You may have heard about the controversy surrounding vaping sweeping the nation. Reports from all over are warning of the dangers of vaping, whether that is electronic cigarettes or marijuana pens. Many people are asking “is vaping cannabis dangerous?”
As of last week, there have been more than 450 possible cases of lung illness associated with using e-cigarettes reported to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) across 33 states and the US Virgin Islands, and the number is increasing every week. Officials and medical professionals are warning against the use of all vaping products until further research can be done. It’s reached the point where there is now an ongoing federal investigation into the link between vaping and severe lung illness involving both the CDC and the FDA.
With that being said, there is strong evidence that nearly all the cases of cannabis vaping hospitalizations were from black market and unregulated cannabis sources. These black market cannabis vapes often contain the chemical vitamin E acetate. New York health officials have reported that extremely high levels of this compound were found in almost all of the cannabis vaping products that were analyzed as part of their investigation. Furthermore, at least one vape product containing this chemical has been linked to each person who fell ill and submitted a product for testing during the investigation.
Cannabis vapes work much in the same way an e-cigarette would. A concentrate (usually oil) held in a cartridge or dart pod is inserted into a battery powered device. The device then heats the concentrate which produces a vapor without combustion, a solution many find healthier and easier on the lungs than smoking cigarettes or cannabis flower.
The problem comes with what’s inside of the cartridge, namely the composition of the concentrate. Many street manufacturers or black market resellers will often cut the concentrate with other chemicals, such as vitamin E acetate, in order to cut corners, save money, or simply because they do not have access to high quality cannabis concentrates. When purchasing from these vendors it is impossible to tell the quality or purity of the concentrate inside without further testing. This is why it is imperative that consumers buy regulated, lab tested cannabis so that they have peace of mind when using these products.
Sometimes though, your local cannabis dispensaries are not 100% safe. In California, a local Sheriff’s office seized $5 million worth of contaminated, counterfeit THC oil bearing the brand CaliPiffs back in March. It had 7,000 times the allowable level of a pesticide that turns into the poison cyanide when heated, such as in a vaping device. The representatives from the company also told agents half of their product was sold on the black market and the other half went to “legitimate dispensaries.”
We aren’t disclosing all of this information to scare you, but rather to educate you! Find reputable brands and state licensed dispensaries that have an established presence in your area and conduct your due diligence on how their concentrates are produced. All extract products that are sold through licensed Colorado dispensaries must go through stringent 3rd party state certified testing labs, and must display results clearly and upon request. It’s also important to understand some of the myths & facts regarding cannabis vaping that have grown out of this recent controversy. So why then are people still asking, “is vaping cannabis dangerous?”
Vaping Cannabis Safely
A prominent myth going around because of this recent spike in medical issues is that cannabis concentrates are solely to blame. As mentioned above, the concentrate composition found in vaping cartridges is where variance can occur, with black market sellers adding diluents, oils, and fillers to pure THC in order to save money.
The safest way to vape THC oil is to purchase from a state licensed distributor, and make sure that the only ingredients are cannabis derived THC & cannabis derived terpenes. When high quality THC oil is vaped from a state licensed distributor, there is no reason to believe that there are adverse health effects occurring from the oil specifically.
So how do you know if your cannabis vape cartridge is safe and how do you know how to answer the question is vaping cannabis dangerous? Below are some steps you can take to ensure that what you are vaping does not contain anything harmful:
- Never buy a cartridge that doesn’t have lab results visible or available on request, even if it’s from a legitimate dispensary.
- Only buy from authorized resellers and dispensaries. Ask these sellers about their processes and seek manufacturers who showcase the transparency of their production.
- If you think you’ve found a “great deal” under market price, be wary and do further research. There is a reason they are able to offer such a low price!
- Peer pressure can get the best of us sometimes, but make sure your friends have the same standard for their vape concentrates that you do.
Here are some quick facts about THC oil and vaping cannabis oil that you can rely on:
- THC oil is a more concentrated form of the psychoactive cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.
- THC oil is one of the purest forms of cannabis.
- Terpenes can be derived from plants other than cannabis. Understand where the terpenes in your cartridges comes from!
- Vaping pure cannabis oil can neither be classified as “healthier” or “unhealthier” when compared to other consumption methods.
Seed & Smith’s Promise
Our commitment to cultivating the finest cannabis products is also a commitment to the well being of our clientele. The safety of our clients far outweighs any financial motive. This commitment is present in every plant we grow, every extract we produce, and of course every single cartridge or pod we fill with distillate. There is zero compromise in any of our cultivation or production processes and we demonstrate this proudly on our facility tours.
Equally as important, Seed & Smith stands for more than just being a premium cannabis brand. We stand for serving the cannabis community as an educator. We stand as a pioneer in the cannabis industry by always seeking a way to innovate the market and redefine the experience. We stand for something bigger than just us, but rather the overall progression of safe and legal consumption of cannabis. It starts with our commitment to perfect the craft of cannabis cultivation but is exemplified by the transparency in our cultivation — the more you know, the better. Our promise to you is that we will always put the consumer first and never sacrifice the quality of our products to save money or cut corners. It’s a promise towards the ultimate priority when consuming cannabis, whether that is vaping or any other method: safety and enjoyment. So when people ask “is vaping cannabis dangerous?” we aim to provide as much real insight as possible to ensure that science trumps myth.
And remember there are alternatives to darts and vapes in the form of preroll joints. Enjoy cannabis your way.