What Oils Can and Can’t Be Used in Vape Pens


Vaping is now a mature industry, having weathered a decade of regulations, pressure from big tobacco, and huge growth spurts. While city and state governments worked diligently to ban vaping nearly everywhere smoking is, vaping pioneers were busy marketing home-brewed e-liquids and imported e-cigarettes.

It’s too late to jump on the vaping bandwagon and make money now, but you can certainly make your own vaping oils. Check out some suggestions of liquids to try and not try.

Versability Brian Penny eCigarette eCig Vaping Vape pen

Vegetable Glycerin

Used in most nicotine retail eliquids, vegetable glycerin provides a subtle, yet thick “smoke” vapor. Used commercially in pharmaceuticals, foods, and more, vegetable glycerin is as harmless as water, which is to say you’re not invincible if you push your boundaries. You can vape vegetable glycerin, and polypropylene glycol is added to give flavorings something to bond to.

Vegetable Oils

Vegetable glycerin is commonly derived from vegetable oil. You know how in Fight Club, they make soap from human fat and lye? Replace the human fat with vegetable fat, and that’s how vegetable glycerin is made. If animal fat is used, it’s just called glycerin (or glycerol). Vegetable oil is essentially glycerin + salt. When the alkaline (typically lye) is added to the solution, it separates the salts from the fats. The salts become soap, and the fats become glycerin.

You can vape vegetable oil, but it’s not as pure as vegetable glycerin. You also risk lipid pneumonia because of the lipids present in vegetable oils. Keep in mind, canola oil, soybean oil, and any cooking oil is a vegetable oil, with the exception of lard animal fats. So while these oils will work in a vape pen, it’s not recommended to do so.

Here’s a video showing how to turn vegetable oil into glycerin (just like in Fight Club, but with vegetable oil).

Coconut Oil

Popping up all over the Northwest recreational and medical cannabis dispensaries are new organic ejuices made from coconut oil instead of vegetable glycerin. Some sites (and conventional wisdom) will tell you impurities in the oil will clog your vaporizer, but there’s no more risk with coconut oil than any other vegetable oil. You can make vegetable glycerin from coconut oil, and that’s what you should be vaping. Coconut oil is an essential oil, which will be discussed further below.

Alcohol

Glycerin is technically an alcohol, but that’s not what you’re actually thinking of when asking this question. You’re talking about liquor basically. Although alcohol can be vaped, it’s not a good idea to do it through an ecig, which will heat the alcohol to combustible temperatures. Vaporizing alcohol is done with pressure, and the facts of vaping has more information on how to accomplish this.

Corn Syrup

Corn syrup is sometimes added to ejuice (as can honey, agave, and other viscous sweeteners), but it’s not a great idea. Though similar to vegetable glycerin in many ways, corn syrup’s sugar content is as prone to ignite while vaping as alcohol. It is not recommended to vape corn syrup. You’ll find this combustion happens if you try to vape tinctures as well, since they typically have other additives that aren’t vapable.

Tinctures

Tinctures are just CBD or THC dissolved in alcohol, so they should be vapable right? Wrong – they also include flavorings, oils, sugars, etc. They will likely catch on fire if you try vaping them, turning your vape pen into a mini flame thrower directly into the back of your throat.

Brian Penny Versability Dab Pen Ecig Cannabis
An ecig with a glass dome dab attachment…

Pure Concentrates

Most of the Pacific Northwest has already brought in experts and scientists from the oil industry to work on the viscosity of cannabis concentrates. Using the right methodology, the concentrates can be made viscous enough to vape in any standard vape pen without diluting in any glycerin or oil. This is ideal.

You can also use essentially a crack pipe to vape pure cannabis concentrates in any form, regardless of viscosity.

Evoxe Vape Pen

Essential Oils

Extractors are now running their machines to extract all essential Ayurvedic oils, such as lavender, peppermint, and more in order to infuse them with cannabis for vaping. This industry is booming and will soon be prolific across the United States as a replacement to flavored vegetable glycerins. Like vegetable oil, these could give you lipid pneumonia. On top of that, many essential oils aren’t safe to inhale. Just because a plant is edible doesn’t mean a super-concentrated version of it is safe to inhale. Be very wary of these products.

Many ejuice companies utilize essential oils for natural flavorings. Keep in mind, most natural flavors are plant extracts (and the nicotine used on ecigarettes is an essential oil from the tobacco plant, just like cannabis concentrates are a form of essential oils). Artificial flavorings are typically derived from insects. Whether any of these are actually safe to inhale is something the FDA is currently looking to find out. Food-grade doesn’t equate to inhalable.

Learn more about vaping essential oils in Ayurvedic Vaping

Brian Penny Bathroom SelfieBrian Penny is a former business analyst and operations manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. He’s appeared in Huffington Post, BBC, podcasts, AM/FM radio, Fast Company, Cannabis Now, Hardcore Droid, and Lifehack.

Versability

Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer.

64 thoughts on “What Oils Can and Can’t Be Used in Vape Pens

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  • November 4 at 3:10 am
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    Can you vape cold pressed hemp seed oil

    Reply
  • October 13 at 3:53 am
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    <– Stranger 70 degrees my friend.

    Reply
  • June 5 at 1:20 pm
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    Looking for a hookup on mmj, xanax, k… u name it. Hit us up at 4- zero- 7 nine zero 6 eight 6 nine 2.
    We do discreet deliveries and shipping.

    Reply
  • June 3 at 5:34 am
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    Hi brothers ana sister in vape land. Im vaping rso oil yhats been super purged by the sun. Blended with coconut and essential oils, like valarium , mango or cocoa. Its vary nice and I only need 1 or two puffs to get the required effect. With a top up as dosage required. This kills all the pain I experience from my Crohnes disease. Is it safe to vape my rso combined with caocnut oil ?
    Thanks
    Shane Mark
    mmj.nz
    New Zealand

    Reply
  • June 1 at 12:12 am
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    I bought a 30ml bottle of indicia mixed with olive oil. Is there a way to dilute the olive oil and retain the indicia and mix it with another oil for my vape pen?

    Reply
  • April 26 at 3:00 am
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    I jus ordered a 30/day supply of CBD oil to try. Can I put the liquid In my vape pen? Straight or what do I need to do. Just a straight vape pen.

    Reply
    • April 29 at 4:51 pm
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      You can vape pure CBD oil or pure THC oil, so long as it’s viscous enough (meaning liquified enough to be absorbed into the wick).

      Reply
    • April 20 at 1:25 am
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      Thanks for the pornhub link – water does evaporate…it’s not a good idea to inhale though. Water has a higher evaporation point than VG and PG, so you’ll have to crank up the heat. Also the flavors and nicotine won’t bond because there’s no fat cells to bond to. So you’ll basically be just inhaling water vapor with no flavor nor drugs. You’re better off with a humidifier for that.

      Reply
  • March 9 at 5:41 am
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    What are the chances that I would get lipid pneumonia if I were to use olive oil maybe 2 -3 times?

    Reply
    • March 9 at 5:45 am
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      Acute exogenous lipoid pneumonia is uncommon and typically is caused by an episode of aspiration of a large quantity of a petroleum-based product [3, 4] (Fig. 1). Although acute pneumonitis after aspiration of petroleum-based products typically occurs in children due to accidental poisoning, acute exogenous lipoid pneumonia also occurs in performers (fire-eaters) who use liquid hydrocarbons for flame blowing.

      Chronic exogenous lipoid pneumonia usually results from repeated episodes of aspiration or inhalation of animal fat or mineral or vegetable oils over an extended period. Although chronic exogenous lipoid pneumonia typically occurs in older patients, it also has been reported in children, especially those with a predisposition to aspiration, including mental retardation and cleft palate, as well as in infants when mineral oil is used as a lubricant to facilitate feeding [1]. Chronic exogenous lipoid pneumonia also can occur in patients without a predisposing anatomic or functional abnormality in swallowing. The aspiration of fats or oils has been reported in patients with a history of chronic use of mineral oil or petroleum-based lubricants and decongestants such as Vaseline (Unilever), Vicks VapoRub, and lip gloss

      Read More: http://www.ajronline.org/doi/full/10.2214/AJR.09.3040

      Reply
  • February 6 at 5:16 pm
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    Is there anything i could use instead of PG to disolve the CBD cristal before mixing it with my VG ? alcohol, demineralised water, distilled water, vodka …

    Reply
    • February 6 at 5:28 pm
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      food-grade PG is best as it’s necessary to keep the CBD and VG from separating. You’re not using it as a solvent – it’s a bonding agent.

      Reply
    • February 12 at 2:33 am
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      You may want to learn the basics of cannabis chemistry and solubilities. Cbd is not soluble in water, and poorly soluble in alcohol. Use the pg as suggested.

      Reply
  • January 20 at 3:39 am
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    I attempted to make Thc oil from avocado oil, now I’m reading that olive oil is best. What’s the best way to make Thc oil at home? And how can I use the oil I make?

    Reply
    • January 20 at 2:55 pm
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      Best way to make THC oil at home is with vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol

      Reply
  • January 17 at 8:41 pm
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    I’ve found several articles now warning about vaping Coconut Oil as it can lead to Lipoid Pneumonia. Care to comment on that? I’m currently vaping a CBD-only product that is basically CBD/Hemp Oil and Fractionated Coconut Oil. Should I be concerned?

    Reply
    • May 11 at 8:38 pm
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      I don’t understand how coconut oil can cause Pnemonia. It is antibacterial, anti viral, and anti fungal. Its the luric acid. Unless you get the liquid form of coconut oil in which the lauric acids are removed.

      Reply
  • December 14 at 4:49 pm
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    stop vaping any OILS. unless you want pneumonia. Coconut Glycerin is ok.. it’s just VG made from coconut. But coconut oil itself does not belong in your lungs. Think about it.

    Reply
    • December 14 at 4:52 pm
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      You’re going to want to tell everyone in the Pacific Northwest that – they’re still vaping essential oils instead of glycerin (alcohols).

      Reply
  • November 26 at 10:02 pm
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    I am using a mix of olive oil to bring the thc level down in cbd the mix winds up to thin what can I add to thicken it for the vape cart to not leak

    Reply
  • November 26 at 7:15 pm
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    Will coconut oil turn back into a solid at room temp

    Reply
    • December 13 at 2:10 pm
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      DEPENDS ON THE ROOM TEMP , T USUALLY HARDENS AT 40 DEGREES F

      Reply
  • November 18 at 3:44 am
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    I
    was given alot of weed infused olive oil can mix it with ejmix and vape it?

    Reply
    • November 18 at 7:36 am
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      Won’t taste great and may give you lipid pneumonia because of the fat content. It’s possible, but not a good idea.

      Reply
      • June 20 at 2:58 am
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        Why isn’t this an issue with coconut oil, which I assume has an even higher fat content?

        Reply
  • November 15 at 8:09 am
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    Vg hates mixing with cannabis oils. Go straight to MCT oil. You can order it off amazon or go to probably any natural foods store(ex. whole foods). little heat, little stirring, viola.

    Reply
    • November 15 at 2:29 pm
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      PG is also what’s used in nicotine vape juices to help the drug bond to the juice. A little PG mixed cannabis oil before mixing into VG keeps it from separating. That’s how they make prefilled pens.

      Reply
  • November 12 at 3:00 pm
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    I recently bought some High Grade CBD Oil, Max CBD Hemp Oil 2750mg with the idea of making edibles or my own vape oil. It is just the CBD with no carrier or VG or PG or anything extra so it cannot be vaped by itself.

    https://nuleafnaturals.com/products/high-grade-cbd-oil-max-cbd-hemp-oil-2750mg

    I also just ordered a bottle of VG from Amazon.

    I’ve been trying to find something that would tell me a ratio of how much PG to use with how much of this Max CBD if I were to mix it in a 15 or 20 ml bottle. I tried mixing a small amount of each but it didn’t really mix. The CBD oil just floated on top of the VG. It didn’t vape well at all either.

    I cannot really find anything.

    Any insight would be appreciated.

    Reply
    • March 14 at 8:53 pm
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      I do 70vg and 30 pg with a few drop of the essential oil I want to use and flavoring. I don’t use the nicotine I just like vapping I obtained the recipe ratios from a e-liquid business near where I live that sells like hot cakes here locally

      Reply
  • October 10 at 8:28 am
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    Can i use normal glycerin that u use on skin is it safe although its not edible

    Reply
    • September 27 at 6:52 pm
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      I’ll give you the same advice I give chicks I date – so long as you let me deposit my semen in your mouth, I don’t care what you do with it…

      Reply
      • November 4 at 7:04 pm
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        WOW.. Hahaha ? some people!!!??? LOL

        Reply
  • September 20 at 5:04 am
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    Can I vape the topical cbd oil vape drops mixed with coconut UT oil?

    Reply
    • September 20 at 5:10 am
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      if it’s liquid, it evaporates. What temperature to do it and whether or not it’s safe to heat and inhale is something I can’t tell you.

      Reply
  • August 26 at 3:34 pm
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    can i vape colza-oil??

    Reply
    • August 26 at 3:35 pm
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      I have no clue, but if you find an answer, please come back and let me know. I’d be interested to hear.

      Reply
  • August 17 at 5:56 am
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    I am a total beginner when it comes to vaping and just bought my first atomizer. I would like to know how to make my own solutions with essential oils such as peppermint, thieves, etc. Thank you

    Reply
  • August 4 at 2:00 am
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    Can these glass ceramic hemp oil be used with standard e liquid?

    Reply
  • July 15 at 3:09 am
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    Okay I am smoking my cbd oil made from coconut oil. I used it in my mini kangertech..it started off fine then it started to taste burnt and smelled burnt. I am a suing that my vape tank is not made to burn that type of oil? Please help…

    Reply
    • July 15 at 3:24 am
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      It’s the temperature. Tank vape mods dont typically have adjustable temperatures, and if it’s set above 400f, you’re likely combusting (burning) the coconut oil. 390 is enough to vape the cbd without burning the coconut oil. Try switching to a mechanical mod box like the eleaf istick.

      Reply
      • October 29 at 8:24 pm
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        no, change to a VV/VW mod: mechanical mods don’t have a temp. control!

        Reply
  • July 1 at 1:55 am
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    Can I just pull cocanut oil off the counter and use it

    Reply
    • July 3 at 8:30 pm
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      You can, though you’ll want to read the ingredients first to ensure it doesn’t contain any additives. Also be sure to research recipes and don’t be afraid to reach out to oil extraction companies to learn more about essential oils. I’ve met them at multiple cannabis conventions, and they’re very familiar with the vaping industry.

      Reply
    • June 17 at 9:03 pm
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      Nobody knows if and how yet, but there are promising studies. Maybe it’s possible to cure a few types and maybe not. Research is barely underway to find out the medical capabilities.

      Reply
  • June 4 at 5:10 pm
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    Vaping in general is not safe? Can you explain?

    Reply
    • June 6 at 5:05 pm
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      Well, it’s not breathing air. You’re breathing different chemicals than oxygen, and there is a consequence to that. Nothing is 100% safe, and not enough studies have been conducted on vaping yet.

      Reply
      • August 5 at 6:54 pm
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        There has been a really cool studies to Stanford University Hospital look it up though Stanford University vaping

        Reply
    • June 3 at 12:56 am
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      Yes. Coconut oil is what cannabis vape pens in the Pacific Northwest use instead of vegetable oil. I’ve tried a few essential oil vaporizers as well with great success.

      Reply
      • August 1 at 1:15 am
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        What EO vaporizers did you try and are they refillable?

        Reply
      • November 27 at 6:03 am
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        Does it not harden at room temp

        Reply
  • May 11 at 3:38 am
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    can you vape canola oil? is it safe?

    Reply
    • May 11 at 3:46 am
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      Vaping in general is not safe, so by extension vaping canola oil isn’t either. It probably won’t kill you doing it once or twice, but It wouldn’t do it long term. Vegetable glycerin is very easy to get ahold of and just as cheap as canola oil. So while it’ll work in a pinch if you’re that hard up, there’s still risk associated with it.

      Reply
  • February 23 at 4:15 pm
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    vegetable oils does not work it burns your coils

    Reply
  • January 20 at 8:46 am
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    Your info is priceless… keep the info coming!!!

    Reply
    • June 20 at 10:45 pm
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      It seems that CBD vape oil is harder to use in some of the pens Ive purchased. I was told that the CBD vape oil might be too thick…not sure why though, the CBD oils ive tried have either a 60/40 or 70/30 ratio with VG and PG. Im waiting on a Smok Alien 220w vaporizer to show up in the mail, hoping that I wont have any more problems with CBD vape oil. One of my pens wont produce any vapor at all with the CBD vape oil (70/30) BUT will work fine with nicotine ejuice that is the same ratio 70/30….what gives?!

      Reply

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