Guide to CBD Vape Juice, Vape Oil, and E-Liquid
With so many CBD oil products and delivery formats available for purchase, knowing which one is right for you can feel confusing and complicated. If you’ve decided you want to try vaping CBD, you’ll want to be informed on what vape juice is, and how to find the best products out there. Here’s the lowdown.
What Are CBD Vape Juice, Vape Oil, and E-Liquid?
For starters, CBD vape juice, vape oil, and e-liquid/e-juice are different names all describing the same thing: a smokable CBD-based liquid you can put into a CBD vape pen, vaporizer, or e-cigarette. Throughout this page—and likely your CBD purchasing process—you’ll find the three terms used interchangeably because they all refer to the same thing.
CBD vape juice is typically made of CBD oil extracted from hemp, a carrier oil like hemp seed oil, and flavoring. The carrier oil helps thin out the cannabidiol (CBD) extract, which has a thick consistency not ideal for vaping. The flavoring in your CBD vape oil may come from naturally occurring terpenes in the hemp plant, or from ingredients, like fruit juices, later added by the manufacturer.
The fewer and more natural ingredients your e-liquid has, the better. However, sometimes CBD e-juice producers will add artificial compounds that may be harmful to your health, which is why it’s important to do your research. (See ‘Are There Risks In Using CBD Vape Oil?’ below.)
CBD vape juice typically has less than 0.3% THC (the amount mandated by the 2018 Farm Bill), meaning it will not get you high. Though, it is possible to buy a full-spectrum CBD product that yields more benefits via the entourage effect, but also has a higher THC content. The entourage effect is a concept that says cannabinoids, terpenes, and other natural compounds from the cannabis plant work most efficiently when consumed together, as opposed to in isolation.
While a full-spectrum CBD e-liquid may be appealing in that sense, at the end of the day, it may not be legal to purchase in your state because of its higher THC content. So, take some time to read up on the laws in your state before buying a full-spectrum CBD vape oil.
Benefits of CBD Vape Juice
There are lots of benefits to choosing CBD vape juice as a delivery format. In fact, vaping CBD oil is one of the most popular formats on the market.
One of the biggest benefits to vaping CBD oil is the effects set in immediately. If you are taking CBD oil to address chronic pain, anxiety attacks, or even cigarette cravings, speed is an important consideration.
Because CBD vape oil is absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the lungs, it goes to work as soon as its inhaled. Bypassing the digestive system also means CBD will not be lost in the digestive process. The downside to using CBD e-liquid is the effects do not last very long. Typically, CBD vape oil effects last between 45 minutes to an hour. But because it has an instant onset, it is easy to take another dose when and if necessary.
CBD e-juices are perfect for sudden symptoms, and you may find they work best as a compliment to other cannabidiol delivery formats. For example, you can take a CBD oil capsule in the morning to establish and maintain your baseline, while also keeping a CBD vape pen and oil on hand for moments when fast relief is required.
CBD vape juices are free from side effects, non-intoxicating, and are not habit forming. They carry a great deal of potential for people struggling with chronic conditions that sometimes require on-the-spot treatment.
The Risks of Using CBD Vape Oil
Even though CBD oil is generally safe with few and mild side effects, you should speak to your doctor before using it. Cannabidiol has the potential to interact with certain medications, which could lead to bigger complications. You can also speak to a cannabis doctor whose specialty is using CBD and other natural compounds to treat medical disorders.
Because CBD vapes and vaping in general are so new, there isn’t enough conclusive research to say whether or not CBD vape juice has long-term negative effects on health. However, if you have breathing-related issues or a condition like asthma, CBD e-juice probably shouldn’t be on your list of items to buy.
When it comes to CBD vape oil, the greatest current risks to look out for are propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin. These additives are widely used but can be harmful to your health.
What are Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerin (VG)?
On its own, CBD oil does not have a consistency that is conducive to vaping, which is why it is added to carrier oil.
Coconut oil and hemp seed oil are common, natural carrier oils that do not pose risks to your health. Unfortunately, some brands will use propylene glycol or vegetable glycerine, which do pose potential health risks, to alter the consistency of the CBD vape juice.
Propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin are thinning compounds and are the primary ingredient in a majority of nicotine-infused vape juices and a handful of CBD vape oils. At high temperatures, PG and VG convert into toxic nanoparticles like formaldehyde that can be damaging to the lungs.  
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has considered PG and VG safe for ingestion, as a food additive, and topical application. This determination is based on oral toxicity and not on what happens when these liquids are exposed to heat and inhaled as a vapor.
|Ingredient||What is it?||What does it do?||Is it safe?|
|Propylene Glycol (PG)||A liquid alcohol used as a solvent||Produces cloud of ‘smoke’ when vaped||Considered safe as an additive in food; unknown for vaping|
|Vegetable Glycerin (VG)||A non-toxic liquid used as a sweetener||Produces a sweet taste and thicker cloud of ‘smoke’ when vaped||Considered safe as an additive in food; unknown for vaping|
While PG and VG may provide a very satisfying puff of “smoke” upon exhale, it’s best to avoid them until further research on their use in vaping has been conducted.
How to Use CBD E-Liquid
Using CBD e-liquid is as simple as taking a breath—literally! Simply add it to your CBD vape, which could mean attaching a pre-filled cartridge or filling a reusable tank, and inhale. (Keep in mind, some CBD vaping devices require you to hold a button down as you inhale.) As soon as you exhale, you should start to feel the effects of the CBD vape juice.
In between usage, you’ll want to keep your CBD e-juice stored in a cool, dark place, as heat and sunlight could change the consistency and chemical makeup of the liquid. And, this might seem like a no-brainer, but keep your CBD vape oil stored upright with the cap on tight. The only thing worse than having to clean up spilled CBD vape juice is discovering you now have none left to help deal with the stress of the mess.
CBD Vape Oil Dosage
Finding your ideal CBD e-liquid dosage will depend on how often you need it, and the potency of the product you buy.
The total number of milligrams of cannabidiol in each bottle/cartridge of CBD e-juice will vary between manufacturer and product; while you’re out shopping, you could see products ranging from 25mg all the way up to 5000 mg of CBD per bottle/cartridge. On average, one bottle or cartridge of CBD vape oil can last 4-14 days, depending on the frequency of consumption.
Typically, a CBD vape oil product will come with a suggested serving that tells you the amount of CBD per inhale. From there, you can calculate the number of servings per bottle/cartridge and divide them out over a course of time. Of course, what constitutes an “inhale” for one person will be different for another, and there may be days when you need more or less, depending on the circumstances.
So, dosing with vape oils can feel a little bit like guessing from time to time. But, the ease of use makes it simple to adjust where necessary.
How to Find the Best CBD Vape Juice
With so many brands on the market producing so many unique formulations of CBD vape juice, it can be challenging to know which one is best.
Here are some factors to consider to ensure you’re buying the highest quality CBD vape oil:
- Check the sourcing. Try to look for CBD vape oils that are sourced from organic hemp. This will ensure your e-juice is free of harmful pesticides and herbicides.
- Check the Certificates of Analysis (COA). Buy only from brands that third-party lab test every batch of CBD vape juice and post the resulting Certificates of Analysis online. These certificates should be dated within the last 6 months to ensure their accuracy. Reading the COAs will help you understand exactly what is in your vape oil and whether or not the CBD concentration listed on the label is honest and accurate. If a brand does not post a COA, do not be afraid to request access before buying.
- Read the ingredients: Look for a product that contains as few ingredients as possible. The more additives a CBD vape oil has, the more likely you are to experience potentially adverse effects. If you prefer a flavored CBD oil, try to find one that is flavored with something natural like peppermint or coconut oils. Avoid artificial ingredients if possible.
For starters, you can check out our top-rated CBD brands, which have earned their ranking by demonstrating ethical business practices and producing only top-quality products. If you’re brand new to CBD, a vape kit might be your best option, as it’ll include a vape pen, battery, and charger, all required accessories for using CBD e-juice.
If you want to learn more about CBD oil here are a few other articles you might find helpful: