Let us talk about the safety of vaping your CBD and THC. Vaping technology is developing rapidly. Lots has been learned, and lots has been done to make this as safe as possible. Here’s a quick overview of how to vape your CBD and THC as safely as anyone can.
- Use MCT oil as the carrier
- Keep the vape temperature below 200’C
- If flavored, use modern flavorings (no diacetyl)
You can use lots of chemicals to carry the THC and CBD. Vape users have tried PEG, PG, VG, and MCT oil (see glossary below). It looks like MCT is the safest of these carriers. And no, MCT oil is not significantly associated with lipoid pneumonia. So go with MCT oil as the carrier for your THC and CBD.
Vape temperature under 200′ C
There was a much quoted study showing that PEG degrades into formaldehyde and acetaldehyde at 230’C (around 450’F, a really hot oven). If you vape THC or CBD at these temps, the vapor has a terrible burnt taste. So manufacturers learned to set their vape temps way below this. Standard pen-type vape kits run temperatures around 180’C, which is way enough to vaporize your THC or CBD and yet cool enough to be tolerated by most people.
We actually have variable voltage vape pens available that allow you to dial down the temperature of your inhaled vapor so you can tolerate it easier. In short, formaldehyde is not a realistic risk for most people.
No diacetyl in the flavorings
The popcorn lung scare that swept the internet a couple years ago is no longer a real problem. There is a chemical flavoring called diacetyl which gave workers in popcorn factories “bronchiolitis obliterans,” popcorn lung. There were small amounts (like 9 micrograms) of this in early nicotine vape cartridges. That’s the origin of the popcorn lung scare. By the way, there are over 6000 micrograms of diacetly in every pack of cigarettes. Vape manufacturers are flavoring their vapes with other, safer chemicals. So don’t worry about this one.
Be a good consumer of your THC and CBD vape cartridges. Ask:
- What is the carrier for the THC and CBD? You want to hear MCT.
- What temp does this vape run at? You want to hear under 200’C
- What flavorings, if any are there in it? You want to hear no diacetyl.
AKA your organic chem teacher is smiling now and they don’t know why.
Polyethylene glycol, the active ingredient in antifreeze. Breaks down to acetaldehyde and formaldehyde at 230’C. Nobody uses it anymore but ask anyway. If they say they do, don’t buy their product.
Propylene glycol, the kinder gentler glycol. A thinning agent used mostly in nicotine e-juices. Not nearly as bad, but avoid it if you can.
Vegetable glycerine, another carrier used mostly in nicotine e-juices. Again, avoid it if possible.
Medium chain triglyceride oil, usually from coconut oil or palm oil. Your Friend. A good carrier, a good thinning agent, easy on the lungs. Sold in health food stores as a supplement. The best carrier going so far. Ask for it.
The stuff that manufacturers dissolve the active ingredients of their vape juices into. If you dissolve a teaspoon of sugar into a glass of water, the water is the carrier for the sugar. So manufacturers dissolve THC or CBD into carriers like MCT oil and put this solution into their vape cartridges.
What most internet scares like popcorn lung are. 90% of the non-porn internet (i.e. 9% of the internet… ) is just a gigantic National Enquirer running scary headlines to get saps to click on the stories so advertisers will pay higher rates on their sites. Throw in a few irrelevant but scary pictures, link to a few more clickbait stories and you have a lucrative, if scummy, business model. If something sounds too scary to be true, check it out on Snopes or some such.