Vaping with Oil: What Goes and What Doesn’t?

Stephen Andrews
11 May 2024

Vaping has become one of the most popular methods of cannabis delivery, especially among younger users. Vaping cannabis oil involves heating the oil and inhaling it via a special pen-like device. It’s a smell-free, convenient way to consume cannabis, and often touted as safer than smoking.

Vaping with oil is thought to be a safer form of consuming THC than smoking a joint. The main reason for that is that vaporizers heat the oil; there’s no burning, no combustion. There are also vapor devices that work with herb material or any of the waxy forms of cannabis, which upon heating produce cannabinoid-rich vapor without carcinogen smoke particles. However, it’s worth reminding yourself that anything that goes in the lung, vapor or smoke, might cause harm.  

Different Types of Vaping Pens and Devices 

Vapers often look like pens with an opening to inhale the vapor from THC oils or to use marijuana concentrates made from parts of the cannabis plant that contain superior levels of THC. Below are some of the most common types of vaping pens. 

Disposable vape pens: As the name says, these are pens that are thrown away after they’re spent. The pens are pre-filled with cannabis oil and the device is disposed of once the oil is depleted. 

Refillable pens: These pens come with rechargeable batteries and refillable cartridges where the user can refill with their favorite liquid. Some of the devices have options to regulate and adjust temperature and voltage. 

Dabs pens: These pens come with a coiled heating part that vaporizes cannabis oil concentrates such as budder, shatter or wax. 

Dry herb vape pens: Some vape pens can be used with dried plant material instead of cannabis oil or concentrate. The device heats the herb below the point of combustion and again a potent vapor is released. 

Why Vape Weed? 

Some users prefer to vape cannabis oils because they are much more convenient and affordable to use. Also, the dose is consistent and the smell is insignificant compared with pre-rolls and joints. 

Vaping is also said to be safer since heating the liquid does not surpass temperature above 400°F. In contrast, combusting flower nears 500°F, which releases hundreds of toxic particles. 

Vaping produces consistent effects. Whether the cannabinoid in the oil is THC or CBD, the result is consistent. 

Finally, oils can also be enhanced for a certain therapeutic need or other recreational preference by adding cannabinoids and terpenes with accuracy unimaginable with traditional delivery methods. 

Is Vaping Really Safer Than Smoking? 

E-vaping of cannabis has been touted as safer than smoking. Vape pens heat the cannabis, which is below the temperature used for combustion, and thus producing less toxins. For example, combusting cannabis flower releases carbon monoxide and over hundred of other toxic particles as the plant matter is burned. 

However, the absence of smoke particles in the vapor, which in the case of cannabis would be thicker fog of cannabinoids, terpenes, and similar compounds, doesn’t necessarily make vaping with oil or other cannabis concentrate a safer method of delivery. Anything that goes in the lung can cause damage to the breathing apparatus. 

The most serious scenario is if the vape product contains dangerous additives. Vitamin E acetate is one such additive. It’s a thickening agent for diluting oils and its presence in vape oils might cause serious lung infection. 

What Vapes to Avoid?

There was an uptick of lung diseases due to vaping until around 2019, when most of these cases were observed. The cases were connected with vaporization of illicit THC-rich oil, which essentially broke the presumption that lung safety is guaranteed with vaping. 

The problematic oils were found to contain Vitamin E acetate, and this thickening agent was quickly removed from products. But nobody can say what illegal manufacturers put in a product. Vitamin E acetate may still persist in some oils and vape pens circulating the black market. Which is why it’s important to use safe and tested products purchased from legal and trusted vendors. 

It’s pretty much as with any other cannabis product. It’s good to know what the product contains. A major risk from vaping oil is if it contains dangerous agents such as Vitamin E acetate. Those should be definitely avoided. 

The rest of the story is how much you use and whether you use too much of the product. Vapor from THC oil is pretty quick to settle in the brain and body, and it doesn’t take a lot to get solid high, given that it’s a high potency vape that you’re using. It’s always best to wait a little and see how the first few hits affect you before indulging with more. 

Also read on Soft Secrets:

What You Should Know About Vaping Cannabis

Does Hotboxing Really Make You More High?

Is Couch Lock Overrated?

Stephen Andrews