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Vaping. You’ve probably heard of it - and it may even elicit negative connotations for you, as it is usually associated with e-cigarettes laden with nicotine. Despite reports that e-cigarettes somewhat offset the damage to public health caused by traditional cigarettes, they are far from a flawless alternative. Indeed, nicotine-based e-cigarettes have caused a deep social divide, being denounced by many as health-compromising and problematic. By contrast, others hail them for the tectonic shift they have prompted, away from traditional cigarettes and into a new age of safer smoking. With nicotine-free CBD Vapes, however, there is practically no debate to be had; this cannabinoid has taken the world by storm for all the right reasons. We will be explaining just what this phytochemical is, how it is absorbed, what it does to our bodies and why vaping is unquestionably something you should add to your agenda. In doing so, we hope to debunk any negative preconceptions you have about vaping in general.
What even is CBD?
Formally known as Cannabidiol, CBD is one of over 100 naturally-occurring cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant. It is likely that of these compounds, you have heard of CBD and THC. Though they come from the same plant, it must be reinforced that CBD and THC are very different compounds. THC, often found in recreational marijuana, is the infamous compound that causes intoxicating ‘highs’ and has mind-altering effects. CBD, on the other hand, does not have this effect on the user. Studies have noted that these two compounds complement each other nicely when working collaboratively. That said, for a product containing CBD to sell legally in the UK and most EU countries, the THC content must not be higher than 0.2% concentration. The equivalent law in the US stipulates that THC concentration should be lower than 0.3%.
In recent years, the CBD industry has grown exponentially, with people globally catching on that CBD is something of a marvel with very few to practically no adverse effects, in contrast to various pharmaceutical medications. This phenomenon has triggered the emergence of a vast array of CBD products, including edibles, tinctures, skincare products and our speciality here at Amphora: CBD vape oils.
How does it work?
When we take CBD, it affects our bodily functions by interacting with our Endocannabinoid System (ECS). This is a complex, cell-signalling biological system we all have, that is critical for regulating many of our physiological functions and maintaining homeostasis or internal balance. Some of the functions that this cell-signalling system is responsible for include sleep, memory and mood.
There are two variants of receptors in the ECS: these are CB1 and CB2 receptors. Referred to as endocannabinoid receptors, they are found in the Central Nervous System and the Immune System. The ECS is also made up of endocannabinoids, named as such to pay homage to the cannabinoids in Cannabis Sativa. Endocannabinoids are simply cannabinoids made by our bodies. The enzymes in the ECS break down these endocannabinoids, which means we are often in short supply.
The cannabinoids found in cannabis (phytocannabinoids) interact with the ECS and affect the functions carried out by it. Research indicates that our natural supply of endocannabinoids is enhanced when we take CBD. It is even thought that CBD affects the way that our endocannabinoid receptors bind, yet more research is needed to verify this.
Vaping CBD, the Amphora way
At Amphora, we use CBD Distillate for our vape oils. CBD Distillate is Cannabidiol that has been put through further processing or filtering in order to remove all traces of THC. Despite the absence of THC, all of the cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, vitamins and fatty acids of the Cannabis plant are still present and working in harmony. The collaboration of all the plant’s cannabinoids produces what has been dubbed the ‘Entourage Effect’, which describes the way they enhance one another to modulate the overall psychoactive effects of the plant.
Our products are certified organic and incorporate both flavoured and unflavoured terpenes. What’s more, they do not contain any dangerous diluents or carrier oils, such as PG, VG or Vitamin E Acetate. We have taken special care to eliminate the additives to provide a pure, worry-free CBD experience, where you can feel reassured that no harmful substances are lining the products. Speaking of harmful substances, it should be reinforced that our CBD vape oil does not contain any traces of nicotine, making them a cut above their notorious relative, e-cigarettes.
The million-dollar question: how is CBD absorbed?
CBD can be absorbed in different ways, depending on how you take it. Chiefly, when we take CBD, we hope it reaches the bloodstream and does not lose its potency on the way there. Different CBD consumption methods involve different journeys to the bloodstream, which may vary in speed and bioavailability. Bioavailability refers to the potency of the CBD by the time it reaches the bloodstream.
There are three main ways of absorbing CBD: ingesting it, applying it topically and, our favourite way, inhaling it. Stick with us as we explore each way that you can take CBD and its absorption journey.
Oral ingestion of CBD
Literally meaning to take it by swallowing, you might ingest CBD by way of a capsule or an edible, such as a gummy. Even using a tincture to administer CBD oil sublingually is classed as ingestion. Within this category, there are further divisions between different ways of ingesting CBD and the associated bioavailability.
Capsules, for instance, have a higher bioavailability than CBD gummies. Even higher than both of these is dropping CBD under the tongue via a tincture. Sublingual consumption is so efficient as there is an abundance of blood vessels and capillaries under the tongue, which take the CBD on a direct journey to the bloodstream with no detours. The bioavailability of the sublingual method is thought to be between 13-19% and the effects should begin to set in within around 20 minutes.
Gummies or edibles, such as CBD chocolate, are a great way of taking CBD orally, for those who want to try CBD but feel they want to begin with subtle, familiar ways of taking it while disguising the taste. The CBD concentration in edibles is usually low, as is the bioavailability. In fact, the bioavailability of CBD edibles is between 10% to 20%. Moreover, depending on an individual’s metabolism, it can take up to two hours to begin feeling the effects. This is because edibles have to undergo digestion and breakdown, meaning the CBD potency may be lost on its travels through the digestive system before reaching the bloodstream.
Applying CBD topically
Whether it is a balm, body oil or lotion - CBD can be rubbed and massaged into the skin. This method, however, only allows for transdermal absorption of the CBD. In essence, the CBD will not reach the bloodstream and will only influence the endocannabinoid receptors in the peripheral nervous system. This is a great way of taking CBD if you seek to target a specific area of your skin, arthritic joints or sore muscles, but will not result in further benefits to your health and wellness. In short, if you are looking to reap the cognitive benefits that CBD may provide, topical application is the wrong avenue for you. The bioavailability of topical CBD is thus lower than other methods of absorption. Still, its precise percentage is as yet unknown and is under investigation, with studies claiming different degrees of bioavailability.
They say save the best until last. Inhaling CBD via a vaping device is our personal favourite way of absorbing CBD for many reasons. One such reason is because of its superior bioavailability. Indeed, when CBD is inhaled, it diffuses through the lining of the lungs and directly into the bloodstream. So speedy is this absorption that it can take a mere 15 minutes for the effects of the CBD to kick in, which in our opinion, is far better than awaiting the benefits from a capsule or an edible.
Many CBD outlets will present you with a range of premium CBD products with prices to match. Another reason we think vaporised consumption trounces all other CBD consumption methods is that it is generally highly economical. E-liquids are usually of a similar price range to their fellow CBD products. Still, because of their greater bioavailability, this can mean that you end up paying less per milligram of CBD, and even more CBD enters your bloodstream.
Reasons to try vaping CBD
There are ample reasons to give vaping CBD a go. We have narrowed down some of the principal reasons you might give it a try.
Wellness-enhancing:CBD could benefit your wellness in several ways - it has the potential to alleviate conditions affecting several parts of the body, such as the skin, neurological health and the muscles, to name only a few. We will be going into more detail about this later.
Accessibility: If you thought that to begin vaping you needed experience in this field, think again. Anybody, even those coming from a background of no previous smoking or vaping, can start vaping CBD. All you need is a desire to begin integrating CBD into your wellness regimen.
Speed: As we mentioned, vaping CBD is the quickest way to start reaping its health-supporting benefits. As quickly as 15 minutes from the point of inhalation, you could begin to feel uplifted - thanks to its superb bioavailability.
Customisable:When you vape CBD, you can tailor the experience to your preferences. You can decide what CBD concentration to insert into your device (we recommend beginning with low doses if you are new to CBD) and how often to take draws. This practice puts the power back in your hands.
Range of flavours:CBD vape oils come in an array of flavours for every palate out there. For the adventurous CBD user, we recommend opting for one of the numerous fruity flavours on the market. For those with a sweet tooth, there is an endless selection of dessert-flavoured vape oils out there to choose from.
Toodaloo to toxic substances:CBD constitutes a great alternative to tobacco, caffeine and other potentially harm-causing substances alike. CBD can produce much the same effects as both caffeine and tobacco, yet without all the undesirable side effects. CBD will also not make you intoxicated like recreational cannabis would; it is also highly unlikely to make you feel on-edge and jittery like caffeine might. And there is no evidence that CBD does any harm to anyone’s lungs, as e-cigarettes do. In summary, whatever you may have been guiltily feeding your body before can likely be swapped for this health-supporting alternative.
Non-addictive:In a similar vein to the previous point, CBD is a non-addictive substitute. Compared to the e-cigarette, which predominantly contains nicotine, CBD will not result in cravings. Cannabidiol is a naturally non-addictive substance, so you will not feel a burning need to take a draw from your vape device like you would an e-cigarette; only a pleasant, non-urgent desire. This quality makes CBD a great alternative to opioids and other potentially addictive prescription medications.
Exploring CBD’s wellness-enhancing potential
Owing to the likelihood that CBD is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, CBD may help alleviate many health conditions caused by inflammation or oxidative stress. Its engagement with the ECS in various ways means that it can get involved in the ECS’s regulation of our physiological functions. As promised, let’s explore how CBD has caught the attention of medical and research communities internationally, and why this is another reason to try vaping CBD.
Cognitive and neurological benefits
We touched on the possibility of CBD enriching cognitive and neurological health earlier. When engaging with our ECS, CBD could have a positive influence over stress, anxiety, sleep and various neurological ailments. It has been reported in many studies that Cannabidiol interacts with the mood-regulating neurotransmitters serotonin and adenosine, having a resultant impact on various anxiety disorders, such as social anxiety, PTSD, Panic Disorder and OCD. One particularly notable and widely-cited study demonstrated that a group of men given CBD before public speaking was less anxious than those given a placebo, highlighting the anxiolytic power CBD may have. Sufferers of depression have furthermore spoken to the alleviating effects of CBD.
With regard to sleep, CBD has been shown to combat sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea, as it can regulate the primary stress hormone, cortisol. Stress is a primary cause of poor sleep; hence CBD can tackle the root of the problem.
Aside from having positive results on our state of mind, CBD can assist those grappling with neurological illnesses. As recently as July 31 of this year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex oral solution (a CBD-based prescription drug) for the treatment of seizures associated with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). Prior to this, Epidiolex had been approved for Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome (DS), two variants of epilepsy that were otherwise not responding to mainstream pharmaceutical medications. The growing number of prescribed CBD drugs approved by the FDA speaks volumes to the relieving effects of this cannabinoid in epilepsy patients.
Epilepsy aside, CBD has also been linked to improvements in Parkinson's Disease, another neuropsychiatric condition. Parkinson’s is known to have several repercussions on mental and physical wellbeing, such as tremors, psychosis, sleeping problems and more. CBD is reported to reduce tremors associated with this illness, as well as the vivid dreams and nightmares that may occur. Furthermore, it has been shown to reduce the severity of psychosis symptoms in PD patients. Overall, several patients with PD have cited that CBD boosted their quality of life.
Studies have also investigated the neuroprotective properties of CBD, due to its alleged status as an antioxidant. As antioxidants do, CBD is thought to help prevent and fight the occurrence of oxidative stress, caused by an excess of free radicals in the body. Too many free radicals cause cell and tissue damage and can be responsible for long term neurological health conditions, as well as conditions affecting other aspects of our health. Whilst there are no guarantees, the neuroprotective potential of CBD is a great reason you should try vaping it.
The widely reported pain-relieving effects of CBD are another great reason to try vaping CBD. Many health conditions have pain as their primary symptom, such as arthritis, some cancers, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and sadly, many more. Because of its purported anti-inflammatory properties, CBD may reduce the pain connected to such inflammatory conditions. For instance, data indicates that CBD and THC can reduce muscle spasticity and pain in sufferers of MS. There may also be positive effects from CBD on those suffering from one of the two disorders grouped under the IBD umbrella; research found that this cannabinoid alleviated inflammation born from ulcerative colitis. In a study of rats with arthritis, CBD was shown to reduce joint swelling and pain in the affected areas. More studies on humans are necessary to verify the efficacy of CBD on arthritis, and more studies are needed generally to confirm whether CBD’s analgesic powers are an objective fact.
Word to the wise
Needless to say, there are some instances where vaping CBD may not be such a good idea. We recommend consulting your GP if you have doubts before beginning your CBD journey, as it is always good to obtain that peace of mind. Furthermore, if you are already on prescription medication, it is always advisable to check if CBD will interact with existing medications.
We at Amphora champion vaping CBD and its health-boosting potential; we do not, however, encourage the use of vapes containing nicotine-filled e-liquids, and caution you not to get the two types of vaping confused or construe that we are encouraging e-cigarettes. We’re all about vaping - but not the kind of vaping that has the potential to cause harm!
If you are pregnant or planning a family, we highly recommend avoiding CBD as it may disrupt the formation of a foetus or the fertilisation process.
We understand that vaping CBD is an exciting prospect, but laws do still apply: do not vape if you are under the age of 18 or share your vape with a minor.
Vaping CBD in the current climate of COVID-19 comes with its own set of guidelines, so ensure that if you are vaping out in public, that you keep your distance from others and avoid vaping directly into someone’s face.
If you aren’t a regular frequenter at CBD outlets, note that for your first purchase (and indeed every time you switch to a new brand), you should check that a company provides Certificates of Analysis for their CBD vape oils and other CBD products alike. The importance of this cannot be understated, as a COA will inform you what is in your product, and that it was tested by a verified laboratory.
Lastly, CBD research, though abundant, is still in operation. Many more human-based studies lie ahead in order to verify the benefits that CBD promises. In other words, it cannot hope to cure an illness or totally barricade the onset of an impending health condition. It is also intended as a supplement on the side of a healthy diet and lifestyle, so should not be used to replace food, water or medications you may need.
As you may have gathered by now, we cannot think of many reasons why you wouldn't try vaping CBD; it could be what encourages you to have that well-deserved break in your busy lifestyle. When otherwise would you step into the fresh air to simply inhale and exhale? Not only does it bring a brief moment of peace from the hardships of everyday life, but it also has potentially health-refining benefits, making it a great option for those who are aspiring towards an enriched wellness routine. Indeed, vaping CBD doesn't have to be taken up to tackle something that's wrong with your health; it could simply be a fun new pastime that may have desirable results on your general wellbeing.
We hope we have appealed to your experimental side and, if you do decide to try vaping CBD, we hope the experience is a transformative one!
Written by | Infused Amphora Team
The Infused Amphora Team is dedicated to creating resources to educate and engage consumers on the growing evidence of CBD benefits and the extensive health and wellness properties of CBD oil.
Contributors | Angus Taylor + Dr Gaylord Wardell
IPI is a pharmaceutical ingredient company that cultivates cannabis strains curated to extract specific cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids for the formulation of effects-based health and wellness products. Angus is an experienced public speaker, engaging stakeholders, governments and media. Angus was the co-founder of NewLeaf Cannabis, Canada’s most successful retail brand to date, and has been established as a well-known and recognized expert in the field.
Dr Wardell is a practising physician with over 40 years of clinical and educational experience in pain management, medical practices and education. Dr Wardell is past President of the Pain Society of Alberta, and current President of the Alberta Medical Association, section of Pain. He is a popular public speaker, an active blogger on medical and pain-related issues, and proponent for scientific validation for patients experiencing pain.
Infused Amphora “Learn” is intended for informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.