Is Vaping CBD Oil Safe? [Understanding the FACTS]

August 22, 2018

Is Vaping CBD Oil Safe? [Understanding the FACTS]
Vaping is the newest craze for smokers and tokers everywhere. A convenient way to imbibe your chosen substance, vaping allows you to avoid the intense, burning heat of a regular cigarette or joint, as well as doing away with the social stigma of smoking in a public space.

It’s also known as the safer option; you avoid the toxicity of smoke and tar damaging your lungs, plus you get a purer, more distilled concentrate of whatever you’re inhaling.

But still, the question remains – for those that vape CBD oil, are you completely safe? Here are the facts about vaping CBD oil, and whether or not it truly is “safe.”

What is Vaping, and Why Do People Do it?

Vaping is the act of inhaling steam (vapor) through a vaporizer – it really doesn’t get much more obvious than that. It works by vaporizing the substance at a far cooler temperature than smoking (around 200 deg F compared to about 2,000 deg F), meaning there is (or should be) a total lack of combustion.

Originally, vapes were created to help regulate people’s use of cigarettes, encouraging them to quit by using e-cigarettes instead, but the ability to more easily and handily get a hit of marijuana – whether through dry herb or through oils – has meant that vapes have become incredibly popular.

The act of vaping carries with it less of the social issues that smoking in public has, thanks to the fact that you can get your vape smoke flavored with any number of different tastes. The process of vaporization also limits the amount of excess THC or CBD in the exhale, meaning you don’t force your substance on those passing by.

A famous study published in the Journal for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics by Abrams et al. is frequently quoted in news articles concerning vaping. The study extolled the virtues of vaping for the purpose of ingesting THC, thanks to its high rate of THC utilized per vape as well as its seeming lack of side effects or long-term health consequences.

The study, as well as numerous others, advocates for the use of a vape instead of regular smoking due to lack of combustion, as the acrid smoke and tar produced from cigarettes and joints can (obviously) be damaging to your health.

However, this study famously only works when considering vaping dry herb, as well as the fact that it only looks at the ability of the vaporizer to retrieve THC. It doesn’t take into account the act of vaping CBD oil, nor does it fully explore the potential consequences of vaping with regard to side effects. So what are some of the potential problems with vaping? Does it pose any kind of a risk to your health?

Vaping Fatty Oils May Cause Lipid Pneumonia

One of the concerns with vaping CBD oil is that, as the name implies, the CBD is suspended in oil. This oil is typically hemp or coconut oil, either for the purpose of creating brand consistency or to imbue it with a certain flavor or aroma.

However, vaping an oil isn’t exactly a good thing.

When you vaporize a substance, you are aerating it and entering it into your respiratory system. This vapor is breathed in, affecting your bloodstream in the same manner as taking oxygen from the air and then exhaling it.

But oil isn’t like air.

A study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology by Betancourt et al. has found that, when you imbibe vape oils, you are introducing fats – known as lipids – into your lungs. When you do this, there is the potential for an accumulation of lipids to occur in the alveoli. This essentially means you will find yourself with fat clinging to the interior of your lungs — not good at all.

When you do this, you become increasingly at risk of Lipid Pneumonia, a medical condition wherein your bronchial tubes become obstructed due to the fats blocking them up, resulting in severe respiratory distress and even possible death.

However, this is an exceedingly rare condition, one that only affects a small minority of extremely frequent marijuana oil vapors and, even then, doesn’t happen very often.

Even though it’s rare, though, it doesn’t stop it from being a concern. There are no public warnings or information sheets informing you of this possibility when you imbibe CBD oil, so how else would you know about it? And of course, there are also other lipid concerns when vaping…

Cuticle Wax Accumulation

If you’ve ever smoked marijuana in its more traditional, dry herb form, you might recognize a shimmer on the surface of your bud; a slight, almost unnoticeable gleam that seems a premonition of the good high to come.

Well, this sheen is actually from a layer of lipids that forms on the surface of many flowering cannabis plants. This surface substance is known as cuticle wax, and is usually of no concern if you’re simply smoking it in a joint or a pipe. When smoked through combustion, this layer of wax is burnt away easily – it’s actually what’s responsible for that first, slightly acrid and burning taste when you first light up.

However, this substance is not destroyed through the act of vaporization. This is a concern for CBD oil because, when making it, the CBD is extracted from the cannabis plant in a way that can allow the fatty substance to “come along for the ride.”

There isn’t exactly an actual problem with this cuticle wax – it doesn’t kill you or cause any bad flavor – the actual problem just occurs when you vape it. When you vaporize CBD oil that contains cuticle wax, the wax is not burned away, instead joining the CBD and other lipids in the oils, all of which enter your lungs.

Once inside your lungs, the cuticle waxes can build up, settling finally in a small, waxy lump inside your airways. This is not dissimilar from the process of tar settling that occurs in frequent tobacco smokers. However, this danger has been recognized and is being tackled thanks to a process known as winterization.


Winterization is a recently formulated process with the intended purpose of clarifying and purifying CBD oil. Normally, when CBD oil is produced, the CBD is extracted using different heating solutions and pretty standard extraction methods.

With winterization however, the CBD is soaked in an extract of alcohol and then frozen, hence its wintery name. Though this obviously takes more time and money, the process means that no other substances can be brought along with the distilled CBD, as it is frozen out. This process is actually similar to the one used in the production of brandy and other spirits; by freezing the substances, you can actually separate out the chemicals or other elements that you don’t want in the final product.

Thanks to winterization, CBD oil is getting safer to vape. However, there are still other concerns with CBD oil that actually arise after the oil is made.

Propylene Glycol & Mysterious Thinning Agents

One of the problems when manufacturing CBD oil for vaping is the fact that oils are too viscous. When attempting to vaporize a substance, or even just bottle it for transport and sale, you want the oil to be as liquid-like as possible.

With CBD oil, the CBD is suspended in a solution of either coconut or hemp oil, which is pretty viscous and thick. To make the process of vaporization easier, a number of substances can be added to CBD oil to make it thinner, including the infamous Propylene Glycol, or PG.

PG makes the CBD oil smoother and easier to imbibe, but it carries with it some significant risks. According to numerous studies, including this study published in the Journal for American Pediatric Society by Lau et al., Propylene Glycol has the potential to break down in carcinogenic compounds that could pose serious health risks.

The consequences of this breakdown are long-term, so it’s likely that the side effects wouldn’t even be noticed for years.

Furthermore, the same study found that excessive quantities of Propylene Glycol can cause apoptosis – which means the death of cells – in the developing brains of mice. This could have far reaching implications to adults and adolescents who use CBD oil containing this compound, as we have yet to fully explore the potential side effects of Propylene Glycol. After all, the human brain continues to develop well into our early twenties.

This risk of cancer and damaged brain development has caused many CBD oil vape manufacturers to forgo the inclusion of these thinning agents, so try to keep a lookout for whether or not your CBD oil contains Propylene Glycol as an ingredient, and avoid it if it does.

Is Vaping CBD Oil Safe? Final Thoughts

CBD oil has been established to have the potential to help a huge amount of people with their medical conditions, anxieties and problems, thanks to its effects on the endocannabinoid system.

However, as with any medication, CBD oil has some problems and dangerous interactions with the human body when vaporized.

Whether through extensive risk of lipid pneumonia, or the potential for future cancer risks associated with the addition of Propylene Glycol as a thinning agent, it’s clear that we don’t know enough about the issues with vaping CBD oil.

Though vaping CBD oil has innumerable benefits, it might instead be best to stick to oral application of CBD oil through droplets, or through its inclusion in food, at least until further studies and investigations can be conducted into the long-term consequences of CBD oil. No one wants to treat one condition with a medication, only to then suffer more complications in the future as a result.

Thankfully, manufacturers are wising up to these problems, and are striving towards purer, additive- and lipid-free CBD oils that will hopefully mean there are no limited amounts of long-term health problems associated with vaporization.

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Getting Started with CBD Oil

If you suffer from anxiety (like me), depression or pain and are looking to get started with CBD oil, you need information on how to buy CBD oil, or you’re simply looking to learn more about CBD products, you’ve arrived at the right place.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, aka CBD, is a compound found in the cannabis plant that has significant medical benefits. CBD can be extracted from two different species of the Cannabis Sativa L plant, which include Cannabis and Hemp. Unlike its rival THC, CBD does not make people feel “stoned” and can actually counteract the psychoactivity of THC.

One of the main advantages of CBD is its non-psychoactive affect making it a great option for people looking for relief from inflammation, anxiety, insomnia, seizures, spasms, and other conditions.
As I mentioned above the primary distinction between Hemp and CBD oil is the part of the plant they are derived from and what parts of the plant are used to create the oil. Hemp oil is typically made from pressing cannabis seeds to extract the fatty oil from within, while some that have mastered the CBD extraction process also use the flowers as they contain high percentages of CBD. CBD oil, on the other hand, is usually made from the flowers of cannabis plant through various extraction methods.

How Does CBD Affect Your Body?

The way marijuana affects your body varies from person to person as it will often depend on genetics, tolerance to the cannabinoids, medical health, DNA, and more. It also depends on the way you consume the CBD, for example, the effects of vaping CBD are far different to smoking it in the form of high-CBD cannabis strains. 

CBD and the way it affects us is still of somewhat a mystery to researchers they still try to figure out how it effects the EndoCannabinoid system. During the previous century, it was discovered that our bodies have receptors within the brain and central nervous system. Specific cannabinoids such as CBD bind to those receptors and activate the EndoCannabinoid System (ECS). This then provides a wide range of psychological and physical benefits helping the body.

Without going into specifics, cannabinoids signal to the body to create endocannabinoids and build more receptors. This helps the body to limit things associated with pain and inflammation, repairs cells and provides a wide range of other health benefits. Unlike other cannabinoids, CBD is thought to be the ultimate anti-inflammatory cannabinoid.

Want to learn more about how CBD works read: How Long Does it Take CBD to Work

Medical Benefits of CBD

There is a misconception as to whether CBD can help treat patients, similar to pharmaceutical medicine, but thanks to the internet and a few different medical studies patients and researchers have been exposing their findings on how CBD oil is helping to cure a wide range of medical conditions.

The most popular story was the one of Charlotte Figi. At the time Charlotte was only 6 years old. As a little girl, she was experiencing over 300 epileptic seizures per week until she was successfully treated by a CBD-rich strain oil, later named Charlotte’s Web.

The high-quality CBD oil, changed her life, helping her to overcome a 6-year battle. Since her story hit the news, CBD and other cannabinoids of the cannabis plant are constantly being researched to understand how they can help to treat different medical conditions. As a matter of fact, CBD has been thought to help treat over 170 medical conditions, among them severe conditions such as Anorexia, Cancer, Arthritis, Depression, Anxiety, Chronic Pain, Insomnia, Glaucoma, multiple sclerosis and PTSD.

Recent studies have even shown that CBD, may cure life-threatening diseases by altering genes. Other studies have proven that it might even be an effective treatment for osteoarthritis and chronic pain.

The way that CBD works is that it interacts with receptors located in different parts of the central nervous system. These receptors are called CB1 and CB2. Both reflect the areas of the brain they interact with such as the limbic system. When taking CBD, this cannabinoid locks in on these receptors and affects the body in different ways. For example, it can help to block the pain caused by specific medical conditions.

While numerous studies have shown promising results, it is important to understand that CBD research is still at premature stages. A 2011 study that researched CBD for fibromyalgia showed extremely promising results. 56 of 112 participants who took CBD in the form of oil saw a great reduction in their symptoms and pain, while those using traditional methods didn’t see hardly any improvement.

Can you Buy CBD if you live in an illegal state?

The process is not cut-&-dry, and but thanks to the Farm Bill of 2014, forms of CBD can now be delivered to your doorstep. Those that live in recreational states can purchase CBD cannabis oil which is high in potency and extremely effective for helping to treat severe medical conditions, while those that live in other states that are not medical or recreational can benefit from CBD hemp oil. CBD Hemp oil is perfect for helping to treat a wide range of conditions including anxiety, depression and acute pain. 

Who is NaturalWellNessCBDOil?

My name is Jonathan, and I’ve created this loving resource that is packed with information about CBD oil. I am growing a community on Facebook and are constantly engaging with different people to help them make more informed decisions. I review products on a daily basis and provide unbiased reviews about some of the top CBD oil manufacturers. All the information on the site is FREE; I only ask that you help to share the information you find on the site with other people that are suffering. 

To your health and happiness.