The Product Rundown: General Thoughts
We were really excited about this product when we received it, we really were. There’s a lot to love about it: it’s unflavored and comes in a bulk bottle rather than a prefilled cartridge, allowing you to add it to a traditional e-liquid, other CBD vape product, or the oil-based concentrate of your choice. We love the flexibility that this product could provide consumers in how they take their CBD, as well as its sustainability compared to single-use prefilled cartridges.
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 small but significant detail: PG.
Why We Don’t Recommend This Product
Despite everything we like about the product, we can’t wholeheartedly recommend any vape product containing PG. 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 led many manufacturers (and consumers) to assume that it must also be safe for vaping.
Emerging research, however, suggests that may not be the case. Unlike oral ingestion or topical application, vaping involves exposing PG to high temperatures, causing it to break down into noxious compounds like arsenic and formaldehyde. These compounds 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 transformation occurs, but we do know conclusively 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 heavy, dense clouds of vapor, increases your risk of exposure to carcinogens, thereby raising your cancer risk.
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, including this one. We tested it at the lowest temperature possible on our vaporizer to mitigate 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 that we support. Their commitment to sustainable cultivation, pure products, and reliable potency are outstanding, as is their decision to serve 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 (shown in image below) — 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 the idea of this product and we might feel differently if PG were not included, but as it stands we can’t recommend any vape product that includes PG because of the risk of exposure to carcinogens during normal use.
Alternatives: What We’d Use Instead
If you’re in search of pre-filled CBD vape cartridges or vape pens that are free of PG and other potentially problematic additives, we recommend the ranges offered by CBDistillery and Ambary Gardens. CBDistillery offers more variety of the two in terms of flavors, 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 (shown in image below). The product, which comes in a crystalline powder form, can be dabbed (which can be accomplished through a traditional rig or with a specialty vape pen) or mixed with your own carrier oil like MCT or hemp seed oil to make a custom vape oil or tincture without the risk of THC contamination.
Alternatives: What We Like From Hemp Bombs
There are lots of other products from Hemp Bombs that are worth your while. While we can’t recommend a fast-acting systemic product from Hemp Bombs, there are a number of oral CBD products worth trying. We particularly like their CBD gummies (shown in image below) and their tinctures, both available in varying dosage strengths and different flavors.
If you need 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 pure, organic CBD, providing intense, lasting relief from severe symptoms. Their Relaxation Syrup contains 25 mg CBD per dose (and is available at higher doses), creating a more cost-effective option for consumers who frequently need high doses of CBD for effective symptom management.
There is a lot that we like about this product and, were the PG removed, we would likely feel differently about recommending it. Our hope is that, in time, more companies will start to see the value in creating safer products and leave PG out of their vape oils. Vaping is a relatively new phenomenon with relatively little research on its long-term effects, and we feel a responsibility to consider preliminary research when weighing the safety of ingredients.