Over the past few years, a market for non-psychoactive cannabis products has emerged, that are focussed on the benefits of the plant’s primary non-intoxicating compound cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is a cannabinoid – one of the 113 so far identified by researchers – and can have a positive effect on various aspects of physical and mental health through interactions with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a newly-discovered network of neurotransmitters and cannabinoid receptors.
These cannabinoid receptors are intriguing, because they are receptive to both endocannabinoids, lipid-based neurotransmitters produced endogenously, and phyto-cannabinoids, compounds made by the cannabis plant. Some have proposed that our bodies have evolved through thousands of years of cannabis use, and indeed, the plant is mentioned deep into the world’s recorded history.
However, the spike in popularity for CBD above other types of cannabis comes mostly because these products are legal throughout America, so long as they are derived from the hemp plant, and because there are no psychoactive effects or addictive properties. Vaporizing CBD e-liquid and concentrates has become one of the most common ways to take the cannabinoid, because inhalation provides the quickest onset of effects, which is advantageous for several kinds of illness.
Here are five good reasons to vaporize CBD.
1. It’s safer than smoking
There is a lot of misinformation on the internet these days, with some claims that cannabis smoke poses no danger to health. Unfortunately, while cannabis smoke might not be as harmful as tobacco smoke, it is still carcinogenic and exposes the lungs to hot temperatures which are simply not necessary. Science has developed safer ways to consume and receive the benefits of cannabis compounds, and vaping still provides a comparable experience to smoking, but with far fewer of the downsides. And research has now shown that long-term vaping is still much safer than smoking.
Moreover, vaping is more economical as no cannabinoids are lost in the heating process – in contrast, when you smoke, some cannabinoids get burnt off. Vaporizing just warms the herb or CBD e-liquid enough so that the compounds are activated.
2. Very effective at managing acute pain
Acute pain, such as inflammation flare-ups (e.g. arthritis) and neuropathic pain can be very debilitating, as the extreme discomfort often prevents a person from living a high quality of life. Unfortunately, while painkillers are effective at remedying severe pain, the effects can still take some time to kick in, and the strongest medication (opioids) are addictive and easy to build a tolerance too. With opioid overdoses accounting for more than 40,000 US lives in 2016, it’s no wonder so many people are searching for alternatives to prescription painkillers.
However, there are no cases of overdoses on CBD and the cannabinoid is not addictive anyway – the World Health Organization also now accepts that CBD has “no abuse potential.” By vaping CBD, the cannabinoids can begin to interact with the ECS sooner, as they are able to bypass the “first-pass metabolism.”
Therefore, taking a few draws of CBD vapor as soon as a flare-up starts will help to bring it under control in just a couple of minutes, as the cannabinoids dampen the body’s sensitivity to pain.
3. Provides quick relief from a myriad of conditions
However, any condition (except for external skin conditions such as psoriasis and acne) are most effectively and speedily treated by vaporizing CBD. The compound has such a broad range of therapeutic effects because the ECS is found in so many important regions of the body, including the central nervous system and the brain.
The cannabinoids travel through the bloodstream to the necessary areas to provide relief. For example, CBD works primarily with CB2receptors to reduce inflammation, as these are connected with immune system response. CB2receptors are heavily expressed in the peripheral nervous system. Meanwhile, when improving mood and relieving depression, CBD’s effects are focussed on CB1receptors, which are found in high concentrations in the brain. CBD helps anandamide bind to these receptors by slowing degradation of the endocannabinoid.
4. May improve mental health
Continuing on the importance of anandamide for improving mood, research has shown this neurotransmitter to be a potent antidepressant, and that it is released into the brain during exercise – this could be why many people find that running alleviates depression. Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) is an enzyme responsible for rapidly breaking down anandamide, otherwise we would perhaps always feel a happy buzz. However, CBD can switch off the FAAH enzyme, which bumps up anandamide levels, meaning more can bind with CB1 receptors.
Anxiety is a mental disorder that sometimes causes acute mental anguish through anxiety attacks. These episodes of panic can be very stressful, and manifest physically by inducing rapid breathing. Studies have revealed that anxiety is exacerbated by over-excitation in the brain, which occurs when the balance between excitation and inhibition is lost. To rebalance the brain, an increased presence of gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is required, something which CBD helps to facilitate.
The calming effects of CBD may also treat symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Furthermore, CBD could be a future medicine for psychosis and schizophrenia thanks to the cannabinoid’s anti-psychotic properties, and limited side effects.
5) Can consume large doses quickly
For those who only find CBD effective in large doses (i.e. chronic pain, chemotherapy pain), the fast intake of cannabinoids is not just beneficial, but imperative. E-liquids are sold in potencies to suit first-timers and very experienced CBD vapers, who are used to the effects of high doses – in such quantities, CBD can be a sedative and cause drowsiness, so it’s best not to be driving or operating heavy machinery when taking it.
But the luxury of vaping is that you can consume at whatever pace you like – perhaps you prefer to consume a whole tank in one sitting, or maybe you rather top up at regular intervals. With CBD e-liquid and vape oil, the choice is yours. And it’s even possible to increase the potency further by dissolving CBD crystals into your e-juice.