What Is CBD/THC Vape Juice? Everything You Need to Know
Vaping is a great example of the evolution of cannabis consumption methods. And at the heart of vaping is vape juice—that glistening golden syrup packed into the cartridge of your vape. But what exactly is vape juice, and how is it made? Keep reading to find out.
What is THC / CBD Vape Juice?
Vape juice (or e-liquid) is the golden liquid found in vape cartridges. It is a form of cannabis extract that is made by taking highly-potent cannabis concentrate and mixing it with binders and carriers such as propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin. When exposed to the heat of a vaporizer or vape pen, vape juice begins to heat up and produces vapour which contains cannabinoids, terpenes, and other cannabis compounds.
Most commercially available cannabis vape cartridges and vape juices are made using CO2 extraction—a process that uses CO2 gases at extreme temperatures to isolate and separate cannabinoids/terpenes from cannabis flowers.
Different ways to use THC/CBD vape juice
Vape juice typically comes in a few different forms:
• Store-bought e-liquid: Vape stores, dispensaries, and other similar retailers typically carry a wide variety of vape juices, offering different combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes, as well as special strain-specific juices.
• Disposable vape pens: Disposable vape pens are super popular among cannabis users. These pens come pre-packed and also offer a variety of flavours and terpene/cannabinoid profiles. Most vape pens come pre-charged, so getting lit is as simple as taking the vape from its package, turning it on, and hitting the tip.
• Homemade vape juice: There's no better way to know exactly what goes into your vape pen than by making your own vape juice. Store-bought juices may contain any number of additives, and due to the lack of regulation of vape products, there is some concern about the safety of some e-liquid ingredients.
What are the benefits of using THC/CBD vape juice?
It's no wonder that vaping has become so popular. Vaporizing cannabis e-juice has many unique benefits, especially when compared to more traditional ways of consuming cannabis, such as smoking or ingesting edibles. These include:
• Faster action: Vaporizing is similar to smoking in that it offers the fastest onset of effects. Vaping THC or CBD vape juice can produce effects in only a few minutes, whereas ingesting cannabis edibles or tinctures can take 10–60 minutes to take effect.
• Combustion-free: Smoking cannabis exposes users to many of the same toxic chemicals as smoking tobacco. That's because combustion breaks down many chemical bonds in cannabis, producing free radicals and many other toxic compounds. Because vaporizers operate at lower temperatures, they're able to vaporize the e-juice they contain rather than combust it. Hence, vaporizing is considered to be a much less damaging alternative to smoking, especially if the vape juice you're using is made from high-quality, safe ingredients.
• Higher potency: vape juice is made using cannabis extracts that contain very high concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes (much higher than those of dry flowers). This makes for a higher-potency final product, which can be ideal for users looking for more potent effects than regular, smoked herb.
• Fewer intense aromas: Vape pens usually produce lighter clouds of vapour than the smoke produced by joints, blunts, or bongs. Vapour is also less invasive and doesn't impregnate clothes and furniture in the same way smoke does.
• Simplicity: Unlike operating a dab rig or rolling a joint, vaping from a pen is as simple as charging your unit, loading its cartridge, pressing a button, and inhaling.
How to make THC/CBD vape juice at home
Making your own vape juice might sound complicated, but it doesn't need to be. And the hard work is definitely worth it. By making your own vape juice, you get so much more control over what you're vaping.
First and foremost, you'll know exactly what goes into your juice—from the type of cannabis down to any flavourings or other additives. Because of the unregulated nature of the vape market, vape juice sometimes contains a variety of compounds, many of which aren't well studied. Plus, making your own vape juice also allows you to control the potency of your juice, giving you added control over your experience.
Below we'll walk you through how to make cannabis vape juice at home, both with and without a POT by NOIDS Herb Cooker.
Note: These recipes call for a propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin solution. Pre-mixed PG/VG solutions are available, but you can also make your own by mixing 4 parts PG with 6 parts VG. Besides working as binders and carriers for cannabinoids and terpenes, PG also works as a flavour enhancer while VG helps thicken vape juice and keep it the right consistency for use in a pen or vaporizer.
Making THC/CBD vape juice with POT by NOIDS
Making vape juice has never been simpler than with the POT by NOIDS Herb Cooker.
Here's how to do it:
• Cannabis buds
• Propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin solution
• POT by NOIDS herb cooker
1. Grind your cannabis buds to a medium consistency.
2. Put the ground buds in the POT beaker and seal it.
3. Put the beaker inside the herb cooker and select the right decarb function (the POT herb cooker has separate settings for CBD and non-CBD strains).
4. Wait for the decarb process to finish. The POT calculates decarb time automatically based on the volume of flower in the beaker, the moisture content of the flower, and the natural room temperature. On average, decarbing cannabis in the POT herb cooker takes 2–3 hours.
5. Remove the beaker from the machine when it has finished decarbing. Let the beaker cool before moving on to the next step.
6. Add your PG/VG solution to the beaker. Cover the beaker and load it into the machine.
7. Choose either the CBD or non-CBD infusion function, depending on the chemical profile of your strain.
8. Wait for the POT to finish infusing.
9. Remove the beaker from the POT and wait for it to cool.
10. Use the POT's filter system to strain your infused PG/VG solution into your preferred storage container or directly into your vape cartridge.
Making THC/CBD vape juice without POT by NOIDS
Haven't got a POT by NOIDS Herb Cooker? Don't fret. Here's how to make your own vape juice using simple household appliances and tools.
• Cannabis buds
• Propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin solution
• 1 lined oven sheet
• Aluminum foil
• 1 mason jar
• Wooden spoon
1. Coarsely grind your cannabis and evenly lay it out across a lined baking sheet.
2. Decarb your cannabis at 105°C for 30–40 minutes. Stir the ground bud once or twice during the process to ensure it toasts nice and evenly.
3. Remove the ground bud from the oven and let it cool before putting it in a mason jar.
4. Pour enough PG/VG solution into the jar to completely cover the buds. Stir, then seal the container with its lid and place it in a dark, cool place.
5. Be patient! Let the mixture sit for 3 months in order for the compounds in the cannabis to properly infuse into the PG/VG mixture.
6. After 3 months, give the solution a final stir and strain it into a clean container through some cheesecloth. Remember to squeeze the ground bud in order to wring out as much juice as possible.
7. Use a syringe to pack your juice into vape cartridges.
Does CBD/THC vape juice have side effects?
When vaping hit the market, it was quickly touted as a "safe" alternative to smoking. However, the health effects of vaping still aren't completely clear. While vaporizers do not combust plant material or cannabis extract, research suggests that the vapour they produce likely doesn't contain the same toxic compounds as regular smoke. Nonetheless, vaping does have some health concerns, including:
• The vape industry is highly unregulated, so consumers might not always be aware of the ingredients in their e-liquids.
• There is little research on the safety of heating and inhaling vape juice compounds, including propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin. While both compounds are readily used in flavourings, foods, and cosmetics, there isn't much evidence on whether these compounds are safe to vaporize and inhale.
Does CBD vape juice make you feel high?
Whether or not vape juice makes you feel high comes down to the compounds it contains. If you're vaping juice that contains pure CBD or only trace amounts of THC, you shouldn't feel high. Vape juice with higher amounts of THC, however, can produce intoxicating high effects.
Does vape juice go bad?
Yes, vape juice and e-liquids can expire. When using store-bought liquids, always use them before the expiration or best-before date on the cartridge or packaging. While commercial vape juice is thought to have a shelf-life of multiple years, we recommend using your homemade vape juice in a couple of months to ensure they preserve more of its flavour and potency.
THC/CBD vape juice: is it safe?
Unfortunately, it's too early to make a definitive verdict on the safety of vaping. To date, it seems that vapour likely doesn't contain the same toxic chemicals as smoke. However, there is little-to-no sound information regarding the safety of inhaling vape juice ingredients. Luckily, by making your own e-liquid, you at least have some degree of control over what compounds you're vaping.