tips for getting the most out of cbd oil

How to use a vape pen: Tips on getting the most out of a marijuana vaporizer

Editor s note: Especially in this still-new legal cannabis space, there s no shame in even the most basic questions. A lot of readers have reached out asking us how to use a vape pen, and so we tapped our Seattle-based vape critic Ben Livingston to pen an introductory how-to on vape pens, vaporizers and beyond.

How To Use a Vape Pen: step-by-step instructions

Here is the essential information on the best way to operate a fresh-out-of-the-box vaporizer — and how to use a vape pen properly so you don t wreck your new purchase:

Step 1. Plug it in

Vape pen batteries typically require several hours of charging before use. The moment you get it home, use the manufacturer-supplied charging apparatus to start refueling those lithium ion cells. Waiting for vape pen batteries to complete their initial charge is as disappointing as realizing the Christmas-morning Power Wheels toy takes 10 hours to charge, so plug them in early and often.

Step 2. Read the manual

I don t actually do this, but it frequently seems like a good idea. Well-designed products should provide intuitive functionality, but sometimes a pinch of preparation can save a cup of catastrophe down the road. At the very least, know whether the vape pen is designed for pre-filled disposable oil cartridges, flowers, oil and propylene-glycol mix, or unmixed oil typically called wax or shatter.

Most vape users run their paraphernalia without any herbs or oil for the first time, in hopes of burning off any factory flotsam that might otherwise enter the lungs when vaping. This doesn t ensure you won t inhale deleterious metals or other compounds, but it likely reduces that risk. Go outside and turn it on the highest setting for 30 to 90 seconds.

Useful weed resources

: Check out our marijuana reviews organized by type — sativas and sativa-dominant hybrids, ditto with indicas.

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4. Load the tank

Pre-filled cartridges are simply attached to the battery. Unmixed oil — wax, shatter, etc — is often dabbed in small amounts directly onto the atomizer or surrounding wick. Oil mix is typically loaded into a tank that wicks or drips onto the atomizer. Ground flowers sit directly on the atomizer or inside a metal chamber heated by it.

Most vape pens heat up automatically when the user inhales, while others turn on with a push button. A light will indicate that the unit is on. Put the mouthpiece to your lips and draw in a breath of atomized cannabis oil. Pull in some clear air at the end of the puff to push all those pot particles into the lungs. Hold it for a few seconds, but don t be that stoner trying to hold your hit indefinitely — it makes everybody dizzy, not just you.

6. Check your head

Most vape pens use cannabis oil, which is a highly-concentrated form of the flower. Go easy on that thing; it s pot paraphernalia not an oral fixation pacifier. Take a minute to get your bearings and check your gauges before tapping your toker again. The entire universe awaits your exploration in the space between vape pen puffs. Breathe deep and embrace this amazing world.

Can CBD Help Curb COVID? Maybe, But More Study Needed

MONDAY, Jan. 24, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Cannabidiol, a compound derived from marijuana, appears to show promise in blocking replication of the COVID-19 virus and preventing its spread, lab and animal studies show.

CBD inhibited the ability of the coronavirus to spread in human lung cell samples, and also suppressed COVID-19 infection in the lungs and nasal passages of lab mice. Although research in animals doesn’t always pan out in humans, the success of CBD may not be limited to the lab.

People taking Epidiolex — a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved form of CBD used to treat epilepsy — tested positive for COVID-19 at significantly lower rates than those not prescribed the drug, researchers report.

But don’t rush out to your local dispensary just yet — researchers got these results using a highly purified CBD powder.

The sort of CBD oil you’d buy at your local cannabis shop won’t contain a high enough concentration of the compound to make any difference, explained lead researcher Marsha Rich Rosner, a professor of cancer research at the University of Chicago.

“We had a vision of people going to take CBD and saying, ‘OK, now I don’t need to be vaccinated, now I don’t need a mask.’ That’s not the case,” Rosner said. “We’re not saying ever that you should substitute CBD for vaccination or any of the other precautions.”

Instead, Rosner and her colleagues are calling for human clinical trials to determine the dosage of purified CBD that might help treat a new COVID-19 infection.

“We are actually suggesting that a trial be done similar to what you might do with vaccines, either as a preventive trial or an early-stage treatment after you’ve been tested,” Rosner said.

Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in Baltimore, agreed that the treatment is promising but needs more research.

“This is an early study that needs further confirmation but does provide a pathway for new ways to help combat COVID-19,” Adalja said. “The more tools that we have, the better we will be. However, further study on CBD delivery mechanisms, CBD concentrations, and ideally administration of CBD in a prospective, randomized trial are needed to further explore this finding and its clinical applicability.”

Rosner called her group’s discovery regarding CBD’s potential as a COVID fighter “complete serendipity.” She’s a cancer biologist, and knew about CBD because of its anti-inflammatory effects.

Since most of the damage done by a COVID-19 infection stems from the human immune system’s overreaction to the virus, Rosner and her colleagues thought CBD might help prevent inflammation from harming the lungs and other organs in the body.

Instead, lab tests showed that CBD directly inhibited the virus’ ability to replicate, stopping its spread in human cells. Mice treated with CBD for one week were able to suppress COVID-19 infection in their lungs and nasal passages.

“We just wanted to know if CBD would affect the immune system,” Rosner said in a University of Chicago news release. “No one in their right mind would have ever thought that it blocked viral replication, but that’s what it did.”

To see whether CBD has any real-world potential, the research team analyzed data from 1,212 epilepsy patients prescribed Epidiolex.

People taking Epidiolex were 35% to 52% less likely to suffer a COVID-19 infection than an equal number of folks from a control group not prescribed the drug, according to data drawn from the federally funded National COVID Cohort Collaborative.

The findings were published Jan. 20 in the journal Science Advances.

The researchers believe that CBD fights COVID-19 by prompting cells to release interferon, a biochemical that sabotages the ability of viruses to replicate in cells, Rosner said.

“We showed that CBD increases the amount of this [interferon] factor, and if you block that factor from acting, you actually counteract the effect of CBD and now the virus can replicate again,” Rosner said.

CBD doesn’t affect the ability of the coronavirus to enter cells. Rather, it blocks replication of the virus after it’s already entered cells, the researchers reported.

However, it’s likely that people will need high blood levels of CBD for this to work, Rosner said. That’s where the purity, dosage and type of CBD treatment comes into play.

“The way CBD is formulated really determines how much can get into the blood,” Rosner said. “If it’s introduced as an oil, it’s not very water-soluble and often will go to the liver and get metabolized and broken down. You have to make sure there’s enough in the blood for it to be active.”

Don’t think you can smoke weed and get enough CBD to protect yourself that way, either. You won’t absorb enough CBD from the smoke, and you’ll also get too much THC, the compound in pot that gets you high, Rosner said.

“We tested THC. It does not work. Furthermore, when we added THC to CBD, it prevented CBD from blocking the replication of the virus,” Rosner said.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more on COVID-19 treatments.

SOURCES: Marsha Rich Rosner, PhD, professor, cancer research, University of Chicago; Amesh Adalja, MD, senior scholar, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, Baltimore; Science Advances, Jan. 20, 2022