Clouds of vapor billow from cars, and from workers catching a break outside their buildings. No ashtrays, no butts – it’s vape, a concentrated liquid that is vaporized and inhaled as a cleaner and more pure alternative to smoking.
Know Your Equipment
Vape pens are small, discrete, and easy to use. A vape pen contains a small amount of concentrated liquid, a heating element to heat the liquid to the point of evaporation, and a mouthpiece. Some vape pens are disposable, designed to be discarded when empty. Others can be refilled and reused until the heating element begins to break down (the heating element can be replaced as well.)
A more popular and versatile vaping device is the tank-style vaping kit, which contains a rechargeable battery and a refillable cartridge for vaping mixtures. The freedom to mix flavors and customize vape concentrates are one reason this type of vaping kit is so popular. CBDfx makes the best CBD vape kit, with high-quality materials such as a ceramic heating coil (unlike metal coils, which can begin to shed metal particles as they break down with repeated use) and a temperature calibrated for CBD (which has a lower vaporizing temperature than some other liquids.)
New users often start with a disposable vape pen, as its usage is as simple as pushing a button. Most who continue using vaporizers ultimately graduate to a refillable, rechargeable kit that they can customize for their preferred vaping mixtures.
Know Your Liquids
Vape liquids are often called e-liquid or vape juice. They are sold with a wide variety of active ingredients, carrier liquids, and flavors. These are largely unregulated, which means they can vary widely in quality. Unfortunately, some have added substances harmful when inhaled.
The active ingredients most commonly vaporized are nicotine, THC, and CBD. Each is available in different concentrations, and for different purposes. E-liquids are not interchangeable, as different substances will vaporize at different temperatures. Using the wrong mix for your equipment might burn the liquid and clog your device.
Nicotine, derived from tobacco, has a variety of effects on the nervous system. Like other tobacco products, vaporized nicotine creates a physical dependency, however nicotine vape from a quality source contains far fewer harmful substances than smoked tobacco.
THC, the psychoactive compound derived from cannabis, is gaining acceptance in the United States as a handful of states have fully legalized its use, and more have allowed some limited medicinal uses. It is useful to stimulate appetite, reduce pain, and elevate mood. As THC produces an intoxicating “high,” THC vape may be used recreationally in states where its use is fully legal. Because vape liquids are concentrated, vaping delivers a stronger effect than smoking marijuana.
Because it does not create a physical dependency and does not inhibit cognition, CBD (also a cannabinoid) is far more widely used. CBD is legal federally, though some states may limit its sale. CBD is widely regarded as safe, with few side effects, and potential health benefits such as lowering anxiety, improving sleep, reducing inflammation and pain relief. As long as the CBD comes from a high-quality source, in a blend free of harmful additives, vaping CBD may have more benefits than risks.
Know the Risks
There is growing evidence to suggest that vaping is a healthier alternative to smoking the dried plants traditionally used to deliver these substances. However, recent attention to vaping-related illnesses demonstrates that not all vaping liquids nor vaping devices are created equal. One added substance responsible for vaping injuries is vitamin E acetate, which was used as a condensing agent.
While the risk of vitamin E acetate in inhaled products is now well known, it illustrates the problem of an industry growing in popularity amid regulatory structures that sometimes inhibit safer, quality formulas while letting poor quality, potentially dangerous imitations slip through. Makers of quality vaping liquids can document the purity of their products with lab analysis. Be sure that the product you use to fill your vaporizer is made for inhalation, is of high quality and does not contain harmful additives.
Except for cases of contamination, vaping appears to be a much healthier alternative to smoking. However, there are also alternatives to vaping. Both THC and CBD are available in an edible format, which has a slower and longer-lasting effect. By combining these two delivery systems, you can enjoy both immediate and long-lasting effects while minimizing your vape consumption.