CBD Oil vs. CBD Vape Liquid: Understanding the Key Differences
When it comes to CBD and cannabis terminology in general, it seems that there is no shortage of uncertainty. Misinformation, exaggeration, and outright mistruths continue to run rampant. While the marijuana sector is backed with statewide legislation, there are no such rules for the CBD market. As such, it remains a poorly regulated industry, only serving to increase the rate of unhelpful information.
A prime example of the confusion is witnessed when outlining the difference between CBD oil and CBD vape liquid. However, this is where we can offer some clarification. This article will clarify any misconceptions about CBD oils, CBD tinctures, and CBD vape liquids.
Are CBD Oils & Tinctures the Same Thing?
Before we go any further, let’s analyze the differences between the terms CBD “oil” and CBD “tincture.”
CBD tinctures and oils are products created for oral consumption and are administered sublingually (under the tongue). However, you will find that the terms are commonly used interchangeably even though it is inaccurate to do so.
CBD oil is generally a combination of hemp extract and a carrier oil such as MCT coconut oil or olive oil. Highly-rated brands such as Premium Jane use supercritical CO2 extraction to ensure no residual solvents remain in the end product. Once the manufacturers extract the requisite compounds, they mix them with the carrier oil and sometimes include essential oils to improve the flavor.
In contrast, a CBD tincture involves using a solvent to extract the compounds from the hemp plant. A tincture is an alcohol-based extract but also contains a carrier oil. Manufacturers use high-proof alcohol as a solvent to take the plant’s natural compounds. A CBD tincture usually has a longer shelf life (up to five years) than a CBD oil. However, it offers a bitter taste, so companies might add flavorings or sweeteners to make it more palatable.
The lack of regulation in the CBD industry means that products labeled as tinctures are often oils.
You can consume either product sublingually, although alcohol-based products put some users off. Others might find that a tincture is easier to digest than oil.
Why vaping may be the best way…
CBD Oils vs. CBD Vape Liquid: How Are They Different?
One thing CBD oils and vape liquids have in common is that both come from cannabis plant extract. In general, brands use industrial hemp with a maximum THC content of 0.3%. While hemp-derived CBD isn’t federally legal, it is broadly tolerated in almost every state. In contrast, it is only legal to sell marijuana-derived CBD in states that allow recreational use or have an MMJ program.
Although both products come from hemp or marijuana plants, they contain different ingredients. Remember, CBD oil includes a carrier oil and perhaps natural flavorings and terpenes designed for sublingual or oral consumption.
CBD vape juice also has a carrier oil but is less viscous than its oil counterpart. This is necessary because the carriers used in CBD oil, such as coconut or olive oil, are too thick for vape pen coils to vaporize. Typically, manufacturers use a thinning agent for more efficient vaping.
CBD Oil vs. E-Liquid: Pros and Cons
Before we go into further detail on the benefits and disadvantages of each product, let’s make things easier by providing the pros and cons of both at a glance.
Healthier Than Vaping
Takes Longer to Act Than Vape Liquid
Fewer Flavors Available Than Vape Liquid
No Special Equipment Needed
Certain Thinning Agents Are Harmful
Difficult to Dose
Delivery Ban on Vaping
Better Tasting Than Most CBD Oils
Requires a Vaporizer
Lack of Secrecy
CBD Oil vs. CBD E-Liquid: Which One Should I Use?
Reasons to Choose CBD E-Liquid
A lot depends on your preferences. If you’re seeking a fast-acting product that ensures you absorb a high percentage of CBD, vape liquid is streets ahead of CBD oils and tinctures. Users suggest that the effects of vaping are noticeable almost immediately. In contrast, it can take 15+ minutes to feel the impact of sublingually or orally consumed cannabidiol. Therefore, you might prefer to vape your CBD if you seek immediate relief from pain.
Once you have a vaporizer, you might find it convenient to use. Most vape devices automatically heat the liquid when you draw on them. Then there is the small matter of taste. CBD vape liquids come in an incredible array of flavors. While you can get flavored CBD oil, the range is limited in comparison.
Reasons to Choose CBD Oil/Tincture
However, what CBD oil lacks in speed and absorption rate, it makes up for in other ways. Admittedly, taking out a bottle of CBD oil and placing drops under your tongue in public isn’t precisely ninja levels of secrecy. However, it is better than giving away your habit through clouds of vapor.
Also, in many locations, vaping is often illegal in the same places as smoking. Furthermore, a growing number of CBD brands have stopped selling vape liquid. This is due to the PACT Act, which bans USPS from mailing vapes and other smokeless tobacco products. Consequently, it is far easier to find high-quality CBD oil online.
Vaping may be illegal or restricted in some localities. As a result, CBD tinctures can be much easier to access.
In addition, you don’t have to pay extra to purchase a vaporizer from a brand such as Apollo Vapes or Da Vinci. CBD oil bottles come with droppers, making it easier to calculate your intake. While some CBD vape liquid sellers suggest that each puff contains X amount of the cannabinoid, not every brand offers this information.
Finally, premium-grade CBD oil is almost certainly a healthier option than vape liquid. It should contain little more than hemp extract, a carrier oil, and perhaps natural flavoring. Meanwhile, vape juice contains thinning agents such as VG and PG.
While thinning agents are relatively safe to ingest, it is a different story when heated. A study published in the Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine in 2017 revealed some concerning findings.
The researchers discovered that when PEG-400 was heated to 446 degrees Fahrenheit (230 degrees Celsius), it produced formaldehyde and acetaldehyde; both are classified as carcinogenic substances. PG also produced a significantly higher level of formaldehyde than VG and MCT.
“Can I Vape CBD Oil?”
CBD oils are concentrated products designed for oral or sublingual consumption and are not made for smoking or vaping. That’s because the oil is too thick to be vaporized in the coil.
On the other hand, CBD liquids are specifically made to be vaporized and inhaled as steam. So no, you shouldn’t vape CBD oil. What you need is a vape-specific CBD liquid.
Can You Put CBD Vape Oil Under Your Tongue?
Yes, you ‘can’ put CBD vape oil beneath your tongue. However, this doesn’t mean it is a good idea! There should be little issue from a health perspective if you use high-quality vape juice. Top-rated brands in the niche ensure that their e-liquids contain food-grade ingredients.
Indeed, it is safer to ingest any vape liquid containing PEG-400 as a thinning agent than vaporize it! Remember, the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine study found that PEG-400 releases carcinogens when heated to a certain temperature.
Yet a 2016 study points out that PEG-400 is a widely used commercial solvent and is also found in numerous cosmetic and pharmaceutical products.
Diving into the facts. …
While VG is considered safe for ingestion, an article in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that it could cause adverse effects such as nausea, dizziness, and headaches.
Also, placing CBD vape liquid beneath your tongue instead of CBD oil is inefficient. High-quality CBD vape liquid is typically made from pure distillate terpenes. It is often more concentrated than a CBD oil/tincture.
Furthermore, vaping or smoking CBD provides faster effects and a higher rate of bioavailability than orally ingested cannabidiol. A review of studies published in Pharmaceuticals found that the bioavailability of orally consumed CBD is as low as 6%. This is a stark contrast to the 31% (+/- 13%) bioavailability of smoked cannabidiol.
Ultimately, you can ingest CBD vape liquid, but it isn’t worth your while.
Final Thoughts: CBD Oil vs. CBD Vape Liquids
Overall, there are differences between CBD oils, tinctures, and vape liquids. First of all, tinctures are not the same as oils because they involve using a solvent during the extraction process.
While all three products use hemp extract and carrier oils, vape liquids also use thinning agents. This is because CBD oils and tinctures are too thick for proper vaping. Meanwhile, it isn’t a great idea to ingest vape liquid, even if the ingredients are generally food grade. It is ultimately an inefficient method of consuming vaping products.
CBD oils and tinctures are for oral or sublingual consumption, whereas vape liquids are designed for use with vaporizers. Vaping products provide a faster effect and a higher rate of bioavailability. However, CBD oils and tinctures are generally safer and easier to find.
Regardless of which one you use, please ensure it comes from a reputable source that provides updated third-party lab reports.
Make sure you do plenty of research before deciding on a brand. Or better yet, let us do the research for you and browse a top-rated brand below.
CBD vape juice vs. CBD cartridges: What’s the difference?
If you couldn’t tell from all the signage at your local corner shop, CBD is in everything now. At least it seems that way. To be honest, advertisements for CBD are starting to give off a bit of a Brawndo -y vibe, but fear not curious consumers! We at Leafly have the information you crave.
The cannabis community has been enjoying the benefits of vaping CBD for years, and considering that CBD-dominant products (ones that contain less than 0.3% THC) are now legal, it makes sense that CBD is making a big impact in the vape juice market.
Vape juice is the liquid used in electronic vaping devices. These devices are often referred to as a vape pen, battery, or mod. Traditionally, vape juice is infused with flavoring and nicotine, and it is often used to help people avoid smoking tobacco products.
If you are curious about the differences between the CBD vape juice from your corner shop and the CBD vape carts you buy from a weed shop, keep on reading. And if you are new to CBD products, or just want a refresher on the subject, explore our CBD Guide .
Two types of cannabis, same CBD
The CBD oil you buy from a licensed cannabis shop comes from a different type of cannabis plant than the CBD you find in vape juice. The pot shop CBD oil is derived from the cannabis plant we all know, that is referred to as marijuana.
The CBD found in vape juice is derived from hemp. Hemp is the preferred plant for infusion because cannabis plants containing less than 0.3% THC can be grown, processed, and infused into products without the legal restrictions surrounding products high in THC—hemp meets that criteria.
These plants differ in their chemical profiles and the purposes for which they are grown. But at the end of the day, CBD is CBD—no matter what type of plant you get it from or how you vape it. It’s the other chemical compounds that accompany it—natural or additive—that define the overall experience and quality of the vape product you purchase.
Additives in vape juice
In its pure form, CBD will not dissolve in water—which really makes you think about what goes into making CBD water. When it comes to vaping, something needs to be added to help CBD become viscous enough to properly function in a vape system.
Vape juice is predominantly made up of vegetable glycerine (VG) or propylene glycol (PG). These compounds dissolve the CBD, bind to it, and make it viscous enough so it can flow to a heat source for vaporization.
VG is thicker than PG and creates a thicker cloud of smoke. PG offers a more intense feeling in your throat that can make it feel like you are smoking plant matter. It is common for a vape juice to be a blend of the two, with different ratios reflecting different consumer preferences.
It is important to note that VG and PG have been proven to be safe for ingestion; however, there is no official word from the FDA on long-term effects from inhalation.
Additives in cannabis oil
VG and PG are also sometimes used in cannabis oil cartridges. Like I mentioned above, CBD is a solid. So, if you buy a vape cartridge that says it is 97% CBD and there is a viscous liquid inside the cartridge, VG or PG is most likely being used.
VG and PG are not included in any of the percentages you see on the label. They are only mentioned in the ingredients, so that 97% is a little misleading.
Those percentages refer to the cannabis oil, not the final mixture that includes VG or PG. If the cart is 97% CBD, the remaining 3% is referencing other cannabis compounds, like terpenes —not VG or PG.
VG and PG are common in the cannabis cartridge world, however, they are not required. There are companies that pride themselves on not using additives—this is a sign of quality and should be celebrated.
To find a CBD vape product free of additives, check out your local pot shop .
Batteries designed for vape juice are a lot stronger than batteries for cannabis vape cartridges. If the voltage is not adjusted, batteries designed for vape juice can cause cannabis cartridges to malfunction or cause you personal injury.
As a budtender, my standard advice to customers was simple: If you are vaping a cannabis oil cartridge, use a battery that was designed for it; if you are consuming vape juice, vape it from a battery that was designed for it.