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If you are one of the 3.6 million Britons that vape, you will understand what we mean when we talk about that instant relief you feel upon inhaling the vapoury goodness. So, naturally, we empathise with your frustration when people chastise you for vaping in public and feed you misinformation about its role in spreading the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst it is only a rumour that vaping can spread the virus, we nonetheless feel it is of the utmost importance to remind our vaping fanatics how to vape as safely as possible during a pandemic, like the one we face this year. We have thereby put together a guide that covers everything from what vaping is, to how you can do this whilst taking others and their concerns into account.
What is vaping?
If you aren’t part of the 93% of the general population that has heard of e-cigarettes by now, fear not. There is a myriad of different names for vaping, so it is entirely possible you know it under a different term. Vaping involves using a vaporiser or an e-cigarette; each vaporising device has a mouthpiece, a chamber, a battery and an atomiser. The chamber is what holds the vape oil; the battery powers the device and the mouthpiece is where your mouth rests as you inhale the vaporised CBD, which is heated up by the atomiser. Simple enough!
You may have thought up to now that vaping and nicotine were synonymous and that only ex-smokers vape in order to tackle nicotine addictions. On the contrary, at Amphora, our vape oils and cartridges contain no nicotine whatsoever, for a perfectly pure CBD experience. We are also highly inclusive, and want anybody to feel they can try our CBD vape oils - not just the seasoned vapers and ex-smokers!
People vape CBD for numerous reasons, like when trying to achieve better quality sleep, a more balanced mood, or relief from aches and pains, to name a few. But more on that later: first, let us give you a brief introduction on this world-famous cannabinoid.
Vaping CBD: all you need to know
In recent years, vaping has become a wildly popular choice as one of the many ways of consuming CBD. This is down to the many promising benefits that CBD has, some of which we will be exploring.
What is CBD?
In the age-old Cannabis plant lie scores of naturally-occurring cannabinoids - over 100, in fact. The likes of such cannabinoids include CBD, THC, CBG, CBN, CBC as well as many others. These phytochemicals have taken the science and medical world by storm, such that trials and tests are always in operation to find out more about these curious compounds. Scientific attention has been particularly dedicated to Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as these are believed to be the cannabinoids with the most therapeutic potential and are found in the highest concentration in cannabis.
Some other important things to note about CBD are:
- Cannabinoids were given their title in 1940 after Robert S Cahn discovered them. Two years later Roger Adams isolated CBD as the first cannabinoid.
- CBD is psychoactive, but it does not have mind-altering or intoxicating effects and will therefore not get you ‘high’ like recreational marijuana would.
- Cannabidiol derives from all parts of the industrial hemp plant, not to be confused with hemp seed oil, which derives from the same plant but from the seeds only.
- Once it enters our bloodstream, CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid system (ECS). Our ECS is made up of CB1 and CB2 receptors, endocannabinoids and enzymes. The receptors are mainly found in the Central Nervous System and the Immune System, respectively. CBD has an influence over the way the ECS regulates multiple physiological functions such as sleep and mood - hence we feel certain effects when we take CBD.
- CBD comes in varying degrees of purity. Full-spectrum CBD is CBD that has not been filtered, meaning it is left with all the original compounds, such as terpenes, flavonoids, vitamins, fatty acids and THC. CBD Distillate, like the one we at Amphora use for our vape oils, has undergone filtering to remove all traces of THC, but still retains all the other compounds. CBD Isolate is the purest form of CBD, containing only cannabidiol.
- CBD is frequently combined with a carrier oil such as coconut or olive oil.
Is vaping CBD legal?
It certainly is! CBD, not limited to CBD in vapour form, is legal in the UK and most EU countries. There is, however, a catch. CBD can only be sold legally if the THC concentration in a given CBD product is below 0.2%. In the US, CBD is also legal at a federal level below 0.2%. However, regulations surrounding CBD are inconsistent between states, meaning it may be wise to check if your state allows it.
The practical perks
We can think of innumerable perks to taking CBD in vapour form, both practical benefits and the benefits to our health and wellness. One example of a practical advantage is the higher bioavailability of vaping, compared to other ways of taking CBD. Because the CBD is taken into the bloodstream via the lining of the lungs, there is very little lost on its way to the bloodstream, meaning the CBD retains its full potency.
An additional perk of vaping CBD is that it is guaranteed not to make a mess. Unlike other popular ways of taking CBD, vaping is a mess-free and easy activity. Speed is another advantage of vaping CBD: before long, you will be feeling its effects, as it only takes approximately 15 minutes for it to kick in and start working in your system.
Thought the practical perks ended there? We still have two more to cover! Vaping, whether you choose to vape CBD or other e-liquids, allows you control. Indeed, you are able to select your dosage by choosing what concentration goes into your vaping device - be it CBD concentration or nicotine concentration. Furthermore, you can choose how many draws to take and for how long, and you can also choose the kind of flavour you want to taste when you are inhaling - there are flavours out there for every palate! Whatever kind of e-liquid you choose for your device, the choice is yours in every respect.
Finally, vape oils do not have to be of a premium price range. In an effort to substitute traditional smoking for this trendier and healthier alternative, vape devices and e-juices have been made highly accessible, not only in terms of their price but their availability.
The wellness perks
CBD is laden with potential to support health and wellness. This is not exclusive to vaping, but given the higher bioavailability and greater potency of CBD when it is inhaled compared to other modes of consumption, you will likely cash in on more benefits. At this point, we like to remind you that whilst there is a lot of compelling evidence that indicates the therapeutic potential of CBD, many more studies are still needed to confirm its benefits.
Some wellness perks of vaping may include, but are not limited to:
- Restful night’s sleep:CBD has been known to fight sleep-related disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea. Scientists claim that the reason CBD can affect sleep quality is that it can regulate the primary stress hormone, cortisol, which can play an important role in sleep.
- Reduced anxiety:There have been notable success stories about the effects this cannabinoid has on different anxiety disorders and even depression. Thanks to its interaction with serotonin and adenosine receptors in the ECS, CBD has been linked to improved mood. These two neurochemicals have important functions in regulating mood along with other cognitive activity.
- Radiant skin:CBD has been linked with improved skin appearance, especially for those who suffer from acne. It is thought that CBD has the power to regulate the production of sebum, which, when produced in excess, causes these pustulant outbreaks. CBD is also an anti-inflammatory, which could prove useful in fighting other skin conditions that have inflammation as their root cause, such as eczema.
- Neuroprotection: According to numerous studies, CBD is an antioxidant. This means it can neutralise free radicals and prevent oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when there are too many free radicals in the body and there is an insufficient supply of antioxidants produced by the body to fight these free radicals. Too many free radicals set off chain reactions and can be responsible for long term health conditions, such as those affecting our neurological health. The inclusion of CBD in your wellness regime could arm you with antioxidants to help fight off oxidative damage.
- Relief for neurological disorders:As well as protecting us from them, CBD can play a role in helping to alleviate existing neurological disorders. In the biggest CBD breakthrough to date, this cannabinoid was approved by the FDA for a prescription drug, which became known as Epidiolex. This drug had CBD as its core ingredient and was used to treat two rare and stubborn strands of infantile epilepsy that were not responding to mainstream pharmaceutical medications. CBD, then, has proved extremely useful for reducing the frequency of seizures in epilepsy But the benefits do not end there: CBD has also been linked with improving the condition of patients with Parkinson's Disease and Multiple Sclerosis, amongst other neuropsychiatric conditions.
- General pain:From muscle aches and pains due to intensive workouts to pain associated with arthritis or cancer treatment - CBD has shown promise as a pain-relieving cannabinoid. As mentioned above, CBD is an anti-inflammatory. It therefore, reduces the pain associated with inflammatory conditions, wherever they may have manifested in the body. Pain deriving from inflammation can cause issues anywhere in the body, be it the muscles, joints, gut - need we go on?
In summary, there are a multitude of ways that incorporating CBD into your wellness routine can support a healthy lifestyle - and the benefits go far beyond this list. Naturally, CBD will not protect you from every illness in the book, nor will it totally eradicate existing ailments. If you are on the cusp of beginning your CBD journey, we urge you to be patient and persistent when taking CBD, and don’t expect all the benefits to come at once.
Now that we’ve covered the basics on CBD, where it comes from and what it does, let’s resume discussing vaping in particular, and how best to do it against the backdrop of a health crisis.
How safe is vaping? Is it COVID-friendly?
Since there is a whole range of different e-liquids and vape oils out there to choose from, there is a spectrum to their safety and thus, the safety of vaping.
For those who vape e-liquids that contain nicotine and other harmful substances such as PG, VG and vitamin E acetate, vaping is less safe than if one elects a CBD e-liquid, such as those we sell and champion at Amphora. Our vape oils are made using CBD Distillate, meaning they also contain other beneficial compounds from the cannabis plant, such as terpenes, vitamins and fatty acids. To produce CBD Distillate, the extract is put through additional processing to eradicate any remnants of THC. None of our vape oils contain any additives that would jeopardise their organic status. To corroborate the safety of vaping CBD, the World Health Organisation (WHO) named CBD safe for human consumption in a report; and who better to verify the safety of a product? Furthermore, there have scarcely been reports of minor adverse effects when it comes to using CBD.
On the other hand, vape oils that include nicotine, of which 99% of those sold in assessed US venues do, are extremely harmful to the lungs. The damage done to the lungs by smoking nicotine-heavy e-cigarettes makes the smoker more vulnerable to various diseases affecting the lungs. Consequently, those who smoke and vape nicotine-laden e-liquids are at higher risk of enduring complications, should they contract COVID-19.
As far as the circulation of COVID-19 through vaping is concerned, it is excellent news for vapers everywhere: Dr. David White from the University of Toronto said that you are safe so long as you stay six feet (roughly 1.8 metres) away from someone who is using an electronic cigarette or vaping device. Indeed, it has been concluded by key scientific figures that the Coronavirus will not spread in vape clouds unless the user coughs upon exhaling. This statement came amidst rumours that the virus lingered in e-cigarette vapour. Such findings were corroborated by Dr Benowitz, of the University of California San Francisco, who declared that the level of mucus and saliva in vapour is so minimal that it is unlikely to cause infection.
The flip side
Although we have the security of scientists’ confirmation that breathing in someone’s exhaled vapour is insufficient to give us Coronavirus, it may still be considered antisocial to vape in crowded public spaces in the current climate. During this pandemic, where avoiding the virus is a chief concern for everybody and entering a public space is thus a source of great anxiety for many, we have outlined some top tips for vaping safely out in public.
- Keep your distance! It is vital to adhere to social distancing guidelines when out in public, and vaping should be no exception to this rule. For our UK readers, social distancing is currently at ‘1 metre plus’ in Scotland in England; whilst in Wales, it remains more stringently at 2 metres and in Northern Ireland, 1 metre. When vaping, it is vital to keep your distance from others, just as you would do without a vaping device. This is made all the more critical when you vape, as you cannot wear a mask whilst doing so.
- Keep the vape clouds to a minimum! If you do choose to vape around others, we recommend inhaling less than you usually would, so that the cloud of vapour you exhale is not as dense, as this may upset some people.
- It might be that you are in a friend’s garden enjoying a drink and you decide you would like to take a draw from your vape. In this instance, it is always the most polite thing to do to ask those around you if they mind you vaping. Think of it like taking photos: you wouldn’t just begin taking photos of a crowd of people without asking if it was okay with them, and the same rule should apply with vaping. Since it is something that affects everybody present, seeking unanimous approval is always the right thing to do!
- Whatever you do, do not share your vaping device with others. Vapes consist of a mouthpiece, which could leave microbes behind; someone else placing their mouth around your vape is therefore a bad idea as far as spreading germs goes. At the time of writing, it is understood that COVID-19 is transmitted via contact and respiratory droplets. Thus, especially in the current crisis we face, it has never been more critical not to use somebody else’s vaping device, or let someone else use yours.
- In similar regard to the previous tip, we recommend that you always buy a new vaping device, rather than a second-hand one. If you decide to pursue a second-hand device, it is crucial to ensure that you clean the mouthpiece thoroughly with an antibacterial wipe to remove any residual bacteria that may be lingering on it, or indeed any part of the device.
- Always wash or sanitise your hands with antibacterial soap or sanitiser gel after using your vaping device - even if it was only you that touched it.
- We always recommend you keep your vaping device secure in a case and do not rest it on any foreign surfaces in between use of your device. Placing your vape down on a table in a public area could mean that it makes contact with lurking microbes that are clinging to this surface, which could be harmful if it then touches your mouth later.
- Even if you have kept it away from foreign surfaces, cleaning the battery terminal on your vaper once a week can kill any debris that has naturally built up between the battery and the device. This will also sustain the quality and durability of your device.
- Keep the e-liquid or vape oil secure. The device isn't the only thing you should keep in safe conditions: be cautious of vape oils leaking onto yourself or others. Follow the storage advice of each product to maintain its quality and keep e-liquids away from direct contact with your own and others’ skin and eyes.
- A uniform piece of advice that goes for making any purchases on vape oils or e-liquids is to always buy from reputable companies. When purchasing a CBD vape liquid, it is always a good idea to check the Certificates of Analysis belonging to a company. On our website, we have our COAs ready to view so you can see exactly what is in your CBD vape oil. Any reputable company should not hesitate in providing the COA, which verifies that the product has undergone third-party lab testing.
- Lastly, remember that vaping should not replace food, drink or medications you may need to take. Stay hydrated if you are vaping e-cigarettes regularly, as vaping can be dehydrating.
One last thing…
Obviously, this is a time of great distress for many of us. Though the pandemic is not as widespread as it was, it is far from over. We are still grappling with newfound health anxieties which we may never have dealt with before, and anxiety can sometimes make us neurotic. Neurosis can drive us to give credence to rumours that aren't true, so if somebody tries to tell you not to vape as you will spread the virus, kindly reassure them of the facts in a polite and collected manner. That being said, if somebody is telling you to stop vaping so near to them, it is likely that you are not leaving enough distance between yourself and others.
Nobody expects you to cease your vaping regime altogether, especially if it has been instrumental in getting you through the stress of the pandemic. Remember that as long as you remain sensible and cautious, this should be enough to protect you from the virus, not to mention the wrath of uninformed strangers. If in doubt about vaping in public, it is always best to wait until you’re in private.
Vape carefully and enjoy!
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.