Current projections indicate the CBD industry could hit $20 billion in growth within five years. But recent vaping deaths have put this booming industry on edge. As of September 26, there have been 805 cases of lung-related illnesses associated with e-cigarette and vaping products across 46 states. Moreover, 12 deaths have been confirmed in 10 states. Does this crisis mean all vapes are dangerous?
Here’s what you need to know:
In this post –
The issue with vapes
The unfortunate reality is that many of these illnesses and deaths have occurred in states where adult cannabis use is not yet legal. That means consumers are often subjected to vaping products that are unregulated and contaminated. Even in states where recreational use is legal, the black market vaping industry appeals to consumers looking for a cost-friendly option. This leads to consumers inadvertently inhaling cutting agents, like Vitamin E Acetate. Vitamin E Acetate is a chemical meant to dilute THC, but when heated, it becomes toxic to humans.
Vitamin E Acetate
While no single chemical has been linked to all vape related illness, Vitamin E Acetate, has been the subject of medical interest due to its presence in some vaping illness studies thus far. Vitamin E Acetate has been used as a cutting agent by several vape cartridge manufacturers due to its ability to both dilute the THC oil and thicken the substance, making it more convenient to be put in vape cartridges. This feature allows companies to sell toxic THC and CBD vapes that look pure. ACS Laboratory has already acted quickly; working with their R&D Scientists to develop a protocol to test for Vitamin E Acetate.
State and federal regulations
It’s important to remember that the cannabis and vaping industry is still in its infancy, which means congress has just begun to enact laws surrounding consumer safety regulations. That said, as a result of the 2018 Farm Bill and state-by-state action, quality testing will no longer be an option for medical and consumer based products.
In 2018, the Trump administration signed the Farm Bill into law, which made hemp and hemp-derived CBD federally legal. This opened pathways for companies like ACS Laboratory to research CBD and test CBD products’ for contaminants. The Farm Bill has also opened up the legal avenue for the FDA to regulate the substance. In the near future, all cannabis companies will need to prove that their product has been tested in an ISO 17025 accredited third party lab, like ACS.
In terms of medical cannabis products, strict regulations are already in place in many states. In Florida (where ACS is located) Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MMTCs) must follow stringent testing procedures. According to section 381.986 of the Florida Statutes, all processed cannabis must be tested in independent medical marijuana testing labs before it can be dispensed. All cannabis must be free of contaminants and safe for human consumption. Medical marijuana treatment centers must also contract specifically with a licensed marijuana testing laboratory, like ACS to prove these results. Stringent regulations like these should help ease cannabis patients’ concerns about product safety and quality.
While the black market exists and many consumer facing companies do not test their products, a large and growing segment of the industry cares about quality. Many Floria Medical Marijuana companies work with ACS Laboratory to double check that their cannabis and CBD vape products are contaminant free. With ACS Laboratory’s new testing procedures, customers can look up a product’s Certificate of Analysis (COA) to guarantee that it does not contain Vitamin E Acetate.
Are vapes safe?
Any drug that is inhaled presents some risk for lesser illnesses like laryngitis or bronchitis. However, the majority of health concerns related to the current vaping hysteria is due to the unregulated and counterfeit vaping products infiltrating the legal market space. To some extent, the current fear surrounding vaping illnesses is misguided because it discounts measures that responsible manufacturers are taking to ensure their product is pure, tested and approved. This is why it’s so valuable for consumers to ask for a Certificate Of Analysis (COA), and only use products with documented proof of safety.
As more research becomes available about other possible chemicals found in vaping cartridges, ACS Laboratory will continue to take every precaution to make sure that quality is upheld. The lab services overview page on our website is a great resource to gain knowledge of the many tests available to ensure cannabis and hemp products are of the highest quality and free of contaminants. If you have any questions about the Vitamin E Acetate test or any of our lab testing services, please give us a call at (813) 634-4529.