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can you smoke cbd hemp oil

Kathryn Melamed, a pulmonologist at University of California, Los Angeles, Medical Center who has seen patients affected by vaping, agrees that smoking oils can be dangerous, and notes that the vaping-related illness bears some resemblance to lipoid pneumonia—a direct reaction to lipids or oils in the lungs.

“There’s no regulations, there’s no one telling companies what to do,” says Jonathan Miller, general counsel for the trade group US Hemp Roundtable. “I don’t want to say it incentivizes bad behavior but it certainly doesn’t crack down on bad behavior.”

While no single brand, product, or ingredient has been identified as the cause of the 1,000-plus cases of vaping-associated pulmonary injuryfirst called VAPI and now renamed EVALI—we do know that many of the affected patients were vaping illicit, and therefore unregulated, THC products. Tests showed many of those contained vitamin E acetate, an oil derived from vitamin E—which is considered safe for skincare but not for inhalation.

You might be safer with weed

Benowitz said the effects of vaping MCT oil, however, is an understudied area.

“You get kind of a double grey area here,” says Miller. “CBD is considered illegal by the FDA, and vaping is now viewed pretty hostilely by the FDA. It really is a great unknown … Without the FDA engaged formally, it makes it a lot tougher for consumers to figure out what’s a good product and what’s not.”

“It’s the wild, wild west,” says Aaron Riley, the CEO of the Los Angeles-based cannabis testing lab CannaSafe, of the CBD landscape. Riley says that many of the CBD products CannaSafe tests would fail if they were subject to the same exacting standards as products containing THC—but they’re not. “You don’t have to get licensed. You don’t have to do any type of testing at all.”

“They think, ‘Oh, it’s an oil. I can mix it with another oil and that will thin it and it will make it easier to flow into our vape pen,’ and it’s not harmful because we’re already smoking oil. Well, no. Cannabis extract is not an oil,” says Stem.

Good to know: Earleywine suggests you drop a dose of tincture under your tongue and hold it there for 30 seconds before swallowing, or apply a single spray of the tincture on the inside of your cheeks. Doing so speeds up the effects of the CBD. If you put the tincture on the top of your tongue, you’re likely to swallow it sooner, sending it into your digestive tract, which will absorb the CBD more slowly. If you add a CBD tincture to foods or drinks, it could take up to 30 minutes for it to enter your bloodstream.

Vape pens are easy to use and can go undetected because they produce little smoke, Raiman says. (Note that Oregon and certain other states have laws that prohibit vaping in the same places where smoking cigarettes is prohibited.)

Tinctures (Drops or Sprays)

Pros: Inhaled CBD tends to enter the bloodstream faster than other forms—in as quickly as 30 seconds or less, according to Mitch Earleywine, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the State University of New York, Albany, and an adviser to the marijuana advocacy group NORML. He is also the author of “Understanding Marijuana” (Oxford University Press). The quick action means it should affect the body sooner, which could be especially useful to ease immediate pain or anxiety, for example.

Earleywine suggests starting “with a small dose, perhaps 10 mg, to see how sensitive you are.” But don’t be surprised if you don’t feel any effect until you reach, say, 30 mg per dose. And ongoing conditions such as chronic pain are likely to better respond with daily doses, he says.

Good to know: In a retail store, ask whether you can sample the product first, says Tagliaferro of Hemp Garden. She says some people start feeling effects almost immediately after rubbing it on. Others say they notice relief later in the day, and return to buy the products. Some don’t get any relief at all.