While the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been struggling to research and regulate both CBD and vaping separately, the agency has allowed manufacturers to flood the market with both types of products. In the FDA’s eyes, none of these products are legal, as they have not been evaluated or regulated for their safety. And where these two categories overlap in CBD vapes is a grey area that’s ripe for exploitation at the risk of consumers’ health. According to analysts at Cowen and Company, that grey area was worth an estimated $40 million in sales in 2018.
“There’s no regulations.”
Some of those companies are those that come from the cannabis industry, and therefore have years of experience with extraction and testing.
You might be safer with weed
“They think, ‘Oh, it’s an oil. I can mix it with another oil and that will thin it and it will make it easier to flow into our vape pen,’ and it’s not harmful because we’re already smoking oil. Well, no. Cannabis extract is not an oil,” says Stem.
The medical effects of CBD aside, “in many cases, the industry is taking consumers for a ride”, says Mike Power in The Guardian. He cites lab tests commissioned by the think tank Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) which analysed high-street offerings and found that more than half of the most popular CBD oils sold do not contain the level of CBD promised on the label.
Cannabis plants are made up of more than 100 different cannabinoids, chemical compounds that act on cannabinoid receptors in cells that alter neurotransmitter release in the human brain. These have different impacts on the body and are concentrated to different extents in certain parts of the plant, the BBC reports.
CBD can now be found in a range of products in high street stores, from vape liquid to “sweets, creams and even sexual lubricants”, says ITV News.
What is CBD oil?
Yet market research by the CMC estimates that the CBD market in the UK could be worth almost £1bn a year by 2025, “equivalent in size to the current entire UK herbal supplement market”, writes Power.
CBD is available in a range of products sold on the high street and online, including creams, oils, tinctures and edible treats such as gummy sweets. There are even CBD-infused pillowcases and yoga classes offering CBD-assisted guided meditation.
Cannabidiol has entered the mainstream, but effects are unclear
According to the British Medical Journal (BMJ), high street products contain roughly 25mg CBD, compared to the 150-1,500mg/day that users are given in clinical trials, says ITV.
CBD oil can be used in various forms