Do Vapes Have Calories?

Do Vapes Have Calories

The most common reason why people vape is simply for the pleasure of it – but that’s not the only reason. Some also hope that vaping will provide an additional bonus in the form of weight loss.

The rationale behind vaping for weight loss is basically twofold. Some people start vaping because they’re already using oil-based tinctures and are concerned about the high calorie content of the oil. Others start vaping because they hope that keeping their hands and mouths busy will help to alleviate their snacking tendencies.

Before you can decide whether vaping has a chance to help you lose weight, though, you need to know the answer to one question: Does vaping have calories?

The short answer is that vape oils and vape juice basically have negligible calories – and you can’t absorb calories through your lungs anyway.

With those things in mind, you don’t have to be concerned that switching to vaping will increase your caloric intake. You might find it interesting to dig into this question a little more deeply, though, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do in this article.

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How Many Calories Are in a Vape?

Does Vaping Have Calories

The main ingredient in a typical vape cartridge is a pure herbal extract that’s usually derived from hemp. Some cartridges also include a small percentage of terpenes, which add flavor and help the oil flow through the cartridge more smoothly. Along with those two ingredients, a few vape liquids may also include vegetable glycerin and/or propylene glycol as additional diluting agents to thin the liquid and help it work with a wider variety of vaping equipment.

Therefore, to answer the question of whether vapes have calories, we need to start by finding out how many calories are in hemp extract, terpenes, vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol.

How Many Calories Are in Hemp Extract and Terpenes?

The volume of hemp extract that you’d consume in a day – either orally or by vaping – is so tiny that no one to our knowledge has ever attempted to calculate its caloric content. However, it is possible to make an educated guess.

According to a study published in Applied Animal Science in 2020, hemp flower contains about 2 calories per gram. It’s likely that a gram of vape oil would have a similar caloric content – perhaps slightly higher since the water and undigestible plant fiber in hemp are both eliminated in the extraction process.

Being distilled from plant material in the same way as hemp extract, terpenes probably have about the same caloric content.

How Many Calories Are in Vegetable Glycerin and Propylene Glycol?

As we mentioned above, some hemp-based vaping products aren’t composed entirely of pure hemp extract; they’re diluted with vegetable glycerin and/or propylene glycol in order to provide compatibility with more types of vaporizers.

  • According to an article published in Diabetes Spectrum in 2004, vegetable glycerin contains 4.32 calories per gram.
  • According to Pestell Nutrition, propylene glycol contains 5.7 calories per gram.

Do Vape Flavors Have Calories?

How Many Calories in a Vape

In most hemp-based vaping products, the flavors come from plant-derived terpenes that are added to accentuate desirable flavors in the hemp extract. Since hemp extract contains terpenes, the caloric content of terpenes shouldn’t differ significantly from that of hemp extract.

There are some cases when a manufacturer will decide to add additional food-grade flavors to a hemp-based vaping product. The flavors added to vaping products usually use vegetable glycerin (4.32 calories per gram) or propylene glycol (5.7 calories per gram) as bases, but there are some alcohol-based flavoring agents as well.

When a vaping product contains added flavors, the flavors usually comprise no more than about 10 percent of the total mix.

Oil-based food flavorings do exist, but they aren’t used in vaping products because fats are potentially dangerous to inhale. No vaping product should ever contain food oils such as MCT or other additives such as Vitamin E. Although people use the term “oil” when talking about vape oils, that’s because the substances are thick and viscous – not because they contain actual fat.

The Calories in a Vape Are Insignificant

A gram of vape oil typically contains only 2-5 calories. This amount is negligible compared to your daily caloric intake from food and is likely more oil than you would consume in a day. That’s insignificant compared to the calories that you consume from eating, and a gram is probably far more oil than you’d consume in a day anyway.

Although the ingredients in vape oil do have calories, you’re only consuming a minute fraction of a gram of oil with each puff. In addition, the vast majority of the oil is going into your lungs – not your stomach. You can’t absorb calories from vape oil unless it’s processed by your digestive system. While it’s possible that a small portion of the oil will remain in your mouth and will thus be swallowed, it’s safe to say that vaping is virtually calorie free in practice. So, if you’re concerned that the calories in your vape could cause you to gain weight, we hope this article has helped you to understand that there’s no reason to worry.

Can Vaping Help You Lose Weight?

Although we’ve shown in this article that the caloric content of vape oil is essentially nonexistent in the amounts that people would consume through normal vaping, it’s important to remember that vaping isn’t a tool for weight loss on its own. The only guaranteed way to lose weight is by decreasing your caloric intake and increasing your level of activity.

If vaping works well for you as a tool to help you curb your urge to snack, then you may end up consuming fewer calories each day and could lose weight as a result. If you start vaping without changing other aspects of your lifestyle, though, it’s unlikely that vaping will have an effect on your weight at all.