’ pace to legalize. It’s so bad that in Florida, a state with legal CBD, a 69 year old grandmother, with a doctor’s note, was arrested at Disney because there was CBD oil in her purse.
The good (again): while CBD as a whole is in a murky gray area, e-liquids and vaporizers are “practically golden”. That is, since the trend of vaping started with electronic cigarettes, and since vaping is a commonly practiced tradition, nobody really cares about what’s in your vape.
Part of the “illegality” of CBD doesn’t even stem from local or federal laws, but the lack thereof! The Food and Drug Administration vehemently asserted that they have authority of CBD additives, supplements, and foodstuffs manufactured with CBD. This would be all well and dandy, if not for the fact that they haven’t established any rules or guidelines. The one product they have approved is a drug called Epidiolex, which is a CBD/THC oil used to treat people with rare forms of epilepsy. They have been taking public opinion into consideration, but without formal and official guidance from them, every CBD product is in murky legal territory.
Guess which methodology of CBD intake the FDA cares least about? (hint: it’s vaporizers)
What all these shenanigans mean is that you can get CBD vaporizers, or CBD e-liquids, legally and easily. Most, if not all CBD companies, have online stores through which you can buy vapes or e-liquids. Smoke shops will sell vapes, e-liquids, or both. In fact, there are dedicated vape shops that specialize in vaporizers and e-liquids! If you are seeking more information, or are looking for a guide on what vape to buy, your absolute best bet is one of these shops.
What this back and forth means is that all CBD products are legal-ish, but the ones most accepted in society and the ones least likely to cause any problems are vaporizers and e-liquids. Read more about the future of cannabis and CBD in the United States here.
CBD vape oil effects, dosage, and potential side effects
*authors note: the author is a nerd and thought this thing was really cool*
We’ve talked about dosages before, and how a lack of fundamental research and years of scientific repression mean that we don’t know how much CBD the average person should take. But the truth is that recommended daily intake is only half of the dosages battle. The other half of the battle is bioavailability.
Bioavailability is a property of all medicines, medications, and drugs. Everything from Tylenol to Alieve to Benadryl and Prozac, when they hit your body they begin breaking down. Enzymes in your saliva begin breaking down the drug the second it hits your mouth, and liver metabolizes the drug further, turning a percentage of it into future urine. Bioavailability refers to the percentage of a drug that successfully makes it into the bloodstream. Basically, the higher the bioavailability, the more of a drug has an effect on you.
Vaporizers have the highest bioavailability, in most cases above 50%. A full dosage of vapor is a puff of five seconds.
The main reason for picking a vape over any other form of CBD is the continuity of your condition. If you are using CBD as a sleep aid or appetite stimulant, you probably want to try oils. If you have a skin condition, topical products are right for you.
Vaporizers are best for providing relief from chronic conditions, such as pain or severe anxiety. A vape will provide a stronger feeling of relief, but the payoff is that a dosage from a vape (a puff of five seconds) will not last as long as a dose from an oil. And if you’re curious about the potential side effects of CBD, we’ve got you covered, click here to read more.
There are some very common questions surrounding CBD vaporizers. This makes sense, as CBD vapes are the only way to take CBD that involves a new form of tech. This always leads to the question: why? It might be legal, and it might have the highest bioavailability, but what’s the main push to vape?
Vapes are safe and legal, as established previously in the article. The point of a vape is to be used for chronic conditions, because of its portability and high bioavailability. It won’t make you high, and vape isolate will not negatively affect a drug test. Full spectrum e-liquids will contain trace amounts of THC; usually not enough in the liquid to show up on a drug test, but if you absolutely cannot fail and don’t want to chance the 0.3% THC, you can purchase CBD oil isolate that contains 0% THC. Maku’s vapes are full-spectrum, meaning they contain the legal limit of 0.3% THC per weight.
A full dosage of CBD vape oil is a puff of 5 seconds, and based on how you feel after your first dose you can take a second dose as needed.
Vapes can be a bit daunting. Instead of just taking an oil or a gummy, you have to apply a liquid to a coil, or buy a pen outright. But vapes truly are the best way to take CBD, and we at Maku hope that this helps with peace of mind and spreads harmony.