Ever wonder how they make CBD vape juice? Well, this article will show you just that. In fact, we’re going to go over what CBD vape juice is made of and then go over a step-by-step guide on how to make your own DIY vape juice using CBD isolate.
Table of Contents
What is Vape Juice Made From?
You can make a regular vape juice (without nicotine) with just a few ingredients: a carrier such as vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, or MCT oil and flavorings.
In comparison, CBD vape juice contains much of these same ingredients with the addition of CBD (of course) and possibly terpenes. As you can see the list of ingredients for making a CBD vape juice is short. Let’s break down each ingredient so you can get a better understanding of what is actually in your vape juice.
Vegetable glycerin (carrier)
Vegetable glycerin (VG) is a sugar alcohol made from plant oils. It is made by heating up these plant oils under pressure, which separates the fatty acid components from the glycerol portion. The end product is a sweet, odorless, viscous liquid known as glycerin.
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Most vape juices today use vegetable glycerin as the main ingredient because it allows vaporizers to produce the thick smoke most people desire. It also has a hint of sweetness to it, although it is not enough to be a sweetener by itself.
Vegetable glycerin also has less of a throat hit, which may or may not appeal to some vape users. A “throat hit” is the harsh or scratchy feeling you get when inhaling smoke. Some people enjoy this feeling while vaping because gives them the sensation of smoking.
If a throat hit is not particularly important to you, then vegetable glycerin might be the way to go because it is highly hypoallergenic and therefore suits most vape users.
Propylene glycol (carrier)
Propylene glycol (PG) is similar to vegetable glycerin in that you can use it as a carrier for the vape juice. You will find that there are vape juices that contain exclusively vegetable glycerin, exclusively propylene glycol, or a mixture of both.
Propylene glycol is alcohol, just like glycerin. The main characteristics of propylene glycol are that it holds on to flavor much better and gives a better throat hit, but the vapors are thinner than those from VG. The result is a smaller or thinner vape cloud which tastes great. You can see that PG is much different than VG, which is why the two are sometimes mixed together to get the best of both worlds.
PG actually acts as a preservative, which helps to increase the life of the vape juice. However, some people find that they are allergic to propylene glycol, so that is something you should be cautious about when trying out PG products. Swollen gums, sore or dry throat, sinus problems, and rashes are signs of an allergic reaction to PG.
MCT Oil (carrier)
MCT oil is widely used as an alternative to PG & VG. The acronym MCT simply stands for medium-chain triglyceride. Triglyceride is a technical name for fats. These are fats that derive from foods such as coconut oil or palm kernel oil. The majority of vape juice manufacturers use MCT oil that comes from coconuts.
MCT oil is an extremely concentrated source of medium-chain triglycerides. This oil is produced through a man-made process called fractionation. The resulting MCT oil is odorless and flavorless which is why it makes a great carrier for vape juices.
These are natural aromas and flavors which manufacturers extract from various plants (including hemp). Scientists estimate that there are approximately 20,000 different terpenes existing with over 100 of them coming from hemp.
Terpenes are not only ideal for adding flavor to vape juice but they also possess beneficial properties. Terpenes are similar to cannabinoids, they can bind to receptors in the brain and body to stimulate effects. This essentially is the science of aromatherapy.
When you add terpenes to a CBD vape juice they help to supply the body with the “entourage effect.” This is when the CBD and terpenes work “synergistically” to achieve a combining effect greater than any single ingredient would provide.
Manufacturers use terpenes to add natural flavor back into the product. Additionally, manufacturers can also substitute terpenes as the carrier in the vape juice (instead of PG, VG, or MCT). Some of the most premium CBD vape juices are made up entirely of just CBD and terpenes (all natural).
One of the things that make vaping so enjoyable is the flavor. Whether it’s a sweet or minty flavor, people love things that taste good. There is said to be over 7,000 different vape flavors out there. Some of these are natural flavors and some are artificial.
The flavorings used in vape juice are non-oil based, food-grade flavorings. This means the FDA approved the flavor for consumption but that leaves a lack of efficient research towards inhalation purposes. These flavorings come from either a natural source (food or plant) or are artificially made by humans.
Regular oil or essential oils should never be a component of any of the ingredients in vape juice because it is not safe to inhale and can cause lipid pneumonia. Note that MCT oil is not a regular oil or essential oil so if you use it properly it is safe for vaping.
What is CBD Isolate?
CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD in it’s concentrated form. It is essentially a CBD extract from hemp plants with all the plant components, including oils, waxes, terpenes, chlorophyll, and other cannabinoids filtered out. What you are left with is a fine, white powder that contains 99+% pure CBD.
In order to isolate CBD, the extraction process from hemp must be followed by a thorough purification process. What this process does is it removes all the plant material from the extract and leaves you with pure CBD and only CBD.
Typically, full-spectrum CBD derived from hemp contains 0.03% THC, which itself is a negligible amount and does not make the CBD psychoactive by any means. However, CBD isolate contains absolutely no THC, making it the preferred option for those who want the effects of CBD without a trace of THC getting in their system. Simply put, vaping CBD will provide you with the benefits of hemp without getting you “high”.
Before diving into this topic, we need to establish the difference between CBD oil for ingestion and CBD vape liquid. Notice how we use the word “liquid” instead of “oil.” The CBD oil you take orally is not meant to be used for your vape and can be dangerous if done so. Here’s why.
CBD tinctures are products that are made for oral administration. CBD tincture and CBD oil are actually the same things, their titles are interchangeable. However, what sets CBD oil apart from CBD vape liquid are the ingredients that are used in its production. The ingredients in CBD oil make it unsuitable for vaporization and can lead to serious lung problems.
CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from hemp and then diluting it with a food-grade carrier oil such as coconut or hemp seed oil. This process is important because it makes it easy for the CBD to get absorbed by your body and it also improves its taste.
The problem with vaporizing CBD oil that is meant for ingestion is that if you vape and inhale oil it can actually deposit in your lungs. You can see how, over time, this can lead to serious respiratory problems like lipid pneumonia. No vape juice or vape liquid should contain oil in its list of ingredients for this reason.
Now, if you want to make a CBD vape juice, you can do that safely with a few key ingredients: CBD isolate, vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, and flavoring. By utilizing these ingredients and the highest quality of CBD isolate, you can make your own vape juice at home. Below you will find a step-by-step guide on how to use these ingredients to make your own vape juice.
- 500 mg CBD isolate (≥99% pure)
- 15 ml propylene glycol
- 12 ml vegetable glycerin
- 3ml flavoring of choice (vape juice flavoring or terpenes)
- Blunt tip syringe
- Double or triple-digit scale (reads 0.01/0.001)
- 30 or 60 ml empty vape juice container (preferable amber color to protect against damaging UV rays)
Step 1: Add propylene glycol to a clean, empty container.
Using your syringe, measure out and add 15 ml of propylene glycol into the empty vape juice container. In this guide we are preparing a 60/40 mix but, the amount of propylene glycol can depend on your personal preferences. For better flavor retention and throat hit, you can use a higher ratio of PG to VG, such as 70/30. For thicker smoke, you can flip the ratio and use more VG.
Step 2: Add CBD isolate to the beaker.
Use the scale to measure out 500 mg (0.5 grams) of CBD isolate. Carefully add the isolate powder to the container holding 15 ml PG. Put the cap on the glass container holding the PG and CBD isolate mixture.
Step 3: Mix propylene glycol and CBD isolate together.
Shake the container vigorously until the CBD isolate has fully dissolved into the PG. CBD isolate may take a minute of shaking or longer to fully dissolve in the PG. The mix should be a consistent liquid form with no crystal portions left.
Step 4: Add vegetable glycerin to the mixture.
Using your syringe, measure out and add 12 ml of vegetable glycerin into the mixture. This is an important component of vape juice that gives it the thick smoke. Be sure to mix it in well as some of it can stick to the sides of the container. Make sure you mix the components thoroughly until you unify the solution.
Step 5: Add flavorings of your choice.
The most important part of the vaping experience: the flavor. Pick out any flavor of your liking and carefully add 3ml it into the solution you have created. Allow some time for the flavor to mix in thoroughly with the rest of the solution.
Step 6: Fill your vape tank and store the remaining juice.
Once you finish with all the steps, the only thing left to do is transfer your newly made vape juice into your vape tank and store the rest. The best place to store it is either in the refrigerator or a cool, dark space, as this will extend the life of your CBD vape juice.
Storage is important for preserving the life of CBD vape juice. In fact, storage is very important for maximizing the “shelf life” of all CBD products. Always keep your vape juice in a tinted glass bottle and try to store it in a dark, dry, and cold place. Heat, light, air, and humidity can accelerate the expiration process, resulting in shorter shelf life.
Now that you know how to make your own CBD vape juice, you can enjoy it just the way you like. Be sure to always use the best ingredients because you don’t want to be inhaling something you should not. If you would rather intake your CBD by smoking some dank flower buds, try some of our top CBD flower. Other than that, grab your CBD vape juice, grab your vape pen, and start enjoying!
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