Smoking CBD vs Vaping CBD
Written by Cathy Rozyczko
Edited by Jason Brett on
September 27, 2021
The safety, legality, and absence of mind-altering properties make cannabidiol (CBD) a popular choice for those who want to reap the health benefits commonly associated with hemp.
CBD is one of more than 100 cannabinoids, active chemical compounds, found in the hemp plant. Next to THC, the psychoactive compound that makes cannabis users feel high, CBD is the most prevalent cannabinoid.
Today, CBD comes in many forms including edibles such as gummies, mints, and chocolates, capsules, oils, tinctures, and more. You can also smoke the flower the same way cannabis users smoke the plant.
If you are new to CBD, you likely have questions about the best way to use it for your needs. The best way to use CBD is the way that fits into your lifestyle and makes you the most comfortable.
Below we provide a broad overview of the natural benefits of CBD and pros and cons of two ways to use CBD—vaping and smoking CBD cigarettes or flowers—so you have the information you need to make the right decision for you.
Natural Benefits of CBD
Research on the natural benefits of CBD has been abundant as well as anecdotal evidence of users who have reaped several health benefits. Whether you choose to smoke CBD or vape CBD you may experience some of the following reported natural benefits of CBD:
Pros and Cons of Vaping CBD
Vaping CBD refers to using a vape pen or vaporizer which contains ‘vape juice’, which is CBD oil mixed with a carrying agent. The vaporizer heats up the juice until it's ready for inhalation.
You can buy vaporizers that have replaceable or refillable cartridges. Some choose to use vape CBD wax instead of oil. The process works similarly; a coil heats up the wax in a vape pen until users can inhale.
Vaporizers have come under scrutiny because they have led to outbreaks of illness. While research continues, experts tend to blame sickness and death from vaping on vitamin E acetate, which is the liquid carrier typically used in vape juice.
Yet, some CBD users find the convenience of vaping worth the risk. Also, most reputable CBD vendors do not use vitamin E acetate, and the best ones are committed to all-natural ingredients.
Here are some pros and cons of vaping CBD oil or wax.
- Vapor absorbs into your lungs better than smoke, so vaping CBD may be more effective than smoking.
- Vaping CBD preserves the terpenes and flavonoids that provide unique flavors to CBD flowers.
- When you vape CBD, cannabidiol is absorbed by the body faster versus other methods like ingestion (CBD edibles) or topical application (CBD creams).
- Inhaling smoke through vaping can be just as harmful as smoking the CBD flower and could potentially cause lung injuries.
- You can vape the CBD flower and potentially avoid some respiratory issues, but the concentration of CBD is less than using oil because of the extraction process that isolates CBD.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) do not recommend vaping because of unknown long-term effects, especially regarding the addition of vitamin E acetate, propylene glycol, and vegetable glycerin to CBD vaping juice.
- Vaping devices sometimes cause a chemical reaction in the vapor, making them dangerous.
- Vaping products come in higher concentrations and are not always labeled correctly, due to lack of FDA regulation.
Pros and Cons of Smoking CBD Flowers or Cigarettes
Smoking CBD refers to the same process cannabis smokers or cigarette smokers use. You can buy CBD in flower form, which means it comes directly from a hemp plant. CBD flowers are also available in pre-rolled cigarettes or you can use a bong if you prefer not to use rolling papers.
Learn more about the pros and cons of smoking CBD below:
- Inhaling CBD by smoking the flower allows it to quickly enter your bloodstream from your lungs, so you can experience effects within 10 minutes or less.
- The effects of inhaling CBD usually are stronger than other ways of taking CBD.
- CBD cigarettes or flowers are low in THC and typically create a calming and relaxing sensation without getting you high.
- Smoking CBD skips the additives sometimes found in CBD vape juice, like propylene glycol and artificial flavoring.
- Usually, smoking CBD flower or CBD cigarettes is more cost effective on a per-dose basis versus CBD tinctures and other products.
- Smoking CBD isn't the healthiest way to get CBD into your body; it can cause similar long-term damage to your lungs as tobacco cigarettes.
- Smoking CBD can cause dry mouth.
Dosage Differences Between Smoking and Vaping CBD
CBD oil and CBD wax are concentrated doses extracted from the hemp plant. Manufacturers add liquid to oil, and CBD users can vape both forms. You should always talk with your doctor, but Mayo Clinic recommends the following doses:
- Patients who need to increase appetite: vape 1 mg of CBD over six weeks.
- Patients who suffer from chronic pain: 2.5-20 mg of CBD over a month.
- Epilepsy patients can take 200-300 mg CBD for up to 4.5 months.
- Those who suffer from insomnia can take 40-160 mg CBD per day.
Remember, there is no actual established dosage for CBD, and some users with high dosages take up to 1500 mg per day.
Different strains of CBD flower have different dosages of cannabidiol (CBD), so you cannot know exactly how much a flower has until you choose the product you buy. Many users report that about 1g (1000mg) per day is the sweet spot. Two pre-rolled CBD cigarettes typically amount to more than 1 gram but less than 2 grams depending on the manufacturer. Using 1g of CBD flower per day amounts to using about one full ounce each month.
Some considerations that can impact the right dosage for you (besides your doctor's advice) include your size and weight and how you respond to a particular amount. Larger framed people need a little higher than normal dosage and small-framed individuals might have to back off on dosage. Ultimately, you must listen to your body to find your sweet spot.
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