CBD Vape vs Smoking CBD: Which is the Healthier Option?

Both vaping and smoking allow rapid absorption of helpful cannabinoids like CBD directly into the bloodstream via inhalation, but significant differences exist between these 2 methods regarding safety and usage. 

This comprehensive comparison defines the ideal scenarios for whether to use CBD vape or smokable hemp flower.

Primary Inhalation Differences Between Vaping and Smoking CBD

While the ultimate goal of enjoying CBD’s potential effects remains the same, the processes vary:

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Vaping CBD

Vaporizers heat CBD e-liquid blends to temperatures between 200°F and 400°F, enough to automize carrier oils and extracts into a smooth inhalable vapor that gets absorbed efficiently into the bloodstream through the lungs but without combustion. Click here for all about alcohol detox massachusetts

Smoking CBD Flower

Hemp flowers get combusted through pipes, rolling papers or bongs, creating the smoke containing CBD and other cannabinoids commonly found in the hemp plant that also enters the lungs but alongside thicker tar particulates and combustion toxins.

The key rests in the vapor versus the smoke distinctions. Both methods allow fast cannabinoid delivery but dramatically different chemical processes take place and byproducts with implications for safety based on research insights.

Smoke vs Vapor

Igniting any plant creates smoke containing gaseous carbon molecules like carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide with various chemical constituents, several that have proven harmful like:

  • Tar
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Toxins
  • Carcinogens

Vapor produced from a vape pen does not have those complex pollutants. Quality disposable vape pens and e-juices avoid combustion and smoke production through a gentler heating process that produces pure vapor that carries CBD through the lungs.

Safety Research Analysis

Both methods deliver active CBD effectively but prolonged smoke exposure with combustibles threatens long-term health. Let’s examine the studies.

Combustion Toxins

Burning plant matter including cannabis creates multiple dangerous combustion byproducts. A 2007 study discovered regular marijuana smoking produced significant ammonia exposure – a toxic lung irritant. Hemp smoke likely creates similar issues.

Chronic bronchitis and lung functioning reductions was also correlated with consistent smoke inhalation as hot particulate matter accumulates over time.

Think tar build up in tobacco smokers’ lungs – but cannabis smoke contains comparable tar levels plus additional toxins. While more research is underway, logic says inhaling deeply any smoke regularly for months on end cannot remain entirely harmless to delicate lung tissue.

Respiratory Considerations

Alternatively, a small 2018 study exposing mice to cannabis vapor found no lung functioning reduction nor negative impact even after extensive, consistent dosing. 

This suggests vaping with a gentler heating method avoids creating substantial contaminant build-up or disease risk, though recommendations for long-term use remain unstudied until major long-term data becomes available.

Propylene Glycol Concerns

PG thins CBD extract for efficient vape cartridge wicking and is the main carrier of the flavors found in vapes. When heated, it generates ultra-fine atomized particles under 5 microns penetrating deeply into the lungs. Little research yet exists analyzing the impacts of frequent, long-term exposure. Some side effects of using PG may include:

  • Dry, irritated throat
  • Inflamed airways
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness

Favor CBD Vapes that provide a certificate of analysis report to ensure your getting the highest grade carriers for CBD. 

MCT Oils

Thinner viscosity oils get used sometimes allowing vape pens heating element to dilute and vaporize thicker CBD extracts. But safety is the biggest concern.

Heated MCT oil oils produce acetaldehyde and formaldehyde – carcinogens linked to lung damage per the University cancer researchers. It’s recommended to avoid any CBD vape that uses MCT oil as the carrier.

Thankfully, purity and safety-focused CBD brands emphasize using pure CBD with vegetable glycerin and a propylene glycol blend that is optimal for vaping. Check the ingredients list and certificates of analysis confirming contents.

Additional Factors Influencing Choice

Beyond direct health consequences, other factors shape whether to pick between smoking high CBD hemp flower or CBD Vape oil or concentrates.

Bioavailability Differences

Absorption rates differ between eating, vaping, and smoking cannabinoids. Vaporizing CBD provides an estimated 30-40% efficiency while combustion offers slightly less at 20-30% bioavailability according to Leafly. This means less wasted material and faster peak onset when vaporizing CBD.

Dosing Requirements

Greater bioavailability also means adjusting servings and lowering doses. Compare a 20mg CBD capsule to around 6mg vape – nearly quadrupling potency. This means you can use less CBD to create the same effects.  This saves money while preventing unwanted side effects. Start low with inhalation methods.


Portable vape pens with preloaded cartridges or disposables provide convenience for microdosing CBD discretely as needed for rapid relief. On the other hand using pipes, bongs or joints proves more involved and definitely not discrete.

Personal Preferences

Ultimately individual factors shape the right delivery methods. Pre-existing conditions may make combustibles out of the question, while vaping remains suitable or vice versa. Combining multiple intake styles ensures any potential blindspots get covered by another.

Final Word

Review the pros and cons and analyze them through a goals-oriented, situational lens when determining the best CBD intake approach.

 Vaping appears to be the healthier choice that avoids smoking’s contaminants, but with the wide range of choices, it introduces key considerations, like sourcing high purity, lab-tested CBD products that are safe to use, Checking the product you are interested in 3rd Party COA will show you whether you are vaping a safe product free from contaminants. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These product(s) are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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