You can’t throw a digital rock today without it hitting a vaping study or two that claim that vaping is an epidemic. Words like “cancerogenic”, “lung failure”, and “formaldehyde” often feature prominently in the titles of those studies, despite the fact that the evidence for that scare-mongering is sorely lacking in the “results” sections of those same studies.
The latest thing that the opponents of vaping have latched onto is something called “secondhand vaping”. Basically, it’s this idea that the vapor (which is technically aerosol – particles of water or light solids suspended in the air) that vapers exhale can somehow be harmful, toxic, or unhealthy. It’s very similar to “secondhand smoke” except that we have overwhelming evidence that “secondhand smoke” is actually a real thing that has serious health consequences.
With “secondhand vaping” the evidence is spotty, at best.
However, this assertion that “secondhand vaping” could be a potentially life-threatening thing is not just disturbing for nicotine vapers. People who vape CBD extract are also becoming more concerned when reading about it.
Here at Velxtech, we tried to get to the bottom of it all and we asked ourselves the question – is there really such a thing as secondhand CBD vapor?
Here’s what we found out.
What Exactly is in Secondhand CBD-Infused Vapor?
Most studies that were done on this particular topic looked at regular vapes – the ones involving vape juices with added nicotine and flavorings. Although the process of vaping is similar for both vape juices and CBD extracts, the fact is that CBD vapers don’t use liquids that contain nicotine or flavorings.
What does this absence of nicotine and flavorings mean?
It means that CBD vapers don’t have to worry about two groups of potentially harmful chemicals when they vape. It also means that the aerosol that they exhale does not contain those chemicals, meaning that passersby are in that much less of a risk from “secondhand vaping”.
However, before we go into that, let’s take a look what regular aerosol from vape juice contains. The list is relatively short – the exhaled air from vaping usually contains:
- Propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin
- Nicotine particles
- Different flavoring particles (depending on the flavor used)
PG and VG make up a very high percentage of the total volume of exhaled vape breath (the only “secondhand vapor” that can exist since these devices don’t produce vapor when they are not inhaled on). What’s left is very little – a smattering of nicotine and flavoring particles that fall to the floor. In fact, a Portland State University study found that only 15 different chemical compounds are produced from vaping pure PG or VG. Fifteen! Cigarette smoke, on the other hand, produces more than 7,000 different chemical compounds in some cases, 60 of which are carcinogenic.
How Dangerous is Secondhand Vapor?
Looking at what secondhand vapor is, it’s easy to conclude that it does not represent a severe health hazard that some people are trying to make it out to be. Of course, in an ideal world, you wouldn’t want to inhale anything but clean air but we are all well past that point – the air that we do breathe in is, in some countries and geographical areas, already very polluted.
However, for some people vaping (and vaping on CBD) is a necessity, be that because they are trying to quit smoking, or they’re trying to treat health issues with cannabinoids. Let’s repeat that – it’s not a whim or something fashionable to do – it’s a life-saving necessity.
Studies were done that looked into how much different chemical residue is deposited in spaces where people vape frequently, such as vape shops or the homes of vapers. Again, these focused on nicotine vaping but they are still quite revealing. In one, hundreds of homes were subjected to indoor air quality testing – those homes that reported vaping did not have bad air quality – in fact, it was on par with the air in the homes that reported no smoking and no vaping.
Another study – this one a comprehensive review of all the studies done on secondhand vaping – yielded even better results. Igor Burstyn, from Drexel University, wrote in the conclusion of his paper “Peering Through the Mist” that spaces in which vaping is done on a regular basis (such as vape shops) do not show a decline in air quality. In fact, the air quality in them is up to workplace safety standards. He concludes: “nicotine from exhaled vapour can be deposited on surfaces, but at such low levels that there is no plausible mechanism by which such deposits could enter the body at doses that would cause physical harm.”
Notice again how all these studies focus on nicotine. If we were to look at cannabinoids found in CBD extracts, they would most likely behave the same – they would remain in the body when inhaled, and a very small percentage of the CBD would be exhaled. The main difference here is that CBD and other cannabinoids have not been shown to be harmful to human health so even if they were present in the exhaled vapor, they would not constitute any danger!
There’s one more interesting study concerning secondhand vaping that bears some examining. It’s about volatile organic compounds (VOCs). According to Wikipedia, “VOCs are organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at ordinary room temperature”. In a 2015 VOC study that was conducted by the Spanish Council of Scientific Research, researchers for looking for any sign of VOCs in secondhand vapor and they didn’t find anything. A prominent vape researcher, Dr. Farsalinos, underscored these findings by saying that there are more VOCs in expelled breath than there is in a vape aerosol!
Should You Worry About Secondhand Vaping if You’re Using CBD?
All in all, if you are vaping on quality CBD extract, people around you have nothing to worry about when it comes to secondhand vaping – there’s just very little in there, to begin with, and what is there dissipated very quickly.
Even when people are using nicotine and flavored vape juices, there seems to be very little to be concerned about. The UK Royal College of Physicians says: “nicotine from exhaled vapor can be deposited on surfaces, but at such low levels that there is no plausible mechanism by which such deposits could enter the body at doses that would cause physical harm.”
What we will say is that all vapers still need to be considerate, whatever they are vaping on. If people around you are bothered by your activity, abstain until you can get out of the room to vape. Also, if someone expresses discomfort in the presence of your vape, don’t dismiss it – PG-heavy liquids are known to cause lung irritation, especially when someone is sensitive. Respect that and do not vape in their presence – it’s the polite thing to do.
At Velxtech, we are committed to spreading the truth about the benefits of vaping on quality CBD. If you have any questions or would like to sample our state-of-the-art vape devices, contact our support team members. They’ll be happy to help you out!