Vape pens for CBD and THC are becoming increasingly popular. They’re low-key, easy to use, and better for the lungs. But have you ever read your CBD vape oil ingredients?
Spoiler alert—it’s not always only CBD in there.
There could be a variety of additives, flavoring agents, and other toxins that turn carcinogenic when heated. This is because vape oils (ejuices) in general are not a heavily regulated product yet, globally or locally. The standards are still forming, which means that vape products made outside of the United States could pose more health risks.
The additive of particular concern here is propylene glycol.
You’ve probably heard of PG and noticed it in your everyday products, but you may not know what it is or what’s so controversial about it. By the time you’re done with this article, you’ll understand why you should only by CBD oil without propylene glycol.
What is Propylene Glycol?
Propylene glycol (PG) is a petroleum-based chemical compound found in your food, cosmetics, and even medications. More specifically, it’s the byproduct of a chemical process which converts propene into propylene oxide and then hydrolyzed.
When propene becomes propylene glycol (also referred to as propanediol), it is an odorless, tasteless, clear, and oily liquid. In this form, it can absorb water. This is what contributes to the “smooth taste” in electronic cigarettes. It’s also what makes medications more digestible, preserves the flavor in processed foods, and acts as a humectant in cosmetics.
It’s also an antifreeze used to de-ice planes.
The compound has a lot of inconsistencies in terms of research, and there are plenty of opposing opinions across the board. Because a substance used in mechanics is also in your food, it’s easy to understand why there’s cause for concern.
The FDA classifies Propylene glycol as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS), at least to ingest. This is because PG does not bioaccumulate. At “normal” dosage or exposure levels of the substance, it will break down in the body within 48 hours. Of course, this is considering that you have healthy liver and kidney function.
While there are plenty of studies on the bioaccumulation of PG, research into the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, hepatic, renal, and endocrine studies are scarce. It’s also important to note that any research done on PG has come from animal testing, not human testing, which is always a cause for concern.
Why You Want CBD Oil Without Propylene Glycol
CBD extract alone is a very thick substance. Propylene glycol thins it out, enhances the flavor, and creates a “smoother” smoke. Unfortunately, at high temperatures, PG can become toxic, doing damage to the lungs.
High voltage heat, such as that from a red hot metal coil in a vape pen, may convert propylene glycol as other additives into cancer-causing chemicals. This group of chemicals is Carbonyls, which aside from cancer, can lead to miscarriages and low birth weights in infants.
When PG breaks down on a thermal level, it becomes formaldehyde, which the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) lists as a group 1 carcinogen.
Even though the FDA classifies PG as “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) to ingest, there are studies that show harm in the inhalation of the compound. Even low levels of PG inhaled have caused respiratory complications such as asthma, irritation, and allergic reactions.
When you think about it, including additives in CBD vape oil ingredients contradicts the purpose of using CBD in the first place. Of course, more research needs to happen for a more conclusive answer. In the meantime, it’s best to become a label reader and only buy CBD oil without propylene glycol or any other suspicious ingredients.
So is Vaping CBD Oil Safe?
By now you’re probably thinking to yourself “is vaping CBD safe at all?”, and the answer is yes. As long as you read the ingredients and only buy from brands that post their certificate of analysis (COA). The COA is your proof of third-party lab testing.
The COA will verify the exact ingredients in your vape oil, including any heavy metals or pesticides, as well as the percentage of CBD and THC. A good rule of thumb: if there’s no certificate, don’t even consider it.
Interestingly enough, there may also be other ingredients that sound harmless but are bad for your health. Make sure you know what you’re purchasing before you begin vaping it.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that if there’s propylene glycol present, you’re not vaping CBD safely. As mentioned before, CBD has blown up the market but still has yet to be strictly regulated. Until it is, any additive ingredient is fair game. Consumers have to know what goes into the products they use and only buy from respected companies.
Only buying CBD oil without propylene glycol is a step in the right direction for your health. In the meantime, you should do your due diligence by researching before you purchase any CBD products. Don’t worry—there are good products out there, you just have to know where to look.
For any questions, comments or concerns, feel free to contact us. We’ll be able to address all of your CBD needs and provide you with the best CBD products on the market. Don’t forget to check out our shop for vape oil products that contain NO propylene glycol!