Possible culprits in vaping illnesses
In the column “Reckoning is coming on vaping” in the valley’s Citizen, editor Andrea Rondeau points out some of the issues regarding the recently discovered deaths and illnesses associated with “vaping”. However, it was the comment the editor made regarding vaping THC that made me want to find out more.
I went to the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) which has begun a full scale investigation to find the cause(s). The CDC admits it has not confirmed a single cause of the outbreak. The CDC states, “the investigation has not identified any specific e-cigarette or vaping product (devices, liquids, refill pods, and/or cartridges) or substance that is linked to all cases.” The CDC did rule out any infectious disease as the cause though and determined the “suspected cause is a chemical exposure”.
Many who are experiencing these lung diseases, including lipoid pneumonia, admit using e-cigarette vape devices containing THC, however, the type of vape devices used require the primary ingredient (THC concentrate, nicotine and flavours) to be mixed with a food grade oil and heated to a high temperature. The THC concentrate by itself is a thick sticky substance that has to be thinned using a food grade oil in order to use in the e-cigarette type of vape device. The oil mixture is heated, the oil mixture vapourized and then taken into the lungs.
A review of more than 150 reports on oil mist exposure in industrial workers from 1965 to 1993 showed significant lung diseases, including lipoid pneumonia, associated with oil mist exposure.
The vaped THC/Vitamin E oil mixture should not be confused with vaped dried cannabis bud which is heated in a different type of vape device without the need of a THC/oil concentrate.
Phil Le Good