Trends tend to come and go, but there are some that stand the test of time. Two trends that are currently on the rise in the UK are CBD and vaping. As more and more people turn away from traditional tobacco cigarettes, many are looking to vaping devices to knock the habit. Vape pens, or e-cigarettes, can help former smokers to keep the habit of performing the smoking action, but without the carcinogens involved with smoking.
Nowadays, people are starting to vape their CBD instead of taking it sublingually. This method is more popular in the United States, but it is now gaining traction in Great Britain, too. But since there are so few people doing it, or at least doing it openly, a lot of would-be CBD vapers are questioning whether it is actually legal.
In this guide, we will be covering all the questions you have about vaping CBD, including whether it is fully legal.
All About Vaping CBD
Vaping has been on the rise since 2003, when the first e-cigarette was registered for use. This was initially only in China, but the device spread to Europe within the next two years. Originally, they were designed with the intention of reducing cigarette usage, as the dangers of cigarettes are very well-known now.
Smoking cigarettes is harmful for many reasons. First of all, nicotine is a highly addictive substance; some e-cigarette cartridges also contain nicotine, but there are also options with very low nicotine or even none at all. Secondly, the process of combustion involved in smoking cigarettes is harmful for your lungs. The heat alone is bad for your throat, but you are also inhaling potentially carcinogenic chemicals that are released through burning.
Vaping, on the other hand, occurs at a much lower temperature. This means that the substance isn’t burnt, it is only heated enough to turn into a vapour. Once it is vaporised, the user can inhale it without the same risks. In fact, in 2017, the Royal College of Physicians London found that the long-term effects of vaping were “unlikely to exceed 5% of the harm from smoking tobacco.”
For this reason, the vaping trend took off. Then, as CBD usage began to grow, manufacturers realised that people could actually be vaping their CBD. There are several companies now who thin down their CBD oils to make them less viscous, which is perfect for use in vaporisers. For those who are already vapers or smokers, this truly sounds like the perfect way to get a hit of CBD!
Wait… Is CBD Even Legal?
A large worry that many have before they take CBD for the first time is whether it is actually legal. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most abundant active compounds in cannabis. This association with cannabis is what drives people’s fear – if cannabis is illegal, then surely CBD is, too?
Cannabis sparks so many debates and is so notorious simply because of its psychoactive properties. The ‘high’ that is caused by marijuana is due to THC, another of the primary active compounds. However, CBD is completely non-psychoactive, and that’s why it doesn’t merit the same kind of control.
Once it was determined that cannabidiol could not get the user high, there was piqued interest in whether it had any health benefits. Several studies have determined that CBD could have many advantages for our health. Due to the way it interacts with our endocannabinoid system (ECS), CBD can help us to maintain general wellbeing and improve our health.
Slowly but surely, CBD is dissociating itself from marijuana. It is becoming more widely accepted, and an increasing number of people are adding it into their diets. Even some athletes are using CBD to improve their performance! In fact, CBD is no longer on the Olympic committee’s list of controlled substances.
For this reason, CBD is perfectly legal to sell, possess, and consume. The “selling” aspect of this is the only grey area, but consumers needn’t worry about whether they are on the right side of the law. Unfortunately, CBD is an unregulated industry, as only medicinal products containing CBD are checked and licensed.
As a result, the food supplements that manufacturers put on the shelves and online are not regulated nor licensed; they are legal so long as they comply with MHRA guidelines and are not sold as medicines. Furthermore, CBD products must contain less than 0.2% THC, as this remains a controlled substance.
Is it Legal to Vape CBD in the UK?
CBD is legal, and so is vaping, so it stands to reason that vaping your CBD is legal, too. You can buy vape pens in many different shops – there are even stores specifically dedicated to vaping! You can buy anything from these shops without fearing prosecution; some even sell CBD-infused vaping cartridges, which are still perfectly legal.
In fact, so many people are vaping nowadays that you probably wouldn’t be picked out of a crowd for vaping CBD. If extracted from whole-plant hemp, CBD vape cartridges may contain the terpenes that make it smell like cannabis. However, many of the cartridges you come across will be flavoured in some way, and so will smell much like any nicotine vape cartridges you see.
Vaping CBD is both legal and discreet, making it a great way to get your daily CBD dose.
Should I Be Vaping CBD?
If you are a smoker or a vaper who is wanting to start taking CBD, then investing in a CBD-specific e-cigarette or simply just some CBD vape cartridges could be ideal. There are several benefits to vaping CBD, including:
- If you already vape, it’s incredibly convenient. Just use a CBD cartridge instead of a nicotine one!
- If you smoke cigarettes or vape using nicotine, then replacing this with vaping CBD could be a great way to improve your health by cutting down on smoking.
- Vaping CBD could provide a huge degree of bioavailability – more so than sublingual oils, edibles, or capsules. In other words, you take in even more CBD than usual, and it’s more potent.
- The effects of the CBD kick in very quickly when it is inhaled.
- It’s very subtle, as it just looks like you’re vaping a regular e-cigarette.
While this is all positive, it may not be the best idea to vape CBD if you have never vaped or smoked before. First off, vaporising devices – especially top end ones – are very expensive, and constant refills make this a long-term investment. Secondly, it is not ideal in terms of dosing. You can measure out CBD dosage with oils by the amount in each drop, and CBD gummies come with a premeasured dose. When it comes to vaping, however, it’s difficult to know just how much CBD you’re getting per hit.
The actual content of the e-cigarette might not be good for you, either. When it comes to vaping CBD, you are usually doing so via a thinned down CBD oil. The oil itself is not necessarily good for your lungs, as extensive vaping over time could lead to a build-up of oil in the lungs which causes lipoid pneumonia. Then there’s the thinning agents used to make the oil less viscous. Most manufacturers use propylene glycol or polyethylene glycol, both of which may break down into carcinogenic substances.
These risks are only likely to affect heavy vapers, but they are still worth knowing about if you’re considering vaping CBD. There are plenty of alternatives for non-vapers which we suggest trying out first, such as oils or capsules. That being said, vaping your CBD is a perfectly viable option for those who already indulge in vaping. If convenience is one of your main concerns, you can simply switch out your old cartridge for a CBD one.
Whichever method you choose for your CBD consumption, you can rest assured that it is completely legal to do so, as long as you are not using a product containing more than 0.2% THC.