Vaping cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most common ways of enjoying the non-intoxicating hemp derivative. There are plenty of vaping options, from using hemp flower to buying bottles of e-liquids. CBD cartridges are also very popular nowadays. These are designed to simplify vaping, by bringing efficiency and convenience to the process.
In this article, we’ll cover all the key information about these products, including:
- What they are
- How to use them
- Whether cartridges are right for you
- The different hemp extracts used in cartridges
- And much, much more
If you are seeking tips to get more from your CBD cartridge experience, or just want a brief outline as to what cartridges have to offer, this is the guide for you.
What is a CBD cartridge?
In a nutshell, these are vape cartridges infused with a CBD extract, which is mixed with a carrier oil, such as vegetable glycerin (VG). In most cases, the extract used will come from industrial hemp. This is classed as legal by the US government, providing the THC content doesn’t exceed 0.3 percent. Cartridges can be attached to any vape pen or portable device with 510-threaded compatibility. This has become pretty much universal in the vape industry, which is ideal for vapers.
Are cartridges right for me?
Most CBD users know what they are looking for. Perhaps they want to self-remedy an illness, or maybe they just want to take CBD as a supplement for wellbeing. Cartridges are great for people who want their CBD to kick in right away, and deliver an instant blast of relief. Where cartridges outshine regular e-liquids is in the ease of use. Very little maintenance is required with them. The vape juice is sealed within the cartridge, so there’s no need to worry about cleaning the atomizer or tank.
Moreover, cartridges can save a lot of time, which is crucial for vapers who lead hectic lives. If that sounds like you, how good does it sound to be able to remove your vape pen from your pocket, and take a hit, all within 20 seconds? It’s much more appealing than having to find your e-liquid bottle, and carefully add it to your vape tank, all while trying not to make a mess. With cartridges, getting a substantial hit of CBD is never a chore, and can fit seamlessly into your day.
How to use a CBD vape cartridge
After settling on the perfect cartridge, now it’s time to learn how to vape from it. Screwing the cartridge onto the device is the first thing you need to do.
Disposables are, as the name suggests, single use. Depending on the exact equipment you have, the cartridge may turn on via draw-activated firing. This is the most efficient method, as it doesn’t require any button-pressing or switch-flipping. The pressure from drawing on the mouthpiece is enough to activate the cartridge so that it begins to release vapor.
Should the vape not have this functionality, you’ll likely have to press a button to activate the device. Many vapes come with a safety lock mechanism, where you have to press five times to turn the vape pen on, before holding the button down to emit vapor. This protective feature is important, as it will stop the vape from switching on accidentally in your pocket or elsewhere and overheating. Any vape pen or battery that comes with a button should have this safety feature.
One advantage of filling your own cartridges is that you can choose what you want to vape, and even combine multiple e-liquids. For instance, if you normally vape nicotine, you may want to mix their e-juice with a CBD vape additive. Or perhaps you just want a tasty e-liquid to combine with your flavorless CBD vape juice. There’s so much potential to mix and match with refillables. This makes them the preferred choice for many vape enthusiasts.
Refillables don’t last forever. As much as you may try to maintain them, the flavor will eventually decline. Be sure to change your cartridges every so often so that you keep getting the most from your e-liquid.
Different types of cartridge
The two main types of hemp extract used to make CBD products are CBD-isolate and full-spectrum CBD. In both, the therapeutic qualities of CBD are front and center. But some subtle differences may make one better than the other, depending on what you’re looking for.
No prizes for guessing here – a CBD-isolate cartridge contains an extract where the CBD has been separated and isolated from all the other hemp compounds. This is typically achieved through a complex process called supercritical CO2 extraction. This high-tech method that maximizes the quality and purity of hemp extracts.
With just CBD, isolate cartridges are great if you get drug-tested – at work or elsewhere – as there is no THC to worry about. Tests don’t screen for CBD as it doesn’t have any intoxicating effects.
Moreover, some people simply prefer CBD-isolate products, as they only want to get the benefits of CBD. This tends to apply to new and cautious users, who are intrigued but remain hesitant about taking CBD. For some health issues, like anxiety, CBD has a lot of promises, but the effects of other hemp compounds are not as clear. Indeed, THC could even cause anxiety, rather than absolve it. This kind of situation is why some like to stick with CBD-only products, and explains why the market for CBD-isolate is thriving.
Full-spectrum CBD cartridges
These are made with every hemp compound, providing a beneficial array of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. The full hemp package is considered by some researchers to be more therapeutic, thanks to the special synergy of the ‘entourage effect’. In essence, this means that when all the cannabinoids are taken at once, the health benefits are greater than the sum of their parts.
‘Entourage effect’ science has been focussed primarily around cannabis, although the same applies to hemp. Studies have shown that CBD reduces THC’s potency somewhat, boosting therapeutic effectiveness. There are likely many more interactions between non-intoxicating cannabinoids that haven’t yet been unearthed. For one, we know that cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabichromene (CBC) have anti-inflammatory properties. These are only obtainable with full-spectrum CBD.
Full-spectrum products also differ in effects from strain to strain. While the cannabinoid makeup is vital to understanding the general impacts of a product, the terpene profile also has an important influence. We use ‘sativa’, ‘indica’ and ‘hybrid’ terminology when referring to CBD products, just as we do with cannabis. But none of these extracts will get you ‘high’, because the THC content is below 0.3 percent.
Sativas are energizing, and ideal for clearing away any cognitive fog and fatigue. These cartridges are known for their cerebral effects, and may be good for both motivation and mood. Many CBD users opt to take sativa-dominant CBD products early in the day, so they can fully indulge in the uplifting effects. This type of CBD should work a treat with your morning cup of tea or coffee. Sativas are also good if you’re feeling a bit sluggish as the day wears on, and need a pick-me-up, without any adverse effects.
Indicas are quite the opposite, and perfect for when you want to feel calm, free from any stress or anxiety. Such cartridges are typically made up of linalool, beta-caryophyllene and other terpenes associated with relaxation – linalool, for instance, comes from the lavender plant.
Because the effects are somewhat more sedative than with other types of CBD, indicas tend to be best taken late in the afternoon or in the evenings. The soothing physical effects may make you sleepy, so be sure to have done all your jobs for the day before settling down with one of these CBD cartridges.
Hybrids provide the best of sativas and indicas, without being overwhelming in either direction. Depending on the exact product, the “hybrid” may have sativa-dominant or indica-dominant traits. Many full-spectrum cartridges take their names from real cannabis strains and terpene profiles. Therefore, it’s generally pretty easy to establish the effects you’ll get from any given cartridge.
Hybrids are renowned for being effective at any time of day, no matter what you’re using them for. The mental stimulation from the sativa terpenes is good for staying alert. But these are complemented nicely by indica terpenes which promote calm and pain relief.
Can you vape CBD oil?
No. CBD tincture oil products are not made for vaping, and should be used for sublingual absorption and in recipes, only. CBD oil is not appropriate for vaping because of the ingredients used to dilute the extract. While these are safe for oral consumption, it may not be safe to heat and inhale them, as this would likely change the chemical makeup. Not only that, vaporizers are not designed to vape CBD oil, and doing so may irrevocably damage your equipment.
Are all CBD cartridges the same? Clearly not! There is so much variety in this CBD market, and every other in the flourishing hemp-based CBD industry. Such selection can be a little daunting for new users, but hopefully this guide has made it easier to understand the different terms, and what products are available.
Cartridges are a brilliant non-psychoactive option for people who want efficient and rapid relief with CBD. They are especially good for people who already vape or want to quit smoking, but are suitable for all adult users.