CBD vape

Given the ever-growing popularity of vaping and the increasing availability of CBD products, you might be wondering, ‘Is vaping CBD addictive? And are there any other health risks?’

The use of electronic cigarettes (vaping) is still relatively new in research terms and evidence on the benefits and risks is still being studied. The same goes for products such as CBD oil as distinct derivatives of cannabis.

CBD may be legal to use in the UK but there are still legitimate concerns and questions about its usage.

Can You Vape CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is an active ingredient in the cannabis or marijuana plant. It can also be found in hemp, a relative of the cannabis plant. It is one of a number of substances knows as cannabinoids that occur in these plants but is distinct from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient found in cannabis that produces a high.

In the UK, CBD products including oils, drops and tinctures are sold and licenced as food or food supplements. They are regulated by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), who say: “There is still a lot we don’t know about CBD extracts, and there has been very little research about the effects they may have.”

In order to be licenced, a CBD product must have less than 1mg of controlled cannabinoids such as THC in the container. A dossier of toxicological data must also be submitted for review and approval by the FSA. Specialist CBD vapes are also legal but must meet the maximum THC requirements and also regulations applying to other non-nicotine vaping products.

Vaping CBD is legal in the UK, as long as the product is licenced. In terms of the practicalities of vaping CBD, you should only use CBD e-liquid or a pre-loaded CBD vape cartridge. You should never use CBD sublingual oil – which is designed to be dropped under the tongue – or the carrier oil used to create CBD oil drops in a vape pen or e-cigarette. These can be dangerous when heated and inhaled, potentially leading to lung infections.

Does Vaping CBD Get You High?

As already noted, the main cannabinoid and active ingredient associated with a cannabis or marijuana ‘high’ is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The NHS says that vaping CBD on its own will not get you high as it does not contain CBD and may have medical benefits. Epidyolex, for example, is a highly purified liquid containing CBD that can be used to treat epilepsy.

There are also numerous trials and studies suggesting that CBD could have other medical uses including offsetting depression and anxiety, treating opioid addiction, relieving pain and inhibiting the symptoms of arthritis. In terms of vaping CBD, some people do report that it makes them feel more relaxed or can help with pain relief, but it does not produce a high like cannabis or products containing THC which means that vaping CBD is not addictive.

Can Vaping Lead to CBD Addiction?

While more research is needed on both the short and long-term impact of CBD products, there is currently no scientific evidence to suggest that vaping CBD is addictive. The World Health Organization (WHO) said in a report: “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential… To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

One of the reasons for this is that CBD is not a psychoactive part of the cannabis plant, meaning it does not produce a high. Addiction is generally related to intense pleasurable feelings and a desire to replicate them. An increased tolerance meaning you need to take more of the substance for the same effect and withdrawal symptoms when you try to cut back or quit can also add to the overall risks of addiction.

None of these seem to apply to CBD, whether it is vaped or taken some other way. While some people do report pleasurable feelings after using CBD products, these are not generally intense. One small study showed that, while THC produced both a ‘high’ and physical effects such as rapid heart rate and euphoria, CBD did not produce a similar high, affect heart rate, blood pressure or cognitive function.

It is worth noting that nicotine is a very addictive substance and using vapes containing nicotine can be just as addictive as smoking. Many CBD vapes will not contain nicotine but some might and it is possible to develop an addiction to the nicotine in such mixes. The CBD element itself is not the addictive one in such cases though.

To the best current knowledge then, it seems that the answer to the question, ‘Is CBD addictive?’ is ‘No’. While vaping CBD addiction might not be a danger however, there are other potential CBD health risks to be aware of.

CBD Vaping Risks and Addiction

While CBD might not be addictive, it is not risk-free. A review of existing studies on the effects of CBD found that CBD in animals resulted in a number of serious issues including developmental toxicity, embryo-foetal mortality and central nervous system inhibition. These involved larger doses of CBD to those recommended for humans, however. The limited number of studies so far carried out on humans reported CBD-induced drug-drug interactions, abnormalities of the liver, diarrhoea, fatigue, vomiting, and drowsiness.

It is also becoming increasingly understood that vaping in general carries certain health risks, including damage to the lungs. While most studies have concentrated on e-cigarettes containing nicotine, a recent study looked specifically at the risks of vaping CBD. It found that vaping CBD leads to more severe lung damage than vaping nicotine. Among other issues it found that the number and severity of focal lesions — areas of tissue damage — in the lung were greater after inhalation of CBD aerosols than nicotine aerosols.

While vaping CBD might not be addictive, it can be harmful. If you need help or advice on any kind of substance abuse or addiction, get in touch today.