As an ex-smoker thru vaping, filling my vape gear with a CBD e-liquid was a very easy thing for me to do. Fortunately, the liquid I got was of a decent quality and wasn’t of the sort to really stay completely away from. It didn’t go well for me at first. I would like you to have a better experience and save you some time and money.
Let me explain the many pitfalls to avoid and why I have such fear and why anyone considers vaping CBD such be very careful.
- There are many mistakes that can easily be made ruining the new vapers experience. There is not a lot of help or guidance for the average person wanting to specifically try vaping CBD e-liquids.
We can start with the CBD extract and work our way down the list of things you need to know.
Cannabidiol (CBD) – The main attraction
If anyone asks me what is the best form of CBD to consume I always start with the “Full Spectrum Speech”. It is well-known that CBD is more effective when complemented by the other cannabinoids present in the whole plant. Not to say that isolates don’t have any effectiveness, in fact in certain circumstances isolates are the only choice. Unless one lives in a medical or recreational cannabis state one has to settle for less than a full spectrum product. No THC allowed above .03%!
- Use caution when choosing a concentration in your liquids. If you plan on puffing for long periods or with high frequency go with a low concentration. If you plan on a once or twice daily short vape session, a higher concentration may be a better choice. Whichever you choose, remember to be aware of your consumption its easy to get more than you planned.
- Stick With Isolates – Vaping CBD presents a few variables one normally wouldn’t think about. Full spectrum CBD has many lipids present in the extracted form. These lipids when vaporized don’t vaporize up and can clump together, which is not a good thing. These can accumulate and potentially cause complications for the person vaping such extracts, potentially physically and for sure wreak havoc on the coils of any vape gear.
- Winterization -There is a process sometimes called winterization used to break down these undesirable lipids removing the “cuticle wax” as it is called. Winterization is just another method of extraction, that in the end creates an isolate which is then used to create the e-liquid.
Some manufacturers will use the term winterization the label of the product or product literature and use it as a selling point. Remember, its just letting you know how the isolate was made.
- Full Spectrum – Anyone that plans on going with a full spectrum e-liquid make sure you are aware of the complications that you will have with full spectrum e-liquid and certain lipids. There is no way to burn these lipids off due to the nature of the vaping process, causing many undesirable effects and complications with your vape gear.
- Limited Temperature -Temperatures do not reach a high enough level to burn the some of the lipids (cuticle wax) when vaping full spectrum extracts. If the heat did get to the temperature needed to evaporate the wax, the wicking material or the build-up would burn and smolder to create smoke. (nothing you would want to inhale)
I am not suggesting that if you been vaping a full spectrum e-liquid that you have major concerns, but can be easily avoided and should be if possible.
- Using a full spectrum liquid in my tanks absolutely became useless quickly. This became expensive to buy coils and time-consuming to rebuild my tanks.
Tearing down the vape coils would reveal a tremendous amount of build-up and gunk. That gunk that would build up the quickest with higher levels of CBD faster than anything I had seen in my vape before.
The flavor and quantity of vapor went away very quickly too, usually before the first 60 milliliters of juice was thru the tank. Not only was the flavor burnt and harsh, the vapor was very diminished. This all really made for a terrible experience that I don’t recommend.
- I just about gave up on CBD vaping until I found out that isolates didn’t have the same problems!
Fortunately for me, CBD isolate meets my needs for vaping. I take a full spectrum oil daily for maintenance. My vape use with CBD is strictly for anxiety and stress relief. Due to the high bioavailability of vaping, the CBD works immediately compared to other forms like oils and edibles. If you must have a full spectrum application and want it in a way that can be enjoyably inhaled, then wax or dabs may be a better choice.
- CBD isolates will provide a more clean vape without the chance of the complications present with the full spectrum extract.
Look for Isolates derived using a CO2 extraction method, as it is the industry gold standard producing a reliable residue contaminant free result when done right. CO2 is also a more costly method than the others and indicates the manufacturer is not cutting corners.
The source and type of plant material should be specified on any CBD e-liquid product you purchase as always along with any 3rd party testing certifications.
Thinning agents – Thick as molasses
CBD extracts in liquid form are thick and do not flow at all and require something to be mixed in for thinning. Be aware that the most common thinning agents used are propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol or PG’s for short.
These PG’s are also used in nicotine e-liquids usually in combination with vegetable glycerin (VG) in various ratios depending on desired thickness. An 80VG \ 20PG ration is quite popular, or a 70\30 will work well too.
- Too Thick – If your liquid is too thick for your coil set up your wicking material can’t absorb enough liquid as fast the liquid is evaporating from the coil, leading to a dry condition on the wick and heating element or coil. When that happens you get a “dry hit”. You really want to avoid inhaling a scorched wick, it tastes terrible and not good for you.
- Too Thin – If the liquid is too thin you will be more prone to leakage. The flavor is carried by the PG’s, the molecules bind to them more easily than the VG. The VG contributes the most the actual vapor clouds, it can carry flavor too, just not as well as PG.
- Just Right -The tradeoff is also between the flavor vs cloud properties of a given liquid. If you want more of a cloud look for a higher first number 80/20 or even 100vg. I like a bit of a cloud, so I lean toward the thicker liquids, and my gear is the type that accommodates lots of flow to the wicks.
Currently, there are no long-term studies available about the health implications obtained about inhalation and consumption of PG and or VG and flavor additives.
Anyone with respiratory issues or concerns obviously should not use a vape.
The flavor additives in the e-liquid should be at least USP food grade. Some may be natural in their source, others synthetic. Remember that the flavorings currently are approved for food, meaning through oral digestion. This at least means there are quality checks and the ingredients shouldn’t harm you. Hopefully, as time goes on we can get an approved a set of standards for flavorings specifically for vape liquids.
There is speculation that heating these flavorings and the propylene glycol or polyethylene glycol past certain temperatures can change the compounds, releasing carcinogens into the vapor at various levels. On adjustable devices always stay with the lowest temp giving the desired amount of vapor.
Temperature\Voltage – You want to get it right
Vape pens and rebuildable atomizers use a wire coil of various diameters and lengths wrapped around a wicking material of some sort like cotton or hemp fiber between two posts. This wire can be made of different metals like stainless steel, nickel, or kanthal. The wire is heated by varying the amount of electricity that flows through it. The electricity is supplied from some type of battery, usually a rechargeable lithium ion.
To control the temperature of the wire you need some type of circuit or regulator, this is where the problem comes in for cheap devices. An optimum device requires a reliable chipset with good programming which does not come cheap. The inexpensive pens do not have a regulator circuit or have a very primitive one that resembles more of an on-off switch. Hold it down full power, let go off.
Mods Control the Voltage -There are many great “mods” available. A mod is a device the tank attaches to that controls the voltage and holds the batteries. Look for safety features like reverse battery protection, overload shut down, over temp shutdown. A good mod can be had for under $75 but you can also spend hundreds depending on what you are looking for.
Don’t go overboard, there is definitely a point of diminishing returns when it comes to feature sets on mods.
There are pen vape mods that are tubular that hold one or two batteries. These mods can attach to disposable pen type cartridges as well as others that are refillable. The volume these hold is very limited and the coils clog quickly even with the best liquid, and the taste is pretty muted even after the first fill. Much less vapor produced typically from these type of devices due to limited voltage or space for a regular chipset. They get the job done but just barely.
Batteries and Charger – Get the best batteries you can find specifically made for high load uses like vaping. You should look at your local vape shop or online. If shopping online be aware many fly-by-night sellers out there shrink wrap cells and you will not be getting suitable batteries. Not only are you getting ripped off you could be in danger of a fire. Really do your homework on this one. Or just pay the premium from a well-known shop or vendor. Expect to pay another $75 for these two at a minimum.
Batteries and chargers are definitely one area to not cut corners, get the best you can find and a charger made for your application period.
Refillable Tank and coils – If you plan on committing to vaping for a CBD delivery method I would recommend a good refillable tank that has readily available coils and a decent price.
The coils I have found to hold up the best and give the best flavor and vapor for the longest are a new kind that uses a mesh instead of a coil. The wicking material is a combination of organic cotton and wood cellulose. My tank cost $60 and came with 2 mesh coils and spare parts, including an extra glass cylinder in case of breakage or cracking.
The mesh coil is a new design an I highly recommend looking for them if you are about to make a purchase.
Pens and Cartridges – Vape pens offer the great convenience of portability and ease of carrying. Having a pen ready for use if you find yourself in a situation of need is very reassuring convenient.
Traveling is another time a disposable pen is a great choice if you are worried about your more expensive gear getting lost or causing a hassle at the terminals. If you are looking at trying vaping for the first time they are a great choice.
My recommendation is to use pens for travel or to see if vaping is something you enjoy. If you do enjoy vaping then explore the other options I outlined above. The cartridges and pens should be labeled just as mentioned above and should be made from an isolate.
Clean up – There will be chores
To vape, there must be e-liquid. If there is e-liquid, there will be leaks. Seriously, if you vape for any amount of time with any frequency paper towels can be better called “vaper towels”. You will spill the liquid. Your liquid will leak out of the pen, the atomizer. Make sure you expect some mishaps and it will be fine.
Get quality Gear -The better the gear usually the less spillage will occur. One reason will be because of good manufacturing and assembly. Another reason might be a design that makes it easy to refill.
Keep it Clean – No matter the gear you always want to keep it very clean. With the pens, you really need to clean up after each use or before each refill.
Get an extra set of batteries – If you have to recharge the setup, a routine will need to be put in place or you will find yourself with dead batteries. Battery management might be part of the experience as well. I have two sets of batteries so I always have one extra set available.
The maintenance and clean up of the set up will vary so I won’t go too much further into details. All coils will need to be regularly replaced depending on the liquid used and frequency etc. Flavor deteriorates with more use due to residuals left over on the coil and carbon build up.
If you do it, do it right
Start by selecting the right type of e-liquids, then maybe try a disposable pen to see if it tickles your fancy. If you decide to take the plunge it means you are going to have to invest in vape gear of some sort so be ready.
If you already have vape gear you might just need a new atomizer or coils. If you don’t have the gear but have the desire please make the investment and get good gear.
Quality gear will help you enjoy the experience more by far. Cheap gear will be nothing but a headache and not do the job properly. We want to feel better, not to have something else to worry about.
So if you’re thinking ” What about vaping CBD”, just do it right. If you have any questions about this or anything you have seen on the site leave a comment below and I will do my best to get you an answer.