Ongoing cannabis legalization efforts continue to unlock access to consumers, with individuals increasingly turning to hemp plant supplements like cannabidiol (CBD) for combating common issues that interfere with daily well-being.

CBD has been known to offer potential balancing properties that promote homeostasis without the euphoric side effects of THC, making this supplement an attractive option for many. 

However, with the rapid rise of CBD products entering the market, navigating the different delivery options best suited to individual needs, with choices like CBD vape pens and CBD oil, grows confusing.

Dropper bottle oil CBD

This definitive guide examines key considerations between two of the most popular CBD delivery methods – vape pens and CBD oil.

Understanding when and how to use CBD, how long its effects last, and taking into account health and legal factors will help you identify the best way to incorporate CBD into your daily routine.  With this information, you can make the most of the therapeutic benefits of the hemp plant without all the mind-altering effects of THC. 

What Are CBD Vape Pens?

They are pen-shaped devices that heat CBD vape juice into a vapor, that once inhaled it sends the CBD directly into the lungs for quick efficient absorption and effect. These pens are best suited for individuals looking for unpredictable situational relief that is quick and can provide a sense of balance anytime on demand. CBD vape pens can come with various features such as the ability to recharge them and replaceable or refillable cartridges.

How Do CBD Vape Pens Work?

CBD vape pens work by using a heating element that is powered by a lithium battery, that turns liquid CBD extracts into vapor.  This vapor can then be inhaled, delivering CBD doses directly to the lung membranes.  This method offers the highest bioavailability, with an average absorption rate of 30-50%, compared to ingestible CBD oils, which require metabolizing and typically have a lower bioavailability of around 10%.   

Benefits of Vaping CBD

Vape pens have numerous advantages including:

●  Rapid Effects – vaping CBD allows for quick absorption, with the effects often felt within minutes.  This makes it a great option for those looking for rapid relief. 

●  High Bioavailability – vaping offers one of the highest bioavailability rates among other CBD delivery methods.  This means your body can absorb a larger percentage of CBD than other methods.

●  Convenience –Vape pens are easy to carry around and incorporate into your daily routine. They’re portable, discrete, and easy to microdose. 

●  Customization – Mix and match cannabinoid blends and flavors to find the effects that are best suited for you.

However, considerations worth noting include:

●  Battery Life – Some pens may have limited battery life and may require frequent charging, which can be inconvenient, especially when you’re on the go.

●  Harshness – Inhaling hot concentrated vapor can be harsh on the throat and lungs for some individuals, especially if the vapor is heated to a high temperature.  This can cause discomfort or coughing.

●  Cost Adds Up – high-quality CBD vape pens can be expensive, and ongoing costs can add up, especially if you use them regularly. 

What Are CBD Oils?

CBD Oils are liquid extracts with the active cannabidiol dissolved into an oil carrier base for sublingual administration under the tongue or incorporated into beverages and foods. Some of the best natural options use MCT oil, avocado oil, olive oil, or hemp seed oil as the carrier base.

How to Use CBD Oils

Using a built-in dropper, measure the desired milligrams and squeeze them into the mouth, then hold under the tongue for 30-90 seconds before swallowing. This enables mucosal absorption and increases the bioavailability of the CBD, where it avoids being metabolized by the liver, before being swallowed.  This improves the bioavailability efficiency by 10-35%, which is normally limited once swallowed and ingested.

Benefits of CBD Oils

While slower acting than vaping, the upsides are:

●  Accurate Dosing – Easy to dose accurately and monitor your intake of CBD

●  Cost Effective – It’s typically the most cost-effective option, with more total CBD per dollar

●  Adaptability – You can easily add CBD oil to your favorite foods or drinks and incorporate it into your daily routine.  

●  Shelf Stable – If properly stored, it can have a shelf life of over a year

However, it’s important to take these considerations into account when using CBD oil:

●  Slow Onset – The effects of CBD oil can be slower to kick in.  They can take up to 30-90 minutes to feel the effects.

●  Bitter Taste – Some CBD oil can have a bitter or earthy taste, which may not be palatable for everyone.  

●  Measuring – To use CBD oil accurately, you will need a dropper.  This can be less convenient if you are on the go.

●  Liquid Leaks – Tincture bottles need to be sealed securely to prevent leaks and kept in a secure area especially when carrying them in a bag to avoid breakage. 

Both delivery methods offer great benefits, and both can be optimized to offer targeted relief for various situations.  It is important to consider the pros and cons of each to delivery method and compare their practical performance factors that can help you make the right choice between these two options.

CBD Vaping vs. CBD Oil Showdown

Let’s evaluate the key metrics to determine the effectiveness of each method:

●  Bioavailability – 30-50% vaped vs. 10-35% sublingual

●  Onset Time – Under 5 minutes vaping vs. 30-90 minutes CBD oil

●  Duration – 2 to 3 hours inhaled vs. 4 to 6 hours CBD oil

●  Public Use – Discreet and easy to vape vs. CBD oil aren’t ideal for public use

Convenience and Discretion

We now know that vape pens preloaded with CBD vape cartridges offer exceptional portability, ease of use, speedy relief, and are very discreet without drawing attention in public.  However, ongoing costs and maintenance, like charging the battery are some notable setbacks. CBD oil, on the other hand, is more cost-effective, can easily be stored in a bag for quick dosing on the go, and they’re easy to use wherever smoking is prohibited.

Both methods deliver significant CBD health advantages, but it’s important to consider sensitivities to hot vapor as well as the legal climate in your local area.  While uncommon, some people may experience coughing or throat irritation due to the hot concentrated vapor, especially those managing asthma.  Additionally, there are some public spaces that restrict vaping, and consuming CBD oil might be the only option in this case. It’s important to take these things into account when considering which option is best suited for your lifestyle.

How To Choose The Best CBD Delivery Method

Choosing the best CBD delivery method comes down to an honest assessment of your lifestyle needs and personal wellness goals.  This guide will help you determine which format – vaping oils or ingesting CBD oil – best supports your needs.

Those who need easy access, and portability and looking for instant relief may look to vape pens, despite higher costs and maintenance. 

However, if you’re looking to maintain a steady baseline of wellness through consistent daily CBD supplementation, that doesn’t require instant relief, then CBD oil offers a sustainable cost-effective option.

Combining both methods strategically can help with instant relief for episodes or unpredictable symptoms, while using CBD oil will help create a general baseline to manage your symptoms.

Safety and Quality Considerations

Regardless of the delivery method, it is important to prioritize the quality and safety of the CBD products you choose to use.  Due to minimal FDA oversight in the industry, it is important to look for brands that are transparent about their manufacturing practices and testing processes. Look for CBD brands that can provide the following information:

  • Certificates of Analysis to ensure the CBD levels in the product match the label claim
  • Confirm the product has Non-Detect THC or up to the legal amount of THC
  • Verify that the product undergoes thorough testing for pesticides and heavy metals
  • Check that the product contains food-grade ingredients for CBD oil or is designed specifically for vaping

Also, favor products sourced from registered industrial hemp farms in the USA.  This will ensure your CBD comes from high-quality, traceable hemp as opposed to international hemp with questionable farming practices.

While the 2018 US Farm Bill federally legalized hemp-derived CBD production, various state laws prohibit CBD if derived from cannabis plants (plants that are bred to contain higher amounts of THC) including Nebraska and Kentucky. However, the current legal climate regarding CBD continues to change so it is important to check your local laws, especially wherever your travels may take you.  Always do your due diligence and know your rights!