CBD Vaping: Avoid These Toxic Additives

November 06, 2019

We all are aware of the popularity that CBD or cannabidiol, has gained over recent few years. The cultivation of Hemp is the source of CBD. This CBD is one of the components found in the cannabis Sativa plant. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is also extracted, which like CBD is psychoactive. The difference lies in the fact that CBD is non-euphoric, unlike THC which is euphoric.

Using CBD oil for vaping is known as its one of the most pleasurable forms of consumption. Vaping makes consumption more effective than consuming in any other form.

CBD is said to be the potential treatment to the symptoms of ailments like insomnia, depression, anxiety, even some of the very serious issues like cancer.



1) PG:One of the most popular and key components used while vaping CBD is PG or what we call Propylene Glycol. It is also known by the name anti-freezer. It is a colourless, odourless synthetic food additive belonging to alcohol chemical family. It is very sweet and enhances the flavours, thus called flavour-carrier.

It is commonly believed that when the consumption amount of PG increases, it proves to be quite venomous to the human body. It has a stronger throat hit than VP. Not everyone’s body similarly responds to PG, some have a very low tolerance level for PG. For such people, VG’s (or the Vegetable Glycerin) level in the ratio is suggested to be kept higher than PG ratio.

The FDA or Food and Drug Administration categorizes PG as a safe additive to be used in food. Not just that, it is used in many cosmetics, medicines and food to either retain moisture or absorb extra amount of water from it. Non-natural fog or smoke can also be created using this.

2) VG: Another very well-liked component or additive used while vaping CBD is VG or what we call Vegetable Glycerin or Glycerol. Just like PG, VG is also a clear colourless liquid and odourless. It is made up of coconut, soybeans and palm oil. It has this mild sweet taste and is known for its clouding effect.

Widely VG or Vegetable Glycerine is used in pharmaceutical industries, cosmetics and food industries also. The food industries use VG to mix water-based and oil-based ingredients.

In vaping, it is generally used to produce 'thick' vapours. And unlike PG, VG has a very smoother throat hit.

FDA marks VG as a 100% safe additive and says there aren't enough reasons for considering VG harmful.

For those whose throat is super sensitive to PG, it is advisable to increase their ratio of VP.

VP is not only known for its ability to help us produce thick vapours, but it is also popular for its property of having a very soothing effect on our throats, as we vape.

3) NICOTINE: It is very difficult to give up smoking, so to reduce the harm, e-cigarettes were introduced. It is a modern way of smoking or as we call it vaping. But one thing is still common in both traditional smoking and vaping, and that is nicotine. It is that addiction of nicotine which doesn’t let us give up smoking, and now vaping.

When our body is exposed to nicotine, we experience something we can call a “kick”. It increases our blood pressure, breathing activity and heartbeat. Increase in the glucose level or the sugar level is also slightly noticed after consumption of nicotine.

Various side-effects come along with their consumption. These side effects include dizziness, disturbed sleep, vomiting, dry mouth, heartburn, indigestion, increased risk of heart stroke and many more.


4) PEG: Propylene Glycol or PEG originally were petroleum-based but with the advancement in time, it is now possible to create them from natural sources.

PEG is not dangerous. Most of the PEG compounds are very well tolerated by our bodies, so they are usually considered harmless. Though the more heat you give to PEG and PG the more poisonous they become.

The process of manufacturing PEG is not at all eco-friendly. Its preparation involves 1,4dioxane and ethylene oxide, which are very hazardous pollutants.

Vaping PEG can also lead to some very serious allergic reactions in your body.

Related article: CBD Dosage - How Much CBD Oil Should You Take?

5) Avoid these toxic additives! It is very important for you, or any other vapourer to avoid some toxic vaping additives like Vitamin E, medium-chain triglycerides, ethanol, isopropyl alcohol to petroleum-ether, 5F- ADB, DXM and naptha.

The most common use of vitamin E is in the cosmetics and food supplements especially those that are made for dieting.

The chief scientist of Myriad Pharmaceuticals, Eliana Golberstein Rubashkyn strictly refuses to use any form of vitamin E for vaping, irrespective of its chemical structure. This is so because her research proves that it is highly risky to vape when vitamin E acetate or any synthetic form is present in our vape juice.

On the other hand, the research published in JACM, emphasized on the fact that vaporizing PEG and PG can be hazardous. These vape thinning agents when heated upto 230 degrees (vaporizing temperature) decompose and give rise to carcinogens. The study found that PEG produced acetaldehyde and formaldehyde in high proportions. PG also produced harmful amounts of formaldehyde.

Related article: How CBD Can Help You Battle Insomnia

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However, as per the research VG is safe for vape consumption.

While MCT or Medium Chain Triglycerides as a vaping additive is a safer option as compared to PEG and PG. According to the research, on heating MCT like coconut oil at vaporizing temperature, it produces acetaldehyde. Although the amount is 33 times less as compared to that produced by PG, PEG, MCT still can pose a danger to your health if consumed at a stretch.

Long-term consumption of MCT can lead to essential unsaturated fatty acid deficiency.

Moreover, any forms of lipid (oils) in the lungs are harmful and can cause lipoid pneumonia at worst.

Besides these, 5F-ADB can also pose a threat to your health. It is an SCRA i.e. Synthetic Cannabinoid Receptor Agonist, a vital ingredient of synthetic marijuana. FDA has listed 5F-ADB in the scheduled substances whereas WHO has mentioned it in the controlled substances. It has no medical benefit or therapeutic use.

Studies show that if 5F-ADB is used for vaping or any sort of smoking, then it can lead to abusive psychotic effects. It was found in many CBD products last year (2018) and has been penalized.

Thus, it is not recommended to add 5F-ADB in your vape juice.

Additionally, vape manufacturers also use Isopropyl alcohol as an additive. It is popularly known by the name of rubbing alcohol. Usually, this alcohol is used for cleaning. When isopropyl alcohol is used for vaping, it gets absorbed by our bloodstream and goes straight to our brain. It gives the intoxicating effect and you feel drunk. Also adding isopropyl alcohol in vape juice exposes it to a great amount of heat, which badly affect your lungs.

Moreover inhaling alcohol can be risky.

Finally, DXM is another additive that is used for vaping, which is considered hazardous. Dextromethorphan or DXM is used by many pharmaceuticals to make medicines for cough. Dr Ryan Vandrey, a professor at the Johns Hopkin University of Medicine, also mentioned that if DXM is consumed in bulk quantity, especially while vaping, then it can have adverse effects. These effects include hallucinations, an abnormal heartbeat rate, sense of euphoria and sedation. 




As discussed earlier, PG and VG have a different effect on different people. The reaction for the effect of vaping PG or VG depends on our body and our immunity.

So we cannot say that this ratio is perfect for everyone, thus there is no ideal ratio of PG, VG and other additives.

First, we know that PG has a very high and very sharp hit on our throat, and it is not everybody's cup of tea to bear that effect. So for those of you who enjoy that high and sharp hit on the throat can keep a good amount of PG in their vapour. But for those who rather than getting a 'kick' feel very uncomfortable at the throat are strongly suggested to keep the ratio of PG very low.

Now let's talk about the ratio of VG in our vapor. VG has a very soothing and smooth effect on our throat, unlike PG. So for those who cannot take the harsh effect of PG on their throat, keeping a high ratio of VG will be ideal for them.

Not only VG provides a smoothness effect to your throat, but also makes your vapes thicker, making you feel like more of substantial vapes.

Some expert vapers suggest that if you are vaping for the first time or you are completely new to this vaping world, then you can start by keeping the ratio 50-50. This will not only help you understand the effects of PG and VG but will also help you know which one you enjoy more

We mostly get questions about the appropriate nicotine level that we can go with while vaping. If you are also concerned about this, then you can call yourself a smart vaper. You mustn't start consuming the amount of nicotine to such a level that it brings back your smoking habit. If you vape simply because you love to, then you may not add nicotine in your e-juice. In case you are vaping, to get rid of the smoking habit, then you can start with 3-6 milligrams of nicotine per milliliter of your e-juice.

You need to know that ideally when you find a reputable CBD Vape product it should not contain Nicotine as well as Vitamin E acetate. But if you are vaping a mix then it must go according to what we just discussed.



Here are some quick tips that will help you to choose the right vape juice for yourself.

1) The device: The first and the foremost thing that you need to keep in mind is that your device or the instrument that you are using for vaping should be of very good quality. The better your device is the better your experiences and the more vapour you can produce using it.

2) Flavor: Flavor is another important thing that you should keep in mind while making you right vape juice. Nowadays almost every flavour is very easily available to us. the only way of choosing the best one for you is by trying all of them. You never know the best flavour is still waiting for you.

Some of the popular CBD vape oil flavours are Creme, Strawberry shortcake, Mango, Cinnamon, Buttered popcorn, mint and many more.

3) PG VG ratio: As we have already talked about this, I am sure you must be ready by now. When starting you can choose a 50/50 ratio of PG and VG. Then whatever your throat and body feel best with you can increase the ratio of that one accordingly.

4) Money: The more expensive vapor doesn't need to be the better one. All you need to do is some advance research and good smart homework. You can always go for any of the premium vapes which ensure to deliver quality and safety for your bucks.

Let's conclude here by congratulating you for all the knowledge that you have gained at the smart work that you have already done before vaping your next CBD!

No one else but you, yourself can decide the best ratio of your additives.

Traditional smoking techniques are way more harmful and very difficult to give up. If you are also one of those who feel the same, the vaping is for you. 

About the Author

Michelle Miller is a Florida-based writer and graduate of UF College of Journalism and Communications, Gainesville, FL. She's writing about Cannabis since 2014. When not writing about cannabis, she enjoys hiking to new places and playing Guitar.

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