Vaping has always been the subject of controversy in the past by anti-vaping activists and the media, we even remember writing about such controversies back in 2007 when e-cigarettes were just starting to hit the mainstream. Studies were being released about the health risks associated with e-cigarettes and vaping with media reports latching on and printing stories. Some long term vapers may remember such studies which included that 75% of flavored e-liquids contained Diacetyl which is linked to “Popcorn Lung”.
These studies were soon retracted and shown that this was not actually the case, take a look at Cancer Research UK to see how they answered the question. Although these studies were easily disproved, it didn’t stop anti-vaping groups to promote the misinformed “dangers of vaping” information, reaching thousands of people.
In 2019 we saw a huge uptrend in our media about new dangers with vaping and the health risks it may cause. We also saw an increase of thousands (2,807) of people contracting lung illnesses and hospitalized due to vaping with sixty-eight deaths so far. (Source CDC latest information. The media and anti-vaping groups didn’t hang around in sharing these stories, with the help of social media from some victims going viral. An example of this was reported by CNN. The outbreak of these news studies went to such levels that there is now an official name for it EVALI which stands for e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury.
Crucially the media left some important details out, whether this was because it was not known at the time, or whether it did not present well with the headline, we are yet to decide. We will now look into the detail of these illnesses and present the facts, so you are better informed.
The CDC has released a webpage dedicated to the outbreak of lung injuries associated with E-Cigarettes or vaping, and is a great place to start with the facts.
82% of patients hospitalized with e-cigarette or vaping, product use–associated lung injury (EVALI) reported tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing product use. Vitamin E acetate, an additive to THC-containing e-cigarette, or vaping, products, is strongly linked to the EVALI outbreak.
Also, late in 2019 the New York State health department released a press release warning against the use of black market vaping products.
Laboratory test results show very high levels of vitamin E acetate in nearly all cannabis-containing samples analyzed by New York State’s Wadsworth Laboratory as part of this investigation
On the 5th March 2020 The New England Journal of Medicine released their final report on the Pulmonary Illness Related to E-Cigarette Use in Illinois and Wisconsin.
Products containing THC are the most commonly reported exposure among these case patients (89%). This finding is consistent with nationwide data. Additional studies have shown an association and increased risk with informally acquired prepackaged THC e-cigarette, or vaping, products
To answer this question we have to look at the process of how THC e-liquid is actually made.
The main ingredient required to make THC e-liquid is something called THC distillate which is an extremely potent and pure form of THC, because of this it is extremely expensive known to be one of the most expensive products related to weight. The one thing that is important to consider is that THC distillate is an extremely thick substance, far to thick to vape in its raw form.
So producers of THC e-liquid had to find a way to thin the product and the use of MCT oil (medium-chain triglyceride) is the most popular. Unfortunately, MCT oils are a little expensive and quite hard to get hold of, so some users started experimenting in other ways to thin the THC distillate. In addition to this, some also added thickening agents to make it look like it was purer than it actually was, meaning they could use less THC.
Effectively this reckless combination of oils, thinners, and thickeners produced a substance known as Vitamin E acetate, there’s nothing wrong with Vitamin E and is found in many foods, including vegetable oils, cereals, meat, fruits, and vegetables. But, although vitamin E is safe when ingested, the same cannot be said when inhaled and is known to interfere with normal lung functionality.
The number 1 rule of vaping is only and always buy your products from recognized manufacturers and suppliers. All the vape product reviews we conduct are from reputable companies and brands. Don’t be fooled by a fancy logo, packaging or even if it comes in what appears to be a genuine cartridge if your not buying it from a reputable supplier stay well clear. Black market resellers are known to fill blank replicated cartridges with their e-liquids to make it look more genuine.
Stay away from vaping THC, the likelihood of it producing Vitamin E acetate is high, which effectively is putting your lungs in danger.
The bottom line here, is there are minimal health risks associated with vaping, as long as you vape responsibly and source your e-liquid, cartridges, etc. from the correct sources.