For thousands of years, human beings have enjoyed the beneficial effects of CBD and other cannabinoids by either smoking the raw plant matter or eating edibles of cannabis and hemp. However, due to the snowball of marijuana legalization occurring throughout the United States, there is a variety of new and innovative ways for you to enjoy your favorite marijuana and hemp-based compounds. Among these new forms of products are vaporizers and the oils that are used with them.

Have you tried vaping yet? If so, you might have noticed that some of the vape oils are labeled with different MCT concentrations or varying PG/VG ratios. But, what do those terms mean exactly? Let’s take a more in-depth look at what MCT, VG and PG really are.

How is Vaping Different from Smoking?

We should first start with why people vape in the first place. At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be a huge difference between smoking and vaping because both utilize the lungs as the pathway of ingestion. However, that is where the similarities of these processes end.

The act of smoking involves lighting a substance on fire and inhaling the smoke that is produced. People have smoked all sorts of products throughout history because this method is an extremely effective way of activating certain particles found in the smoked material (such as nicotine from tobacco or THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids from cannabis).

While smoking is an effective method of ingestion, it does come with a few drawbacks. The primary issue is the fact that ALL of the compounds in the burnt matter are inhaled. This means that you breathe in many unhealthy and potentially harmful elements along with the ones that you want.

Vaping DOES allow you to inhale the specific compounds you want. This process isolates certain byproducts from the undesirable ones by raising the temperature of the raw material (without the use of fire) to the desired compounds’ vaporization points. This causes these chosen particles to transform from a solid-state to vapor for easy inhalation.

How Do People Vape CBD?

Woman inhaling from an electronic cigarette

CBD supplements that are legally allowed in all 50 US states are derived from hemp. However, it is not a menial task to obtain raw hemp plant matter to vaporize.

Black Bear Hemp and other manufacturers of CBD products provide an effective solution by extracting the compounds from hemp that we all desire and then dissolve them into a solution that can be easily vaporized for our consumption. This is where PG, VG, and MCT come into the equation; they are the dissolving agents that allow for CBD extracts to become thin enough to vaporize in our pens and mods.

What Does PG Mean?

PG is an abbreviation for propylene glycol. Propylene glycol is probably the most popular dissolving agent used in all types of vaporizable e-liquids. It is used so much primarily because it is one of the thinnest solvents on the market.

The thinness of these type of products is important because this property directly contributes to how well a vape oil will work in a pre-filled cartridge or a refillable atomizer. In essence, the thinner the e-liquid solution is, the easier it will turn into vapor and the less “gunk” it will leave behind in the vaporizer as it is heated up. On top of these favorable qualities, PG also has absolutely no taste, causing it to preserve the flavors of the original extract extremely well.

Propylene glycol does have a few drawbacks. PG can cause extreme dryness of the mouth because it has a tendency to absorb moisture quickly. This solvent can be much more harmful to the body than that! When propylene glycol is overly heated during the vaporization process it can produce known cancerous byproducts such as formaldehyde and carbonyl compounds!

Since many vape users don’t know the ideal temperature range for their e-liquids combined with the fact that most vaporizer and cartridge batteries are not made perfectly, these carcinogenic substances are almost impossible to avoid inhaling over the long term. This why you need to take extreme care when choosing the right vape juice for you!

What Does VG Mean?

VG is a shortened name for vegetable glycerin. Vegetable glycerin has grown in popularity as a dissolving catalyst because it is less allergenic than PG. While propylene glycol isn’t known for causing a tremendous amount of allergies, those who have had issues with it have far fewer episodes with VG.

Vegetable glycerin is sweet in taste and can add some additional flavor to a CBD extract that needs some added kick. VG-based e-juices are also widely reported to deliver a much smoother, less harsh hit than their propylene glycol cousins. Users also claim that the pulls of vapor that they receive from VG e-liquids are much more thick and voluminous as well.

It should be noted that CBD oil manufacturers often mix VG and PG together in order to utilize the strengths of both dissolving agents. E-liquids that have both will be labeled with a PG/VG ratio.

Just like propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin can produce cancer-causing carbonyl compounds and formaldehyde when heated up improperly. On top of this, VG is quite a bit thicker than PG. That means that it takes a higher temperature in order to vape it properly. This increased heat just adds to the possibility of e-liquids containing VG-releasing carcinogenic byproducts while being used.

vegetable glycerin

What Does MCT Mean?

MCT is an abbreviation for medium chain triglycerides. It is found in abundance in palm kernels and coconuts (most CBD manufacturers use the latter). It is also flavorless, making it ideal for mixing with concentrates.

Vaporizable oils made from this type of dissolving agent are considered to be much safer to the body than those made with VG or PG. This is because MCT differs from the other two CBD solvents by being a highly refined food-grade oil. When this type of oil is heated, it DOES NOT create any cancer-causing byproducts.

However, this is not to say there aren’t some potential health dangers that you should be mindful about when vaping medium chain triglyceride-based e-juices. While it isn’t carcinogenic, some people can develop a condition known as lipid pneumonia if they are vaping MCT oil too much. This ailment occurs when the oil builds up in the lungs and prevents the optimal exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide when breathing.

Luckily, this type of pneumonia is treatable and usually temporary. That is not always the case with the potential cancers VG and PG can cause when overheated.

At this point, you should be feeling perfectly capable to properly inform the next person who asks you “Can you vape MCT oil?” about its properties. But, are you feeling a growing temptation to pick up some MCT vape oil for yourself? Then, you should definitely visit!

All of BBH vape oils are made with medium chain triglycerides, so you won’t have to worry about inhaling carcinogens when using our products! At Black Bear Hemp, our primary mission is to make it as easy as possible for everyone across the country to get premium quality CBD supplements. And we will ship them right to your front door! Make an order with us today, to enjoy the best CBD products on the market!