Two movements continue to happen simultaneously in the vaping world. As the legal cloud lifts from cannabis and CBD, millions of cigarette smokers around the country are making the switch to ECs (e-cigarettes) along with the impressive expansion in vape juice products. Put the developing trends together and you have even more possibilities when it comes to vaping, as high-quality e-liquids can be the perfect dancing partner for a variety of cannabis-related products that can work in your vape pen. But, it's also a complicated world out there when it comes to cannabis and CBD oils, making it essential that you have a grasp of the basics if you're looking to use that e-cig to enjoy the medicinal and recreational upside of the controversial green plant. Here's everything you need to know if you're looking to create your own cannabis or CBD vape juice that will transform that EC into the perfect cannabis-delivery system.
Cannabis Oil Versus CBD Oil for Your EC
The major changes in the legality of cannabis in recent years have also led to an explosion of different products coming out of the shadows and onto vape counters around the country. However, the cannabis plant has so many different applications that misinformation is rampant, which can lead to complications for anyone hoping to find a little slice of green heaven with an e-cig.
Understanding THC in Cannabis Oils.
Similar to alcohol, everyone has a different reaction to THC, the psychoactive ingredient most closely associated with marijuana. The THC levels in a cannabis-oil concentrate can also have an extraordinary range, which is why it's generally a good idea to be on the picky side when choosing what's right for you – especially if you're a newbie. On the upper end, cannabis oils can actually have a total THC level of about 60%, which is roughly three times what you're likely to see from most strains of high-quality marijuana at a cannabis shop. In short, jumping straight to using a 60% THC cannabis oil in your EC is only recommended if you have a severe medical condition or landed a role as an extra on a Seth Rogen movie.
But cannabis oils definitely don't have to be so severe either, particularly if you know what you're doing when it comes to blending with an e-liquid. With an appropriate level of THC in your cannabis oil, you can enjoy a wide spectrum of medicinal benefits right in your EC, from treating PTSD and various cancers to weight-loss and managing nausea. Although cannabis oils in ECs are also perfectly geared for discretely having a little fun as well (in states with recreationally legal cannabis, of course), e-cigs are a great way to extrapolate the advantages of medical marijuana as well.
The Basics of CBD Oil
Although they often get lumped together, CBD and cannabis oils are cousins with different interests and social lives. While cannabis oil is appropriate for those looking for more serious relief, CBD (cannabidiol) oil has most of the benefits of cannabis without having to worry about the complications usually associated with THC. CBD oil is also used for a wide variety of different ailments, including anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and plenty of others.
One of the most well-known uses for CBD oil is for epilepsy, which has been a leading reason why many states have adopted new stances on CBD oils in recent years. As recently as this April, a panel of experts unanimously recommended that the Food and Drug Administration should approve a new CBD drug that is already being seen as a breakthrough for epileptics and their families. If fully approved by the FDA, the new drug would be the first-ever cannabis-based medication to ever receive FDA approval, countering the current federal laws that have cannabis labeled as a Schedule 1 drug – meaning it has no medical value.
The news about the breakthrough drug is also good for CBD oils, which have been steadily gaining prominence in states around the country as the positive data has circulated. While there are a variety of different CBD oils with different benefits (more about that below), the microscopic THC levels and gathering an understanding of the medical benefits of CBD products have paved the way for a bright future for CBD oils. For those suffering from certain medical conditions, particularly smokers or ex-smokers, being able to load a fully legal CBD oil into an EC is becoming more and more of a reality.
The Ins and Outs of Mixing Cannabis and CBD Oils with E-Liquids
The internet is filled with different methods to make your own e-juice from scratch so you can blend it with cannabis or CBD oil. But even though making your own vape juice sounds terrific on the surface, you should probably at least consider the possibility that the professionals are going to do this much better than a concoction you whip up in your garage. Not only is making your own e-juice going to take you weeks and ultimately be nearly as expensive as buying it premade, the quality is almost certainly going to be several cuts below what you're going to find in the inventories of the top e-liquid producers out there. The same also tends to hold true if you're buying preblended vape juice that already contains cannabis or CBD oil and e-liquid, which is likely to be a lower grade than if you purchase the two main components separately and mix them yourself.
For those who do want to go the route of blending a cannabis or CBD extract with premade e-liquid, choosing the right e-liquid to mix with your oil is an absolutely critical part of the process.
E-Juice Doesn't Automatically Mean Nicotine Delivery
It's certainly true that nicotine is usually an essential part of the top-end e-liquids, but it also doesn't have to be. One relatively new option that is particularly geared for cannabis and CBD users is zero-nicotine e-liquid, which is an ideal way to thin your oil without picking up the potentially unwanted effects of nicotine. While nicotine e-liquids can be enormously helpful for anyone trying to quit smoking cigarettes, it's not recommended to use a mid or high-nicotine juice with cannabis or CBD oil if you're not used to nicotine. Unfortunately, many cannabis users simply assume that e-juice companies only sell liquids with nicotine.
Another reason premade e-liquids can be the perfect companion with your cannabis or CBD oil and your e-cig is because of the range of different ingredient ratios now available. Even if your oil seller is responsible and uses only the best ingredients for vape juice blends, cannabis and CBD oil producers that make vape-ready blends are usually delivering convenience by sacrificing variety (and often quality).
Premade cannabis juice blends are also usually reliant upon propylene glycol (PG), which isn't bad in itself but also cuts down on your options. While PG will provide the type of throat-hit that many vapers and ex-smokers like, it's definitely not an experience for everyone. That's why one of the very best options currently available is a high vegetable glycerin (VG) e-liquid, which provides a smooth vaping experience and even tends to give off much bigger clouds of vapor (not typically a downside for cannabis fans).
With a flavorless VG e-liquid, for example, you'll only notice the naturally sweet taste of the vegetable glycerin and can usually choose zero nicotine, which is the type of organic experience that is right in line with cannabis culture as a whole. Such natural products are also ideal for anyone looking strictly for the medicinal benefits of either cannabis or CBD. Blending cannabis or CBD oil with a high VG e-liquid even cuts out the possibility of allergies associated with PG, which is another reason that many vapers are going with VG-based juices for everyday vaping.
The Best Way to Mix Your Oil and E-Liquid into Cannabis or CBD Vape Juice
The goods news if you're buying your e-liquid from a reputable producer is that you're cutting out by far the hardest part of making vape juice by hand, so say goodbye to the beakers and hot plates you would likely need if you wanted to do it all completely from scratch. Instead, all you really need to do is heat your oil and then try to blend in the right amount of e-liquid to create the ratio you're looking for.
To melt the oil, simply microwave it at 90 seconds on one of the lower settings (e.g. defrost) and you should have a workable oil. If it's not quite melted enough, just go with 10-second increments until you get there. An alternative to heating the oil in the microwave is to simply place the oil in a bowl inside a pot of water. As you heat the water towards a boil, the oil should melt into a consistency that will be ready for your e-liquid.
With correctly prepped oil, it's then just a matter of finding the right ratio of e-juice to add. A basic 1:1 ratio is standard and will get the job done, but others find that 2:3 oil to e-liquid is a better option. For those who want only some of the cannabis or CBD oil effects, 2:3 tends to work perfectly, but the advantage of blending your own vape juice is that you can tinker with it until you have it exact to your personal tastes. To mix it, simply use a stainless-steel spatula (or maybe a silicon one) and make sure that it's fully homogenized before you let it cool. From there, your vape juice should be ready for your e-cig cartridge.
- Making the perfect cannabis vape juice takes only minutes once you have cannabis or CBD oil and a quality e-liquid.
- Be careful with cannabis vape juice that is preblended.
- Make your own e-liquid at your own peril.
- Look for nicotine-free e-juices in a range of forms.
Can Just Anyone Use Cannabis or CBD Oil with E-Juice?
"It's legal, but it ain't a hundred percent legal," said John Travolta in Pulp Fiction, and even though he was talking about hash in Amsterdam, it also embodies the muddied waters of understanding the legal status of cannabis and CBD in 2018. In short, many states are still scrambling to figure out what to do with all the different forms of the cannabis plant while federal law has remained stagnant, leaving many of us wondering what exactly is allowed and what isn't from state to state.
The Growing Legal Case for Cannabis Oil
Complete with THC, cannabis oil is only allowed for recreational use in nine states (and the District of Columbia) for now, but that's likely to change rapidly. With a whole wave of states pushing for outright legalization in the November elections, cannabis oil is likely to be available legally in at least a few more states by 2019. But even though we're still a long way from full legalization of cannabis – or even a majority of the states jumping aboard – more than half of states have approved medical marijuana laws, and many of those states are looking to push even further with the acceptable usages of medical cannabis.
With 30 states (and counting) having approved medical marijuana, state laws regulating it vary dramatically from state to state. It's also worth noting that some states have passed legislation but haven't fully implemented it yet. Still, cannabis oil is already widely available in the U.S. and the club is growing for both medicinal and recreational use, with new states likely to be added in both 2018 and 2020.
CBD Oil is on the Doorstep of Full Legality for Medical Use
In addition to CBD oil being available for medical purposes in 30 states, 17 other states have actually written laws specific to CBD oil because of the growing evidence of medical use. Even states like Alabama, not particularly known for being pro-cannabis, have made progress and now allow physicians to prescribe CBD oils for a variety of conditions. In short, nearly every state in the country has physicians legally prescribing CBD products, making it as easy as ever to obtain CBD oils for your EC – as long as you have a legitimate medical reason. Even if you happen to not live in a state where you can obtain a basic CBD oil, CBD hemp oil is still able to be legally shipped to any location in the United States because it isn't made from the parts of the cannabis plant considered illegal by the federal government.
What's the Difference Between CBD Oil and CBD Hemp Oil?
Your head might just spin all the way around trying to figure out all the different varieties of CBD oil, but here's where we can simplify things a bit for those who haven't mastered the encyclopedia of cannabis terminology. CBD hemp oil is legal in all 50 states because it's made from industrialized hemp instead of the main parts of the cannabis sativa plant and has no perceivable amount of THC, the active agent that is a defining characteristic of marijuana. What it does have a good deal of is cannabidiol, the essential part that provides the medical applications and gives CBD oil its name. Cannabidiol is also not specifically listed as a controlled substance the way that both THC and marijuana are, which has provided legal cover for hemp oil producers even in states that have struggled to move forward with new CBD-oil legislation (e.g. Idaho).
Even if it has less cannabidiol than pure CBD oil, hemp oil can be used for a variety of different ailments like anxiety and depression and has a range of crucial vitamins and minerals as well. Calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium along with Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and a handful of the vitamin Bs can all be found in CBD hemp oil.
CBD hemp oil is also a great agent to combine with an e-juice to be vaped in an EC, particularly for those eager for a natural experience that doesn't come with the effects of THC that not everyone is looking for. Because hemp oil is specifically designed for a pure cannabis experience without the psychoactive effects of THC, mixing it with a high or pure VG e-liquid can yield a terrific vaping experience in your EC. With its perfectly legal status, your ability to legally vape CBD hemp oil also isn't subject to the degree of enlightenment in your state's legislature.
One of the absolute best reasons to look elsewhere than your cannabis/CBD oil supplier for the right e-juice is for safety, as this is where it's a big advantage to go with an e-liquid company that is extremely transparent about the product. The e-juice producers worth buying from today will give you an exact rundown of what's in their liquids, allowing you to completely control what you're ultimately going to be putting into your body. If you might have a sensitivity or allergy to PG, the last thing you're going to want to do is pump yourself full of an e-liquid high in PG just for a little bit of convenience.
Instead, e-liquid producers have moved far away from the wild west that it was only a few years ago, and now a vaper can choose e-juice that consists predominately of naturally-occurring products like VG instead of the much more standard PG. For those who do like PG, a range of VG to PG ratios give you even more customization as you're looking to find the perfect mixture of cannabis or CBD vape juice blend. Whatever type of e-liquid you choose to mix with your CBD product, you can be assured that you'll know the exact effects beforehand and you'll be using only high-level ingredients.
However, because CBD has far fewer regulations surrounding it, CBD oil sellers can get away with a lot more when it comes to preblended cannabis or CBD vape juices. Even if they produce high-end oils and extracts, your CBD producer might not know the first thing about making a good vape juice. Although there's nothing ostensibly wrong with using PG-heavy vape juice and many do actually know what they're doing, CBD oil producers are just typically better at producing – well – CBD oil (with exceptions). Getting your e-liquid from a company that specializes in vape juice can be a bit like taking your car to an actual mechanic instead of your cousin who says he knows everything there is to know about cars. For something that you'll be vaping directly into your lungs, it's generally better to go with the specialists.
Don't Interchange CBD Oil (or CBD Tinctures) with CBD Vape Juice
You might be a bit of a rookie if you don't know the difference here, but the vaping industry as a whole is moving towards inclusivity instead of some esoteric "in-club" that the long list of terminology might suggest. And when it comes to something that is used as regularly as most use CBD oil, there are no stupid questions. All that to say that, yes, people have tried to vape orally-intended CBD oil and vice-versa, as it can be easy to believe they are one in the same despite that being very far from the truth.
As CBD has become more and more prevalent, specialization has really taken over and now you can administer CBD in a variety of different ways. But the standard two remain either to put CBD oil under your tongue or to vape CBD juice (not oil) that is specifically designed for only vaping. Although it can be very common to see oil and juice used as synonyms, they're not, and the confusion can lead to complications for those just learning the ropes.
It is also a crucial distinction for anyone looking to mix an extract with e-juice manually. After all, you don't want to start mixing preblended CBD vape juice with an e-liquid unless you're doing a YouTube video of exactly what not to do. The result will be that the combined liquid will be far too thin to offer a viable vaping session, and you simply won't get anywhere near the effect that you're looking for. While many out there wrongly interchange oil and vape juice when describing a CBD product, anyone looking to mix CBD oil with a separately purchased VG or PG-based e-juice absolutely needs to know the difference.
It might not apply to your CBD use, but it's worth noting the difference in CBD isolates and CBD products considered "full spectrum." While full spectrum can give a tiny THC-based buzz, CBD isolates are more tranquil because they don't have detectable THC, although both can still provide medical benefits and be mixed with e-liquids for use in an EC.
The important takeaways for a great experience.
One of the greatest advantages of an e-cig is the convenience, although that can quickly evaporate if you hope to use cannabis or CBD oil without at least a foundational understanding of what you're doing. Many do-it-yourself sites online will offer all sorts of ways to start from scratch to make your own e-liquid first and then blend it with a cannabis extract, which is a process only for those with high doses of patience (and, possibly, for masochists). Plenty of sites even suggest making your own cannabis oil as well, taking the entire process to a new level of complexity.
Instead, the process can be completely painless and convenient while still giving you a very high amount of control with what you choose to put in your EC cartridge. Merging a high-quality raw CBD extract with the right e-liquid can be nearly as easy as making a Hot Pocket, and can unlock the potential in both main entities to maximum effect. While the extraordinary range in cannabis-related products can offer a variety of different effects, a well-made e-juice can compliment your extract while providing a few wanted effects of its own. Adding in zero-nicotine flavorless e-juices and other high VG liquids into the mix can also help to satisfy the purity-seeking cannabis or CBD user, allowing even more ways to customize your vaping experience with the comfort of your everyday vape pen.