What is a CBD Cartridge?

Green Shoppers Written by Green Shoppers
Updated on July 4, 2019

As the popularity of CBD continues to increase, so do the number of ways in which you can take it. In case you were unaware, CBD refers to cannabidiol, a compound found in the cannabis plant. Don’t be startled, though – CBD is completely non-psychoactive, meaning it can’t get you high.

Instead, CBD is used as a food supplement and a means of supporting a healthy lifestyle. It interacts with something called the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in order to facilitate the functioning of the body. Taking CBD allows the ECS to function at its optimum level. Since the job of the endocannabinoid system is to maintain homeostasis (balance), this helps our bodies to function properly.

Normally, people take CBD by administering an oil beneath the tongue. Here, the CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream where it can be delivered to the ECS. But many people dislike the taste of CBD oil, claiming it to be too bitter and earthy. If this sounds like you, then you may want to try one of the many other methods of consuming CBD. For example, CBD gummies are an extremely popular option – they offer all the benefits of a CBD in a delicious, simple gummy bear.

There are downsides to every consumption method, though. When taking gummy bears, for example, the CBD takes a long time to take effect, and much of the compound may be lost due to bioavailability and metabolism.

Is there a fast, effective and delicious way to take CBD?

It turns out that, yes, there is – CBD vaping. To do this, you’re going to need a CBD cartridge, but what exactly are these?

What is a CBD Cartridge?

Vaping CBD is a method that is proving to be extremely popular, and this is no wonder given that around 3 million people in Britain are said to vape. Usually, though, vaping involves inhalation of a substance containing nicotine, not CBD.

Vaping of any kind involves some sort of equipment. A vaporiser is, of course, essential. This is the device that heats up in order to turn the liquid into a vapour. Some people prefer to use vape pens, or e-cigarettes, which are portable and easy to use. More experienced vapers may opt for a box-mod or another form of vaporiser; this may be larger and heavier, but they often have a wider range of settings.

Another essential piece of equipment is the e-liquid, contained within a cartridge. Disposable vape pens, which can be thrown away when the cartridge becomes empty, come with a pre-filled cartridge. Other vape pens have the option of switching out cartridges to change the flavour and vaping experience.

CBD cartridges, contrary to regular nicotine cartridges, contain a CBD e-liquid. This is usually made using a combination of CBD oil, propylene glycol (PG) to thin the oil, and vegetable glycerine (VG). There are concerns about the safety of vaping a PG/VG mixture (more on this later), and so some CBD manufacturers have begun to use other ingredients to make CBD cartridges instead.

Why is Vaping CBD So Popular?

Vaping CBD has a number of draws. Of course, there are the obvious benefits of consuming CBD at all, such as maintaining your general health and wellbeing. There are also reports that CBD can help with things ranging from anxiety to period cramps and herpes.

Research into the benefits of CBD is still ongoing, and more information is coming to light about just what it can do for our bodies. Nevertheless, the compound has been deemed safe and non-toxic by the World Health Organisation – there is no bigger seal of approval!

But what advantages does vaping CBD have when compared to other methods of consumption

  • Fast-Acting: When you inhale CBD, it basically has a direct access to the ECS via the lungs. In this way, the CBD will be quick to kick in and you will feel the effects straight away. When we say “feel the effects”, we mean that you may feel a heightened sense of focus and calm.
  • High Bioavailability: Some CBD consumption methods cause a lot of the CBD to be lost before it ever reaches your ECS. Some estimates put vaping CBD at 40% bioavailability, whereas sublingual oils have a 20-30% bioavailability when the researchers are being optimistic. As a result, vaping is the most effective consumption method.
  • Customisable Experience: The number of vaping cartridges and e-cigarettes out there is enormous. Trust us, you’ll be spoilt for choice! There are plenty of stylish and sleek vaporisers that offer a huge array of settings, allowing you to customise your vaping experience. Plus, CBD manufacturers sell a huge number of different flavours of CBD e-liquids, meaning that you can also enjoy the taste of your vape.
  • Can Help You Quit Nicotine: Vaping originally started as a means of quitting smoking. The lower temperatures of a vape pen are healthier for your lungs than the combustion involved with a cigarette. However, e-liquids still contain the addictive substance of cigarettes, nicotine. It is now possible to buy ‘CBD additives’ that you can add to your existing nicotine e-liquid. Over time, reduce the nicotine dose and up the CBD dose, and before long you’ll be vaping CBD instead of nicotine; the habit of still vaping is said to make it easier to quit. Plus, CBD is non-addictive, so you’re definitely switching to something safer!

Are CBD Cartridges Safe to Vape?

Although vaping CBD has a number of advantages, there are concerns about whether it is safe. While smoking has been around for decades, e-cigarettes are a fairly recent trend. Researchers still aren’t sure about the safety of such devices, and opinion seems to be divided.

Generally, the lack of combustion is said to make vaporisers a safer option when compared to cigarettes. However, there may be consequences for your lungs in the long-run, and therefore it is not advisable to pick up a vape pen if you have never vaped or smoked before. If the high bioavailability and quick effects are of paramount importance to you, then fair enough, but be sure to weigh up the pros and cons.

Here are some of the dangers of CBD vape cartridges:

  • Popcorn Lung: This disease, as you can imagine, is extremely unpleasant. It occurs due to the flavourings used in vape cartridges, and is named because it particularly stems from the flavouring used in popcorn. Workers in popcorn factories suffered from this disease, and that is where it gets its name. The compound responsible is called diacetyl, and is now illegal to use in the UK. However, some unscrupulous manufacturers might try to sneak it in there – so avoid popcorn-flavoured e-liquids!
  • Lipoid Pneumonia: This problem is unique to CBD vaping. Manufacturers may thin down their CBD oil to produce a CBD e-liquid; this is dangerous because it means you are vaporising and inhaling an oil. This oil can build up inside your lungs, forming fatty globules that can lead to breathing complications. Luckily, this will probably only occur if you are an extremely heavy vaper.
  • Propylene Glycol: An overwhelming majority of e-liquid manufacturers use propylene glycol (PG) in their products. This compound can break down into carcinogenic (cancer-causing) substances when heated; this can even take place at the low temperatures used by a vape pen. As a result, you should avoid e-liquids containing PG.

Generally, problems associated with vaping will only affect heavy vapers. Nevertheless, you should conduct diligent research and weigh up your options before purchasing and using CBD vape cartridges.

Are CBD Cartridges Legal?

Another important question is whether vape cartridges are even legal. The answer is a resounding yes!

In the UK, CBD products are completely legal as long as they contain less than 0.3% THC and come from an EU-approved strain of hemp. Generally, manufacturers comply with these laws and so you should be safe to purchase your CBD e-liquid of choice.

This is not to say that you should jump on Amazon and purchase the first CBD vape cartridge you see. Buying CBD online is legal, but you should make sure to buy from a UK-based company so as to avoid customs issues – laws regarding CBD products vary across the world. Furthermore, not every CBD product is made equal. Considering that the CBD industry is such a huge market right now, there are always going to be dodgy dealers trying to pull a fast one.

As a result, there are certain things to look out for when buying CBD oil online. Our number one tip is to look for third-party lab reports on the manufacturer’s website. These reports will verify the CBD and THC content and ensure that the oil you are buying is safe. Until a governing body like the MHRA steps in to regulate the CBD market, consumers need to be vigilant to ensure they are buying a CBD oil that is both safe and legal.

As long as the oil contains less than 0.3% THC, it is legal.

Final Thoughts: Are CBD Cartridges Right for You?

If you are looking for a CBD consumption method that is efficient, effective, and delicious, then CBD vaping is definitely the way to go. Bear in mind that there are some start-up costs, such as buying a vaporiser to use.

However, if inhaling substances is not your thing, then remember that CBD cartridges are not your only option. If the possible dangers of vaping put you off, then perhaps opt for a sublingual oil, topical treatment, or a delicious edible. You can even try out some of our healthy CBD hemp recipes here.