For years and years, the cannabis scene has been dominated by recreational users who most often consume the herb in a joint – essentially a cannabis cigarette. While this method provides a speedy onset of effects, the carcinogens and toxins created by the combusting herb, as well as tar build-up, are damaging to the lungs, while the free radicals from the smoke have a negative effect on your skin.
But now, cannabis users can enjoy the benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in a vape oil. Dry herb vaporizers are perfect for those who prefer to keep cannabis flower, so they can consume the plant in various ways.
As opposed to smoking a joint, where temperatures can reach in excess of 3,500°F, when vaping the cannabinoids are heated (and crucially not burned) to anywhere between 300 and 450°F. This is hot enough to activate the cannabinoids which form as part of a vapor that can be inhaled.
Vaping CBD is more efficient than many consumption methods, particularly oral, thanks to the greater bioavailability. A higher bioavailability allows more of the cannabinoids to get into your bloodstream, meaning you need less for the same effects. If you’re a regular CBD user who requires large doses, an inefficient intake method can make a severe dent on your wallet over time.
And as we touched on, CBD is quicker to take effect when vaped, simply because it doesn’t have to travel through as much of the body before it can be absorbed. For example, if you consume CBD in an edible, it has to pass by the gut and liver, which has a double-whammy effect of reducing the compound’s bioavailability.
While vaping can be beneficial for everyone, it’s clear that it’s most helpful for users who need large doses of CBD and fast-acting relief from their ailments.
Understanding the difference between CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD
Picking between a CBD isolate and full-spectrum CBD vape oil can be confusing at first for a new user, and since the CBD market is unregulated at present, researching before purchasing is key.
Any reputable CBD company will have their products verified by a third-party laboratory, which confirms not just whether it’s safe for consumption, but that it actually contains the ingredients claimed. Some dishonest brands have tried to cash in on the CBD wave, selling products with reduced amounts of CBD, if they even have any at all.
CBD products are often described as either ‘isolate’ or ‘full-spectrum’. With several hundred compounds in cannabis – and more than 100 cannabinoids – users must choose if they just want the benefits of CBD, or all the other components, too. A full-spectrum, hemp-derived CBD product sold in the United States, however, will never contain more than 0.3 percent THC, as this is the maximum concentration permitted by federal law.
There is some evidence to suggest that ‘full-spectrum’ products are more effective than isolate products, since the interactions between the compounds creates a synergy – referred to as the entourage effect – which increases the total therapeutic value. In contrast, a CBD isolate product is made by separating the CBD from the rest of the plant, stopping this synergistic process from taking place.
CBD concentrates (crystals, waxes and shatters) are often extremely potent, with some isolate products containing as much as 99 percent CBD. These can then be dabbed or vaped.
The cannabis world always seems to be discussing whether isolate or full-spectrum products are better, but much comes down to preference. While the existing research suggests that full-spectrum products are more effective, isolates do have some unique bonuses.
Patients in states that have not yet legalized medical cannabis or have restrictive laws must keep an eye on their THC consumption if taking full-spectrum oils in high doses. While the 0.3 percent limit means you won’t get stoned, the THC levels in your body could potentially be enough to fail a drugs test – which may have big consequences if cannabis isn’t legal in the state.
This possible concern is enough for many to just take isolate products instead. As these contain no THC at all, there’s no need to worry. Moreover, the concentration of CBD that you get from isolates far outweighs what is possible with a full-spectrum oil. With consistent, heavy use, the body does build a tolerance to CBD which can only be addressed by higher dosages or taking a break – and stopping medication simply isn’t viable for some. Chronic pain patients are among the most common CBD isolate users, with such products also popular with those who have depression and anxiety.
How to vape CBD
There are several types of vaporizers that allow you to vape CBD products. Some are only compatible with oils, waxes or dry herb, however multi-purpose vaporizers are also available. Refillable cartridges can work out cheaper over time, however disposable cartridges are less messy and more suitable for those who want to vape on the move.
CBD e-liquids and vape oils are ideal for new CBD users who will likely require lower dosages for their ailments. It’s always best to start low and increase gradually to find the perfect dose.
CBD is helping millions of people around the world finally find relief from their physical and mental illnesses. And vaping allows them to consume cannabis-derived medicine without the harmful effects of smoking. The cannabis industry is surely more innovative and inclusive than it’s ever been.
*This article is for entertainment use, and should not replace the diagnoses of any disease or the subscribing of any medication. Always consult with your doctor or a medical professional for any and all health-related advice.
Article written by Felipe - (Photo by jurassicblueberries via Flickr)