How to Vape CBD Oil


So many choices!

The first piece of advice(and the most important) is DO NOT VAPE CBD OIL. It is not designed to be vaped and trying to vape it may lead to negative consequences. You must ensure that you use CBD vape oil which is designed to be used with a modern vape device.

There are a vast number of devices on the market for vaping substances both benign and legal to controlled and potentially harmful.  You can find such devices of virtually any description. Choosing one that suits you and your lifestyle should present absolutely no difficulty at all.  They come in different lengths, thicknesses, configurations, styles, and lend themselves to discreet use, broad and open “I don’t care what you think” use, and everything in between.

Some are cleverly disguised as something that might be interpreted as a figurine or decoration in your home—potentially completely overlooked by guests or visitors—even if it is sitting on the middle of your coffee table.  Some are as common looking as a tobacco cigarette, even to the extent of having a little reddish-orange LED in the end, which glows when you draw air through the device, to emulate the look of a conventional cigarette.

Some are squat devices, easily held in the hand, with high-capacity tanks that might not need to be refilled for a week or more.  Smaller units might be suitable for no more than a day’s worth of use.

We’ll look at filling, priming, storing, and other points…but first, let’s address the elephant in the room…because people ask:

Is CBD vape oil safe?

All of the ingredients in reputable vaping liquids or E-liquids are GRAS (Generally Recognised As Safe) in both Europe and North America, suitable for use as food sweeteners, or thickeners for medicines, and so on.  This is why it was so surprising to see one recent online video by a self-proclaimed “Certified Nutritional Specialist” that was rife with hand-wringing anxiety about avoiding PG (Propylene Glycol) because it creates carcinogenic metabolites.

Good grief, if you’re going to provide “expert” advice, at least take the time to educate yourself regarding basic chemistry!  It is important to note that products like formaldehyde (which seemed to be her chief concern), are only created when the temperature is set far beyond the normal operating range of the device (what are often called sub-ohm units, designed particularly to generate more vapour).  Moreover, when the device is that badly adjusted, it generates the most horrible flavour you can imagine, and no one would continue to use a device in such a condition.

If you have had experience with a unit that has run out of e-liquid, you know the nasty taste that immediately makes you re-wet your wicks, or refill your holding tank.  That “bad draw” contains nothing in harmful quantities—but it is a powerful warning that you’re due for a refill. Even if it was to generate nasty metabolites, they are far, far below the acceptable levels of daily exposure found in industrial guidelines.

She waxed poetic about Vegetable Glycerine (glycerol) and how safe it was.  And while it is true that VG doesn’t create nasty metabolites either, it is neither significantly better or worse, so use whichever you like (VG is “sweeter”; PG has more of a throat hit, so it “feels” more like smoking)

The truth about CBD vape oil

PG is an innocent bystander.  It has never been found to cause cancer, damage genes, or interfere with fertility or reproduction in any way.  Despite the histrionics of that aforementioned “expert”, it is a good candidate for the “Poster Child of Harmless” in the chemistry world.

Like its cousin PG, glycerol is one of the most benign organic liquids known.  Not only is it hypoallergenic, it is harmless to foetuses, doesn’t cause damage to genes, and is non-carcinogenic.  In our bodies it is metabolised by simple beta-oxidisation and decomposes into H2O (water) and CO2 (Carbon Dioxide).

Why else would it be in our food as an anti-caking ingredient in powdered soups, cosmetics, and suchlike?  Why would it be added to our favourite beverages such as whisky (or whiskey) to improve the “mouthfeel”, or cough syrups so that they stay in your throat longer to enhance their effectiveness?

More importantly, one study aerosolised PG in a children’s hospital ward because of its antibacterial properties and saw a significant reduction in cross-infections among patients.  PG is actually good, and useful;  the reason it is vilified is likely because people often mistake it for its poisonous cousin ethylene glycol (EG), maybe because both PG and EG are used in various types of antifreeze.

CBD Vaping Made Easy

Portable vaping devices are by far the most popular, because of the convenience of carrying your vape and CBD vape oil with you.  Home units can be plugged in and that’s just fine, but we’d soon find a better way if we had to plug in a bottle of Aspirin™ before we could use it!

So, the main components you’ll find in a vaping device include the mouthpiece, or tip, the tank (generally made of glass for easy monitoring of e-liquid levels), the heating unit or coil (sometimes with wicks, sometimes with a hot surface in direct contact with the liquid), and the battery.  

The tip should be a nice polymer plastic so that it is strong if you decide to clench it in your teeth (don’t try that with a Pyrex™ glass type).  It should also be non-metallic so that it doesn’t steal heat from the vapour causing premature condensation inside, necessitating more cleaning and loss of CBD.

The tank can be made of any material from Pyrex™ to steel, but glass is generally preferred because it is easy to clean (when you change flavours) and allows you to see how much CBD e liquid remains.  When you’re running low on vape-liquid, you can see the contents in order to angle and rotate the device to make sure your wicks stay wet. If you’re using a non-wick variety this becomes moot.

The battery often has electronic components that allow you to adjust the power level, switch the unit off and on, and to operate momentarily while you are drawing air through the device.  It is necessarily complex, and often the most expensive component. Typically it unscrews from your device and fits into a matching connector on a USB cable so that you can charge it via your laptop, a USB block-charger, or in an emergency, with an OTG connector from your smartphone or tablet.

CBD vaping time…

Now you understand the unit’s components and the safety of its ingredients.  All that is left is to “try it out”.

Each unit has its own idiosyncrasies and therefore you’ll be best advised to read the instructions carefully.  Speaking generally, in most cases you unscrew the tip from the tank to begin. In the centre of the tank is an air passage.  Do not put e-liquid in that hole as it will make a mess!

Around the edge of the air-passage is another passage that allows CBD e-liquid to enter the tank.  Your CBD vape oil comes with a squeeze-bulb dropper so use this to carefully fill the tank up to the recommended level.  Reattach the tip to the tank, and once it is snug (don’t over-tighten it or you risk breaking the glass tank or destroying the soft seals) it is completely leak-proof.

Turning on the battery often has specific requirements.  Sometimes you need to push the function button five times to activate it.  Others require that you hold the button for more than five seconds. You’ll have to read your instructions carefully and get to know your unit.  

Other functions, using the same button, might change the power level once it is turned on, by pressing it 3 times to increase from one level to the next.  Often the button illuminates, say “blue”, for several seconds, to show that you have turned it on or off, but when you change power levels it may blink a certain number of times, or it may change colour from yellow to orange to red.  If you find it too complex in the beginning, bring the instructions with you so that you can refer to them.

Your First CBD vape experience…

Once it is filled, secured, and “on”, all you have to do is place the tip in your mouth, press the button while you draw air through it, and then release the button.  If you’re not a smoker (good for you!) you might want to take small puffs until you get used to the small “throat hit” which feels a bit like a toke from a standard cigarette.

This occurs because you’re not inhaling pure air, but rather steam, and it tends to condense making a small partial vacuum.  If you draw first and open your mouth so you get lots of air with the vapour this effect will be reduced.  Using vape liquids that are partially or purely VG will almost eliminate this effect.

The Takeaway

Vape devices are often expensive, so learn to take care of yours and it will serve you for many years.  CBD is also expensive, so remember how to vape CBD oil properly and you will avoid waste or damage. You don’t need to clean your vape device every day; you might wear out the seals and threads if you fiddle with it too often.  Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance. You now have a delivery tool for your CBD that is both convenient and fast acting.  Congratulations!

To discover more about CBD vape oil and vaping CBD be sure to check out our new CBD vape oil guide

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Rafael Castro