Fake Cannabis Vapes Are Everywhere And Poisoning Folks

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by burnin1, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. Aug 20, 2019 #1

    burnin1

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    From Fresh Toast
    Fake Cannabis Vapes Are Everywhere And Poisoning Folks
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    Last week, 20 people were hospitalized in the midwestern part of the country — Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin — due to breathing complications as a result of vaping.
    By: Mike Adams
    August 19, 2019
    Vaporizers are one of the hottest trends on the legal cannabis market. They are a convenient, discreet and odor-free way for consumers to catch a buzz in almost any environment. But just like any other highly sought after product, they are also being counterfeited by criminal organizations.

    There are now knock-offs of popular vape brands (King Pen, Brass Knuckles and Heavy Hitters, just to name a few) sold across the United States. What makes this so problematic is the manufacturing process that these black market groups are using to put this stuff on the streets could be poisoning users and putting them at risk of potentially life-threatening health conditions.

    It was just last week that 20 people were hospitalized in the midwestern part of the country — Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin — due to breathing complications as a result of vaping. In some cases, young adults admitted to the hospital were thought to have respiratory infections, similar to pneumonia. But their condition later worsened to the point where at least one patient had to be put into a medically induced coma.

    Doctors still haven’t identified the culprit responsible for the poisoning.

    “We know there are certain characteristics in common with these cases, but we have not been able to get to the bottom of exactly what aspect of the vaping habit or product or solvent or oil is causing the injury,” said Dr. Emily Chapman, chief medical officer for Children’s Minnesota, a pediatric health system headquartered in Minneapolis, in an interview with NBC News.

    Similar cases also broke out in California and New York. At least 17 people are said to have suffered from pneumonia-like symptoms and have been admitted to intensive care units due to a potentially fatal lung condition.

    All of the patients affected had been using cannabis vapes or CBD oils within the past month, according to reports. But the most frightening detail in these cases is, much like the vape poisonings in the Midwest, doctors have not been able to identify the toxin harming people’s lungs.

    Fake vapes could be the source of this plague. A recent study from Solo Sciences, a cannabis tech firm that created a “cryptographically-secure cannabis product authentication system” intended to prevent bogus pot products, shows that 80 percent of all packaged cannabis products are imposters.

    “The world of cannabis is murky, unpredictable, and often not safe,” saidSolo CEO and founder Ashesh Shah.

    States that have legalized marijuana for medicinal and recreational use require cannabis products to be tested before they are made available to the consumer. These tests are to ensure that the weed is free of pesticides and other contaminants. Of course, black market providers are not as diligent about protecting the health of their customers. There have been numerous reports over the years of vapes and other cannabis-related items, including CBD oil, containing all sorts of dangerous chemicals that have made people sick.

    In ways, the problem with counterfeit pot products is similar to what happened back in the days of alcohol prohibition. Tainted liquor became so problematic during this time that around 1,000 people died each year as a result. Fortunately, no fatalities have yet been reported due to harmful vapes. But the deterioration in respiratory function that these products are causing can lead to death, according to a press statement issued by the New York State Department of Health.

    Although cannabis is legal in a handful of states, many people are still opting to use the black market to save money. And in jurisdictions where marijuana remains an outlaw substance, the consumer often has no choice but to buy what is sold on the illicit market. Cannabis users are being reminded, however, that using unregulated pot products, such as vapes, could have severe health consequences.

    https://thefreshtoast.com/cannabis/fake-cannabis-vapes-are-everywhere-and-poisoning-folks/
     
  2. Aug 20, 2019 #2

    Aksarben

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    Thanks for the article link. Sadly, this will be a plague for us consumers. It makes me wonder of the "cartridges" I got that made/make my wife and I cough uncontrollably. Simple cartridges, with a tiny paper insert showing what they were, but you cannot research and find out where, or who made them. Weren't cheap either.
     
  3. Aug 21, 2019 #3

    umbra

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    B1, thanks for posting this
     
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  4. Aug 21, 2019 #4

    SmokeRich211

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    +1, thanks for sharing it. Growing ourselves is the best choice
     
  5. Aug 21, 2019 #5

    The Hemp Goddess

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    Aksarban, I find that I, too, cough uncontrollably with some of the vape cartridges I buy. And I only buy from dispensaries where the products have been tested, so not counterfeit nasties. I wondered if I was sensitive to glycerin. An article I read the other day (sorry I can't remember where) mentioned that we really do not know the effects of atomized glycerin on the lungs.

    The headline is really a bit misleading though...."Fake vapes could be the source of this plague." LOL--think calling it a plague is a bit over the top, too. This is purely speculation with absolutely nothing to go on. They have not a clue as to what is causing this. The vapes did not seem to come from the same place. They did not contain the same cannabinoids. I also thought that I read somewhere else that some of the sick people were vaping nicotine products, too. It could be poisons in the vapes, it could be unsanitary conditions, it could be a sensitivity/allergy to an ingredient, it could be something entirely different. I don't see anywhere that these vapes were analyzed? If they are the suspected source of infection, why is this not being done?

    Burnin, we all appreciate your time and effort bringing us these new articles.
     
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  6. Aug 21, 2019 #6

    burnin1

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    I don't cough so much with vapes pens as I did before. I don't hit them as I would a joint or pipe. I take small hits now. Sometimes I don't feel the vapor in my lungs but I see it when I exhale. I agree we don't know much about what causes problems with vapes.. unless you vape.. ugh... nicotine.

    HG thank you for your insightful and logical comments. I am sure that most appreciate them as I do.
     
  7. Aug 22, 2019 #7

    Aksarben

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    I have been wondering about the carriers myself. I have thought that VG (Vegetable Glycerine) might be the best overall of the cariers that are used to thin out the thick concentrate (wax/shatter). I think some things are not good to heat too high and then inhale in the lungs..... such as Polypropylene Glycol, and you definitely don't want ethyl alcohol as if it gets hot enough it turns into formaldehyde, and I wonder if some of these other "carriers" do as well. Perhaps MCT /coconut oil would be the best bet to give a bit of liquidity to somethings as thick as wax. I have a EtOH Bunsen burner for running my lab Ebuillometer (alcohol measurement for wines/ciders/beer) If I get too close to the Ebuillometer to read the thermometer, I can sometimes get fumes that instantly burn my eye with stinging sensation. My boss, a well experience lab teacher, said it was from the fumes of formaldehyde from the alcohol burning.
     
  8. Aug 22, 2019 #8

    burnin1

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  9. Aug 22, 2019 #9

    The Hemp Goddess

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    Good article Burnin. Thanks
     
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  10. Aug 22, 2019 #10

    The Hemp Goddess

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  11. Aug 22, 2019 #11

    Aksarben

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    Thanks for the ink, Burnin1, and the link from The Hemp Goddess. I believe the Leafly article is where I was was first alerted to thinning agents that are best no inhaled. As far as the MSN article I found it a bit funny that Juul is being sued because they make their vape pens (with nicotine) with fruity flavors. Who says adults, 21 and older, instantly do no like fruity flavors? Many of the preferred weeds to some do have some fruit and sweet flavors from their natural Terpene contents. Just because we get older don't equate to an older populace that has lost a bias for sweet and fruity flavors.

    They may also find that it is more in the contamination of spore and germs from lack of care of the vape that finally led to such illness. I agree that a few dozen people with issues should not equate to "a plague".
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
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  12. Aug 22, 2019 #12

    The Hemp Goddess

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    I don't think it has anything to do with the preference that adults have. They KNOW that adults like the fruity flavors--that is why they make them. The problem is that it is also highly appealing to children and teens.

    The numbers of those afflicted are climbing. It isn't just 24 or so people now. The CDC is investigating and it is now over 100 cases in a dozen or so states.

    I am most suspicious of the carriers as it seems to happen with both nicotine products and cannabis products. Different products from different parts of the country. I would think that large companies like Juul would have sterile conditions in their facilities and adequate testing to rule out contamination and pathogens. The only common denominator seems to be glycerin, which virtually all vape makers use.
     
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  13. Aug 23, 2019 #13

    St_Nick

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    I wanna see what you come up with. I make my cartridges with vegetable glycryn and fresh squeezed. I cough but then everything makes me cough.
     
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  14. Aug 23, 2019 #14

    The Hemp Goddess

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    I was making my cartridges with the glycerin 400. That stuff is all going into the trash...formaldehyde! Dam, I inhaled enough nasty stuff as a plumber and a smoker, don't need to add formaldehyde to the mix . Like you St. Nick, I cough a lot.

    I'm thinking of dragging my Arizer out.
     
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  15. Aug 23, 2019 #15

    burnin1

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  16. Aug 23, 2019 #16

    Surfer Joe

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    I think that the problem is with the additives and the use of liquids that produce some toxic elements.
    Vaping pure, homegrown ground up pot doesn't seem to have the side effects that vaping liquids are showing. I've been vaping with a Volcano or an Arizer solo and never had any of the reported side effects.
     
  17. Aug 23, 2019 #17

    Aksarben

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    I believe if you look closer that is PEG 400 (Polyethylene Glycol 400) and not Glycerine 400. Glycerine may be one of the better vape thinners/carriers ( from what I have read) out there. Definitely better than PEG 400 and PG. I am not quite sure that Glycerine reduces, during heating, to formaldehyde, at least not in the lower temperature range of most battery-pen cartridges. Link to give more insight: https://monq.com/science/vegetable-glycerin/
     

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