We’re used to seeing CBD in the news. The compound – a non-psychoactive cousin to THC, the active ingredient in marijuana – is touted as a breakthrough in the healthcare and wellness industries. As a result, you can now find CBD in everything from cosmetics to dog treats. However, now CBD is making headlines across the US for new reasons. And for the first time, it’s in a less-than-positive light.
Reports are coming in from across the US of dangerous vape pens that are sending users to the hospital. And in some cases, they’re even fatal. Many of these vape pens are marketed as CBD pens. As a result, CBD has been getting some bad press. But is CBD really causing these dangerous reactions? In contrast, is there something else going on?
Throughout the US, people have reported cases of acute inflammatory respiratory issues caused by vaping. In other words, some vapes are causing dangerous reactions in their user’s lungs. As a result, some users require medical attention. Additionally, some even die.
Cases began flowing in at the beginning of September. There have been about 215 cases of THC and CBD vape pens causing adverse reactions among users. These cases have occurred in about 25 states, including Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Texas, Utah, Illinois, California, Florida and Maryland. Interestingly, the vast majority of reports have come from states where THC and cannabis are still illegal. Some brands that are suspected to be producing tainted product are “Dank Vapes,” “Brass Knuckles,” and “West Coast Carts.”
A study from the Associated Press tested 30 tainted vape samples to see what’s going on. And what they found was fairly interesting. Out of all 30 samples, the test found that ten contained one of more than 370 different types of synthetic cannabinoids. These compounds, known by names like “K2,” “Spice,” and more, are thought to be one of the causes of these negative reactions.
What Does This Mean?
First, it’s important to note that some of the dangerous vapes that the AP tested didn’t contain any CBD at all. Therefore, we can’t assume that CBD itself is causing these medical issues. Instead, it’s likely that some other chemical is responsible for these dangerous reactions. One possible culprit is synthetic cannabinoids. In addition, some of the tainted vapes even contained fentanyl, a powerful opiate that’s responsible for tens thousands of overdoses and deaths in the US.
Another important point that this rash of dangerous vape pens highlights is the need for better quality control. CBD and marijuana are still new industries. As a result, we’re still figuring out how to regulate CBD and marijuana products.
It’s also important to note that the majority of cases come from states where THC is illegal. As a result, people are forced to buy products from the black market. Without standardized ways to test and certify these products, these kinds of quality control issues will be present.
It’s just like alcohol during prohibition. Bottles of unregulated moonshine from unlicensed stills had the potential to blind people who drank them, or worse. CBD and marijuana are at a similar point in their evolution. As a result, it’s important to be extremely discerning about which products you buy.
What Can You Do?
Again, it’s important to remember that it’s unlikely CBD is causing these reactions. While CBD does have some side effects, these are minor and include effects like drowsiness, or diarrhea. Instead, CBD may promote positive effects like feelings of calm, improved sleep, and more.
It’s also interesting to note that cases involving reactions from tainted vapes include inflammatory lung issues. In contrast, CBD is widely known and scientifically proven to reduce swelling and inflammation. In other words, CBD does the opposite of what’s happening in these cases.
Because of this, if you can stick to trusted CBD brands you should be fine. However, events like these are an important reminder to do your research and make sure you trust the products you buy. If you need any information or product recommendations, you can check out our CBD vape pens reviews here.