What is CBD Vape Oil?

Well, for one thing, CBD vape oil is not oil…

CBD vape oil contains CBD

Let’s start with some clarification, beginning with the most important ingredient in CBD vape oil, CBD, or cannabidiol [can-na-bi-dye-all].  In purified form, CBD is a crystal that is insoluble in water.  It is an extract from the cannabis plant and possesses no psychotropic or psychoactive effects—it most definitely will not “get you high”.  It is just one of as many as 133 similar compounds known as cannabinoids [can-ab-in-oids].

CBD is the mimetic (performs the same function) phytocannabinoid of our body’s endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG).  It can be used as a direct substitute when the body does not produce enough 2-AG on its own.  2-AG and CBD are involved in the regulation of appetite, immune functions, and pain management.

Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids themselves come in two varieties—as noted above—those made by plants, and those made by animal tissue.  They are known as phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids, respectively.  Your body makes its own cannabinoids for numerous purposes, so these substances are far from being a foreign substance in our own biochemistry.  In fact, our endocannabinoids affect fertility, pregnancy, natal development, mood, memory, pain, and even the “high” you get from intense exercise.

Your cannabinoid receptors

We even have chemical receptor sites in our bodies specifically designed to receive and react to the presence of cannabinoids.  These receptors also come in two varieties CB1 and CB2.  

CB1 receptors are primarily found in the brain and on the spinal cord, although they do exist throughout the body as part of the immune system.  CB2 receptors, on the other hand, are located on white blood cells and within the spleen (and if you still happen to have your tonsils, you’ll find some there, too).

CBD Vape Oil vs CBD Oil

Let’s quickly clear up a misunderstanding that has pervaded the CBD discussion from the beginning.  CBD Oil and CBD Vape Oil(or e-juice, e-liquid, or whatever name you are familiar with) are not the same thing.

CBD Oil

This is a product specifically designed for ingestion or topical application.  In its crystalline form CBD is relatively useless unless dissolved under the tongue. For functionality, it needs to be dissolved, usually in oil, such as olive, canola, MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides from coconut or palm kernel), or even hemp oil, so the body can use it most efficiently.

CBD can be absorbed through the skin (albeit slowly), or through the membranes of the mouth, particularly the cheeks and under the tongue where there are so many blood vessels close to the surface.  Swallowing it decreases its bioavailability to 7% or less because the gastric system simply digests the majority of it. Keeping it in the mouth for just a minute or two can boost bioavailability to 15% or more.

Do not attempt to vape CBD oil!

Devices used to “vape” require heat to release the CBD into a gaseous form, but at that temperature the oil-base burns, creating an awful flavour, and little appreciable transfer of CBD.  It could also permanently damage your device, or at least put it out of commission until it has been disassembled and cleaned.

Vape liquid or e-juice bears a superficial resemblance to oil because it is a thick, viscous fluid.  Unfortunately, a lot of people attempt to vape CBD oil resulting in a coughing fit and possibly a burnt out vape coil.  This situation continues, even to this day, despite the fact that the knowledge is widely available.

CBD vape oil ingredients

CBD Vape-Oil is composed of glycerine, propylene glycol (a form of alcohol), and water.  Quite frequently it will include flavouring as well, and in e-cigs, a certain amount of nicotine.  

Since CBD won’t dissolve in water, as stated earlier, it requires these other substances so that it will dissolve.  Once in solution with vegetable glycerine (VG) or propylene glycol (PG), it can be freely diluted with distilled water to obtain the correct ratio for the intended purpose.

Is CBD vape oil better than CBD oil?

In a word: No.  People can use CBD oil when a slow-onset, long duration is the best solution for them.

But, in a fast-paced world where people seem to want instant answers to everything, vaping provides a very fast onset effect, but it is less durable.  When the CBD vape liquid is heated, the entire solution vaporizes, becoming essentially “steam”, which can be easily inhaled.

If you thought the mouth had lots of blood vessels near the surface, the lungs have hundreds of times more exposure, so virtually all of the CBD can enter the bloodstream.  In terms of surface area, your lungs, spread out, could cover a court at Wimbledon. This is why it can have its effect so quickly.

Now, of course, the CBD in the bloodstream still passes through the liver, which actively seeks to moderate the normal level of all chemicals in our blood, and it will enzymatically destroy anything it determines to be excessive. This is precisely the same process that moderates nicotine for smokers, or prescription medications for cardiac patients or diabetics.

Nevertheless, it will still take a few passes to reduce the CBD to what it perceives to be “normal” levels, so the high bioavailability of CBD lets it penetrate well into the body where it can do whatever task needs to be accomplished before the liver can destroy it all like any other common drug or treatment.

The Takeaway

You can get your daily dose of CBD from vaping or by ingestion. Ingestion provides a slow onset, long duration but with low bioavailability. Vaping CBD offers you fast onset, high bioavailability but with a short duration of effect.

Using CBD vape oil is a convenient method to enjoy the benefits of CBD anywhere and any time you wish.

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