So you're curious about whether or not you can vape Vitamin B12, or you’re thinking about vaping vitamins in general, but you have some questions. How does it work? What are the benefits? Is it safe to inhale Vitamin B12? Are there any B12 vape pen side effects? You've come to the right place!
In this article, we're going to provide a complete vaping B12 overview. We'll start by talking about how B12 vapes (and other so-called wellness vapes) work, why vitamin vaping even exists in the first place, and some of the other things you need to keep in mind — including why vaping B12 may not be the way to get the effects you're after (stay tuned for this part)!
At a glance:
- How Does a B12 Vape Work?
- What are the Benefits to B12 Vapes?
- What are the Side Effects of Vaping B12?
- Is it Safe to Inhale Vitamin B12?
- Which is Better? A B12 Vape Pen or a B12 Shot?
- Can You Vape B12 to Quit Smoking?
- Is a Vitamin B12 Vape Right for You?
How Does a B12 Vape Work?
It's this last part that causes many people to choose vaping B12 over other forms of "ingestion," like Vitamin B12 capsules. One of the big knocks on any supplement you have to swallow — B12 included — is that it has to make its way through your digestive system before it can enter your bloodstream and do its stuff.
The problem with that as a method of ingestion is that much of the vitamin gets lost in the process. Some estimates suggest that as little as 10%-15% of anything you take orally will actually survive to get into your system.
With vaping, because you're inhaling the vitamin, it bypasses your digestive system and can be absorbed directly through your lungs. This, in theory, means that more of the vitamin actually makes it into your body, and it gets there faster — again, because you're bypassing digestion. (See our article on Best B12 Inhaler and Are Vitamin Vapes Safe? for more.)
What are the Benefits to B12 Vapes?
Let's separate the answer to this question into two parts — what are the benefits of Vitamin B12 regardless of how you choose to get it, and what are the benefits to vaping it, specifically? Let's tackle that first question …
Vitamin B12 Benefits
Many people believe that B12 is a lot like caffeine — that it gives you a quick boost of energy the same way an energy drink or shot of espresso might. If that's what you're hoping to get from B12, you're probably going to be disappointed.
The only scenario in which Vitamin B12 will have a dramatic effect on your energy levels in the short term is if you're already deficient in it. And not many people are. B12 can be found in many of the foods most of us eat every day — like fish, eggs, chicken or beef.
If you're a vegetarian, there's a greater chance you might have a deficiency, but only a blood test can confirm that. So that's something only a doctor can tell you.
Assuming you're not deficient in this vitamin, B12 probably won't give you a jolt of instant energy. What it might do is help your energy levels over the long term. So it can act like more an overall tonic for your well-being than a substance designed to produce one specific effect. (See our B12 vs. Caffeine article for more on this, as well as 2023’s Best Energy Vapes and Best Vitamin for Energy.)
Benefits of Vaping B12
As mentioned above, the main reason you might want to vape B12 as opposed to popping a pill is that it's possibly a faster-acting delivery method. Since it's absorbed directly into your bloodstream from your lungs, it doesn't have to make its way through your digestive tract, which not only can take a long time, but can reduce many of the benefits.
There's another method of getting B12, and that's an injection. Of course, this method also bypasses digestion and delivers the vitamin even more directly into your bloodstream.
Researchers as far back as 1967 have studied whether or not there are benefits to inhaling B12, and they found that there was no benefit to inhaling it over receiving an injection of it. They did not, however, compare those effects to B12 pills.
But remember, B12 probably won't have an immediate effect on you no matter how you take it. So whether you're inhaling it or swallowing it, it should still result in a more measured release of energy over the long haul.
What are the Side Effects of Vaping B12?
There aren't any studies that show side effects specific to vaping B12. What you might experience are the general side effects that come from vaping anything.
These can include things like throat irritation, light-headedness or dizziness, and nausea. But again, these side effects probably aren't caused by B12 specifically. If you experience any of them, it's more likely that you'd experience the same side effects with any type of vape.
Is it Safe to Inhale Vitamin B12?
The same safety concerns that apply to vaping in general apply to vitamin vaping and vaping B12 specifically. Studies that have found a link between certain ingredients in vapes and serious health conditions still apply here.
Propylene glycol, Vitamin E acetate and diacetyl, in particular, are three additives to steer clear of, as they’re all associated with health problems. Diacetyl, for example, is the additive that has been linked to bronchiolitis obliterans, also known as "popcorn lung," which is a scarring of the lung tissue.
There haven't been any studies one way or the other that speak to the safety of vaping B12 specifically, and you’d be hard pressed to find a company that makes any health claims about B12 vapes.
Which is Better? A B12 Vape Pen or a B12 Shot?
Both B12 shots and B12 vapes have their benefits and drawbacks. Shots of Vitamin B12 have been around for decades as a source of natural energy. They're typically prescribed by a doctor to treat a B12 deficiency caused by any number of factors. B12 vape pens have only been around for a few years, so their efficacy has yet to be established.
Those points aside, here are some of the distinct differences (pros and cons) between a B12 vape pen and B12 injection.
B12 Vape Pens
Vapes are, of course, non-invasive. They don't hurt, they're definitely more convenient than a doctor's visit, and you don't need a prescription. On the downside, there's no evidence or actual studies that prove inhaling vitamins works!
Injections have been around for decades, and their ability to deliver B12 directly into the bloodstream is well-established — they’re scientifically proven, unlike their vape counterparts.
You can't simply walk into the store down the street and get one, however. A doctor has to prescribe it, and it has to be administered by a medical professional. Those hassles aside, there are plenty of studies that prove they’re effective for people with a b12 deficiency.
Bottom line, whether you seek out a prescription for an injection or want to try your hand at a B12 vape, only those with a B12 deficiency are likely to see any kind of immediate or dramatic effect.
Can You Vape B12 to Quit Smoking?
Yes! It’s one of the main B12 vape benefits! Many people use a vitamin vape or any variety of non-nicotine vapes to help them give up smoking, with B12 being among the more popular nicotine alternatives, along with substances like caffeine or melatonin.
For these, of course, we have to recommend taking a look at HELO if you want to give caffeine vapes a try, or MELO if you'd prefer melatonin. (HELO tops our list of Best Caffeine Vapes, while MELO heads up our recommendations for melatonin diffusers.)
The advantage to a vape like HELO or MELO over B12 is that they both contain substances that we know have an effect — caffeine delivers the energy hit we're all familiar with, while melatonin has been a favored sleep and relaxation aid for years. (We discuss the ins and outs of vaping caffeine in this Can You Vape Caffeine? article.)
That being said, a B12 vape (or any vitamin vape) can certainly be a device that helps with the oral fixation component of cigarette addiction. And inhaling vitamins probably doesn’t come with the same risks as nicotine.
Is a Vitamin B12 Vape Right for You?
We hope we've been able to supply you with the information you need to make a more educated decision about whether or not giving Vitamin B12 vapes a try is right for you. To sum up …
- Consumers associate vitamins with good health. But the same warnings apply to Vitamin B12 vaping products (or any of the vitamin vapes on the market) and vaping vitamins in general that apply to other forms of non-nicotine vapes. Ensure the vape you buy doesn't contain harmful vape ingredients like propylene glycol or diacetyl, both of which have been shown to exert undesirable systemic effects on the body.
- Vaping theoretically delivers more B12 to your body faster, because it doesn't have to pass through your digestive system first. However, there haven't been any studies that definitely prove that's the case.
- If you're not deficient in B12 (something only a doctor and a blood test can determine), you may not get the energy boost from a B12 vape that you're hoping for. If it's more energy you're after, try a caffeine vape like HELO.
- B12 vapes and vitamin vapes in general are popular alternative vapes for people who are using vapes to help them quit smoking, as are other "supplement" vapes on the market, like HELO and MELO.
As with any decision regarding your health, make sure you do your vitamin vape research, always keep safety in mind, and know what you're getting!