By Emily Ledger
Cannabidiol – known more generally by its abbreviation, CBD – is becoming commonplace in the UK market. A growing collection of products now incorporate the product. In fact, the cannabinoid can now be found in chocolates and drinks and even in clothing and pillows, to name a few!
Yet, CBD oils and e-liquids remain among the most popular products on the market. Although they might look much the same, it is important not to mix them up CBD oils and e-liquids. So, what is the difference between them?
The non-psychoactive cannabis derivative has been found to have a number of potential benefits, from relieving feelings of stress and anxiety to improving sleep and even reducing pain. Vaping and the use of sublingual (under the tongue) drops are two of the most popular ways of taking CBD.
The popularity of these products is probably owed to the high bioavailability that they offer. Bioavailability refers to the percentage of the compound that is effectively absorbed by the body. Vaping and sublingual application happen to have some of the highest rated of absorption for CBD consumption.
What is a CBD E-Liquid?
Vaping has become increasingly common around the world, as many people look for a less unhealthy alternative to smoking. In many cases, vape products may contain nicotine to ease the transfer from smoking to vaping. However, a growing number of people are now looking to vape products for other uses – namely, as a way to safely and conveniently incorporate CBD into their everyday lives.
CBD e-liquids, also known as CBD vape juices, are applied to vape pens which convert the liquid into vapour. This vapour is then inhaled by the consumer. Other products available on the market include ready-filled CBD pens. Vaping is believed to be the most effective way to administer CBD, thanks to high absorption in the lungs.
What are CBD Oils?
CBD oils or tinctures are becoming increasingly common and can be easily sourced from many stores, both online and on the high street. These oils can be used in a number of ways, including being dropped and held under the tongue, and applied topically (directly to the skin).
These products are often sold with a dropper and are known as ‘tinctures’. They allow for easy application, both sublingually (under the tongue) and topically. Second to vaping, CBD is believed to have amongst the highest bioavailability when applied sublingually. This is due to thin barriers between skin surface and veins under our tongues.
Although these products are perfectly safe for oral and topical consumption, they shouldn’t be confused with e-liquids/vape juices and inhaled as a vapour.
What is the Difference Between E-Liquids and Oils?
CBD e-liquids and oil products often look very similar, with both commonly sold in small glass bottles. However, each product is designed specifically for its intended use and should not be mixed up.
CBD oil products are usually made by combining a CBD extract with a food-grade oil – commonly olive, hemp, or coconut oil. Some oils may also contain flavourings to make the oil taste more pleasant for oral consumption. These products were not designed to be exposed to high heats for vaporisation, unlike CBD vape juices / e-liquids. Using CBD oils that were not designed to be vaped may result in an unpleasant and potentially harmful vapor as well as possibly damaging the coil of your vape pen.
E-liquids are made using a CBD extract alongside a thinning agent such as PG/VG or MCT. These ingredients ensure that the liquid is thin enough to be vaporised effectively, producing a clean and comfortable vapor for inhalation. It is important to note that it is possible that CBD oils that were not designed for vaping may also contain MCT for thinning. However, this does not mean that it is safe for the purpose of vaping. To make a safe and effective e-liquid, these agents must be present in the correct proportions.
Always Check the Label
To ensure you are using your CBD products as they were, make sure to always check the labels. If the product is referred to as a ‘tincture’, then it probably isn’t intended to be put into a vape pen. The ‘How to Use’ directions on the packaging will also give you a guide to how the product is supposed to be applied. Above all, always buy your CBD products from trustworthy and responsible brands!
To avoid confusion, it may also be a good idea to simply buy a ready-filled CBD vape pen. This will take all the guesswork out of vaping the cannabinoid. There are a number of brands on the market that produce CBD pens, such as Hiatus. As well as being guaranteed the right product, this also makes dosing much more straightforward!