With so many different types of vapes and CBD available, is that disposable pen vape at the headshop down the street really the best option? Probably not.
Many stores take advantage of new vapers’ lack of knowledge, selling them over priced equipment or, worse, a product that will make them sick. To avoid feeling cheated out of your hard-earned money or getting sick, it is important to acquire a basic understanding of vaping and the components involved before making your first purchase.
Know your equipment!
Not every vape is the same, but they all have four basic components: a battery, a heating element (also known as an atomizer), a mouthpiece and a chamber to hold the material to be vaped. The heating element vaporizes whatever material it comes in contact with in the chamber and the user inhales the vapor through the mouthpiece.
From here there are two distinct styles of vapes that we are concerned with for vaping CBD.
The first type is the pen-style vape used for concentrates. It consists of a chamber with a metal heating coil in the bottom that vaporizes concentrated CBD isolate placed directly on the coils. The problem with vape pens is that the coil must be replaced periodically when it burns out and each one costs upwards of $20.
The second style of vape is the kind that produces the famous billowing clouds associated with vaping. These are known as “tank style” vapes. Tanks require e-liquid, a mixture of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, flavorings and CBD. The heating coil inside is filled or wrapped with cotton, nylon or silica wick to absorb the e-liquid into the coils.
When it comes to tank style vapes, there are yet another two variations: disposable and refillable. Disposable vapes (also known as “cartomizers” because they use prefilled, disposable cartridges) tend to be made with cheaper materials and are of questionable quality. If used improperly, the coil and wick can burn up, leaving the entire system useless. Users add their own e-liquid to refillable vapes and the heating coils are replaceable on some.
For tobacco smokers, a refillable tank is the most common style of vape; however, for someone who has never smoked, a refillable pen style vape that uses CBD concentrates instead of e-liquid is the best option. These are typically sold as all-in-one kits and replacement atomizers can be purchased online. It allows the user to control what materials are used in the vape and what chemicals are consumed.
Is vaping CBD worth the health risks?
While there may be some health concerns for non-smokers interested in vaping CBD, the exposure to some contaminants is less compared to traditional forms of smoking. Short-term and mid-term studies on the health effects of vaping show no significant side effects in smokers.
Whether or not vaping is right for you, CBD is always an option. With the information laid out here, you should be able to make a more informed and safe decision about how to consume your CBD. It is important to continue doing more research. Read reviews, watch YouTube videos, read Reddit posts, join a Facebook group and search for more information about whatever product you are interested in before you buy it. Chances are someone else already laid out everything you need to know about any given product. And, if you can’t find any information on a product, that is a huge red flag! Don’t buy it!
Until more studies into the long-term effects of vaping are completed and regulations catch up with new technology, it is probably best for non-smokers to avoid vaping entirely. The technology is too new to say definitively that it is safe, especially for sensitive individuals and those with compromised immune systems.