Since September, the news media and cannabis community have been going rampant on reported vape illnesses caused by unknown additives in its ingredients. Health Canada has even issued an article targeting the topic, recognizing that “the recent cases of severe illness associated with the use of vaping product” is factual and not just a media hoax. Yet, the cause for these illnesses were unclear.
Some pointed at the vegetable glycerin added in the concentrate to give it the syrup-like property. Others speculated it to be MCT oil, which is supposed to kick the user a light dose of energy on use. The list of suspects goes on.
The Truth Unveils
After months of investigation and lab-testing, it has been found that vitamin E acetate, an ingredient vital in THC-based vape products, has been the cause of all the deaths and injuries surrounding vape in the past several months. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a statement on Friday, November 8th, that specific variations of the vitamin E acetate compound has been found in the lungs of all 29 sampled patients who shared the lung disease.
“For the first time, we have detected a potential toxin of concern, vitamin E acetate, from biological samples from patients,” said Dr. Schuchat in a conference this morning. To further confirm the suspicion, 79% of said sampled patients admitted to have vaped THC in the past few weeks leading up to the health crisis.
Staying Safe, For You as a Shopper
The good news of all this is: it is now safe to eliminate several compounds from the list of harmful additives causing illness from vape pens. The bad news is that it is still as difficult as ever to tell whether a given vape pen has vitamin E acetate as an ingredient. Manufacturers with vitamin E acetate in their vape pens are offering differing and often dodgy replies to consumers when asked of the ingredients of its products, while manufacturers without vitamin E acetate in their pens suffer collateral damage from rumors of the previous.
Shopping for vape pen these days can feel like treading through a minefield. Fortunately, there are a few tell-tale signs to look for when in doubt of the ingredients of a pen, minimizing your chances of harm.
Shop from trusted brands
Brands that have been around since the marijuana legalization of 2018 are more likely to have an established reputation compared to newer, less transparent brands. Household names such as Culture Pens and Aira Vape Pens who have withstood the test of time without any health complaints are much more likely to pack their pens with clean ingredients than the newer brands, though not to their discredit either.
Avoid ridiculous flavours
There is no cannabis plant in existence that can be harvested for flower with tastes of Rice Krispies or Fruit by the Foot. All vapes with flavours that seem abnormal to nature should be cautiously evaluated before purchasing. Forget vitamin E acetate causing lung diseases – just the added chemicals and artificial flavourings alone may be enough to cause health concerns.
Buy the dealer, not the pen
Last but not least, you should always shop from a source you trust. Different sales come and go on different dispensaries and prices fluctuate, but at the end of the day, it is your health that takes top priority. A fairly unknown seller undercutting the market value of their own pens raises concerns of the authenticity of their products, which may have been made with a bootlegged, cheaper, and much more harmful version of the original manufacture’s formula.
With all these things in mind, ask a customer service representative before you purchase a vape pen. This goes for all online dispensaries, not just with Bud Lab – online dispensaries worth your time will likely be glad to respond to vape inquiries with honest and helpful replies.