If you haven’t yet hopped on to the CBD train, you may be missing out on the world’s most popular natural wellness option. If you have, you probably already know that vaping CBD is the quickest way to experience cannabidiol-provided relief. Still, many health-conscious cannabis users are skeptical of vaporizers—even those who frequently roll up fresh hemp flower.
Why? There may be a number of reasons depending on who you ask, but the most common answer you’ll find is about a common ingredient found in many CBD vape oil ingredients list, something called “propylene glycol,” or “PG” for short. But is it really bad for you? And if so, can you reap the benefits of a CBD vape pen without the potential harms of this added ingredient? We’ll dig into some of the available research so you can decide for yourself, and key you in on a couple of PG-free CBD vape pens that may fit into your CBD routine nicely.
Is Propylene Glycol Bad for You?
Let’s start by highlighting that propylene glycol is actually FDA approved for many uses, including as an additive in many food products, household cleaners, cosmetic items, and more. In fact, many major health organizations have openly approved the use of PG in these products without the need for warning regarding potential adverse health effects.
The chemical additive, which actually is a non-intoxicating sugar alcohol, is probably harmless in most of these applications. However, most evidence regarding PG’s potentially harmful side effects involves propylene glycol when it’s heated. That’s why many people have become very skeptical of the use of PG in many CBD vape products, noting the results of several studies that suggest the potential for the creation of harmful byproducts.
One study aimed at this potential phenomenon notes that most research regarding vape products “typically focus on benchmarking toxicant levels versus those of cigarettes. However, such studies do not fully account for the distinct chemical makeup of e-liquids and their unique properties.” Many studies are quick to identify vaping as “safe” when compared directly to the health threats of cigarettes, but how safe is “safe”?
The study, which was focused on the potential byproducts of standard vape products (containing PG) suggests that notable levels of formaldehyde are produced as vape oil is heated. In fact, the study notes that formaldehyde is found in a particularly harmful form–as an aerosol. The results note that “…unlike gaseous formaldehyde, the hemiacetals reside in the aerosol particulate phase, and thus are capable of delivering formaldehyde more deeply into the lungs.”
This particular study was contested several times and then revisited on new terms that more appropriately reenact the average vaping experience. Although researchers are still unsure at exactly what temperature vape oil begins to degrade into these toxic chemicals, the study notes that “both gaseous formaldehyde and formaldehyde from hemiacetals were produced at levels above OSHA workplace limits” when vape products were used at a temperature regarded as “non-averse” and “normal” by vape users.
There are other, smaller studies regarding the effects of PG in vape oils, but we still have very little evidence to help us understand it’s true potential harms. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry states on their website: “We have little information about what happens to propylene glycol in the air.” Because of the lack of data, it’s difficult to make any hard claims that PG is a harmful additive in CBD vape oils. Still, many people prefer to opt for alternative products that avoid the ingredient altogether.
Can You Find a CBD Vape Without PG?
Yes–but it isn’t always easy. Many companies utilize PG in the formulation of their vaping products because it works as a type of solvent to help carry the flavor. It also may account for some of the sweetness associated with many vape oil formulas. Additionally, it is one of the ingredients used to create vapor as the vape oil is heated. However, alternative ingredients can be used to create PG-free vape oils. Some vape oils may only utilize vegetable glycerin, an ingredient commonly paired with propylene glycol in vape formulas. Other brands may utilize MCT oil, triethyl citrate, or a different range of natural ingredients to carry the CBD in a vape oil formula.
Just like propylene glycol, more evidence is needed to properly identify to file of these ingredients in vape oil ingredients. As the FDA works to place more regulation on CBD products, this could possibly be addressed. For now, avoiding PG in your CBD vape oil may be the best first step to protecting yourself from potential harm.
Best PG-Free CBD Vape Oil Options
There is a multitude of CBD brands out there that offer one or more CBD vape oil options, many who offer a PG-free variation. Still, be aware, as many brands still include PG on their ingredients label. Thankfully, there are a couple of brands we have come to know and trust that offer a variety of CBD vape oils without propylene glycol, including a variety of different flavors that may make them perfect for anyone looking to vape CBD oil.
One brand that swaps PG for a potentially healthier alternative is CBDistillery. They offer a variety of flavor options that utilize a special ingredient, called Tec Temper oil, which they argue is a healthier alternative to many of the harmful cutting agents used in vape preparations. CBDistillery offers a range of vapes that are organic, natural, and responsibly sourced. The Grand Daddy Purple CBD vape pen is one of their most popular flavors, boasting a flavor that is slightly sweet and fruity with delicious herbal undertones.
CBDistillery also offers their vape pen in other flavors, like Strawberry Lemonade, Grape, Gorilla Glue, and Lavender Vanilla. Each pen contains 200mg of CBD and is fully disposable, meaning it won’t need to be recharged or refilled, just easily replaced when it runs empty. For average CBD users, the 200mg pens will meet most needs and last for quite some time, up to several weeks.
One other brand we are happy to recommend in terms of PG-free CBD vape oil options is Vape n Terps. This brand brings even more exciting CBD vape cartridge flavors to the table, each including triethyl citrate with no PG in sight. These CBD vape pens are unique in that they each include unique terpene blends based on multiple medical cannabis strains, so they are expected to offer very different effects and benefits, making them accessible to a range of CBD users.
You can choose from different potencies, including 300mg disposable vape pens and 500mg cartridges designed to be used with a reusable vape battery. For the 300mg disposable pens, you can choose from multiple tasty flavors, like Blue Dream, Girl Scout Cookies, Green Crack, Gelato, and Pineapple Express. You can find these same flavors and more from Vape n Terps in the 500mg cartridge varieties.
While there are definitely other varieties of PG-free CBD vape pens available today, these two brands offer quite a bit of variety on their own. If you aren’t yet impressed, check out the full variety of CBD vape pens and CBD vape oil on our site today!