Can You Vape CBD Tinctures? Understanding the Difference Between CBD Vape Oil and CBD Tinctures

CBD has become wildly popular. There’s new research coming out all the time that supports the myriad of benefits it contains, and there are new CBD and hemp companies being formed every day. CBD is the fastest-growing health and wellness trend to hit the natural market in years and has given medical cannabis a whole new name.

For quite some time, the most common method of consumption of CBD was an oral tincture. A few drops or sprays of CBD taken sublingually was how most people got their daily dose until the use of CBD began to surge and new methods of consumption like vaping, edibles, and capsules were introduced.

As popular as CBD has become, there is still a lot of confusion and misinformation circulating around the internet. Most of the confusion stems from how to properly consume CBD products.

One of the most common questions we get at CBD School is: “Is it okay to vape any CBD tinctures?”

We’re going to answer that for you in this article. But first, let’s get some CBD lingo defined…

When we say CBD tincture, we mean any liquid CBD oil product designed to be taken by mouth. In the CBD space, CBD tincture and CBD oil are often used interchangeably and both mean the same thing.

When we say CBD vape oil, we mean any liquid CBD product meant for use in a vaporizer. Other common terms for CBD vape oil are CBD E-Liquid, CBD E-Juice, and CBD vape juice.

Vaping CBD

Vaping CBD has shown to offer the fastest delivery, and usually offers the quickest relief from conditions like anxiety and chronic pain. Increased research also suggests that vaping CBD can help you quit smoking .

Because it works so effectively and offers rapid relief, there are more people vaping CBD than ever before. While we do know that it can be effective and offer speedy alleviation of several different symptoms, there’s still a bit of perplexity about vaping itself.

We get it. That’s why we’re here to end the confusion that surrounds vaping CBD once and for all.

Photo by Matthew Brodeur on Unsplash

Is All CBD Oil the Same, and Can’t You Just Vape Any CBD Oil?

With the plethora of CBD products that have recently hit the market, it’s easy to become confused about what’s exactly what. You’ve got CBD oil. And CBD tincture. Then there’s also CBD vape oil.

Is there really a difference between these products, and does it really matter what you put in your vaporizer?

For one, CBD oil and CBD tincture really mean the exact same thing. The words tincture and oil are used interchangeably. These are the liquid CBD products that are meant to be taken orally and are most often dispensed with a dropper or spray. Before vaping came along, this was by far the most common way to take CBD.

Now that vaping’s hit the scene, you’ll find products like CBD vape oil, which is more commonly (but not always) referred to as CBD e-liquid or CBD vape juice.

See where the confusion comes in? We get asked all the time if it’s possible to put their CBD tincture into their favorite vaporizer.

Whether you’re interested in vaping CBD or have already started, understanding if you can vape CBD tinctures is an extremely important part of the experience. While they might seem like they’re the same thing, there are some key differences between the two.

CBD Tincture vs. CBD Vape Oil

Now that you know CBD oil and CBD tincture are actually the same thing, there’s something else you should know. CBD tincture and CBD vape oil both contain CBD but are designed to be used differently.

CBD Tincture: Designed to be used orally, CBD tinctures are made by extracting CBD from the hemp plant by steeping hemp flowers and leaves in a high-proof grain alcohol and subsequently applying low heat over a substantial amount of time. This process allows for the active compounds found in hemp plants to permeate into the alcohol, with any excess alcohol boiled off.

Aside from alcohol extraction, CBD is also commonly extracted from the hemp plant using CO2. This processes results in a concentrated CBD extract, which producers dilute with carrier oils (like olive, hempseed, or coconut oil) that can be easily absorbed and digested by the body, as well as other ingredients (such as different flavors like mint or citrus) to improve its flavor.

Currently, CO2 extraction is considered the industry standard best extraction process and is by far the most popular.

Photo by Quinten de Graaf on Unsplash

CBD Vape Oil: CBD vape oils are designed to be used in e-cigarettes or vape pens. To produce this e-liquid, a thinning agent is added to the CBD extract, as concentrated CBD oil is typically too thick to easily flow through most vape pens. Aside from making the CBD thin enough to make its way through the vape pen, it also creates a higher volume that will increase how long the CBD oil will actually last. This thinning agent also produces the vapor clouds exhaled when vaping CBD.

Different thinning agents used in CBD vape oils include:

• Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)
• Propylene Glycol (PG)
• Vegetable Glycerin (VG)
• Medium Chain Triglyceride Oil (MCT) [Note: MCT oils are also a common carrier oil used in CBD tinctures as well]

When CBD vape oils were first introduced, they were most often made with PEG, PG, or VG. Unfortunately, when these glycol molecules (PEG and PG) are heated, they can break down into carcinogenic (cancer-causing) compounds.

VG is commonly considered one of the best bases for CBD vape oils because it produces the largest vapor clouds and is considered the safest option of the three.  There is some evidence that it can cause stiffness in the soft coverings of the lungs in some individuals, however, which is something to be aware of.

MCT is another base used in CBD vape oils that is generally considered safe to vape. While it won’t produce the large vapor clouds that VG is famous for, MCT isn’t associated with any negative health risks.

CBD Tincture Was Not Designed to Be Vaped…That’s Why CBD Vape Oil Was Created

Both CBD tinctures and CBD vape oil products are each made for a specific use. CBD tinctures are designed to be taken orally, while CBD vape oils are made with different ingredients and designed to be used in an e-cig or vaporizer.

That being said, CBD vape oils are still made with carrier oils which are considered safe and non-toxic for ingestion. PEG, PG, VG, and MCT oil are all considered safe and non-toxic by the FDA. You could essentially use your CBD vape oil like you would a tincture (by mouth) and be fine. Not that this is something we would recommend…just because something’s safe, doesn’t mean you should necessarily do it.

CBD vape oils are designed for vaping and is exactly what they should be used for. The same goes for CBD tinctures. They are designed to be taken orally, which is exactly how they should be used. Each of these products are optimized for their respective delivery methods.

If you can ingest CBD vape oils (which we don’t recommend), can you vape CBD tincture? Essentially, they’re the same thing and only designed for different uses, right? Why not use them interchangeably?

Here’s the thing. CBD tinctures are not designed to be vaped. Not only do they not burn well but will likely taste awful when heated up. CBD vape oil is produced with a special thinning agent (PEG, PG, VG, or MCT) that heats up to produce an inhalable vapor that moves freely through your vaporizer and into your lungs. Vaping a CBD tincture that doesn’t contain the thinning agent ends up being too thick and can clog your vape pen and gunk up your coil, leaving you with a mess that could have otherwise been avoided.

Oils that are burned in a vape pen do evaporate to some extent but begin to burn quickly. When they burn, the vapor turns to a thick smoke that can be especially harsh on the lungs. While there are several advancements in the CBD market, there isn’t a vape pen that exists which is designed to take straight CBD tincture [at least, not to our knowledge at the time of writing].

Something else to keep in mind is that there are some CBD tinctures that are made with an alcohol base. The last thing you want to do is inhale alcohol into your lungs. And while it likely won’t happen, there is the possibility that an alcohol-based tincture could catch on fire. The last thing you want is your vaporizer to go up in flames.

Final Thoughts on Vaping CBD Tinctures

Now that you know that vaping CBD tinctures isn’t only not recommended, but can be dangerous as well, it’s important to keep your CBD tinctures and CBD vape oils separate.

Vaping and taking CBD tinctures orally are by far, the most popular methods of ingestion, but that doesn’t mean the two can be swapped out for one another.

To answer the question “Can I vape CBD tinctures?” once and for all…no, you can’t and there’s really no reason to try when both CBD tinctures and CBD vape oils are both readily available on the market today.

For the best results, as well as your safety and the functionality of your vaporizer, use your vape oil in a vape pen and stick to oral administration when taking a tincture.


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