How to Avoid Dangerous Fake Vape Cartridges
Over the last few weeks, hundreds of people all across the country have fallen ill with a severe pulmonary illness that is apparently linked to vaping cannabis cartridges and nicotine-filled e-cigarettes. As of September 19, there have been 530 cases of lung injury from vaping, as well as seven deaths.
State and Federal health authorities are investigating the cases, and recently issued preliminary findings that identified a specific additive found in vape cartridges. While the additive appears to be most present in black market vape cartridges, legal cannabis products have contained the additive as well.
And the additive?
Tocopheryl acetate, commonly known as vitamin E acetate. This common vitamin supplement is the compound derived from acetic acid and tocopherol, and is often used in dermatological products like skin creams and lotions. It’s not intended to be inhaled, and is dangerous when vaped.
So, how do you avoid dangerous fake vape cartridges containing this formidable additive?
Buy From a Legal Dispensary
For starters, avoid buying vape carts from just anyone on the street, or even your friend. Purchase cannabis products from a legal dispensary, and do not modify or add substances to any cannabis products purchased from a store.
Vitamin E contains antioxidant properties that fortify cells against the damaging effects of free radicals. As a nutrient, it improves vision, reproductive health, and the health of your skin, blood, and brain.
However, it’s molecular structure makes it potentially hazardous when inhaled. Unfortunately, it’s being added to cannabis distillate to produce a vapor when heated.
Do not purchase any black market vape cartridges or other cannabis products. Purchase properly labeled and tested cannabis vape carts from a legal, state-licensed dispensary.
Check Testing Labels for Additives
While the vast majority of those who got sick from cannabis vape carts and tobacco e-cigarettes appear to have purchased the products from the black market, where counterfeit versions of legal vape brands have been proliferating. However, it is still possible that some legal cannabis vape cartridges could contain Vitamin E acetate or another type of harmful additives.
In California, products are required to pass laboratory testing for a wide range of harmful substances, including pesticides, mold, metals, and residual solvents from the extraction process. However, California’s testing requirements show the state has not yet banned common additives, including Vitamin E acetate.
So, be careful.
When purchasing cannabis vape carts from a dispensary, look at the testing labels to ensure you’re buying a pure cannabis product that doesn’t have any harmful additives.
Check the Vape Battery
A 2017 study from Portland State University found cannabis concentrates heated above 750 degrees Fahrenheit produced potentially cancer-causing chemicals. When the concentrates were heated to 932 degrees Fahrenheit, the oils produced benzene, a known carcinogen, as the terpenes degraded.
The higher the temperatures at which you’re vaporizing the cannabis oils, the more risk you could be inhaling something harmful.
Check your vape battery to ensure it’s working properly. A battery that functions properly won’t heat to extreme temperatures. If possible, get a vape battery with an electronic monitor that shows what temperature the device is heating to.