What are CBD Vapes and Are They Safe?

As with all CBD products across the market, there’s been a pretty huge boom of CBD vape pens, both single use and reusable with replacement cartridges. But you may be wondering, in what way do they differ from other CBD products?   Today, we’re going to answer some frequently asked questions to help you figure out if a CBD vape is right for your needs. 

Today, we’re going to answer some frequently asked questions to help you figure out if a CBD vape is right for your needs. 


What’s the difference between these two CBD products?   

CBD vapes are designed so that rather than taking CBD oil under the tongue, for sublingual absorption into the bloodstream, you inhale CBD infused vapour directly into your lungs, bypassing all need for external absorption or digestion.   This brings us to the first key difference between CBD oil drops and CBD vapes: onset.


CBD oil drops are pretty speedy at getting to work, with users feeling the effects within a few minutes, up to half an hour. However, if there’s no time to lose and you need your CBD to get to work NOW, a CBD vape might be best for you, as it has a pretty instant onset up to a couple of minutes. 


The strength (ie. the mg of CBD labelled on the packaging) is what’s contained in the product, but this doesn’t actually equate to the amount that gets used by the body. You may have noticed that the mg content of CBD in CBD vapes is generally lower that most CBD oils – this is because vaporising CBD is a more potent method of delivery, due to the ‘bioavailability’. Some cannabis industry companies claim vaping CBD makes the same dose about four times more potent, but the solid evidence of this is yet to be seen.

WHAT IS bioavailability?

Bioavailability is the amount of a substance that is actually absorbed and used by the body. That’s right, not all of the CBD in your product makes it – in fact, in oral oils it’s generally between 20-50%, whereas vapes are more like 50-80%. This can make a pretty huge difference in terms of getting the most out of the money you’re spending on CBD.

What are the effects of a CBD vape?

Vaporised CBD oil interacts with the body in basically the same was as CBD oil drops, the only real difference being vaped CBD heads straight to the receptors in your brain and lungs, whereas CBD oil is absorbed into the bloodstream where it travels around at a slower pace.   If you’re unfamiliar with how CBD works, here’s a brief overview:

The Endocannabinoid System

One major way the CBD oil interacts with the body is via the endocannabinoid system. If you’ve never heard of it, don’t worry – most people haven’t. Despite being discovered in the 90s and the subject of tens of thousands of studies, with solid evidence to show that its job is the regulate all (yes, all) bodily processes, this system still isn’t even taught about at medical schools in the UK. Now, with medical cannabis and CBD use on the rise in this country, this will inevitably change over the coming years.

The ECS is made up of receptors (CB1 and CB2 are the ones we know most about) and endocannabinoids, 2-AG and Anandamide (named after the Sanskrit word for ‘bliss’), that are produced and released on demand to keep the body in balance. They work by slotting into the ECS receptors that can be found in your muscles, joints, brain, lungs, every skin cell, and throughout all other major physiological systems, then relaying information from outside of the cell, into the cell. The cell being ‘spoken to’ will then trigger a reaction accordingly, or keep doing what it’s doing if it’s working as it should.

When endocannabinoids are not being produced properly, as is believed can occur as a result of external, influencing factors such as stress, lack of quality sleep, poor diet, rarely exercising, this communication can drop off. Suddenly, the cells in your body don’t have their messengers to tell them what they should or shouldn’t do. As a result, just about anything can happen!   CBD works by supporting this system, attaching to CB2 receptor sites and inhibiting the enzyme which ordinarily breaks endocannabinoids down. This then encourages a higher level of endocannabinoids in your bloodstream doing their thing. Other cannabinoids work with the ECS in different ways, but this is what the CBD molecule (the most abundant cannabinoid in CBD oil) does. 

 CBD also activates:   

 - Serotonin Receptors (which influence many things, including mood, digestion, sexual function, inflammation, digestions and even bone density!) 

 - Capsaicin Receptors (which are involved with pain transmission)

Among others!

Are CBD vapes safe?

Is breathing anything other than oxygen into your lungs really safe? Most medical professionals would probably say no. But, are CBD vapes are safe as they can be?

According to studies so far, vaping CBD doesn’t seem to change its safety profile (which is stellar), however it’s well worth bearing in mind that you are utilising more CBD when you vape, so the doses may be stronger than what you’re used to with oil drops.

The actual process of vaping could potentially cause problems if the device or ingredients aren’t up to scratch, which shines a light on why it’s so important it is to choose a CBD vape from a brand you trust, who have worked with experts to develop their product.

Unique CBD have created The Bar alongside an industry-leading neuroscientist and world-leading testing facility, Eurofins, to ensure the very best, safest quality possible.

Can CBD vapes help quit smoking?

Current research suggests that the CBD molecule has the potential to help smokers kick the habit.   

One randomised double blind placebo controlled trial performed back in 2013 found that participants who were given a CBD inhaler for one week and instructed to use it whenever they felt the urge to smoke, reduced the number of cigarettes smoked by 40%! In contrast, those treated with a placebo showed no differences in the number of cigarettes used.

Another placebo controlled study explored whether or not using CBD might help with the neurocognitive withdrawal symptoms, or cravings. After going without tobacco overnight, the participants were administered 800mg CBD or a placebo. Those who were given the CBD found that their cravings seemed less urgent, and easier to cope with. They even found smoking-related images, and seeing other people smoking, far less triggering.   

 Want to read more about which CBD product is right for you? Visit our blog page here.

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