The popularity surrounding CBD vaping has increased significantly over the last decade. As well as this, consumer interest in CBD vaping is said to increase exponentially in the coming years.
As a result, there is so much ‘information’ available on the subject that it can be difficult to decipher exactly what CBD vaping is, and its effects on our bodies.
Read on to learn about how it actually feels to vape CBD and its possible benefits.
What is CBD vaping?
Just like regular vaping, CBD vaping is where e-liquid containing CBD is heated in a vaporizer. The vapors are then inhaled into the lungs. CBD vape oil is a misleading name, however, as it is not oil. CBD oil and CBD e-liquids are very different.
CBD vaping allows for a faster administration of CBD, much faster than oral administration. One study, in particular, found that vaping produced a ten-fold increase in CBD delivery in comparison to oral methods.
The liquid used is made from propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), CBD extract, and flavoring. They may be pre-filled into disposable CBD pens and CBD cartridges, or they can be sold separately to be used in a reusable pen when needed.
How does CBD work?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound found in cannabis plants. It comes from a family of over 60 cannabinoid compounds found in the plant that all act on the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Within the ECS, there is a collection of endocannabinoids (produced by the body) and cannabinoid receptors, as well as enzymes to regulate them.
Recent findings have demonstrated that CBD may have anti-inflammatory effects on the body. These effects, though not well enough researched yet, are thought to be due to interactions with CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB2 receptors in particular are commonly found in our bodies’ immune cells and GI tract. CB1 receptors on the other hand are found in high quantities in the central nervous system (CNS).
People often confuse THC with CBD. While they are both cannabinoid compounds found in the same plant, they have drastically different effects on the body. For starters, THC is a psychoactive component of cannabis, while CBD is not.
Can CBD vaping get you high?
CBD vaping may have a calming effect on stress and anxiety. However, it is not quite the same “high” that is typically experienced with cannabis use. Current research is not clear on this, however, one study suggests that CBD may be an effective treatment option for anxiety and insomnia in the future.
It depends on how you define “being high”, but CBD vaping is thought to alter your mood, making you calm and relaxed. On the other hand, THC is responsible for the psychoactive effects and subsequent psychosis risks associated with cannabis. With THC, there are increased risks of paranoia and anxiety that are not typical of CBD. As well as this, CBD is thought to have a protective effect against the psychological risks associated with THC. This is supposedly due to CBD acting first on CB1 receptors before THC, modulating its ability to produce psychological effects.
The main difference is that with CBD, you don’t get the same “intoxicating” effects. While you may be calmer, it does not affect your spatial perception or creates the same sense of “euphoria.”
CBD vs. THC
As discussed earlier, CBD and THC are cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis. The key difference between the two is how they interact with CB1 receptors in the brain. CB1 receptors are more commonly found in the CNS – the brain and the spine.
THC acts as an agonist to the CB1 receptors, meaning that through binding, THC activates these receptors. This is said to cause feelings of euphoria commonly associated with regular marijuana use.
On the other hand, CBD acts as an antagonist to the same CB1 receptors, meaning that they will bind to the receptor, blocking activation via THC or otherwise. This in turn blocks the intoxicating effects of the CB1 receptors. This is thought to be why CBD might have a therapeutic effect against THC-related intoxication and psychosis.
How does CBD vaping make you feel?
While the endocannabinoid system is present among all mammals, the effects of CBDs significantly between each person. Depending on the quality of CBD e-liquid, the ingredient, and how the hemp is grown, CBD users can have different experiences.
As we’ve already discussed, some people say that CBD delivers a relaxing and calming effect. For this reason, many of those using CBD vape do so for issues such as sleep, restless legs syndrome, and anxiety. As previously mentioned, vaping CBD is much more effective for fast delivery, as it enters the blood through inhalation. The second fastest method of delivery is through tincture, which is usually a mix of CBD oil and alcohol taken sublingually (under the tongue).
Some users report that vaping CBD feels like a “runner’s high,” the same kind of rush of endorphins that you’d get after a long jog. This is, however, purely anecdotal, but it is clear that the effects of CBD are not as extreme as people often anticipate.
Contrastingly, stronger doses of CBD (upwards of 1000 mg, much higher than the average dose) may make you feel slightly light-headed. This sensation is related to CNS acting to upregulate the activity of a “bliss molecule,” an endocannabinoid known as Anandamide. Second to the antagonistic binding of CBD to CB1 and CB2 receptors, Anandamide, in a complex sequence of events, is saved from breakdown by the enzyme fatty acid hydrolase (FFAH), allowing it to circulate around the body for longer.
Not all experiences are blissful, however, and some users with issues of restlessness, acute pains, and aches report they feel these issues even more after CBD use.
That said, while there is little solid research about the recreational use of CBD, there is growing interest in CBD use for therapeutic treatments. However, It is important to do thorough research about the company and the quality of the e-liquid before making any decisions.
Benefits of CBD vaping
CBD has been widely popularized for its possible clinical benefits. It is important to talk to your doctor before starting on CBD supplements or e-liquids, especially if you are taking other medications.
To some extent, everyone experiences or has experienced anxiety and it can be debilitating. Recent studies have been completed looking into the link between CBD and the alleviation of anxiety. CBD’s interaction with CB1 receptors is thought to be the cause of this effect.
One study found that following a dose of 600mg of CBD, people with social anxiety found it easier to give a speech. In participants that took CBD prior to, there was significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort. CBD looks to be a promising candidate for social anxieties over beta-blockers, however, it is too early in clinical trials to be sure.
CBD may be used as a possible anti-seizure treatment in the future, though further investigation is needed. Currently, there have been reports that CBD may be able to reduce seizure activity in patients with epilepsy.
One study looked at the impact of CBD on patients with epilepsy. After 2-5 mg of CBD per day alongside their regular medications, participants had 36.5% less seizures per month. Severe side effects however were observed in 12% of patients.
For many CBD users, pain relief may be the main reason for trying CBD. Researchers believe that there may be an important anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effect of CBD.
In one 2018 review assessing the efficacy of CBD, they focused on its impact on chronic pain. It looked at studies from as long as 50 years ago to March of 2018. The study reviewed the impacts of CBD on neurotic pain, fibromyalgia, and cancer pain.
The review found that in the majority of studies, there was an overall analgesic effect of CBD on pain, as well as several improvements of secondary outcomes (sleep, spasticity). The review is promising; however, they note that more controlled comparative studies on its safety are needed.
Does CBD vaping have any side effects?
The World Health Organization considers CBD to be “well tolerated with a good safety profile,” however, some may experience the following symptoms.
- Weight changes
- Change or loss of appetite
Finding the right dose when vaping CBD can be hard, and the presentation of these side effects often indicates that the dose is too high. Always contact your doctor if you think you may be experiencing the above side effects.
The bottom line
Vaping CBD is often one of the most potent and quick methods of delivery. Even with that in mind, users do not experience the same “high” as with THC. Despite this, however, some users report a calming effect that is similar to THC but without the associated risks.
The benefits of CBD vaping are not well researched; however, current studies demonstrate a promising future for therapeutic treatments.
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