At this point, you’ve probably seen a lot of coverage in the news about vape pen lung disease. As many of our guests use vaporizers, we want to ensure you’re kept up to date with the latest developments so that you can make informed decisions. Check out the articles below–we’ll be updating this post as more details come in.
What is “Vape Pen Lung Disease”?
As of Thursday September 26th the CDC has reported 805 cases in 48 states of severe acute respiratory distress syndrome possibly associated with vaping and as many as 12 patients have died from this condition. While the cause isn’t known for certain at this point, it is believed that the contamination is coming from the supply chain for illicit market THC vape cartridges. Vitamin E oil, an additive used in illicit cartridges as a thickener, is currently being investigated as a potential culprit. What are the symptoms of vape pen lung disease? And why is this happening now? Read David Downs full article on Leafly to get the inside scoop.
Vitamin E oil–what is it?
Unregulated vapes often use diluent thickeners to lower the cost of production and increase profits. Vitamin E acetate is one such thickener that’s been growing in popularity within the illicit THC vape market. Now you’ve probably seen Vitamin E acetate in dietary supplements or in cosmetic products, so what’s the problem with it being in a vape cartridge? According to experts, it’s not safe to inhale. There’s currently a lack of data about the toxicity of inhaled Vitamin E acetate which Duke University School of Medicine Dr. Sven-Eric Jordt, an expert on dangerous chemicals in vaping aerosol, describes as a “red flag”. Don’t just take our word for it. Head on over to Leafly where David Downs offers an in-depth look at Vitamin E acetate and what it can do to your lungs.
The real cost of using illicit vapes
Think the vapes you buy from the illicit market are the same as vapes from a licensed dispensary? Think again. Illicit market vapes may be cheaper, but you’re putting yourself at risk by buying them. NBC News asked CannaSafe to test a sample of THC vapes from legal dispensaries and unlicensed dealers. The results were troubling. All 3 samples from licensed dispensaries in California contained no heavy metals, pesticides or residual solvents like Vitamin E. Conversely, 13 of the 15 samples from the illicit market contained Vitamin E. CannaSafe also decided to test 10 of the unregulated cartridges for dangerous pesticides. All 10 tested positive. Check out the full article and video on NBC News to see exactly what they found.
Do you know where your vape comes from?
Did you know there’s a multi-billion dollar marketplace for illicit THC vape cartridges and devices in the US? Despite the increase in states legalizing cannabis, many consumers still buy from the illicit market. People often don’t even realize the products they’re buying aren’t the real deal, because counterfeits are flooding the market. You’d think it would be difficult to fake a licensed product like Brass Knuckles, but unfortunately it isn’t. Leafly went undercover in LA’s Toy District to see just how these fakes are getting made and distributed.
What are the symptoms of vape pen lung disease and how is it treated?
Many of the symptoms of Vaping-Associated Pulmonary Injury (VAPI) are similar to that of pneumonia. As a result, it can be difficult for doctors to diagnose properly–especially if the patient isn’t forthcoming about their vape use. Antibiotics typically prescribed for pneumonia don’t have any affect on VAPI, so it’s incredibly important to be honest with your doctor if you’ve used vapes. What’s the best treatment for VAPI? Doctors can’t say with certainty right now, but steroid treatment has been successful for many patients. Learn more about the symptoms of VAPI and how to talk to your doctor on Leafly.
So, now what?
What do you do with all this information? Arm yourself with it. If you have vape cartridges that aren’t from licensed dispensaries, stop using them. Immediately. (Maybe wait on throwing them away, just in case you do get sick and need to give them to a doctor to test.) If you develop any of the symptoms of VAPI, go see your doctor as soon as possible. Be honest with them about what products you’ve used, otherwise it will be harder for them to diagnose you. Most importantly, only shop for vape cartridges at licensed dispensaries. We can’t emphasize enough how crucial this is to your safety. California’s legal cannabis industry has the strictest testing standards of any items sold in the state. These testing standards are in place to protect you.
Because we care about the safety of our guests, The Higher Path has independently tested all of our products for Vitamin E acetate with CannaSafe. We received the results and are happy to confirm that all products on our shelves do not contain Vitamin E acetate. Feel free to ask your budtender for Certificates of Analysis for any product we carry.