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Vaping CBD: starting from scratch

September 17, 2018

Vaping CBD: starting from scratch

Cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabis derivative with no psychoactive properties, has gained notable media attention over the past few years. It just so happens that many CBD users choose to obtain the compound’s benefits by vaporizing.

Avoiding the dangers of smoking and the psychoactive effects of THC are perhaps the two primary reasons for vaporizing CBD. While CBD offers nothing to recreational users, the molecule, which is known as a cannabinoid that so far appears to be unique to cannabis, is excellent for seasoned or prospective medical cannabis users who either cannot get “high” when they medicate or have no desire to. Unlike THC, there is no cognitive impairment or short-term memory loss when taking CBD.

Vaping is kinder to the lungs and skin than smoking

The downsides of smoking are well-documented, having been linked to an array of illnesses such as bronchitis, emphysema and lung cancer. However, smoking regularly can also be very bad for the skin, which is exposed to more free radicals than normal due to being in close proximity with the smoke. Free radicals are uncharged molecules that destroy the skin’s DNA as they take electrons from it. DNA degradation prevents the skin from creating new skin cells, leading to a loss of vibrancy and quicker aging.

How to start vaping CBD

Determining how you want to vape CBD is the first step of the process. CBD vape oil and e-liquid products are among the most popular, although there’s also a market for vaporizing dry herb and high-strength concentrates (i.e. CBD crystals, waxes and shatters). If you already have a vaporizer, check to see what CBD products it’s compatible with. Those who don’t get to decide between devices that only work with e-liquids, concentrates or dry herb, or vaporizers that work with a combination. There’s no superior method, it all comes down to personal preference.

CBD cartridges are excellent for vapers who don’t want to go through the messy process of having to refill their tank every time they want a dose of CBD. Cartridges are disposable and can simply be attached to a suitable vaporizer and disposed of when empty. CBD users trying to stick to exact doses may be better off with cartridges when starting off, as each draw releases the same amount of e-juice and therefore CBD. The effects of CBD vary depending on whether a small or high dose has been administered, because of the cannabinoid’s biphasic properties.

To obtain the more obscure benefits of cannabis and some of the synergy from the “entourage effect”, opt for a full-spectrum CBD e-juice that will contain traces of cannabinol (CBN) and other non-intoxicating cannabinoids, as well as a list of terpenes. Some CBD e-liquids are sold with “indica”, “sativa” or “hybrid” tags – an indica vape juice will consist of compounds with sedative effects, while sativa products should be more energizing.

For those who plan on using their vaporizer at work, in public or anywhere else outside the home, look for a device which offers USB charging. It’s ideal to be able to top up your device using your laptop, portable charger or any other convenient appliance.

How to pick a high-quality CBD e-liquid

Before buying any CBD e-liquid, check your vaporizer manual to confirm what carrier oils your device is suitable with. Not all vaporizers can handle the thicker vegetable glycerin (VG) oil used in some e-juices, and require a thinner mixture made with propylene glycol (PG).

Not trying to run before you can walk is prudent advice in any area, and it’s also applicable to vaping. While there’s a temptation to immediately ramp up the wattage and temperature to enjoy a more potent throat hit, if unfamiliar with the feeling of inhaling warm vapor, this could cause nauseous symptoms. It’s much better to start off with lower temperatures, become acclimatized with the sensations, and then increase the wattage – if necessary – later on.

Small, regular doses are more effective

To make your vaping experience as economic as possible, star with small doses and gradually increase your intake until you get the right amount of relief. There’s no advantage in taking a strong dose for the sake of it, as this may cause unnecessary drowsiness and sedation. If you are suffering from chronic pain, turn to your vape when the discomfort starts to intensify and take enough to relieve the immediate discomfort. You can always increase your dose if required.

Battle anxiety head on by vaping CBD

Vaporizing CBD is maybe better than any other anti-anxiety treatment, because of the fast effects. Studies have repeatedly shown that CBD reduces anxiety by stimulating inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, and possibly through other methods. The soothing effects of CBD help to place the mind in a calm, peaceful state, where worries and concerns subside, and rumination is non-existent.

Many anxiety patients find benefits from being mindful about their condition – for example, a new social situation could trigger symptoms in a social anxiety patient. Taking a dose of CBD before engaging in the scenario works to keep self-consciousness and racing thoughts to a minimum, allowing you to stay in the present moment.

Staying discreet while vaping CBD

Some cities, particularly in the Bay Area in California, are showing some opposition to vaping, and sadly a lack of knowledge and understanding means that it’s frowned upon in certain public areas. However, vaping CBD is much more discreet than toking on a smelly joint, and if you avoid e-liquids with terpenes, then the vapor odor should be pretty much indistinguishable to anybody else. 

Thankfully, vaping does not leave a lingering, unpleasant smell, unlike smoking, as vapor doesn’t stick to clothes like smoke does.

Final thoughts

CBD e-juices and CBD cartridges made from industrial hemp are not subjected to the federal restrictions that cannabis with THC is and are readily available in all 50 states. No medical cannabis card is needed to purchase such products.

However, if you are still apprehensive about using CBD, consult a cannabis-informed doctor who can provide you with specialized, medical advice.

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