The era of cannabis infusion is setting in. Although regulations are still unclear, it is for sure that both state and federal laws are loosening around cannabis production, distribution, and usage. For its rich history and a wide spectrum of benefits, this power plant is now emerging in a variety of forms. One of its applications popular among ex-smokers or people with chronic pains is the CBD vape pen. Along with benefits come certain risks and impurities. In this article, we are going to explain what are CBD pens and how they can be harmful. Make sure you read along before you decide to give CBD pens a try.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a substance that is extracted from cannabis plants such as hemp. Thinking of cannabis, we imagine a marijuana ‘’high’’ effect, but this plant is much more than that. The psychoactive properties belong to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Unlike it, CBD does not produce any psychedelic effect of this sort. It helps soothe you, turn off the pain, and relax. Moreover, it’s used in therapeutical purposes, to treat anxiety, inflammation, chronic pain, and epilepsy. Cannabidiol can act as an antioxidant for certain cells. For this reason, scientists are now looking for ways to use it in treating neurodegenerative disease, anxiety disorders, etc.
Why a CBD vape pen?
Vape pens consist of a battery and vaping liquid. Practical and sophisticated, vaping is assumed to be a safer alternative to marihuana. Smoking may be hazardous to the lungs. The chemicals inside would burn, producing smoke, and hurting the insides. Whit CBD pens, the consumer inhales the vapor from the heated substance. As there is theoretically no burning, the vape cannot hurt you much. That’s why many decide to take it while they are trying to quit smoking, or when they just want to enjoy the pleasure boost cannabis provides.
How could CBD vape pens be harmful?
Theory and practice often stand far apart. This could be the case with vape pens too. As the laws around vaping and CBD are not yet clear, there is not much of the control going on in the production. Depending on the manufacturer, the heating system is often unsuitable for the product. When batteries are strong, they give out too much heat, transforming the chemicals inside the vaping liquid into dangerous compounds, or even carcinogens. One study has found a link to heart attacks and heart diseases.
Why is vaping harmful? A chemical review
Propylene glycol is a chemical incorporated in vaping liquids, that when exposed to high temperatures, can damage lungs, cause skin rashes, asthma, and allergies. US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies this substance as safe for intake by all routes except inhalation. It is added to food and beverages, but the safety has not been confirmed for heating and inhalation.
When propylene glycol is heated by the metal coil, it transforms into carbonyls which are known for the carcinogenic effect. Formaldehyde is the major carbonyl produced in CBD vape pens, as a degradation product of propylene glycol. It is classified as a B1 probable carcinogen by EPA. Alongside, formaldehyde is associated with low birth weight, spontaneous abortions, etc. Concentrations of formaldehyde in CBD pens can reach the nicotine level. Moreover, The New England Journal of Medicine has found a higher risk of developing cancers for vape users than for smokers.
‘’long-term vaping is associated with an incremental lifetime cancer risk of 4.2×10−3. This risk is 5 times as high, or even 15 times as high as the risk associated with long-term smoking. In addition, formaldehyde-releasing agents may deposit more efficiently in the respiratory tract than gaseous formaldehyde, and so they could carry a higher slope factor for cancer. ‘’- The New England Journal of Medicine . In the vaporizations, hemiacetals are also released as a by-product. Industrially, these are used to produce pesticides. Flavoring chemicals allow for pleasant taste in CBD vape pens. Mint, fruit, or candy taste is a responsibility of diacetyl and acetyl propionyl. As applied in the food industry, these chemicals are approved by the FDA. However, when inhaled, flavoring compounds can cause respiratory damages, fatigue, difficulty breathing, and scarring. Another potentially harmful ingredient is cuticle wax. It is a fatty liquid covering the outer layer of the plant for protection. Cannabis plants contain it too. Through smoking, high temperatures burn the wax. However, vaping doesn’t abolish it, thus these lipids can accumulate in the lung tissues and cause severe, permanent damage. Recently, sudden lung disease outbreaks and deaths related to vaping made CDC take this matter more seriously and engage in research regarding its safety.
CBD vape pens are still unauthorized and not properly tested. Consequently, manufacturers are not required to label their products accurately or display the amount of CBD. Also, the electric potential that a battery generates makes a difference between safe and risky CBD pens. Much of vape oil breaks down in vapor, but a certain amount undergoes pyrolysis, a chemical process of burning, resulting in harmful chemical products that we described above. A study conducted by The New England Journal of Medicine confirms that a five-volt battery produces higher levels of formaldehyde than the batteries of lowe power. Other risks of vaping include mild dependency and unintentional vaping fluid leaks that when drunk are extremely toxic. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends against vaping due to the fact that long-term effects and actual health risks are yet unknown. There is no exact information on how good or bad CBD vape pens are. Cannabidiol for sure brings plenty of positive attributes to one’s health and well-being. However, the intake method, pathways through the blood, or the dosage is still not on the safe ground. More research and adequate testing are necessary before the CBD pens can be applied as daily remedies. Until then, make sure to purchase CBD vape pens from reliable sources, to check the existing labels, and enjoy the relaxation while keeping the consumed amount under control.