Meanwhile Miller, along with many others in the cannabis and hemp industries, is eager for lawmakers to create legal frameworks for their products. They point to the reported illnesses from black-market vapes as proof that a legal, regulated cannabis market is a safer one.
“It’s the wild, wild west,” says Aaron Riley, the CEO of the Los Angeles-based cannabis testing lab CannaSafe, of the CBD landscape. Riley says that many of the CBD products CannaSafe tests would fail if they were subject to the same exacting standards as products containing THC—but they’re not. “You don’t have to get licensed. You don’t have to do any type of testing at all.”
“There’s no regulations.”
Neal Benowitz, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, who has studied the pharmacology of e-cigarettes, says that CO2 extraction process is “pretty clean,” and the results are well-known.
We can’t reasonably expect dealers of illegal cannabis vapes would test their products for safety or share ingredient lists with customers. The thing is, consumers can’t necessarily expect that sort of testing or transparency from manufacturers of hemp-derived CBD vapes either—even if they’re buying them from vape shops, specialty stores, or websites that don’t appear to be breaking the law. The category is completely unregulated. And reckless players are not limited to labeling their products as THC. In September, the Associated Press tested 30 vape products marketed as CBD from brands that authorities had flagged as suspect, and found that 10 contained dangerous synthetic marijuana and many had little to no CBD at all.
Stem speculates the tendency to mix cannabis extract with MCTs might come down to greed or ignorance, and a misunderstanding of the term “cannabis oil,” which is something of a misnomer since CBD and THC extracts are not fatty lipids at all.
In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved only one CBD-based medication, which is used to treat seizures associated with two severe forms of epilepsy. But, when it comes to CBD in general, they stress that it cannot be added to food, drinks, or dietary supplements. And although the FDA has warned manufacturers against making unproven health claims, it has not done much to stop the sale of CBD products.
Although the CDC has traced many of the EVALI hospitalizations back to vitamin E acetate, a substance used to dilute oils used in vaping, the risks of vaping CBD oil are not without risk, especially if the vape pens are obtained from illicit dealers, online sources, or friends. At least 26 of the EVALI cases were hospitalized after vaping CBD oil.
What Is CBD Oil?
To make matters worse, this lack of certification has lead people to sell vaping liquid they claim contains CBD oil when it actually contains harmful chemicals, which is injuring and killing people in the process. To determine the extent to which this is occurring, the Associated Press (AP) commissioned a study to analyze the contents of nearly 30 oils claiming to contain CBD.
Part of the draw to CBD oil in areas where marijuana has been legalized is the fact that it has been touted as helping treat a host of medical problems. Some of the medical issues people claim that the oil treats include epileptic seizures, anxiety, inflammation, and sleeplessness. However, there is very little evidence backing up these claims with the exception of treating epilepsy.
Because this testing was a such a small sample, the AP noted that their sampling is not representative of the entire CBD market. However, their testing does show just how risky it is to vape CBD oil when there is little to no regulation of the product. Vapers have no idea what they are getting when they take a puff.
If you’re not getting your CBD from a trusted source, there’s no way to truly know what you’re getting. Reputable brands tend to have overwhelmingly positive customer and professional reviews. These brands also test their products with credible third-party ISO labs and make the results public, or at the very least are willing to provide them upon request.
In 2018, the US Senate introduced The Hemp Farming Act, effectively removing the DEA’s authority over hemp, turning it into a hot commodity, instead of a Schedule 1 narcotic. Cannabis and THC are still illegal or restricted to medical patients in 40 states.
Here’s a study on the safety and side effects of CBD.
Why are lab tests so important?
The Americans for Safe Access stated at a 2016 medical cannabis conference, “To date, there has never been a single well documented case of human fatality attributable to an overdose of cannabis or its components, and no experimental or non-extrapolated LD50 can be attributed to a toxic or lethal overdose.”
No, vaping CBD will not get you high, unless it is derived from marijuana containing THC. Most CBD formulated for vaping is derived from industrial hemp. It contains trace amounts of THC (up to 0.3%) which isn’t enough to get you high. There are many THC-free CBD e-liquids for people who are concerned about failing a drug test.
Research into the side effects of CBD is still in its infancy. A comprehensive study was released last year that concluded there were in fact some side effects associated with CBD. The most commonly documented side effect of CBD is mild drowsiness. This is more common with first-time users and can subside with regular use.
Vaping CBD is not the only way to take it, but it happens to be one of the best. There are many other alternatives such as oral tinctures, creams, CBD patches, CBD drinks, CBD isolate powder, and CBD capsules and edibles. CBD crystal isolate powder is ideal for making edibles since it typically contains 99% pure CBD. The crystals dissolve into butter or oil, and can be used to create CBD-infused butter, or any of your favorite recipes.