Marijuana Info

Are THC and CBD Vape Cartridges Safe?

I meant to post this blog article several months ago when vape associated lung injury was a hot topic throughout our Country… But then the Coronavirus pandemic took the world by storm. Most of this article was written in November of 2019 but I did go back to the CDC website to pull their most up-to-date statistics and findings to include in this article.

At this point, it seems as though things have calmed down and that EVALI is no longer a problem. Once Vitamin E Acetate was added to the banned substance list, I haven’t heard of any new injuries or deaths associated with vape products.

What The Hell Is Going On With Vape Cartridges?

Rumors and confusing media coverage are swirling rapidly, creating a tornado of political action, leaving a path of closed-down businesses, and people in disbelief. People on both sides of the debate, those who want vapes banned, and those who do not, are both passionate about their positions.

In this article, I will do my best to provide the most accurate, honest, and unbiased reporting I’m capable of. I personally use vape cartridges, and I sell them to other people as a legal Budtender working for a licensed marijuana retailer, I honestly want to make sure that these products are safe.

According to my research, EVALI or “e-cigarette or vaporizer use associated lung injury”, is only a recent problem. Vape products have been on the market for a long time now; if we’re only talking about THC vapes, they’ve been on the market for more than 6 years, but EVALI has only been a problem since March of 2019. When you think about the time-frame where vaping has been available, why is it only now becoming a wide-spread problem?


Vape-Graph.png

While there isn’t full consensus between hospitals, the CDC, the FDA, politicians, vape business owners, or the consumers, we can all pretty much agree that EVALI is probably caused by one or more of the following variables:

  • Vape cartridge hardware

  • Food-grade terpenes

  • Vitamin E acetate

  • Certain pesticides

One of the best sources of information to learn more about the health concerns associated with vaping is the CDC (Center For Disease Control). I just got done reading their latest update on the topic and I’ve posted some of the most critical information below:


According to the CDC (November 19th, 2019):

What we know:

  • As of February 18, 2020, a total of 2,807 hospitalized e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) cases or deaths have been reported to CDC from 50 states, the District of Columbia, and two U.S. territories (Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands).

  • Sixty-eight deaths have been confirmed in 29 states and the District of Columbia (as of February 18, 2020):

    • Alabama, California (4), Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida (2), Georgia (6), Illinois (5), Indiana (6), Kansas (2), Kentucky, Louisiana (2), Massachusetts (5), Michigan (3), Minnesota (3), Mississippi, Missouri (2), Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York (4), Oregon (2), Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee (2), Texas (4), Utah, Virginia and Washington (2).

    • The median age of deceased patients was 49.5 years and ranged from 15-75 years (as of February 18, 2020).

  • Among the 2,668 hospitalized EVALI cases or deaths reported to CDC (as of January 14, 2020):

    • 66% were male

      1. The median age of patients was 24 years and ranged from 13–85 years.

      2. By age group category:

        • 15% of patients were under 18 years old;

        • 37% of patients were 18 to 24 years old;

        • 24% of patients were 25 to 34 years old; and

        • 24% of patients were 35 years or older.

  • 2,022 hospitalized patients had data on substance use, of whom (as of January 14, 2020):

    • 82% reported using THC-containing products; 33% reported exclusive use of THC-containing products.

    • 57% reported using nicotine-containing products; 14% reported exclusive use of nicotine-containing products.

  • 50% of EVALI patients who reported using THC-containing products provided data on product source (as of January 7, 2020):

    • 16% reported acquiring products only from commercial sources (recreational and/or medical dispensaries, vape or smoke shops, stores, and pop-up shops).

    • 78% reported acquiring products only from informal sources (family/friends, dealers, online, or other sources).

    • 6% reported acquiring products from both commercial and informal sources.

  • 54% of EVALI patients who reported using nicotine-containing products provided data on product source (as of January 7, 2020):

    • 69% reported acquiring products only from commercial sources.

    • 17% reported acquiring products only from informal sources.

    • 15% reported acquiring products from both commercial and informal sources.

What we don’t know:

While it appears that vitamin E acetate is associated with EVALI, evidence is not yet sufficient to rule out contribution of other chemicals of concern to EVALI. Many different substances and product sources are still under investigation, and it may be that there is more than one cause of this outbreak.


As of February 18th 2020, the CDC has reported a national total of 68 deaths due to EVALI. It also seems as though reporting on the statistics associated with this issue have concluded. Many States have changed their laws and regulations governing vape products to include things like increasing the age limit required to purchase vape products, increasing taxes on vape products, and prohibiting certain ingredients in vape oils. Many vape shops ended up going out of business due to the sever restrictions imposed on the industry.

All-in-all, if you came across this article as you were conducting research into the safety of vape products, I don’t have any conclusive information for you. I can tell you that personally, I still use vape products quite often, and I feel safe doing so. We also, as a business, vet the companies whose vape products we sell. We always have the safety of our customers, staff, and community in mind. While 68 deaths associated with EVALI is sad, it doesn’t indicate a widespread problem.

If you like to purchase vape products from a variety of retailers, I would recommend reading the ingredients before you purchase the products. Vitamin E Acetate has been placed on the banned substance list for vape oil ingredients here in Washington State; so if you’re buying products from a licensed retailer, you shouldn’t have to worry about that. Another good idea is to look for companies that are pesticide free, and that use premium hardware for their cartridge components.

If you’d like more information about vape product safety and what companies have good reputations, come by our Bremerton store and chat with one of our Budtenders. Our staff uses vape products all the time and we would be happy to tell you about our personal experiences with these products.

Thanks for reading this article! We hope to see you at our store soon.

View our selection of marijuana vape products here: Online Menu

Sources:

CDC – https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/severe-lung-disease.html

Destination HWY 420 is a medical and recreational marijuana retailer located in Bremerton, WA. We have tons of opportunities for discounts on all of our products. We have discounts for Seasoned Smokers, Veterans, Medical Marijuana Recognition Card Holders, Local Businesses, and lots more. We offer big discounts on entire categories of products throughout the week such as marijuana flower, pre-rolled joints, edibles, drinkables, topicals, suppositories, vape cartridges, concentrates, and more. Nice selection of glass, silicon, stone, and wood pipes, bongs, dab rigs, and more.

If you’re near the Kitsap County area, swing by our Bremerton store to find out why we’re one of the favorite pot shops in the area. Let us know if it’s your first time shopping with us and we’ll get you signed up with our Best Buds rewards program!

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