The Product Rundown: General Thoughts
The flavors of these oils were really enjoyable: Hustle tastes like the butteriest shortbread cookie you’ve ever had, topped with fresh raspberry jam. Driven tastes and smells like sticking your face in a jar of blue raspberry sour gummies and paired really well with other fruity flavors, lending a sour candy kick to some of our favorite vape oils. Savage did a wonderful job creating the flavors in their vapor line.
We also like the company’s choice to package the vape oils in child-resistant packaging -- after all, CBD is medicine, and we feel it should be packaged accordingly. The dosage strength (500 mg of CBD isolate per ounce) is great for therapeutic use -- and it’s variable if you need a higher or lower dose.
There’s plenty of positive aspects to the Savage line of CBD vape oils, but there’s one glaring issue on the ingredients list that we just can’t get past: PG.
There are a lot of reasons we don’t support PG in vaping, and we ultimately can’t support a product that includes it, no matter how we feel about it otherwise.
Why We Don’t Recommend This Product
Despite all the positive points of the Savage vape oil line, we can’t wholeheartedly recommend any vape product containing PG, no matter how delicious or effective 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 led 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 subjecting PG to high temperatures, which causes the molecules to break down into toxic compounds like arsenic and formaldehyde, which are poisonous 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 (as there’s some disagreement among the scientific community about the relative dangers of low- versus high-temp vaping), 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 Savage’s vape products.
We tested these oils at the lowest temperature possible on our (already very low-temp) vaporizer to lower our risk as much as possible, but we just don’t feel good about reaching for it regularly, and we can’t recommend them to our readers.
Secondly, the labeling of Savage CBD’s products is inconsistent, vague, and often illegible, and the vapor products are no exception. None of the vapor products we received from Savage CBD were labeled for vaporizer use, which is concerning to say the least. The seals indicating the product’s THC-free and independently tested status, while marginally more readable than the ones on the tincture bottle we tried, were still difficult to decipher (even for our testers who don’t use corrective lenses like glasses or contacts).
Is the Issue With the Brand As a Whole, Or Just This Product?
The use of PG is an issue with all of Savage CBD’s vapor products, and the labeling is a problem with most everything from their line as well. Ultimately, while we had good results with their full-spectrum tincture, we didn’t really have good luck with the rest of the products from the brand. Savage isn’t the worst brand out there (they do take steps to ensure the quality of the CBD in their products), but they aren’t one that we can fully support, either.
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 Joy Organics. 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 or CBDistillery. The isolate, which comes in a crystalline powder form, can be dabbed (which can be accomplished through a traditional rig 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.
You could also choose to smoke or vape a bowl of organic hemp flower from Canna Comforts. Each strain of high-CBD flower looks, smells, tastes, and smokes just like the top-shelf cannabis strains that inspired it. Canna Comforts’ non-GMO hemp flower is sustainably grown under organic conditions and is batch-tested for quality, purity, and potency.
Alternatives: What We Like From Savage CBD
Unfortunately, we didn’t have the most positive experience with the products we tried from Savage CBD. While we like some aspects of the brand (their independent testing and sourcing of organic hemp for their CBD extracts), we can’t get behind vapor products that aren’t formulated with customer safety and health in mind.
The inclusion of PG in vapor products, combined with the unclear (and sometimes unreadable) labeling and mixed results with products themselves lead us to suggest, ultimately, that you spend your money elsewhere. While their CBD tincture is effective and affordable, there are other alternatives available from brands that are more consistent.
There are a lot of wonderful aspects to this product and, if the PG were eliminated, we might feel differently about recommending 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.