You may already be enjoying CBD oil in liquid form, in food or as a cream or lotion to rub on your aching joints, but you might not be familiar with another way to take CBD into your body – a method that causes you to feel its effects more quickly, and with a smaller amount of CBD. Smoking or vaping CBD oil is not for everybody, but it does act upon the body differently than ingesting it does. If you’re considering smoking or vaping CBD oil, it’s important to understand those differences.

How CBD gets downsized

Let’s take a look at what happens when you swallow a drop of CBD oil. After spending time in the stomach and working its way through the intestines, its next stop is the liver. This football-sized organ is a major player in the digestive system. Its job is to filter everything you ingest in order to eject toxins and help your body make the most of nutrients.

Even though CBD – whose full name is cannabidiol – is not a toxin, it still gets downsized by the liver in what is known as the “first-pass effect.” By absorbing some of the CBD or breaking it down chemically, the liver reduces its concentration strength. Consequently, the bioavailability of the CBD – the amount the body can actually use – is much less than what was ingested.

Nonetheless, many people prefer to eat, drink or smooth on their CBD.

CBD in the fast lane

For others, though, smoking or vaping CBD is like choosing a freeway route that helps them bypass slow traffic on secondary streets and get to where they’re going much faster. That’s because the CBD oil affects the body more quickly when it is inhaled. It enters the lungs straightaway and then is delivered into the bloodstream without spending time in the digestive system. Not only does inhaling CBD produce faster results, it does so with less CBD oil than other methods because of greater bioavailability.

Where to start

What is the easiest way to begin smoking or vaping CBD from TrytheCBD?

A vape pen is a simple, portable and economical device that comes in many different models. In order to use one, you buy a cartridge (or “cart”) that has been pre-filled with concentrated CBD. The cartridge is inserted into the pen. When the pen is activated, a battery causes the cartridge to heat up and transform the concentrate into vapor. Responsible CBD makers use no-temperature blending for their vape cartridges, which preserves the quality and concentration of the CBD in them.

When it comes to devices and the CBD oil itself, it is vital to purchase supplies only from a reputable dealer who is transparent about the company’s quality control and product purity. More on that later.

A portable vaporizer is also powered by a battery. This device heats the CBD oil concentrate in a chamber before moving it to a mouthpiece, where it can be inhaled. Hybrid vaporizers will work with both liquid concentrates and dry forms of cannabis unlike vaporizers that only process dry cannabis.

A dab pen – also known as a wax pen – is similar to a vape pen, but is designed to give users “more bang for the buck” by producing more vapor. A “dab” is a highly concentrated dose of a substance – in this case, CBD.

There are more elaborate and more expensive devices that can be used to smoke or vape CBD, such as vape mods and dab rigs, but the ones mentioned above provide easy entry for beginners who want to try this type of CBD oil absorption.

So far, we’ve discussed the various ways CBD can be absorbed or ingested into the body. Why are so many people interested in this substance?

CBD’s many possibilities

The CBD found in health and wellness products is derived from hemp, a plant that’s been cultivated around the globe for tens of thousands of years. Hemp is used in everything from building materials to textiles, shoes, paint, insulation, rope, medicine, paper…you get the idea. It’s an incredibly versatile plant.

However, CBD didn’t come into being until 1942, when a chemist named Roger Adams became the first to isolate it. That laid the groundwork for research into CBD’s therapeutic properties which continues to this day. Although only one CBD-containing prescription has been approved by the FDA so far – a medication to treat certain forms of epilepsy – anecdotal evidence about CBD’s health benefits is building. Users say that it is helpful in alleviating pain and inflammation, reducing stress and anxiety, controlling nausea (especially in patients undergoing cancer treatments) and as a sleep aid, among other things.

All CBD is not created equal

As mentioned above, whatever you’re using CBD for, it is crucial that you purchase a high-quality product from a company willing to provide documentation for that. High-quality refers not only to what is in the product (such as the amount of CBD the manufacturer claims it contains), but also what is not in it. Many people don’t realize that CBD can contain many impurities that could have a negative effect on their health.

For instance, if the hemp from which the CBD was extracted was not grown organically or sustainably, the plant’s roots could have absorbed pesticides, herbicides or heavy metals from the soil. The hemp could also have had mold on it – which can cause reactions in people with mold sensitivities ranging from rashes and runny noses to more severe symptoms, like shortness of breath.

Depending on what kind of solvent is used, the extraction process can leave toxins in the final CBD product. CO2 and olive oil are preferable, but some companies use faster-acting solvents like ethanol, butane, propane, isopropyl, or alcohol to extract the CBD. These toxins must be removed during the production process, or users run the risk of ingesting them along with the CBD.

Know what you’re getting

How do you make sure you’re getting what you want (high quality CBD) and not getting what you don’t want (toxic chemicals)? Just use the QR code on the product’s label or packaging to check the COA (Certificate of Analysis) on the company’s website. The COA is issued by an independent, third-party laboratory and provides a wealth of information about both the CBD product and the hemp from which it was derived.

And while you’re online, read up about the company’s quality control processes. Some manufacturers, for example, put their blends through a final filtering process and do hot-fill bottling. These extra steps ensure sterility and help maintain CBD concentrations.

If a company cannot furnish you with a COA for your product (by batch), and its customer care department is not forthcoming in answering your questions, look elsewhere, especially if the firm has not been in existence for very long. Some “fly by night” operations are attempting to capitalize on the CBD boom without focusing on safety and quality. Only do business with a company that welcomes your inquiries and is happy to provide you with the information you need to