Questions Swirl, but Will the Hint of Vaping Illness Dampen Sales in December? – LPC
Nobody yet knows what’s causing the wave of vaping illness in the US that has resulted in five deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that, “no one device, product or substance has been linked to all cases.” However, what’s most alarming about the vaping illness is that the CDC added that “many” patients reported vaping cannabis. The agency also said it found Vitamin E acetate in some of the product samples.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed that many samples from those with vaping illness contained both substances. “Consumers are urged to avoid buying vaping products on the street,” the FDA announced. This is due to Vitamin E acetate concerns, it said.
Health Canada stated that there hadn’t been any cases in Canada to date. However, it recommended that users monitor themselves for vaping illness symptoms including chest pain and shortness of breath.
What’s Going On? And Will It Affect Cannabis Vaping? – LPC
No agency in either country is drawing official conclusions about what’s causing vaping illness. However, the fact that the CDC and the FDA both mention Vitamin E acetate and illegal vaping products may be a clue. Rolling Stone magazine and other media outlets have discovered a link between Vitamin E acetate and lipid pneumonitis. This pneumonia-like condition is caused by oils like Vitamin E acetate being heated and inhaled. In turn, this allows fats (“lipids”) to be ingested in the lungs. This causes inflammation of lung tissue, making it difficult to breath.
The fact that Health Canada reports no cases of vaping illness versus at least 450 in the US is also telling. (The same Rolling Stone article from above reports a Canadian woman who got it from a homemade cannabis oil brew about 20 years ago.) There could be other reasons for this including misdiagnosis. However, given the numbers and the telltale signs of vaping illness, the likelihood of this is dropping.
In other words, the evidence right now points to illegal or modified vaping pods that contain Vitamin E acetate. Health Canada and other agencies are right not to reach early conclusions. But it would seem that legal, properly made cannabis pods should at least reduce the risk of vaping illness.
“Most of these issues coming out of the US are related to black market product,” said Megan McCrae. She is the board chair of the Cannabis Council of Canada but also the VP of marketing at Aphria. That company and others recently signed a deal with PAX Labs for cannabis vape pens. McCrae said that the connection between vaping illness and the black market may “bolster legal channels”.
Cannabis Vaping Legal Later This Year in Canada – LPC
Vape pens for cananbis will become legal in Canada when edibles do on October 17, with legal products expected by mid-December. Cannabis vaping was expected to become the next big thing, though the risk of vaping illness may drive consumers away.
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