The Product Rundown: General Thoughts
We wanted to like this product, we really did. The blueberry flavor is delightful and made us want to try some of their other offerings (they have many flavors available), and the slim 510 cartridge attaches to a variety of different vape batteries. The pre-filled cartridges are affordable and available in varying dosage strengths, potentially accommodating a variety of needs and budgets.
The CBD itself is of good quality: like all Hemp Bombs products, the starting hemp material is organically grown, non-GMO, and sustainably cultivated. It is then batch tested for purity and potency before being extracted using an environmentally friendly supercritical CO2 extraction method. Since all of Hemp Bombs’ products are made using CBD isolate rather than full-spectrum extracts, they are certified free of THC. There really is a lot to like about this product, except for one crucial detail: PG.
Why We Don’t Recommend This Product
Despite all the product’s good points, we can’t wholeheartedly recommend any vape product containing PG, no matter how tasty or potent it may be. PG, also known as propylene glycol, is a common ingredient used mainly in food and cosmetics. It’s generally considered safe for these purposes, which has to lead many people to assume that it must also be safe for vaping.
Emerging research, however, suggests otherwise. Unlike oral ingestion or topical application, vaping involves exposing PG to high temperatures, which causes it to break down into toxic compounds like arsenic and formaldehyde, which are toxic to humans in large quantities in addition to being known carcinogens.
More research is needed to know the exact temperature threshold at which this occurs, but we do know that long-term exposure to carcinogens raises your risk for cancer and other diseases. We also know that vaping PG, particularly at the high temperatures used in many popular models that produce thick, dense clouds of vapor, increases your risk of exposure to carcinogens and long-term use may elevate your risk of cancer.
While it’s true that we don’t have the same volume of data on PG in vape products that we do for, say, cigarette smoking, we believe that the existing information on PG is sufficiently compelling. Therefore, we can’t in good conscience recommend any vape product that includes PG in its ingredients, and unfortunately, that rules out all of Hemp Bombs’ vape products. We tested it at the lowest temperature possible on our vaporizer to lower our risk as much as possible, but we do not feel good about reaching for it regularly.
Is the Issue With the Brand As a Whole, Or Just This Product?
There is so much about Hemp Bombs as a company that we support. Their commitment to sustainable cultivation, pure products, and reliable potency are outstanding, as is their commitment to serving consumers in need of a completely THC-free CBD option. We really like most of their consumable products—their tinctures work well, as do their gummies and their Max Chill CBD Shot—as well as their pet oils and topical products.
The issue is this with this particular product, and specifically with Hemp Bombs’ choice to include PG in their vape products. We love just about everything else about the product, but we can’t recommend any vape product that includes PG because of the risk of exposure to carcinogens during use.
Alternatives: What We’d Use Instead
If you’re in search of pre-filled CBD vape cartridges or vape pens that don’t contain PG, we recommend the ranges offered by CBDistillery and Ambary Gardens. CBDistillery offers more variety of the two in terms of flavor, but both companies’ vape lines are completely free of VG and PG, making the products safer for vaping at even high temperatures.
If you are in need of a THC-free product, we recommend the 99.9% pure CBD isolate from Ambary Gardens. The product, which comes in a crystalline powder form, can be dabbed (which can be accomplished through a traditional setup or with a specially-designed vape pen) or mixed with your own carrier oil like MCT or hemp seed oil to make a custom vape oil or tincture.
Alternatives: What We Like From Hemp Bombs
There are plenty of other products from Hemp Bombs that are worth your money. While we can’t recommend a fast-acting systemic product from Hemp Bombs, there are a number of oral systemic products worth trying. We particularly like their CBD gummies and their tinctures, both available in varying dosage strengths.
If you are in need of a higher dose of CBD for intensive symptom relief, we recommend the Max Chill CBD Shot from Hemp Bombs. The 2 oz bottle contains 75 mg of CBD, providing intense, long-lasting relief from severe symptoms. Their Relaxation Syrup contains 25 mg CBD per dose (and is available in higher doses), providing a more cost-effective option for consumers who frequently need high doses of CBD for symptom management.
There are a lot of wonderful aspects to this product and, if the PG were eliminated, we would love to recommend it. Our hope is that, with time and consumer feedback, more CBD companies will reject PG in their vape products in favor of safer ingredients. Vaping is a relatively new phenomenon in terms of the available science, and we feel a responsibility to consider the safety of the ingredients of all products we review, not just their positive aspects.
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