In August of 2019 we started hearing accounts of people experiencing extreme sickness and, unfortunately, even death caused by vaping. At first, information was scarce, leaving consumers of both cannabis AND electronic cigarettes in a state of fear - wondering if the products they have been using for years have been harming them without their knowledge. Fortunately, more information has surfaced that will hopefully help you find safer products and reduce health risks.
What We Know:
1.) The vape products contained Vitamin E Acetate.
Vitamin E on its own is a nutrient that is found in many foods. It is commonly taken as a supplement to help prevent heart disease, support eye health, lower the risk of cancer, and more. It is also common in a lot of lotions and skin products. However, when inhaled in an oil form, Vitamin E Acetate is thought to cause respiratory and lung issues, such as the ones we are seeing with the current vape epidemic. It is used as a thickener to cut cannabis oils because it is supposedly tasteless, odorless, and it keeps the product at a thicker consistency, giving the appearance that the final product is uncut, unlike many other cutting agents such as propylene glycol. It is best to avoid Vitamin E Acetate and other cutting agents all together. 2020 Solutions does not knowingly sell any products with Vitamin E Acetate.
2.) Nearly all cases are from products illegally purchased on the unregulated or illicit market.
Thus far, there has only been one case reported of a product sold from a licensed dispensary, which was in Oregon. The rest of the products found were made and sold on the illicit market. It is impossible to know what pesticides, harsh metals, and cutting edges reside in illicit market concentrates, cartridges and vapes. As a result we suggest you only buy products from a trusted retailer such as 2020 Solutions, where the products are thoroughly tested before hitting our shelves.
3.) Not one brand is specifically linked to Vitamin E Acetate, the illnesses, or the deaths.
Before we start pointing fingers, be aware that not one single brand has been pinpointed as the reason for this epidemic. We have seen this issue in multiple states and opposite sides of the country. There are a lot of products on the market, so the best way to stay safe right now is to look for companies who use 100% cannabis vapes with no additives - many of which are sold at 2020.
4.) Vaping Cannabis is safer. Vaping pesticides, harsh metals, cutting agents, and residual solvents is not.
There is no proven evidence to suggest that vaping 100% cannabis oil has any health risks, however it is not always the cannabis itself you need to keep an eye out for:
To cut costs and increase profit, many companies use cutting agents such as propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and now Vitamin E Acetate, even in legal states such as Washington, Oregon, and Colorado. Avoid oils that use cutting agents entirely, as they are all potentially harmful when heated.
Plenty of companies use harsh pesticides when growing their cannabis that can cause adverse effects. Fortunately, pesticide test results are open to the public and Washington State.
Cartridge hardware made of plastic and cheap metals may be harmful to the user when heated up.
There are some concentrate extraction methods, such as Butane Hash Oil (BHO) and Propane Hash Oil (PHO) that are safe only when done right. It is possible to leave residual solvents which can be harmful to the user.
5.) Here is what we suggest to reduce health risks:
Research before vaping and be aware of any potential risks associate with cannabis oil.
Only buy from reputable retailers such as 2020 Solutions.
If you have a history of respiratory or lung issues, have a conversation with your healthcare professional before vaping to assess risks.
Ask your budtender about reputable brands to make sure you get clean products with no additives. We are here to ensure you the best cannabis experience possible.
Remember you get what you pay for. Certain products are more affordable because they have additives. Higher quality vapes and cartridges may cost a little bit more, but tend to be more natural and additive free.
2020 Solutions is here for any and all questions about cannabis use and we will stay updated on this topic as more information becomes available.
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Bellingham Area Locations:
2018 Iron Street
Bellingham, WA 98225
Open: Mon-Sat 8am-11:45pm, Sun 9am-10pm
5655 Guide Meridian
Bellingham, WA 98226
Open: Mon-Thu 8am-10pm, Fri-Sat 8am-11pm, Sun 9am-10pm
4770 Pacific Highway
Bellingham, WA 98226
Open: Mon-Fri 8am-11:00pm, Sat-Sun 8am-10pm
Phone: (360) 734-2020