Today we are going to be tackling the topic of vaping CBD and its causal-relationship to Popcorn Lung, a nickname given to the condition medically labeled bronchiolitis obliterans and/or constrictive bronchiolitis. This disease occurs when there is damage to the smallest airways in your lungs (called the bronchioles), creating inflammation and obstruction of the pathways which lead to symptoms including dry cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, difficulty breathing deeply, and feeling tired or unexplained exhaustion.
Seeing as how we generally need our lungs functioning properly and efficiently in order to enjoy a healthy and active life, avoiding this at all costs would be the obvious way to go. But even though CBD has a plethora of benefits associated with its use, are we in danger of developing a debilitating disease at the cost of improving other ailments? Let’s take a look at the facts below.
The Origins of Popcorn Lung
Popcorn Lung was first discovered in Jasper, Missouri when workers in a popcorn factory started suffering from cough and shortness of breath, symptoms similar to those afflicted with another lung condition called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Through 1992-2000, eight cases of bronchiolitis obliterans among the employees were identified and recorded.
In 2000, the Missouri Department of Health called in the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to look over the factory and recommend added safety measures. After the NIOSH ran medical the patient’s medical history and surveyed the factory, they recommended respiratory protection for all workers in microwave popcorn production due to the constant exposure to the chemicals used as flavoring additives in it. Since then, bronchiolitis obliterans has been referred to in popular media as “popcorn lung” or “popcorn workers lung”.
What Causes Popcorn Lung?
Chemical damage to the lung tissue can bring about the onset of popcorn lung, especially if you are breathing in harmful chemicals, particles, or toxins on a continual basis. The chemical that caused the issues in the Missouri popcorn factory was called diacetyl, and many other industrial inhalants have been shown to cause various types of lung conditions after prolonged exposure, including:
- Metal oxide fumes (a byproduct of welding)
- Industrial cleaning chemical fumes, such as ammonia or chlorine
- Nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
- Industrial air pollutants
Now with the background information out of the way, let’s get into the real question of this article.
Can Vaping CBD Lead to Popcorn Lung?
This question comes as a byproduct of a 2014 study concluding that several e-liquids having been found to contain diacetyl, one of the chemical compounds associated with increased risk of developing popcorn lung, along with other toxic chemicals acetoin and acetyl propinoyl (AP), or 2,3 pentanedione, as an additive to the “e-juice” that is vaporized by e-cigarettes-most commonly in the strongly-flavored varieties.
Thankfully anyone vaping CBD can rest easier as typical cartridges don’t contain the most harmful compounds like diacetyl and AP. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be aware of what is in the ingredients though. Here are some points you should keep in mind in order to be as safe as possible.
- Make sure there is no diacetyl in the product. Seems like a no-brainer after reading the article up until this point, but do your best to make sure that there is no diacetyl in the products you buy. Vape manufactures are very aware of this now though, so this is usually not an issue as they are using safer compounds such as terpenes in order to flavor their oils and juices.
- Look for Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCT) as a base for the oil. There are many chemicals that can be used to carry CBD as an oil compound ready to be vaporized, such as polyethylene glycol (active ingredient in anti-freeze), propylene glycol (used in nicotine e-juices), and vegetable glycerine (again used in nicotine e-juices). The best carrier by far seems to be MCT oil, which is usually made from coconut oil or palm kernel oil. Check to see if MCT is used as a carrier in your next CBD oil cartridge.
- Use a vaping temperature under 200°C. Vaping at above 200°C produces a very burnt, bitter taste along with altering the composition of certain chemicals, such as polyethylene glycol degrading into formaldehyde and acetaldehyde at 230°C. Thankfully manufacturers now set their vape temperature around 180°, which is high enough to vape your CBD but low enough so that you don’t burn the oil and irritate your throat. There are now variable voltage vaporizers that allow you to change the temperature on your own so you can dial it down or up as you see fit.
Vaping is still an emerging market, and with any emerging market certain aspects of it can be unregulated and certain ingredients can go from being okay for use one day to being banned the next. As a consumer you should weigh the pro’s and cons to anything you buy and the choices you make. The good news is the with CBD the proven benefits far outweigh any potential risks the media or other industry competitors may latch on to. For extra peace of mind, we here at CBD Vape Genius provide information from the manufacturer along with tested lab results of the product, giving you the option to check what is in the oil before committing to it.