Synthetics Sold as CBD: What to Look Out for in Your Vape Products
In a new Associated Press investigation, the Houston Forensic Science Center has discovered a batch of vape products that have been spiked with synthetic marijuana. This synthetic compound has been linked to a mysterious lung illness surrounding e-cigarette and cannabis-infused vapes. Oddly enough, these dangerous vapes are being marketed as CBD products, a naturally grown property within hemp. So why would these vapes contain substances that aren’t natural and potentially dangerous for vape consumers?
Currently the San Antonio Metro Health Department has confirmed two cases of severe lung disease in Bexar County from possible e-cigarette vapes. With the increasing amount of respiratroy illness cases around the country, federal investigators have discovered that most of the illnesses are linked to illegally packaged THC vapes. Since THC vapes are illegal to purchase in Texas, most of these vaping products are not regulated or lab tested.
What’s In Your CBD?
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is an organic compound found in Hemp, can possibly help individuals with pain, anxiety, and more. This medicinal cannabinoid was once listed as a Scheduled 1 controlled list of drugs along with marijuana. Although since the federal legalization of hemp in the 2018 Farm Bill Act, CBD has become a booming industry not only in pro-cannabis state’s, but all across the country.
James Miller from the Forensic Science Center claims that last year his lab found synthetic marijuana in about two dozen CBD vape products that are distributed all over the US. The Associated Press also found out that over ten of the twenty CBD vape products purchased in their lab study was infused with K2, a dangerous synthetic marijuana substance that delivers a “high” feeling with no medicinal benefits. Some of the lab study’s products also showed that some of the vapes had little to no CBD.
In legal cannabis states, synthetic marijuana products like K2 are banned due to their dangerous side effects. In the past, the K2 chemical was sprayed into a plant-like substance to mimic the look of medical marijuana and other herbs. Some of K2’s dangerous side effects can cause hallucinations, seizures, anxiety attacks, elevated heart rate, psychotic episodes, and heart attacks.
Law enforcement agencies in other states have also found similar results with their local CBD vapes, noticing an increase of spiked vape products with K2 and other dangerous substances. In nine different southern states, 128 samples of 350 CBD products were infused with synthetic marijuana. Out of these 350 samples, 36 of the products that were spiked with synthetic marijuana were labeled as CBD gummies and other edibles, while the rest were mostly vape products.
In Mississippi, law enforcement also found some of their CBD vape products infused with fentanyl, a powerful and dangerously addictive opioid. According to the Center for Disease Control and Protection, fentanyl is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. This dangerous drug is also responsible for over 24,000 deaths due to overdose in the year 2017.
The President of U.S. Hemp Authority, Marielle Weintraub comments that these “synthetic vape products are not representative of the whole CBD market,” only of a few companies that are trying to make a quick buck. Synthetic marijuana can be sold as a little as $25 dollars a pound, compared to the hundreds of thousands of dollars to create natural derived CBD products.
Do Your Research
Research is essential when purchasing a new vape product, especially when finding individual third-party lab testing materials for each CBD vape, edible, oil, and other products to ensure its quality. It’s also important to research a company’s standards for cultivating cannabis and their process to create clean high-quality hemp-derived products. Low-grade CBD products are often two to three times cheaper than natural CBD products, often full of additives and other synthetic materials.
For purchasing an e-cigarette or vape, do some research on the ingredients in these vapes that could damage lungs like toxic metals and other sythetic compounds. Propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin, also known as PG and VG, are very common organic compounds in e-cigarette vapes that are both approved by the FDA. Although these compounds are mostly used in food and are healthy to digest, there hasn’t been any conclusive studies on PG and VG’s side-effects when inhaled through a vaporizer.
Doctors and academic researchers have tried to link the vaping ingredients PG and VG to a few cases of acute respiratory distress syndrome, although there are plenty of consumers who have smoked PG and VG vape ingredients for years without any harmful side effects. For good reason, some individuals might be skeptical about these vaping ingredients and prefer to vape mct oil instead.
Flavoring compounds like vanillin and cinnamaldehyde are also dangerous in the toxicity level in e-cigarette and vapes. High amounts of these vape flavoring compounds can decrease overall cell growth in your lungs, causing potential respiratory problems and illness. Most vapes and e-cigarette products have a shortlist of ingredients, so If your e-cigarette or vape product contains a long list of unreadable ingredients, it could mean that they are potentially full of synthetics with a high toxicity ranking.
For brand information, look into independent lab and research journals for extra information on third-party lab testing for your local CBD vapes and products. Don’t be hesitant to ask questions either, if the seller can not tell you where the product is being made and what ingredients are in it, you may want to look else where.