What Could Cause Vaping Disease [updated]
More than 450 people, many of them teenagers, have contracted a respiratory condition that appears to be related to vaping. Six people died. The Washington Post recently reported that health officials are investigating one specific chemical from cannabis samples: vitamin E acetate.
According to Rolling Stone’s report , Vitamin E Acetate is the main ingredient in thickeners used to dilute cannabis oil in THC (cannabis) vapor on the black market:
In the past, vitamin E oil has been used in relatively small amounts, or “less than 20% of the blend,” says [Peter Hackett, president of AirVapor systems, a supplier of e-cigarette equipment]. Due to the lack of cannabis supply chain in Russia. California – thanks in large part to the recent adoption of “track and trace” protocols as well as growing demand – black market suppliers will now use “a higher percentage of thickeners (50% or more) in their blends to” fill “a vape cart with very low activity, ”he says. According to Whitten, “There is so much cutting agent that even the people who made the cutting agent did not expect it to be cut so hard.”
The CDC previously announced that while they are investigating, people should “consider not using e-cigarettes.” This includes THC vaping.
What is Vitamin E Acetate?
Have you heard of vitamin E; like other vitamins, you need to eat it in order to live. It is most commonly found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and some leafy vegetables.
The acetate form of vitamin E is edible, but it is especially common in skin care products because it lasts longer on the shelf than other forms of vitamin E. Considered safe for topical use or ingestion.
But that doesn’t mean it’s safe to breathe. Unnamed officials told the Washington Post that its “oil-like properties may be associated with the types of respiratory symptoms reported by many patients: coughs, shortness of breath and chest pain.”
How confident are they that they have found the cause of the disease?
Not at all. The CDC’s page on the disease continues to state that “the investigation has not identified any specific substance or product for e-cigarettes that is associated with all of the cases.” A recent press release was more specific: “The FDA analyzes [patient-supplied food samples] for a wide range of chemicals, but no substance, including vitamin E acetate, was found in all of the samples tested. It is important to note that identifying any compounds present in the samples will be one piece of the puzzle, but not necessarily provide answers to questions about causation, which makes our current work critical. ”
Many of those affected were using cannabis products. Some, but not all, cannabis products could be tested for contaminants. And most of those who tested positive for vitamin E acetate.
The New York State Department of Public Health said in a statement that after testing samples of products provided by patients, they found vitamin E acetate in “almost all” samples containing cannabis, including at least one product from each patient, but none of the products. containing only nicotine. samples.
As a result, Vitamin E Acetate is now the focus of a New York investigation and also, most likely, the FDA.
How can I know if my vaping products are safe?
There is no reliable way yet. Remember, we still don’t know if vitamin E acetate actually causes disease. This could be a red herring or one of several reasons. And vitamin E acetate isn’t necessarily listed on the labels.
CDC recommendations to the public include avoiding vaping until this is all sorted out. They also ask people not to buy vaping accessories “on the street” or use cannabis vapes or add anything to their vape liquid. If you are concerned that a product is causing you an illness, call a Poison Control Center or seek medical attention and consider reporting the product to the FDA .
Update 9/6/2019 3:13 PM: We have updated this post to include information from the CDC press release that was released today.
Update 9/12/2019 12:00 PM: We’ve updated this post to include more information on the authorities investigating the use of Vitamin E Acetate in THC vapes on the black market.