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CBD vapes are overtaking the shelves everywhere from high-end cannabis stores to gas stations. You may even see them alongside nicotine vapes, which may make them seem like a tempting alternative to smoking tobacco. Harvard Medical School cannabis specialist Jordan Tishler cautions that there is no evidence supporting using CBD vapes to wean yourself off nicotine ones, but he does say that they are healthier in comparison. “Vaporizing CBD would be better than vaporizing nicotine because it’s non-habit forming and doesn’t affect blood pressure and heart rate like nicotine does,” he tells Allure.
CBD is a cannabinoid, or chemical compound, within the cannabis plant. THC is another cannabinoid; at least 104 have been identified and we are just beginning to learn about their powers. CBD is touted for relieving pain, anxiety, and inflammation, just to name a few of its properties. THC is still banned in most states, so companies selling CBD in non-legal states typically use CBD derived from hemp. Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis plants, but hemp is historically an industrial plant — used to make textiles, biodegradable plastics, and more — and lacks the psychoactive effects of marijuana.
In this episode, we’re setting the record straight on one of the most polarizing ingredients out there. Learn what to search for when buying a CBD-infused product. (Runtime: 5 minutes)
Because CBD regulation by the FDA is complicated, there may be unhealthy additives in some products on the market. “Many [CBD products] inadvertently contain heavy metals and pesticides which are bad for you, and some of them contain nasty chemicals,” Tishler says. While the government is still figuring out how to handle cannabis, do your research to make sure you buy a safe product. In legal states, you can buy vapes that contain both THC and CBD, often in ratios that offer much higher CBD with just a little bit of the psychoactive stuff. Some people find a little THC helps the CBD work better, although doctors caution that THC can work even in small amounts. “It’s probably the tiny bit of THC that’s making you feel good,” says Tishler.
THC can be extremely beneficial, but if you don’t want that psychoactivity, opt for a vape containing CBD alone. Some people prefer CBD isolates — which do not contain any of the plant’s other medicinal properties — while other cannabis enthusiasts say “the more the merrier” regarding the chemical makeup of a product. A full spectrum oil contains all the terpenes, essential oils, and other cannabinoids found in cannabis to work together. A broad spectrum means there are some, but not all, of the compounds. So which CBD vape is right for you? We rounded up 15 of our favorites.