Not much time has ticked since there was a scare in the United States about a worrying respiratory ailment that was catching air on prime time. For many, the episode may have been wiped off their memory with pressing issues at the present, but in the beginning months of 2019, there was an obsession with vaping that had reached bizarre proportions. Vaping was publicized as the ‘it’ thing that everybody had to try out, and for the most part, the message got across. The CDC or The Centre for Disease Control had their hands full on seeing the report of a surge in the number of deaths and injuries that were credited to vaping and e-CBD oil cartridges.
By the time, the year 2020 rolled out, reportedly 68 teenagers had succumbed to this mysterious respiratory illness. Those waiting outside hospitals for the same reached a tally of 3000, with issues ranging from coughing blood to breathlessness.
Who was the unseen killer who was knocking people out like a house of playing cards? CDC attempted to get to the bottom of it. Their investigation brought up vitamin E acetate, a thickening agent that is added to low-grade cannabis oil extracts. It is believed that this was the root cause of respiratory failure that was connected to vaping.
Vitamin E Acetate: What We Know
As per what the CDC made public, Vitamin E acetate is linked to the EVALI outbreak (the CDC’s acronym for E-cigarette or Vaping-related Lung Injuries). It has been detected in vaping products that have been tested by the FDA using the patient’s lung fluid samples that have been tested by the CDC over a diverse geographical area.
EVALI patients have been diagnosed with a rare respiratory inflammatory disease that leads to the build-up of fats and oils in the alveoli sacs within the lungs. This condition is called lipid pneumonia. The symptoms that arise from these are similar to those that arise when pneumonia is triggered by a fungal, viral, and bacterial infection.
Upon closer inspection, there were cases of vaping-associated injuries that resemble chemical burns. The only logical conclusion here is that there were additives other than Vitamin-E acetate, that were added and carry the responsibility of damaging lung tissue
Additives In Vape Oil
There are hazards that can be life-threatening. Additives such as thinning agents, polyethylene glycol and propylene glycol and many other sorts of flavoring agents are added, and for the most part, these are deemed safe for human consumption- The FDA stands behind these too.
However, the fine print also reads that heating these agents can turn it poisonous, which then makes its way to your body when you inhale it. Many of the flavoring agents in the e-cigarettes are toxic to the white blood cells. Ranking the charts of the most dangerous amongst them would have to be diacetyl, which is a substance that is added to stimulate a creamy, butter-like flavor with hints of vanilla. Taking this seemingly safe and harmless vapor can lead to crippling the lungs, with a fatal response called popcorn lungs.
What Else Could Be Present?
There are still doubts regarding the extent to which these sketchy substances played in the vaping fiasco, and what was the cocktail that was being made behind closed doors. There have been studies of synthetic cannabinoids- a class of compounds that are difficult to test and detect. These are lethal research-turned-street compounds that are wreaking havoc in the bodies of unsuspecting victims. Some of the symptoms included ruptured blood vessels, deprivation of the lungs, fluid built-up among many other things.
How You Can Stay Clear Of The Crossfire
There is no denying that vaping is one of the most convenient and safest ways to consume CBD and cannabis. Like all things in the world, all that is needed is for a little bad to shadow all of the good. Millions of flights take off from airports all over the world and safely take passengers from point A to B, but it is the one-odd unfortunate crash that takes up a week’s worth of airtime.
There are some great quality CBD vape options. The only commitment from your end is to research and find out what these are, and where you may find them. The CBD market is still unregulated at this point since it was only in 2018 that it was deemed legal. The FDA is yet to tighten the leash around the CBD industry in the US, but the red tape and the slow system isn’t making things easier.
Until the cogwheels are in place, being an informed, and educated consumer is your tool to navigate through this maze of CBD products and not get lost. Most of the CBD e-cigarettes are just a mouse click away from being purchased at gas-stations and storefronts- these are often laced with texturizing additives and flavoring agents that could spell a world of trouble for you.