Why you should be vaping or dabbing winterised CBD extracts
With vaping or “dabbing” being of such great interest to so many across the world of legal cannabinoid supplementation, it’s important to note that most of the co2 hemp extracts available, have a far too low cannabinoid concentration to be suitable for this purpose.
During the process of super or subcritical co2 extraction, the hemp materials are subject to immense pressures and this forces a lot of naturally occurring polyunsaturated fatty acids into the resulting extract which, although are extremely nutritious for oral supplementation, shouldn’t be inhaled due to a risk of a condition called “Lipid Pneumonia”
What is lipid pneumonia?
Lipid pneumonia is the result of chronic (continuous over a period of time) inhalation of lipids (food oils, lipids and free fatty acids). The formation of pneumonia occurs once lipids reach the lung parenchyma (the portion of the lung involved in oxygen transfer) through inhalation. There it is either absorbed by the alveolar macrophages or remain free within the alveoli. Since the lungs cannot metabolize lipids they are absorbed into the alveoli leading to inflammation and damage and in severe cases formation of giant cells of fibrosis around the large oil masses. More specifically, it has been found that free fatty acids are responsible for causing the damage, destroying lung tissue, leading to lipid pneumonia. These can be introduced directly in the composition of the oil inhaled or through the hydrolysis of mono-, di-, and tri-glycerides by lung lipases.
How do free fatty acids and lipid pneumonia relate to co2 extracted CBD oils ?
Fatty acid rich oils should NEVER be inhaled as inhalation of oil can cause lipid pneumonia. Particles of oil easily reach the lower part of the lungs through vaping where they cause the most damage. More specifically, it is the free fatty acid components (including omega 3s and 6s) of an oil which are responsible for the damage leading to the illness. While essential fatty acids (omega 3s and 6s) are extremely healthy to ingest as a supplement, they should never be inhaled.
The co2 extracted CBD hemp products, used by nearly every company, are around 20-40% CBD on average. The rest of the extracts composition can consist of up to 60-80% fatty acids. Which have been picked up during the high pressures of co2 extraction. The fatty acids most prevalent in the hemp/cannabis plant are linoleic acid followed by oleic acid with a significant amount of stearic acid. These are the three fatty acids found to be directly linked to the causation of lipid pneumonia. While linoleic acid (essential fatty acids omega 3s and 6s) are super healthy to ingest they should never be inhaled. Lungs lack the enzymes to metabolize and cope with fatty acids so they end up remaining in the lungs causing damage. So if you are currently dabbing an extract under 70% purity(most are around 20-30% cbd) I would rethink doing so. Likewise If there are globs of what look like oil separating out in your e-liquid, then the CBD extracts used are rich in fatty acids and should be avoided. By the same reason that oil and water does not mix, hemp oil and vegetable glycerin/propylene glycol do not mix. Due to the immense difficulty of mixing hemp oils and vegetable glycerine(the e-liquid carrier) some manufacturers have used coconut oil to dilute there cbd hemp oil. These products should be avoided at all costs.
But i love to vape/dab what kind of extracts should I be looking out for?
If inhalation of legal cannabinoids is your favorite way to supplement your diet, you want to be looking out for either the molecularly distilled/isolated CBD crystalline which varies between 90%-99%+ CBD in concentration, or a winterised CBD extract.
What’s a “Winterised CBD extract”?
The winterisation of a co2 hemp extract is a unique process, utilising expensive lab equipment and freezing cold temperatures(where the term winterisation comes from) to totally remove the fatty acids picked up during co2 extraction, leaving behind a beautiful, golden, full spectrum extract, fit for use as an e-liquid additive, or dabbed alone in any vape pen capable of vaporising concentrates.