If you’ve ever held a bottle of CBD tincture or oil, you may be tempted to load up your vape tank with the thick oil and puff on it. However, this is an extremely bad idea that you should avoid entirely. CBD tinctures and oils have a different composition than actual CBD vape juice. Vaping a tincture or oil can be detrimental, which is why they’re called “sublinguals” and not “inhalables.” In this article, we’ll be discussing the differences between oils/tinctures and CBD vape juice, the possible outcome if oils/tinctures are vaped, and other relevant information regarding these two very different product types. Let’s begin!
CBD Vape Juice and CBD Tincture: Knowing The Difference
In order to really grasp why you shouldn’t vape tinctures/oils and stick with CBD vape juice, it’s important to understand the difference between the two. Let’s define some terms and break down what each are and how they’re made.
CBD Vape Juice
CBD vape juice is considered an inhalable, though you may not find many sites that carry vape juice anymore. Vape juice is a specifically crafted liquid designed to be used with designated devices. Often referred to as e-juice or e-liquid, vape juice is comprised of three ingredients: VG (vegetable glycerin), PG (propylene glycol), and flavoring. The amounts of VG and PG will vary depending on how much flavor or clouds you’re wanting (70/30, 60/40, 50/50, etc.).
The liquid itself is added into a specialized vaping device that transofrms the e-liquid into vapor, thus allowing you to vape. With CBD vape juice, the ingredients are the same but also incorporate CBD. This allows the compound to enter directly into your bloodstream via your lungs and bypasses the digestion system completely.
CBD tinctures are a type of cannabinoid-infused product that’s classified as a sublingual. It is crafted with several ingredients, but is based on an alcohol extract (usually ethyanol or isopropyl). This high proof alcohol is used to steep the stem, seeds, and flower of the hemp plant. The use of an alcohol base allows for a longer shelf life, more variation in flavor and scent, and is considerably more enjoyable to consume. The finished product is rich in CBD extract and is quite thick. The color may vary from a light to a dark yellow and is typically housed in a darkly stained glass bottle to prevent premature deterioration.
The delivery method involves releasing a dropperful of the liquid under your tongue, holding it for a minute or two, and then swallowing the remainder. The liquid will permeat your mucous membrane and enter into your bloodstream quicker than traditional edibles. Think of it as the middle ground between edibles and inhalables. When consumed sublingually, tinctures have excellent bioavailability, meaning that a large percentage of the cannabinoid is absorbed by the body. Some users prefer to drizzle tinctures onto their foods and into their beverages, but since the cannabinoid must now pass through the digestive system, the bioavailability rate is lowered and much of the CBD is lost in the digestion process.
The Difference Between Vape Juice & Tinctures
Both CBD vape juice and CBD tinctures seem to have several similarities at first glance. Their yellow-tinged color, the 30mL glass bottle, use of organic ingredients, thick and sticky appearance of the oil, and pleasant liquid scent are all things that might tempt you to load up your vaping device and puff away. Yet there are some potential dangers involved with confusing the two.
First and foremost, quality CBD vape juice has been crafted specifically to be vaporized. No harmful solvents like Vitamin E acetate, heavy metals, or pesticides are present and have been carefully vetted through proper channels to ensure a premium finished product. The CBD concentrate added to CBD vape juice are the same as those found naturally in raw flower. Inhaling CBD vape juice would deliver the same effects and benefits as puffing on a pre-roll or grinding up hemp flower yourself and vaporizing it.
In comparison, CBD tinctures are harmful to your lungs if inhaled. Tinctures are designed to be consumed orally, as in sublingually or swallowed. Not only will the thick liquid ruin your vaporizer device, but the unnatural and unintentional conversion of a liquid to a vapor can come with some serious health risks. You may remember a few years ago when underage users were manually adding liquid THC to their vape pens and suffered serious (and in some cases fatal) consequences. Just because it looks like it can be vaped doesn’t mean it should be. Always check the ingredients list and product name to ensure you know what you’re about to consume. The term “tincture” and “oil” are often used interchangeably, but are vastly different in their composition. You can check out our previous article entitled “How To Tell The Difference Between CBD Tinctures & Oils."
So What Actually Happens If You Vape CBD Tincture?
If you’re curious to know the science behind why you should never vape CBD tinctures, here is a breakdown of what actually happens and why. Cannabis-infused oils are easily absorbed into the cells found in your lungs. Many carrier oils used in tinctures like MCT coconut oil and hemp seed oil are particularly susceptible to the bacteria that attracts lipoid pneumonia, especially if vaporized. If inhaled, these oils will remain on the lung lining surface, potentially exposing you to bacteria that can be life-threatening (i.e., lipoid pneumonia).
There are not many oils that are safe to inhale, CBD vape juice and specialized cartridges being two of the few. Just because a CBD product looks like it can be vaped doesn’t mean it is safe to do so. You should never vape any form of tincture; only certain CBD oils are suitable for vaping, but since the terms “tincture” and “oil” are often used interchangeably, it’s best to avoid all liquid CBD types unless the manufacturer specifically states they are intended for vaping.
Other Viable CBD Inhalables
Just because you shouldn’t vape CBD tinctures doesn’t mean you’re limited to CBD vape juice alone. Many other products like CBD pre-rolls, vape cartridges, dabs, and raw CBD flower are ideal for getting a fast and effective dose of CBD. Keep in mind that many forms of inhalables will require additional hardware.
- Vaporizers - useful for adding dry herbs like crushed cannabis flowers.
- Dab rigs - great for enjoying the highly viscous and potent CBD dabs housed in syringe-like packaging.
- Vape Batteries/Pens - slim and discreet pen-style devices that support a 510-connection, perfect for screwing on vape carts.
- Rolling papers & lighters - a must-have for hand-rollers who prefer to create their own joints, spliffs, and blunts (more information on these three in our next article!)
- Live resin disposables/carts - pre-filled products that deliver potent flavor and can be used with any low-wattage device that supports a 510-screw in connection.
When it comes to the cannabis industry, there’s a lot of information to process. If you’re just venturing into the vast market of products, it may seem innocent enough to load up your vape pen with any liquid you come across. Yet this seemingly harmless assumption can lead to some serious health issues. If you are buying a product labeled as “tincture” or “oil”, keep in mind that the two may be the same thing. The only real way to tell the difference is that tinctures have an alcohol or water base, whereas oils will have strictly two ingredients: CBD concentrate and a carrier oil. Regardless of what the product is labeled as, it is crucial to never add any random liquid into your vape setup without ensuring that’s what is intended by the manufacturer. There are many products that are designed to be vaped or inhaled and have been carefully crafted to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for the user. When in doubt, don’t simply assume that the product is meant to be inhaled. Vape juice is meant for vaping and CBD tinctures/oils are meant to be consumed sublingually.
Here at ERTH Wellness, we offer a premium selection of high-quality CBD tinctures, CBD Vape Juice pre-rolls, edibles, and much more in a variety of non-psychoactive cannabinoids. All of our products have been subjected to third-party independent lab testing to ensure purity and potency across the board. You can view those results by navigating to the product in question and locating the Lab Results link in each product description or by scanning the QR code stamped on each product’s packaging. If you have any questions regarding any information in this article or regarding cannabis in general, feel free to reach out to us or drop a comment below! Our team of CBD experts are eager to share their vast knowledge of the industry with you to help you find the product that’s best for you. In our next article, we’ll be discussing the differences between four well-known inhalable product types: spliffs, joints, blunts, and pre-rolls. If you’re curious to know the nuances all these, this is an article you won’t want to miss!