In the last week the media has produced some fear mongering headlines involving an investigation of an Oregon death linked to vaping.
Articles on various websites in the last couple days are not shying away from pointing the finger at vape products purchased at a legal pot shop to be potentially linked to the cause of the death of the middle-aged Oregon man.
I call these fear-driven headlines blasphemy!
If you ask me the only connection one could make to a hazardous cannabis vape oil is one that would be sourced from the black market.
I was talking to some family members from California that shop around at some of the flea market style cannabis bodegas. We were specifically talking about certain vendors selling rip off vape cartridges that either didn’t work or didn’t get you high. My cousin was jokingly talking about them refilling old cartridges with hot dog water and ripping people off.
Frequently people come into Tacoma House of Cannabis asking about refilling empty vape carts with oil that they thinned out with substances like MCT oil or something else they purchased from the internet or at a tobacco vape shop.
I always tell people that this is a bad idea. Not just because the filaments could burn out in the vape cartridge and leave your oil trapped, but because cutting/thinning pure cannabis oil is not natural and one should never smoke a thinning agent.
The fear mongering that the various media outlets were doing didn’t take any of the black-market aspect into consideration.
NPR published an article that did a really good job breaking down what could have been the source of the health hazard.
In the NPR article they interviewed New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker and picked his brain on the issues of what could be the source of the health hazard.
Zucker says that Vitamin E oil was very prevalent in about 13 of the patient-submitted cartridges that they analyzed.
Vitamin E oil could be used as a topical or a dietary supplement but vaping it could be very harmful. When it is “inhaled deep in the lung, [it] can cause problems,” Zucker tells NPR.
Vitamin E oil is not an approved additive per the rules and regulations of the New York medical marijuana program, and the cartridges that contained it appeared to be black market products purchased off the street, says Zucker.
Its reported that officials in Oregon say that the man that died of severe pulmonary illness had used a vape product purchased at one of Oregon’s state regulated marijuana stores.
If Oregon officials are going to make a connection of this death to the product he purchased in a legal marijuana store in their report, they had better also try to make a connection to any and everything that could have hindered this man’s lungs in the previous year.
I say that this type of press release is fear mongering and attempt to smear the name of legal cannabis. And that is totally not cool man.
Those that are still worried from the slough of stories that came out this week, my only advice would be to never purchase any marijuana product from anyone that is not a state licensed marijuana store. But c’mon man, especially a vape cart.