October 25, 2022 6 min read

THC-O is the ultra-potent THC dupe that everyone’s been taking about, and THC-O vaporizers are the most popular dosing style on the market. The question is–is vaping THC-O safe? And if so, is there any way to ensure your safety when buying THC-O vaporizers?

Yes! With a good understanding of what goes into a THC-O vape pen, you can easily pick the premium vape oil formulas from your run-of-the-mill corner store vapes. Here’s where to start:

Key Takeaways

  • Vaping THC-O can be safe if you choose a safe formula.
  • THC-O is much more potent than traditional THC, so you also need to choose the correct dosage.
  • Be sure to verify third-party test results, read reviews, and shop responsibly for THC-O.

What is THC-O and where does it come from?

Before we can dig into THC-O vape pen safety, we need to cover some key points about what THC-O is and how it differs from traditional THC products (and why it’s even more important to carefully choose your THC-O products).

THC-O concentrate and hemp flower, the natural source of THC-O products

THC-O, or THC-O acetate, is similar to Delta-9-THC in structure, but it’s naturally found in hemp material. For that reason, by federal law, THC-O is legal, which makes it much more accessible than traditional THC products. One big difference, though, is that THC-O may be about three times more potent than traditional THC products.

Another difference is that THC-O exists in the hemp plant only in pretty small quantities, so it’s hard to extract directly from hemp. Instead, its made using an isomerization technique just like the method used to turn CBD into Delta-8.

When this isomerization process is done correctly, the resulting THC-O is identical to the THC-O that lives naturally in the plant. However, the isomerization process is pretty involved and can leave behind dangerous unwanted chemicals when done incorrectly, so its important to know how to choose a well-made, high-quality product.

In other words, THC-O is inherently different than traditional THC, and there are various extra risks involved concerning potency and manufacturing practices. Still, THC-O is generally safe when made correctly, but what about THC-O vape pens?

Are THC-O Vapes Safe?

In general, vape cart safety isn't black or white. THC-O vape pens can still be safely made and consumed, but there are two different areas of quality to be concerned with. Both the THC-O vape oil and the physical pen itself need to be made from high-quality, safe ingredients that are heat safe or heat-resistant.

We’ll talk about both:

THC-O Vape Oil Safety

The ingredients inside the vape oil directly impact the safety since, of course, you're inhaling that solution directly into your lungs.

Unfortunately, the THC-O cart market isn't very well regulated yet, so it's up to you as the consumer to weed out the good from the bad. Here's where to start:

THC-O Vape Ingredients That Are Potentially Unsafe

Some people speculate that vaping many not be all that safe in general, and its safe to say that overconsuming anything may have a negative impact on the body. However, vaping is often thought to be safer than smoking because the combustion required for smoking released carcinogens into the smoke that you inhale into your lungs.

Whether or not vaping releases similar toxins is still up for debate, but it really boils down to the ingredients used. Inhaling water vapor, for instance, will never be as toxic as inhaling, say, vaporized gasoline.

In the research that’s available to compare the effects of smoking and vaping, the two are often shown to have a similar impact on lung health. However, almost all of these studies use nicotine vapes, many of which contain potentially harmful ingredients that you won’t always find in hemp vape products.

In order to ensure a higher safety standard, you may want to avoid some of the following vape oil ingredients:

Synthetic Cannabinoids

There has also been some negative press surrounding cannabis vaporizers in the past, but these reports also often point towards the formula as the primary issue. For instance, cannabis vaporizers containing synthetic cannabinoids have been known to cause adverse reactions that in some cases led to hospitalization.

In almost all instances, synthetic cannabinoids are considered unsafe and illegal, except for some FDA approved pharmaceuticals.

Propylene Glycol

The vape community also speculates that another ingredient commonly found in vape oil—propylene glycol (PG)—may make vaporizers unsafe.

Propylene glycol is widely considered safe as a food additive and is FDA approved for many uses, but is thought to turn into a noxious gas when heated to high temperatures. There's currently very little evidence available to confirm or deny the possible harms of inhaling heated propylene glycol, but many brands have moved away from the use of PG in vape products anyways.

Unsafe Preservatives

Manufacturers have been known to use additives under the guide of "natural preservatives" that may make THC carts dangerous. For instance, vitamin E oil is often used as a preservative and is FDA-approved as a safe substance for topical or oral use. However, research has found vitamin E acetate to be unsafe when inhaled, stating that it may interfere with healthy lung function.

Various Carrier Oils

You should also check out any additional carrier oils used to ensure they meet your needs. For instance, some manufacturers may use oils sourced from tree nuts or other plant-based sources that could cause an allergic reaction in some people. Generally speaking, hemp oil may be the most natural carrier oil for hemp-derived THC oil vapes.

THC-O Vape Oil Ingredients That May Be Safe

In order to choose a safe THC-O vape product, you need to understand how to evaluate the hemp quality and manufacturing process used to create each unique formula. A safe vape formula needs to be made by a trustworthy hemp manufacturer using safe terpenes, carrier oils, hemp extract, and sometimes even FDA approved flavors and sweeteners.

Look into the brand to learn more about their manufacturing practices. They should use pesticide-free hemp material, a safe extraction process, experienced cannabinoid extraction technicians, and third-party testing to verify the quality of the final product.

Vape Pen Materials Safety

Aside from the ingredients used in your vape oil formula, the materials used to make the actual vape device also impact safety. You may have heard the rare horror story of a vape battery exploding in a hot car, and while this may have a lot more to do with proper storage, it drives an important point: Vapes get hot. Really hot.

With that said, you obviously need to ensure that the materials used to make your vape device can withstand the heat, and that they also won't leach any toxins into the vapor you're inhaling. Typically, this isn't something you need to worry about when buying a vape from a high quality manufacturer, but cheaper vapes may be made with cheap heating elements, coils, or plastics that can melt or degrade into your vape oil.

Here's a quick rundown on the types of materials that are and aren't acceptable in your vape mod build.

Avoid:

  • Plastic, which can off-gas, absorb terpenes and other elements from the hemp oil, and overall alter the vaping experience.
  • Vapes with loose gaskets that leak, which can be wasteful and costly
  • Vapes with pre-moistened wicks that may have been primed with a chemical like propylene glycol, which can cause allergic reactions or other adverse effects in some people.

Choose Instead:

  • Vapes made of premium, heat-resistance materials, such as glass, metal (like stainless steel), and ceramic.
  • Vape tanks that have properly fitted gaskets that don’t leak or allow air to contaminate the hemp oil inside.
  • Batteries that are 510 threaded, since that's the size of the most common and accessible vape battery.

Checklist for Vaping THC-O Safely

  • Check with the brand you intend to purchase your THC-O vape from to verify that they use clean hemp material, responsible manufacturing techniques, and third-party testing.
  • Find a vape pen made of high-quality, heat safe materials that won’t leach into your vapor.
  • Make sure that you choose a product that meets your dosing needs and preferences. Different terpene profiles, like Sativa or Indica vape oils, may have different effects.
  • Understand how much THC-O you should take. You may want to read “THC-O Dosage” to get a better idea of THC-O’s potency.
  • Vape slowly so you can feel the effects before stacking on too many doses.
  • Make sure you store your THC-O vape correctly to prevent it from spiling or degrading.
Vida Optima Elev8 THC-O Vape

Where to Buy Safe THC-O Carts Online

Our Delta-8-THC + THC-O vaporizers are designed with your safety in mind. We use simple, hemp-derived ingredients to create our potent THC vape oil. Our vape carts contain 95% Delta-8-THC derived from legal hemp, and the other 5% is reserved for natural hemp-derived terpenes.

Our carts are made from high-quality glass with a ceramic core, and they won’t leak or burn the hemp oil material. Plus, all of our products are 100% Farm Bill compliant and backed by third-party lab testing that you can view before you buy.

Check out our entire Delta-8-THC collection to learn more.


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