Over the past few years, one of the more popular ways to consume CBD and CBD oil has been by via a vape pen. A vape pen is an electronic cigarette that heats the CBD to the point where it becomes a vapor that can be inhaled.
CBD, or cannabinol, is one of 113 known cannabinoids that are contained within the cannabis plant. CBD had been known for the last few decades as a natural alternative to a number of synthetic medications that can treat conditions ranging from pain to epilepsy.
History of Vaping
The earliest known instance of vaping dates back to ancient Egypt. The ancient Greek historian Herodotus wrote about his experiences while in Egypt in the mid-400s BC. He described the process by which local residents would heat stones to extremely high temperatures, then add herbs and oils where the people around would inhale the vapors of the herbs.
In the 6th century AD, the first shisha (hookah) was invented in Afghanistan. The shisha allowed the user to inhale vaporized tobacco, cannabis, or even opium that was passed through a heated glass water basin.
In 1927, a man by the name of Joseph Robinson designed what is believed to be the first electronic cigarette. However, nothing came of the invention and it wasn’t until almost 4 decades later that anyone would make any headway with the idea.
In 1965, Herbert Gilbert received a patent for a smokeless cigarette. This was the predecessor to modern vapes.
In 1993, a Cherokee medicine man named Eagle Bill Amato was visiting a cannabis grower in California who introduced Eagle Bill to vaping by using a heat gun to vaporize cannabis.
Bill had become a cannabis activist in the 1980s when a friend was undergoing treatment for cancer. His friend had become weakened due to chemotherapy. Eagle Bill and his friend smoked a marijuana cigarette together and by the time they finish, Eagle Bill’s friend was hungry, which was the first time in several weeks. After that experience, the friend started using marijuana on a regular basis and eventually regain his health. Eagle Bill not only added cannabis to his dossier of remedies.
Eagle Bill was excited to learn about the vaporization process and quickly worked to modify the process by creating a method known as “shake and vape”.
Because of the issues with cannabis in the US, Eagle Bill became a regular visitor to Amsterdam and he would provide demonstrations of vaporizing at the Hash, Marijuana & Hemp Museum in Amsterdam.
Eagle Bill died in 2005.
The modern electronic cigarette was invented in China by a pharmacist by the name of Han Li. Han was a smoker and his father had died of lung cancer. He wanted to find a way to make smoking safer. His idea was to vaporize liquid tobacco (without tar or other toxins found in traditional cigarettes) using ultrasound. He patented the device in China, the US, and the European Union in 2003. He started manufacturing the devices the next year.
While the devices weren’t very successful in China, they took off in Europe in North America.
His design consisted of 3 parts: the liquid cartridge, a heating element, and a battery. The device was used ultrasonic atomization to achieve the vapors. This vaporizes the liquid via the heat produced by the electricity of the battery.
Since Han’s first e-cigarette, the design has changed. It still uses atomization but now just uses a battery-powered heating element instead of ultrasonic atomization.
What Is CBD?
CBD, or cannabinol, is an active chemical compound in cannabis. It can be found in the 3 major cannabis families:
- Cannabis Sativa (also known as C. Sativa or Sativa)
- Cannabis Indica (also known as C. Indica or Indica)
- Cannabis Ruderalis (also known as C. Ruderalis or Ruderalis)
While there can be some variations, for the most part, Indica is used as marijuana because of the higher THC or tetrahydrocannabinol content. THC is the psychoactive chemical compound in marijuana that makes a person high. As with CBD, it’s a cannabinoid. All cannabis plants contain 113 different cannabinoids.
Sativa is commonly known as hemp. Most (but not all) hemp strains have very low THC content. Hemp has been used for millennia for a number of purposes including food, clothing, medicine, rope, and even as construction supplies for shelter.
In the United States, Sativa can be used in commercial production if the THC content is less than 0.3%.
Another type of cannabis is Ruderalis. This type of cannabis is usually found in Russia. Ruderalis, like Sativa has very low THC content. The plant grows low to the ground, so its use is limited, however. Native Russians have used the plants for medicine for hundreds of years.
In recent years, many cannabis growers have crossbred Ruderalis with either Sativa or Indica because as the plant matures, flowers develop. With Indica and Sativa, light is required to make them flower, which reduces the number of harvests for the plants. When crossbred with Ruderalis, the new strains maintain the flowering process of Ruderalis and the potencies of CBD and THC that come with Indica and Sativa.
When making CBD, the manufacturer will press and steep the hemp plant in a solvent, most commonly grain alcohol. The alcohol is then allowed to evaporate leaving only the CBD. To purify the CBD, the manufacturer may use a process called winterization that removes the plant residues and waxes. This turns the CBD into what’s called an isolate. The isolate is a powder that’s over 99% pure.
Isolates are controversial because not only is the manufacturer removing impurities, but is also removing the other 112 cannabinoids. While research is still needed, CBD is thought to work best with other cannabinoids to help with the healing process.
How CBD Works
For many years, people smoked or otherwise ingested hemp products or marijuana and never really understood why it helped. People just knew it worked, so they used it.
The lack of understanding of the functions of cannabinoids and cannabis on the human body led to the propaganda and misinformation campaigns by the US government in the 1930s and 1940 that continue to some extent to this day.
But we started gaining an understanding of why CBD worked well as a treatment for a number of health issues in the 1990s.
Scientists were doing experiments with CBD and THC and discovered receptors in mice that absorbed cannabinoids with they entered the body. These receptors worked to regulate the central nervous system and other secondary systems. The scientists name it the endocannabinoid system or ECS. http://grantome.com/grant/NIH/R29-DA008104-01
Humans, like mice, have an ECS and the cannabinoid receptors in our bodies take the CBD and other cannabinoids through the bloodstream to areas in the body that need them.
CBD is a versatile medicine as is has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, neuroprotective, mood stabilizing, and regenerative properties.
In the past few years, CBD research has increased immensely. The changing face of cannabis laws in the United States, Canada, and Europe have allowed scientists to find out how CBD can help a number of diseases. And while more research will need to be done over the years to come, anecdotal evidence, as well as actual cases, have shown CBD to be effective in several diseases including:
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS)
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Autoimmune Diseases
- Crohn’s Disease
- Endocrine disorders
- Epilepsy and Seizures
- Heart Disease
- Huntington’s Disease (HD)
- Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD)
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Kidney Disease
- Liver Disease
- Mood Disorders
- Motion Sickness
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Osteoporosis/Bone Health
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- Skin Conditions
- Sleep Disorders
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
While CBD may not cure the disease, it does provide some relief to the sufferer by reducing symptoms.
CBD Vape Devices
Much like any product, not all vapes are the same. Despite this, they will all have the same 4 parts:
- a mouthpiece
- a battery
- a vapor chamber
- a heating element
The device uses the heating element to vaporize the CBD in the vapor chamber to allow the user to inhale it.
When vaping, users have the choice of 2 different types of vaporizers.
The first type is a tank style vape. These devices require e-liquid, which contains glycerin derived from vegetables, propylene glycol, CBD and some sort of flavoring. These devices contain a heating coil that is wrapped with nylon or silica to help move the e-liquid into the coils.
Tank vapes come in reusable and disposable varieties.
Disposable tank vapes are usually of inferior quality in both the vape itself and the CBD. They are much cheaper than a reusable tank vape. Many of these devices have issues with the coils and the wicks making the device useless. These devices have the CBD prefilled and are sometimes known as cartomizers.
Reusable style tank vapes are the most popular. The e-liquid is sold separately from the device and must be loaded into the device for each use.
Another type of vape in the vape pen. Pens have a chamber with a metal heating coil on the bottom that vaporizes concentrated CBD directly on the coils. Because of the direct contact of the CBD, the coils must be replaced frequently. Pens are great for those who are just starting out. The pens are sold mostly as “all-in-one” kits. With these devices, users can control the type and contents of the liquids that they vape (as opposed to the ones contained in the tank style).
CBD Vape Oils and E-liquids
Before jumping in and buying CBD oil to vape, it’s important to know that the term “CBD oil” is a broad term for CBD. The most common form of CBD oil is a tincture. A tincture is a bottle of CBD oil that is taken sublingually (under the tongue). If you put this type of CBD oil in your vaporizer, it will ruin it.
The term CBD vape oil is synonymous with vape liquid or e-liquid. These liquids aren’t as thick as tinctures as they need to be able to move in a way similar to water to vaporize.
So be sure when you purchase CBD for your vaporizer, that you make sure that it is vape liquid and not a tincture.
It should be noted that CBD e-liquids can vary greatly based on the manufacturer. When purchasing CBD oil to vape, there are a few things you should look at:
- Homogeneity – When buying your CBD Vape oil, the liquid should not be separated. It should look the same throughout. If the liquid is separated, the dosage will be off and you will not get the full effects of the CBD. Remember, e-liquids have vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, CBD, and flavorings, so there is a big potential for separation in the liquid.
- Clarity – CBD e-liquids are clear. At least they should be. Cloudy liquid suggests impurities in one of the components. Also, the liquid should move around like water, if the liquid is slow to move (like syrup or molasses) then that is also a sign of impurities.
- Truth in Advertising – A product should match all the claims made by the label. That is especially true with the purity and concentration of the product. CBD isn’t regulated like a prescription drug. Before buying a product, ask to see the 3rd party lab tests regarding the product. A reputable company will either provide anyone the report upon request or have the latest report published on their website for everyone to see.
- Compatibility – Not all vapes work with all e-liquids. They should, but the processes that manufacturers use can cause issues with a vaporizer. Specifically, the vegetable glycerin separates from the CBD oil, it causes problems. The oil causes the wicks to dry out and harden, making the tank unusable. This is part of the reason that buying a homogenized liquid is important. But if you are having issues with this, the solution is to buy a vape with a ceramic heating element. In addition, be sure not to confuse e-liquid bottles and disposable cartridges. Buy the product your vape is designed for.
Vaping CBD is a popular method of using CBD. Many find that vaping the CBD instead of using other methods like a tincture, work faster on their issue.
If you decide to start vaping, it may be nest to start with a vape pen until you’re used to the process before looking at tank style vapes. The pens are an all-in-one solution and are much cheaper than a tank vape. Tank vapes generally require more maintenance and parts will eventually need to be replaced on it.
The biggest part of vaping for most people is the enjoyment. They get satisfaction from the inhaling and exhaling of the vapors. And unlike tobacco, vaping CBD not only provides that satisfaction but provides health benefits as well.