Füm is an essential oil inhaler brand, which is a novel concept. The company describes its product line as "The Good Habit," and claims to contain no toxins, vapor, smoke or batteries.
But is inhaling essential oil healthier than vaping nicotine, based on clinical studies? Does Füm contain any questionable additives beyond essential oil? Has the product been safety-tested in humans? And how do real Füm customers rate and describe the effects of the product?
In this article we'll answer all of these questions and more, as we review clinical studies to give our take on whether or not Füm is safe.
We'll analyze the ingredients in Füm, discuss whether or not essential oil vaping has been clinically tested, and feature unsponsored Füm user reviews.
What's Actually in Füm?
Füm "Cores" contain a blend of essential oils.
As an example, the ingredients in Füm Crisp Mint Cores are shown below:
It's unclear to us from Füm's website whether there are additional inactive ingredients included.
How is Füm Used?
It's important to note that Füm is not intended to be inhaled into the lungs like a vaporizer (vape) like Elf Bar.
Rather, the product is just inhaled into the mouth.
However, in our view the brand is very unclear in their marketing messaging regarding how the product is used, and this could lead to consumer safety issues.
On one hand, the brand makes it clear that their product is not a vape.
On the other hand, the brand claims that their product "makes it easy to breathe the benefits of super plants on the go."
But how can a customer achieve health benefits if they're just briefly inhaling the fumes into the mouth and then exhaling? There is no biological mechanism of action to metabolize the plant ingredients.
The way vaporizers work is the substance that's vaporized is inhaled into the lungs, and then circulates in the bloodstream.
But since Füm is not intended to be inhaled into the lungs, we don't understand how this product would have any health benefits, and we urge the brand to clarify this.
A video published by the brand on how to use the device is shown below:
Füm vs. Vapes
When used as intended, we consider Füm to be somewhat healthier than traditional vapes.
Nicotine, the active ingredient in many vapes, is clinically shown to be addictive.
Regulations in the vape industry are sorely lacking in our opinion, as these products can contain ingredients clinically shown to be damaging to lungs when inhaled.
As we documented in our review of "vitamin vape" brand Burst Bars, vape flavoring additives have been shown in at least one medical review to increase inhalation toxicity.
Our main concern about Füm is the potential risk of inhaling too much essential oil from this novel delivery mechanism.
Humans have used aromatherapy for millennia, but typically an essential oil diffuser scents an entire room, and the inhabitant inhales some essential oils from ambient air.
To Füm's credit, the brand has a preliminary study with the NSF on their Science page, which suggests that the product is safe when used as directed.
However, until a clinical trial with human participants published in a peer-reviewed journal emerges validating the safety of this product, we consider the unknown potential risk to be too high to recommend it.
We'd recommend using a traditional room essential oil diffuser over Füm.
Real People Try Füm
A YouTube creator named "Fumb Duck" has a Füm review with over 200,000 views that's only four minutes long:
A YouTube creator named "STEYER Off Grid" shares his experience using Füm in an attempt to quit vaping:
Can Füm be Dangerous?
While we don't consider Füm likely to be harmful when used as directed, directly inhaling essential oils may be risky according to some clinical studies.
A 2017 medical review described risks of pneumonia and exposure to pesticides from the sources of the oils.
We're also concerned about the lack of studies on direct essential oil inhalation.
Füm doesn't appear to have been studied in any peer-reviewed clinical trials, and there appears to be minimal clinical research on inhalation devices such as Füm.
Some customers of Füm may directly inhale the essential oils into their lungs, and may use more than directed, and it's challenging to determine the risk profile of these events without a clinical trial.
Pros and Cons of Füm
Here are the pros and cons of Füm in our opinion:
- May be safer than traditional vaping
- May be safer than vitamin vaping
- Unlikely to cause serious side effects when used as directed
- Relatively affordable
- Most customer reviews we came across were positive
- Doesn't appear clinically tested
- Novel mechanism of action
- Challenging to assess risks
- May be less safe than traditional aromatherapy