With the recent spike in vaping related deaths, many people are expressing concern over the safety of their favorite vape cartridges. But before you panic and throw your CBD vape cartridges and accessories away, there are some things you can do to help keep yourself safe.
While the seeming randomness of these deaths can be a cause for concern, learning exactly what is contained inside your vape oil can go a long way to helping you avoid a similar, tragic fate.
Vaping-Related Deaths: The Facts and Some Perspective
Six vaping-related deaths, across six different states, is nothing to ignore. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has not been able to make a direct connection to any brand, product, type, or piece of equipment in any of the cases, nor is there any link between them beyond the individuals having all reported ‘vaping.’
Of course, these deaths are just the latest. Vaping has been potentially linked to 450 cases of lung illnesses across the country.
Separate investigations are being conducted in several states and it will take time before any definitive answers can be reached.
Because many of the individuals who have fallen ill have reported using vape products that contained cannabis derivatives, some of the investigations have begun their focus there.
New York state health officials have reported that nearly all of the cannabis-containing products they tested as part of their investigation have contained high levels of vitamin E acetate. At least one product containing this chemical has been linked to each case of illness.
Vitamin E acetate has not just been found in cannabis products. The New York investigation has also found it in candy-flavored nicotine vape products. They have also identified companies that are selling thickeners to vape producers that are almost entirely vitamin E acetate.
What is Vitamin E Acetate?
Vitamin E oil is a type of tocopherol, commonly found in corn and vegetable oils or synthetically produced from petroleum. Vitamin E appears in a number of supplements, foods, and cosmetics.
Vitamin E acetate is the ester form of tocopherol, is less prone to oxidation, and has a longer shelf life.
The problem is, neither vitamin E or vitamin E acetate are safe to inhale. Vitamin E is often found in skin creams and makeup, items that are not designed for inhalation.
When oils and lipids get into the lungs, they can cause significant damage and illnesses like lipoid pneumonia. Vitamin E acetate may make things even worse.
The lungs are covered in a liner fluid known as lung surfactant. Tocopherols stick to this lining, preventing oxygen from entering the body. When the proper oxygen transfer does not occur, lung cells die.
Simply put, vitamin E and vitamin E acetate should never be inhaled.
How to Vape Safely
Unfortunately, as mentioned above, vitamin E acetate has been found in a number of black market vape oils and e-liquids.
Before you throw away all of your vape cartridges or decide against vaping CBD oil, understand that there are things you can do to keep yourself safe.
Buy From a Reputable Source
This step is crucial. Given that most of the vaping related illnesses have been linked to black market vape products, you will want to make sure that anything you purchase is legitimate.
Because cannabis and CBD oil products have seen such an increase in popularity, there is a big market for counterfeit products.
When you buy from a licensed dispensary or directly from a vape producer like Vape Bright, you can be more confident in your purchase. These retailers will have to follow state quality and safety regulations, significantly reducing your risk.
Furthermore, these items are likely to be clearly labeled, allowing you to look closely at the ingredients list.
Know the What’s in Your CBD Vape Oil
Always read the ingredients list so you can understand what it in your vape.
When extracted from the hemp plant, CBD is thick and viscous. This thickness is not ideal for vaping. To remedy this “problem,” a thinning agent, or carrier liquid, is added to the mix. These carrier liquids are typically propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), or MCT oil.
But more than just considering carrier oils, you need to think about what else is in your vape oil. Are there chemical additives in your vape? Artificial flavors? If safety is your primary concern, you’d be best to use a vape oil that is sourced from and contains only natural ingredients.
At Vape Bright, all of our CBD oil is sourced from certified organic hemp and contains only natural plant materials and MCT oils. Our Thrive and Thrive Beyond lines are naturally flavored with terpenes and contain no chemicals or artificial additives.
Look for Up to date Certificates of Analysis
At Vape Bright, we clearly label all of our products but you shouldn’t limit your safety investigation to reading the label. Verify the label’s claims by also reading the certificate of analysis (CoA).
Most reputable brands will have their extracts and products tested by a third-party laboratory to ensure safety and quality standards are being met. The lab testing results in a certificate of analysis that will break down exactly what is contained in the tested CBD oil.
These CoAs will help you verify the products’ CBD and THC concentrations and allow you to see the complete chemical makeup of your purchase. We post all of our CoAs online for everyone to see. If the brand you are interested in hasn’t clearly posted these lab results, do not be afraid to reach out and ask to see them. Most brands that do this sort of testing will be happy to share with you. If you are not able to obtain this information, it might be best to consider buying a different product.
While it is impossible to say that vaping will never make you sick, buying reputable products from reputable sources can help keep you safe. Whenever something becomes popular, like CBD oil, there will be people looking to cash in by creating a cheap, or subpar product. These black market vapes avoid regulatory scrutiny and will try to cut their products with substances like vitamin E acetate in order to make as much profit as possible.
Do not fall for it. Research brands before you buy and make sure that you are getting what you pay for, nothing more and nothing less.