What’s the Best CBD for Vaping?
There’s no shortage of choices when it comes to vaping CBD. In fact, the sheer number of choices can be a bit overwhelming. But we’ll give you a simple answer: Our pick for the very best CBD oil for vaping is Hemplucid’s Hemp Extract. Available in 5 concentrations, it has no artificial flavors, no Propylene Glycol (PG), and no Polyethylene Glycol (PEG). You can even use it as a sublingual tincture.
If you’ve heard of CBD’s medical benefits and you’re looking for the best CBD for vaping, you’ve come to the right place.
For fast relief, vaping CBD is hard to beat. But CBD has become big business, and looking for quality products can feel like navigating a maze of contradicting information.
That’s exactly why we created this ranking: to help you quickly and easily sort through the options and pick the absolute best CBD vape product for you.
At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best CBD for Vaping
The CBD for Vaping We RAVE About
Best Overall: Hemplucid
With a fantastic combination of quality, value, and company transparency, Hemplucid sets the bar high when it comes to CBD for vaping.Read Full Review
Best THC-Free: Alternate Vape
Alternate Vape creates high-quality, small batch CBD vape products for those who want only the good stuff.Read Full Review
Best Value: cbdMD
For value, it’s hard to beat cbdMD. Their products check all the boxes when it comes to quality, and you won’t have to mortgage your house to buy them.Read Full Review
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There are a ton of companies selling CBD vape liquids out there, some of which are disguising sub-par products under a lot of smoke and mirrors.
And then there’s the world of vaping. Getting started with vaping can feel like learning a new language in itself. There are so many options that the jargon itself has necessitated the creation of vaping dictionaries.
Consider this your primer on vaping CBD. We’ll break down how CBD works when you vape it, what you need to look for in a quality product, and how to get started.
But first, we’ll point you in the direction of trustworthy companies that are selling some of the best CBD for vaping.
Best CBD for Vaping
Hemplucid sits at the top of this ranking for good reason. This Utah-based company sets a high bar when it comes to company transparency, and they only use whole plant CBD grown organically in Colorado.
Hemplucid offers a full-spectrum vape/drip that combines CBD extract with vegetable glycerin. This vape has a really nice, natural, slightly sweet flavor — and includes no artificial flavors and no PG or PEG. You can choose from 5 concentrations, from 150mg up to 1500mg per 30ml bottle. And if you’re so inclined, you can use this as a sublingual tincture as well.
The company displays third-party lab reports for all products on their website, and they stand behind their products. If you’re unhappy with your experience they will refund you for your purchase within 30 days.
As their name suggests, Alternate Vape is all about CBD vape products. Sourced from organically-grown Colorado hemp, the Michigan-based company shows third-party lab reports for all products on their website.
Alternate Vape focuses their attention on creating all-natural CBD products produced in small batches, and they keep things simple. Their vape liquids contain just 3 ingredients — MCT oil, CBD, and terpenes. They only use CBD isolate, so THC is not present.
They offer a good selection of vape products, including both disposable cartridges (plus a battery if needed) and bottles of e-liquid. We sampled the mint flavor, which is very minty indeed (you’ll be tasting it for a while afterward). Cartridges contain 250mg CBD, while their bottle of e-liquid contains 500mg. And you have 30 days to decide if you’re satisfied.
This group of Colorado natives does a bit of everything CBD. They believe that high-quality CBD should be accessible to the masses and are doing their bit by keeping their local, organically grown hemp extracts fairly priced.
CBDistillery has several vape options — all isolate-based (so no THC). Depending on your preferences, you can try out a disposable vape pen or cartridge (200mg CBD each) or a bottle of e-liquid (1000mg CBD). CBDistillery uses Tec Temper oil (rather than MCT or VG) as a cutting agent, which they advertise as a safer vaping option.
We sampled the lavender vanilla flavor (one of several flavors available) and loved it — actually, we found it very hard to put down. The liquid is formulated with terpenes which creates a very smooth, non-irritating vape experience.
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A Kentucky-based company that is operating out of that state’s thriving hemp pilot program, cbdMD offers CBD products extracted from organic hemp grown in both Colorado and Kentucky.
They use a broad-spectrum CBD oil for their products, so you’ll benefit from minor cannabinoids, but no THC. Their vape juice contains a PG/VG mix with natural flavors. We sampled both the mint and orange flavors and they were both among our favorites — light and refreshing. You can also choose from six concentrations, ranging from 300mg up to 1500mg.
Our one complaint with cbdMD is their lack of third-party lab reports for individual products. They do have an up-to-date lab report for the CBD oil they use, but they don’t provide anything to verify concentrations in their vape juice. On the other hand, they offer a generous return policy. So if you’re not happy you can return the product within 30 days.
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Canna Trading Co.
Based in the Central Coast area of California, Canna Trading Co. has been around since 2015. They use organically-grown, supercritical CO2-extracted, broad-spectrum CBD oil with terpenes and minor cannabinoids, but less than 0.1% THC.
Canna Trading Co. got its start as a vape-focused company, so they know what they’re doing when it comes to vape products. They have streamlined offerings — you can choose between a disposable vape pen or cartridge (200mg CBD) in only one flavor. They use MCT oil as a cutting agent and natural terpenes for flavor — this provides a calming, lemony flavor which was one of our favorites.
Canna Trading Co. does display a third-party lab report for their CBD extract on their product pages, but there doesn’t seem to be testing for individual products like their vape juice. We’ve also been unable to find out how often these tests are performed. They do, however, have a generous, 30-day return policy in case you’re not satisfied.
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Pure Hemp Botanicals
Pure Hemp Botanicals is a company that is passionate about CBD — and about the planet. Located in Colorado, they use local, organic hemp for their CBD oil, and their ethos of compassion and sustainability is integrated from seed to packaging. They are one of the only companies we’ve seen that doesn’t send out their CBD products with a box full of packing peanuts!
Pure Hemp Botanicals offers a line of full-spectrum vape products, with everything from bottles of vape juice to vape kits that include everything you need. They do use Propylene Glycol (PG) in their vape products, but all flavors are derived from natural plant sources.
We sampled the sweet mint which, truth be told, was not our favorite of all the mint-flavored vape products we tried. But they have several other flavor options as well. And you can find lab results for all their products on the website.
Located in South Carolina, Palmetto Harmony has its company origins in a family’s search for top-quality CBD for their child. The company has become a trusted source of CBD for families of children with treatment-resistant conditions, and they take their responsibility seriously. All Palmetto Harmony products have third-party lab tests available upon request.
Palmetto Harmony’s vape liquid is made from vegetable glycerin and full-spectrum CBD extract, which is about as simple as it comes. Cloud chasers will like the amount of smoke this combination creates, and it tastes lightly hempy.
They sell their vape liquid in bottles, but you can also buy cartridges that come with batteries specifically built for their products. From the website, it’s hard to tell if these pens are about to be phased out or if they are brand new, which is a bit confusing. Other drawbacks are the price and the company’s strict 7-day return policy.
Hailing from the Highland Lakes region of Texas, Highland Pharms is committed to producing high-quality CBD products for natural health support. Their CBD oil is procured from high-grade, organic Colorado hemp.
Highland Pharms focuses on full-spectrum CBD oil, and their vape juice scores high points for ingredients. With no PG, PEG, or artificial flavors, their vape juice combines VG (vegetable glycerin) with CBD extract and natural flavoring. It has a very light hemp flavor with a hint of sweetness. We liked it.
Highland Pharms has a third-party lab test on their website which attests to the quality of the CBD extract they use for their products. But they do not provide lab tests for individual products like their vape oil. They do have a 30-day return policy if you’re not satisfied with a product.
Nature’s Script is a Florida-based company which offers a range of CBD isolate-based products, all of which are created with organic, American-grown hemp.
Nature’s Script offers CBD e-liquid (in bottles, no cartridges) in 3 concentrations and 3 flavors. It’s organic and reasonably priced, but where this vape liquid falls short is on ingredients. They use both propylene glycol and artificial flavors (without listing the chemicals used). There’s no denying that they taste good, but it would be nice to know what’s going into those flavors.
They do gain points when it comes to testing, though. They have third-party lab reports for all their products online, so you can see exactly how much CBD is in your vape liquid. And they allow you thirty days to decide if you’re happy with their products.
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Admittedly, we’re not the biggest fans of Hemp Bombs’ design and website. But this Florida-based company uses organically farmed domestic hemp in all of its CBD products, so we’ll forgive its questionable aesthetic. Third-party lab tests are available for all Hemp Bombs products, so you can feel confident in what you’re buying.
The CBD e-liquids are available in 15 flavors, including Farm Fresh Strawberry Milk, Wild Blueberry Jam, Glazed Chocolate Donut, and Vanilla Cupcake Swirl, to name a few. Six potencies are available, ranging from 75mg up to 4000mg.
While the vape oils do taste good, the ingredients include PG and artificial flavors, so the brand loses points there. But they get some points back for prompt and helpful customer service, as well as a generous return policy (they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee).
The Best CBD for Vaping: How Does CBD Work?
First, some CBD basics. CBD — or cannabidiol — is a cannabinoid, a chemical compound that is found in cannabis plants. There are over a hundred of these, each with its own effects. But you’re most likely to have heard of the two most prevalent and well-known cannabinoids, CBD and THC.
THC we’ve been hearing about for a long time. It’s the cannabinoid responsible for the “high” you feel if you smoke marijuana. CBD, on the other hand, while it shares a virtually identical chemical structure, cannot get you high.
The vast majority of CBD on the market in the U.S. is extracted from industrial hemp plants — a fibrous strain of cannabis that contains very low concentrations of THC. The source may seem like a minor detail, but it’s actually very important in the U.S. because industrial hemp production is legal at the federal level. Other forms of cannabis are not.
CBD works by interacting with a system of receptors and chemicals in your body called the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid receptors, named CB1 and CB2, are spread throughout your brain and body, causing widespread effects.
Broadly speaking, the endocannabinoid system works to maintain homeostasis, or balance, within your body. Its influence is wide-ranging and includes pain, inflammation, mood, and sleep regulation.
Cannabinoids like CBD actually closely resemble chemicals that your own body produces, called endocannabinoids. This makes for easy interactions between CBD and endocannabinoid receptors.
Though the science on CBD is in the early stages of development, CBD was actually discovered in the 1940s, and there is some research from the decades that followed. But CBD has only come under the microscope in an intensive way very recently. This was due, at least in part, to the wave of anecdotal reports of CBD’s benefits.
The recent nature of the scientific research on CBD means that we have a long way to go before we understand how CBD works. Many studies are small and few have been at the clinical level where it can be tested on humans. Still, if you read the studies that are coming out, it’s clear that scientists are cautiously excited about its potential.
To date, there’s evidence that CBD’s benefits include:
- Anxiety and mood regulation
- Pain control
- Anti-convulsant (relieves seizures)
- Neuroprotective (it protects brain cells)
- Proapoptotic (it may keep tumors from growing and spreading)
The Best CBD for Vaping: Bioavailability
You’ve probably noticed that there are lots of ways to get CBD into your body. A non-exhaustive list would include tinctures, capsules, topicals, concentrates, edibles, transdermal patches, and vaping. All of these methods have their own benefits, but they are not all equal when it comes to how much of the CBD your body can absorb.
Bioavailability is the medical term that describes this process — how much of a substance your body will absorb, and how long it takes to do that. Ingestion (like swallowing a capsule) has one of the lowest rates of bioavailability.
So if you eat a CBD gummy, you’ll only be able to benefit from a small amount of the CBD you swallow. Taking CBD sublingually (under your tongue) or through a transdermal patch are much more efficient routes.
But for high bioavailability, it’s really hard to beat vaping. Because it doesn’t have to go through the digestion process, the CBD enters your bloodstream through a very direct route.
If you’re in pain or you feel anxiety setting in, vaping CBD can deliver fast relief.
But everything, as they say, comes with a price. The downside of vaping’s fast effects is that they tend not to last as long as they might through slower routes like ingestion. If you’re looking for a long, slow release of CBD — vaping probably isn’t what you’re looking for.
But if you want to feel the effects of CBD fast, and if you want to benefit from the maximum amount of CBD you’re purchasing, then vaping is definitely worth trying.
The Best CBD for Vaping: Source
When it comes to finding the best CBD for Vaping, you really need to look at where the CBD comes from and how it was grown.
This is important anytime you take something into your body. To quote an old adage: garbage in, garbage out. But this is even more vital when it comes to cannabis products. That’s because cannabis is a bioaccumulator. This means that it has the ability to pull toxins out of the soil, concentrating them in the cells of the plant.
Hemp is so good at this, that it’s being used around the world (like, for example, at Chernobyl) to help clean the soil after environmental pollution has taken place. This is called phytoremediation. Hemp is a superstar phytoremediator. But obviously you don’t want to be using CBD that was extracted from hemp that was grown in Chernobyl.
Okay, Chernobyl is an extreme case. But even conventional farming makes use of fertilizers and pesticides that can build up in a hemp plant. And because companies have to use large amounts of industrial hemp to procure the amount of CBD they need, those pesticides, heavy metals, and bio-contaminants can become very concentrated in CBD oil.
Finding organic CBD is important for anyone using CBD in any form. But it’s even more important for those wanting to vape it. That’s because vaping heats the CBD in order to turn it into vapor, and heat can change the chemical makeup of anything else that happens to be in the CBD. This includes pesticides, residual solvents from extraction, or heavy metals that might be present.
So it’s hard to overstate the importance of looking for organically grown CBD. For complex reasons we won’t go into here, most CBD oil is not going to have the USDA’s organic stamp of approval. So you’ll need to look into a companies’ growing practices. Many companies will provide this information on their website. But if not, don’t hesitate to call customer service and ask questions. It’s definitely that important.
The Best CBD for Vaping: Isolate, Full-Spectrum, Broad-Spectrum
One decision you’ll need to make before buying CBD vape liquid, centers on the presence or absence of the cannabinoid THC. And why is THC such a big deal? As we noted above, THC is the cannabinoid that is responsible for the feeling of being high.
To be clear, we’re not talking about large concentrations of THC. The vast majority of CBD being sold in the U.S. is extracted from industrial hemp, which by definition (according to the 2014 Farm Bill), contains less than .3% THC.
You’d have to take a fairly high dose of CBD to begin to feel the effects of that amount of THC. However, if you have to take a drug test for work, or if THC affects you negatively (for example, if you deal with panic disorder or bipolar disorder), then you may want to avoid it altogether.
In that case, what you want is a vape liquid that contains either CBD isolate or broad-spectrum CBD. Either of these options should be free of THC in the 99%+ range. CBD isolate is pure CBD with no other terpenes or cannabinoids present. Broad-spectrum CBD oil should contain other minor cannabinoids and terpenes, with just the THC removed.
Either way, if avoiding THC is important to you, make sure to check out third-party lab reports before you purchase a product. You need to feel confident that you know what you’re vaping.
The other option is purchasing full-spectrum CBD oil, which contains minor cannabinoids, terpenes, and less than .3% THC. If you’re wondering why anyone would want those other cannabinoids present, the answer has to do with the so-called “entourage effect.”
This refers to the idea that cannabinoids work best when in the presence of other cannabinoids, rather than on their own. There’s some evidence that a synergy is created when CBD contains a broad cannabinoid and terpene profile. If you want to benefit from that, and you’re okay with taking in a bit of THC, then a full-spectrum product is what you want.
The Best CBD for Vaping: CBD Oil vs. CBD Vape Liquid
One really important point to touch on is the difference between CBD oil and CBD vape liquid. They are not interchangeable. The confusion, however, is understandable since CBD companies often use the terms “oil” for their vape products. As in, “CBD vape oil.” This is not helpful.
CBD oil, also known as a CBD tincture, is CBD extract in a carrier oil like MCT oil, olive oil, or hemp oil. It’s made to be taken sublingually or to be swallowed.
But if you pour that stuff into your vape tank, you’re going to run into problems. First, it won’t burn well, so whatever vapor you inhale will taste terrible — and you probably won’t get much CBD. And because the oils used in a tincture are so thick, they may also mess up your vaporizer, which is not intended for such abuse.
CBD vape liquid, on the other hand, is specifically designed to be vaporized and inhaled. (Other names for it are e-juice, vape juice, or e-liquid. But for the sake of consistency, we’ll refer to it as vape liquid).
So what’s the difference?
Both use carrier oils, but vape liquids tend to use different ingredients. That’s because many vegetable oils are too thick (viscous) for vape pen heating coils. So vape liquids also usually include a thinning agent that makes it more easily vaporized.
We’ll go into greater detail about ingredients later on, but for now suffice it to say that if you want to vape CBD, you should definitely purchase a CBD liquid intended for that purpose.
The Best CBD for Vaping: Ingredients
So, assuming you’ve done some research and found good e-liquid options that use organically sourced CBD, what other ingredients should you consider?
We noted above that thinning agents are often used in vape liquids. This allows the CBD to move through the vape pen, and it also creates a higher volume of liquid — this allows for different concentrations of CBD and makes the CBD oil last longer as well.
And for the cloud chasers among us, these thinning agents (especially PG and VG) are often responsible for the vapor clouds that appear when you exhale.
There are several different, commonly used thinning agents in CBD vape liquid. The most common are:
- Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)
- Propylene Glycol (PG)
- Vegetable Glycerin (VG)
- Medium Chain Triglyceride Oil (MCT oil)
All of these are considered safe for human consumption by the FDA. At least when they’re ingested. Unfortunately, research has shown that both Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) and Propylene Glycol (PG) produce carbonyl compounds when heated.
Carbonyl compounds — like formaldehyde, acrolein, and acetaldehyde — are known carcinogens which can cause cancer. PEG is by far the worst culprit for the production of carcinogens, and it’s becoming less common to find it as an ingredient in vape liquids.
PG, though, is still commonly used, and while it seems not to be as dangerous as PEG, it is still associated with the risk of inhaling carcinogens.
Another of the most commonly used carrier oils is Vegetable Glycerin (VG). Studies have shown that at low power settings (5W), VG produces no detectable carbonyls — so it seems, at least for now, that it might be a safer option.
People like the vapor clouds VG produces and the fact that it doesn’t irritate the throat. It is still pretty viscous, though, so you’ll need to make sure you have a vaporizer that can handle thicker liquids.
MCT oil is also used as a base for CBD vape liquids. It doesn’t create the clouds of vapor that VG does, but so far it hasn’t been shown to be associated with health risks.
In addition to carrier oils, many vape liquids include flavorings. Some flavors are accomplished by using terpenes, which are natural components of the hemp plant. The presence of natural terpenes may actually boost the effects of CBD, due to the “entourage effect,” which we’ll discuss later on. Terpenes also come with the added bonus of thinning the liquid, so some manufacturers are beginning to concentrate heavily on these.
On the other hand, many companies use chemical flavorings for their vape liquid, which come with a whole slew of issues. Many of these flavorings contain a chemical called diacetyl.
This chemical, which is responsible for buttery flavors, can lead to a serious respiratory condition called bronchiolitis obliterans, or “popcorn lung.” Its nickname derives from the workers at microwave popcorn factories who were diagnosed with the disease after inhaling large amounts of the chemical.
And diacetyl is only one chemical among many used to create flavors. Scientists have also discovered that cinnamon, vanilla, and cherry flavors react with propylene glycol to create entirely new chemical compounds.
The reality is that there’s a lot we don’t know about the effects of these chemicals on our bodies — especially when they are inhaled. And the more chemicals present, the more likely is that they will combine in unpredictable ways.
It’s a good idea to read labels closely and ask lots of questions if ingredients aren’t clearly labeled. You’ll have to make the call about how much risk you want to take with unknown chemicals.
The Best CBD for Vaping: Necessary Equipment
Vape pen, e-cigarette, call it what you will — to vape CBD, you’ll need a vaporizer of some kind. That sounds obvious, but there are many options out there.
Your first, and easiest option, is to buy a pre-filled vape pen. Many companies sell these — and they’re not necessarily that expensive. If you’ve never vaped before and you just want give it a try, this may be a good way to go.
On the other hand, disposable vape pens are not re-fillable and the battery isn’t replaceable. When it’s done, it’s going to end up in a landfill. Also, for obvious reasons, disposable pens tend not to be super high-quality pieces of equipment. And cheaply-made vaporizers can increase the risk of inhaling things you really don’t want to inhale — like heavy metals.
Those are good reasons to buy a well-built vaporizer. If you’re willing to go this route, you’ll have some choices to make. There are lots of options and it can be overwhelming for a beginner. But all vaporizers contain the following elements:
- Atomizer or coil: this is the heating element in the vaporizer.
- Battery: the power source
- Tank: the reservoir for the vape liquid (some vaporisers only use pre-filled cartridges)
- Wick: An absorbent material (often cotton) that draws the vape liquid into the heating element.
Your choice of vaporizer will center around questions like how portable and discreet you want it to be. Also, do you want to be able to refill the tank with vape liquid from a bottle? Or do you only want to use pre-filled cartridges? There are vaporizers that can do both, but they cost more. Also, if you’re using a more viscous liquid, make sure you buy a vaporizer that can handle it.
There’s no way around doing some research. It might help to talk to someone who knows their way around vaping — and vaping CBD in particular.
The Best CBD for Vaping: Transparency
If you want to feel confident that you’re truly getting the best CBD for vaping, company transparency is a key indicator of quality. Companies that hide behind inflated claims, without any solid information to back it up, are often selling products that either contain inferior CBD, or just a lot less than they claim.
To avoid buying from one of these companies, look for information about company practices like where they source their hemp. U.S. grown hemp is going to be your best bet, since regulations are more stringent here than elsewhere. You can also enquire into their growing practices. Do their growers spray with pesticides or use chemical fertilizers?
These questions are particularly important when it comes to vaping CBD. Even chemicals deemed generally safe can become dangerous when heated. It definitely pays off to pay more for organically grown CBD products.
And if a company won’t show third-party lab results for their CBD oil, they probably have something to hide. In an unregulated industry, we rely on third-party labs for unbiased information about what’s in a given product. These should be easily accessible an up-to-date, either on the company’s website or by request.
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