The difference between cannabis and industrial hemp in the eyes of US law is the content of THC, the intoxicating compound in cannabis: If a plant contains more than 0.3% THC by dry weight, it’s cannabis, and still considered federally illegal despite the many states with legalized recreational and medicinal use. If it’s less 0.3% THC by dry weight, it’s considered hemp, which is being incrementally regulated by government agencies. The 2018 Farm Bill removed industrial hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, essentially declassifying it as a dangerous controlled substance of no medical use, clarifying its status as an agricultural product, and making it legal under federal law under some circumstances.
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.
“There’s no regulations.”
In May of this year, the FDA held a public hearing where more than 100 stakeholders—patients, manufacturers, and researchers among them—testified about their experiences with CBD. Now, the industry is waiting for a timeline for regulation, which was expected this autumn, but has yet to appear. In the meantime, the FDA considers interstate sale of CBD as a food additive or nutritional supplement (ie., all those candies, canned sodas, and tinctures) to be illegal. But it’s not enforcing the law so long as operators in the estimated $590 million market for hemp-derived CBD adhere to the broader rules for the categories they fall in, whether that’s food, supplements, or cosmetics.
If you’re in a state where weed is legal, you might be safer smoking (or vaping) it, by going to a licensed dispensary for a high CBD-strain or vape that’s subject to the same regulations that cannabis is. In states like California and Oregon, where cannabis is regulated by state agencies, products with THC are subject to testing for contaminants such as pesticides, heavy metals, solvents, and mold-related toxins. Again, hemp-derived CBD products are currently subject to … nothing.
While the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been struggling to research and regulate both CBD and vaping separately, the agency has allowed manufacturers to flood the market with both types of products. In the FDA’s eyes, none of these products are legal, as they have not been evaluated or regulated for their safety. And where these two categories overlap in CBD vapes is a grey area that’s ripe for exploitation at the risk of consumers’ health. According to analysts at Cowen and Company, that grey area was worth an estimated $40 million in sales in 2018.
Alertness & Concentration: Lower doses of CBD vape oil may have an energy-boosting effect and could make you feel more alert.
CBD oil, which contains medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil derived from coconuts, may offer many health benefits including stress relief and pain management. Consuming it through a vape pen, however, introduces certain health risks.
In this beginner’s guide to vaping CBD, you’ll learn how to safely vape, as well as which vape products to consider and which to discard.
Benefits of vaping CBD oil
Mood Improvement: If you’re experiencing any or all of the above effects, your mood will likely get at least a temporary lift. However, vaping CBD oil will not get you high since there is not enough THC present, even in full-spectrum CBD oil, to produce this effect.
When you think of using CBD oil, topical application probably comes to mind. But there are other ways to consume CBD oil to receive the same potentially therapeutic effects.
Pain Relief: Easing pain is the most common reason people turn to CBD products, as there are numerous studies that seem to demonstrate the cannabinoid’s efficacy in improving the symptoms of migraines, muscle spasms, and other types of discomfort.
In this beginner’s guide to vaping CBD, you’ll learn how to safely vape. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps