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Tips Vape Cartridge Issues and Safety

Baron23

Well-Known Member
" “Instead of intervening to try to stem the distribution of illegal, black market THC vape cartridges that are filled with oil, policy makers are banning flavored e-cigarettes, which so far as we know, are not clearly associated with the outbreak."

Well, yes...of course they are. After all, the main characteristic needed for being a successful politician these days is the ability for constant knee jerk, thoughtless, knowl nothing reactions.

Just ask anybody who REALLY does need pharma pain meds these days.


Cannabis vaping — not nicotine — is primary cause of lung illness, CDC finally says

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finally acknowledged Friday that a vast majority of the mysterious, vaping-related lung illnesses are linked to cannabis products — not nicotine.

The outbreak has confused consumers, largely because politicians have placed most of the attention on vaping nicotine. On Sept. 4, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was the first to announce a ban on flavored nicotine vaping, while remaining silent on tainted, black market cannabis oils that are vaped. Massachusetts and New York followed with their own bans on vaping.


On Friday, the CDC announced that the lung illness has shown no sign of abating, sickening 806 people in 46 states and killing 13. Of the patients who reported what product they vaped, only 16% said they only used nicotine. But health officials say that number is likely lower because people are reluctant to admit using cannabis.

In the past 10 days, the number of confirmed or probable cases in Michigan has nearly doubled to 20, and an additional 10 cases are under investigation, according to the state’s Department of Health and Human Services. In a majority of those cases, patients reported vaping cannabis oil, state health officials tell Metro Times.

Despite the early link to cannabis, Michigan and the CDC have been reluctant to point to THC and instead focused on nicotine, drawing criticism from many health experts. While other states have issued warnings, Michigan has been largely silent.

“This confusion is leading to bad public policy,” Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor of community health services at Boston University, told Metro Times last week. “Instead of intervening to try to stem the distribution of illegal, black market THC vape cartridges that are filled with oil, policy makers are banning flavored e-cigarettes, which so far as we know, are not clearly associated with the outbreak. Banning these products is going to cause many ex-smokers to return to smoking and is also going to create a new black market for flavored e-liquids. Worst of all, it is going to lead many youth to switch from vaping flavored e-liquids to vaping marijuana, making the outbreak much worse than it already is.”

A recent Morning Consult poll underscores the confusion surrounding the lung illness. Of those surveyed, 58 percent of Americans said they believed nicotine was to blame, while only 34 percent thought cannabis was responsible.
A small portion of the market two years ago, cannabis vape cartridges now represent about a third of the market, according to New Frontier Data, an economic analysis firm that tracks the legal cannabis industry. The cartridges are popular because they’re discreet, inexpensive, easy to use, and won’t stink up a room.

As many as 50 million cannabis cartridges are tainted with lead, pesticides, vitamin E acetate, or residual solvent butane, according to Leafly, a website dedicated to marijuana.

In another report released Friday, health officials found that two-thirds of the 86 patients interviewed in Illinois and Wisconsin said they purchased their cannabis cartridges from the black market before they got sick. Most of the illicit cartridges were sold under the name “Dank Vapes,” a counterfeit brand also found in Michigan and New York cases. Other brands included Off White, TKO, and Moon Rocks.

“Dank Vapes appears to be the most prominent in a class of largely counterfeit brands, with common packaging that is easily available online and that is used by distributors to market THC-containing cartridges with no obvious centralized production or distribution,” the report states.


click to enlarge Vape cartridges that were used by New Yorkers who got sick. All were found to have been cut with vitamin E acetate. - NEW YORK DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
  • New York Department of Health
  • Vape cartridges that were used by New Yorkers who got sick. All were found to have been cut with vitamin E acetate.

The CDC has not identified a single product or substance that is causing the lung illness, but health experts are increasingly focusing on vitamin E acetate, a thickener used to dilute cannabis cartridges in the black market. Introduced to the market late last year, vitamin E has become a popular and relatively inexpensive way for illicit drug dealers to maximize profits by adding the compound to cannabis oil, which is much more expensive. Vitamin E acetate and cannabis oil look very similar, so it’s hard for consumers to detect the cutting agent.

Investigators at the Food and Drug Administration found vitamin E acetate in samples collected from patients across the country. The same compound was found in nearly all cannabis samples from New York patients who have fallen ill in recent weeks, according to that state's health department. Most of the samples tested by the CDC found vitamin E acetate.

News of the lung illness has dampened sales of cartridges on the legal market. In the first week of September, sales declined 15 percent nationwide. In Oregon, New Mexico, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Montana, sales dropped by more than a third in each state.

It’s unclear whether sales in Michigan’s state-sanctioned dispensaries are declining because the state’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) has declined to provide that information. Metro Times has filed a Freedom of Information Act request for records that show how robust the sale of cannabis cartridges are.

To assuage fears, some dispensaries in other states are beginning to require manufacturers to provide a list of their ingredients. And some state-sanctioned labs are voluntarily testing for vitamin E acetate.

In Michigan, all marijuana products sold at licensed provisioning centers must be tested for pesticides, toxic metals, bacteria, and residual solvents from extraction methods. But like other states with a regulated marijuana industry, the MRA does not require testing for vitamin E acetate, nor does it require vape cartridge manufacturers to divulge the ingredients.

In Oregon and New York, dispensaries are now required to post warnings about the potential hazards of vape cartridges. In Massachusetts, cartridge manufacturers will soon have to list the ingredients used in their products.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission also encouraged dispensaries to remove any potentially problematic cartridges from their shelves, and offer returns on previously sold vaping products.

Massachusetts banned both nicotine and cannabis vaping products, and California is urging people not to buy vape cartridges.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
CDC reports majority of patients sickened in vape epidemic used marijuana vaporizer devices – many from illicit market

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Health officials reported on Friday that the majority of those sickened in the vaping health crisis used cannabis vape products containing THC, and many of those in the first two states to report illnesses – Illinois and Wisconsin – said they used counterfeit marijuana products from the illicit market, not licensed MJ companies.

The revelations, contained in a report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), underscore what’s been a debate since the first vaping illnesses were reported in August – whether the nationwide illnesses are coming from the legal, licensed marijuana market or from unlicensed, black-market products.

Marijuana industry officials have blamed the black market as the culprit behind the hundreds of illnesses and 13 deaths reported so far.

And industry officials have criticized the recent decision by Massachusetts to impose a four-month ban on the sale of all vaping products.

“By banning cannabis vape products that are produced according to state regulations, it significantly increases the likelihood that individuals will seek to purchase those products from unregulated sources,” the Cannabis Trade Federation said in a statement Tuesday.

In its report, the CDC said that among 805 cases of illness documented as of Sept. 24, nearly 77% of the 514 people interviewed reported using products containing THC as well as other products, and 36% reported using products only containing THC.

Others reported using a combination of THC and e-cigarettes containing nicotine.

In Illinois and Wisconsin, which were the first states to report vaping-related illnesses, officials interviewed 86 patients; 87% of them reported using vape pens from the illicit market that contained THC during the three months before getting sick.


“These data reveal a predominant use of prefilled THC cartridges sold through informal and unregulated markets, although the origin of these products further back in the production and distribution chain is unknown,” the report states.

The report goes on to say that it’s unclear if the cause of the illness is THC or “a substance associated with prefilled THC cartridges, such as a cutting agent or adulterant.”

The additive vitamin E acetate has been pointed to as a possible cause.

No patients reported adding any substances to the cartridges. And no single brand was named by all patients, but Dank Vapes was mentioned by 66% of them.

According to the CDC, Dank Vapes are counterfeit THC cartridges that can be purchased “easily” online.
 

CarolKing

Always in search of the perfect vaporizer
(CNN)Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has called for the state to impose an emergency ban on all flavored vaping products, including those that contain nicotine and THC.
On Friday, Inslee announced the executive order that will direct the Washington State Department of Health to take several actions.
Vaping lung injuries now surpass 800 cases nationwide, CDC says
Vaping lung injuries now surpass 800 cases nationwide, CDC says

The order "will ask the state board of health to adopt emergency rules to ban all flavored vapor products, including flavored THC products. I expect the board to take up this request and vote on it at their next meeting on October 9th," Inslee said during a press conference on Friday.
"My executive order also directs the department and the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board to do the following: First, immediately ban any ingredients or sources that are found to be the cause of this acute lung illness," he said. The governor's announcement comes in response to a nationwide outbreak of lung injuries associated with e-cigarette use or vaping.

FDA commissioner on vaping crisis: We 'should have acted sooner'
FDA commissioner on vaping crisis: We 'should have acted sooner'

There are at least 805 lung injury cases reported in 46 states and the US Virgin Islands, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Thirteen deaths have been confirmed in 10 states: two in California, two in Kansas, two in Oregon and one each in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi.
The specific chemical exposure causing lung injuries associated with e-cigarette use currently remains unknown, according to the CDC.
There are signs that point to a majority of patients vaping THC products.
'This executive order is a floor, not a ceiling'
In 2012, Washington state legalized marijuana for recreational use and the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board's enforcement and education divisionis responsible for enforcing state liquor, cannabis and tobacco laws and regulations.

Vaping an epidemic in US high schools







In his announcement, Inslee added that the next steps include for the health department and board to work together on drafting governor-request legislation for 2020 that would permanently ban all flavored vape products, require disclosure of all ingredients in products, increase the regulatory oversight of these products, limit bulk sales and expand an educational campaign.
"I wanted to do more by this executive order. I wanted to go further than this, but I followed our existing statutory authority," Inslee said. "We aren't done in this discussion. ... What I'm doing with this executive order is a floor, not a ceiling."
Matthew Myers, president of the advocacy group Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, applauded Inslee and supported the call for a ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in Washington state.
"The time is now to end the youth e-cigarette epidemic, and Gov. Inslee's call for prohibiting flavored e-cigarettes is exactly what we need," Myers said in a written statement.
"The evidence is clear that flavored e-cigarettes have fueled this epidemic -- 97% of youth e-cigarette users report using a flavored product in the past month and 70% cite flavors as the reason for their use. The recent spate of serious lung illnesses associated with e-cigarette use has added to the urgency of acting now to protect our kids and, indeed, the health of all Americans," he said in the statement. "We look forward to working with Gov. Inslee and state lawmakers to pass this legislation and end the youth e-cigarette epidemic."
Massachusetts to temporarily ban the sale of e-cigarettes and vaping products
Massachusetts to temporarily ban the sale of e-cigarettes and vaping products

Other states have also taken action to prohibit the sale of certain vaping projects. This week, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker called for a four-month temporary statewide ban on the sale of both flavored and non-flavored e-cigarettes and vaping products.
Earlier this month, Michigan banned the sale of flavored vaping products and New York banned the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes. In June, San Francisco became the first US city to effectively ban all e-cigarette sales.

I use a flavored THC distillate oil that I found after dealing with many inferior cartridges. Now the clean oil product I found will be banned. I’m very disappointed and pissed all at the same time.
 
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momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
About $3.8 million worth in illegal vaping cartridges were seized in Minnesota

Nearly 77,000 illegal vaping cartridges were seized from a home in Minnesota in what authorities say is the largest haul in the state's history.

A drug task force discovered 76,972 cartridges loaded with illegal cannabis-derived THC oil Monday while executing a search warrant at a home in Coon Rapids, north of Minneapolis, said New Hope Police Chief Tim Fournier.

The cartridges are believed to have been manufactured out of state. Their total street value is up to $3.8 million, Fournier said.

A man was arrested and $23,000 in counterfeit dollars was found during the search, authorities said.

Charges against the man were pending Tuesday afternoon. Law enforcement officials did not discuss what led to Monday's raid.

The raid comes in the wake of a multi-state outbreak of lung injuries associated with vaping, which is currently being investigated by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food and Drug Administration.

Nationwide there have been nine known vaping-related deaths, including one in Minnesota.

Daniel Huff, assistant commissioner with the Minnesota Department of Health, said there are currently 43 confirmed cases of vaping-related illness in the state and all the cases "have admitted to vaping illegal THC."

"We just do not know what's in these products," Huff said.

State officials said they are reviewing an additional 24 cases.

Earlier Tuesday, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker called for a temporary statewide ban on the sale of all e-cigarettes and vaping products in response to the outbreak of lung injuries associated with vaping across the country.

Massachusetts would be the first state to issue such a ban, which would last through January 25, 2020. It would apply to all vaping products and devices, including tobacco and marijuana, according to the governor's office.

Michigan and New York have instituted temporary bans on the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
About $3.8 million worth in illegal vaping cartridges were seized in Minnesota

Nearly 77,000 illegal vaping cartridges were seized from a home in Minnesota in what authorities say is the largest haul in the state's history.

A drug task force discovered 76,972 cartridges loaded with illegal cannabis-derived THC oil Monday while executing a search warrant at a home in Coon Rapids, north of Minneapolis, said New Hope Police Chief Tim Fournier.

The cartridges are believed to have been manufactured out of state. Their total street value is up to $3.8 million, Fournier said.

A man was arrested and $23,000 in counterfeit dollars was found during the search, authorities said.

Charges against the man were pending Tuesday afternoon. Law enforcement officials did not discuss what led to Monday's raid.

The raid comes in the wake of a multi-state outbreak of lung injuries associated with vaping, which is currently being investigated by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food and Drug Administration.

Nationwide there have been nine known vaping-related deaths, including one in Minnesota.

Daniel Huff, assistant commissioner with the Minnesota Department of Health, said there are currently 43 confirmed cases of vaping-related illness in the state and all the cases "have admitted to vaping illegal THC."

"We just do not know what's in these products," Huff said.

State officials said they are reviewing an additional 24 cases.

Earlier Tuesday, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker called for a temporary statewide ban on the sale of all e-cigarettes and vaping products in response to the outbreak of lung injuries associated with vaping across the country.

Massachusetts would be the first state to issue such a ban, which would last through January 25, 2020. It would apply to all vaping products and devices, including tobacco and marijuana, according to the governor's office.

Michigan and New York have instituted temporary bans on the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes.
And why exactly are there so many back alley carts out there and why are people buying them.....ya' tink it may have something to do with our completely non-responsive and totally self focused Federal politicians who continue to leave MJ on Schedule 1 despite this being completely and utterly idiotic.

Its just like people going blind from "bathtub gin" during prohibition.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
What top cannabis brands are saying about counterfeit products

Big-name brands, such as Nike and Louis Vutton, are constantly counterfeited, but none have spurned a crisis quite like counterfeit vape cartridges.
As of Sep. 24, 2019, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that a mysterious vaping-related outbreak has caused serious respiratory illnesses in 530 people, including eight deaths. While the exact cause of this potentially fatal condition remains unknown, the New York Department of Health (NYDOH) has focused its investigation on vitamin E acetate, which may be an ingredient in thickening agents thought to be used by illegal THC vape cartridge manufacturers.

Cannabis vape cartridges have become wildly popular in states with adult-use legalization, spurring underground dealers to capitalize on this growing market by producing unregulated street-level THC cartridges that are believed to be the crux of this crisis. In southeastern Wisconsin, police recently conducted a raid and found 98,000 empty vape cartridges and 57 Mason jars filled with THC-based liquid, providing a peek behind the curtain of illegal cannabis vape oil production.

To gain a better understanding of how the industry is tackling the counterfeit crisis, Weedmaps News reached out to some of the most popular — and, subsequently, most counterfeited — cannabis brands. They addressed the importance of product quality, how to identify legitimate products, as well as how to avoid fake and potentially hazardous products.

What Top Brands Are Saying About Counterfeits
Although the recent vape-related health crisis has forced consumers to educate themselves about counterfeits, this is an issue that many companies have been dealing with for quite some time. Several reputable cannabis brands have come out to commend the CDC's crackdown on illicit cannabis vape cartridges and dismiss the street dealers that have been flooding the market with hazardous products.
“Greedy, unscrupulous people sidestep regulations and add harmful, even deadly, chemicals to reduce costs and take advantage of uninformed consumers,” said Jason Boze, President and CEO of Stratum Brands, parent company of the cannabis brand Cobra Extracts. “We laud the efforts of the FDA and CDC to raise awareness about the adverse and even deadly impacts non-natural cannabis additives have on unwitting and trusting consumers of illicit cannabis products.”
But it isn't as simple as only buying the brands you've heard of, as some of the industry's leading cannabis companies have fallen prey to counterfeiting. For example, the highly popular Los Angeles-based cannabis brand Cookies has been in a constant battle with counterfeits being shipped into the U.S. from overseas.
“We see counterfeits everywhere,” Omar Ortiz, assistant brand manager for Cookies, told Weedmaps News. “We've had customs actually reach out to us and stop a large order of counterfeit Cookies packaging coming into the U.S.” Cookies manufactures its cannabis products in California and doesn't sell outside of the state.
Some of the most counterfeited brands include:
  • Heavy Hitters
  • 710 Kingpen
  • Cookies
  • Brass Knuckles
  • Jungle Boys
  • Korova
  • Stiiizy
  • Kurvana
  • Kushy Punch
  • Space Monkey Meds
  • Tree Base Klear
Many manufacturers are taking steps to thwart counterfeits containing potentially dangerous vape oil, but consumers must also be diligent while searching for legitimate products.

Importance Of Product Quality
As evident by the recent string of vape-related illnesses from illicit products, there seems to be a clear distinction between counterfeits and products that are properly regulated and tested.
“The biggest difference between regulated products and the fakes is exactly that — they are fake,” said Daniel Yi, Chief Communications Officer of Shryne Group, Stiiizy's parent company. “Fakes are not made at licensed facilities with government oversight, or quality and safety controls. Fake products are not sent to third-party state licensed labs and tested for dangerous chemicals like pesticides.”

Simply put, when you purchase counterfeit products from street dealers, you run the risk of consuming a product that hasn't been manufactured under regulated guidelines or been tested by a lab. These products could contain pesticides, cutting agents, and in some cases may not even have THC in them.

As The Washington Post reported on Sep. 6, 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it identified the presence of vitamin E acetate in most of the samples linked to the mysterious respiratory illnesses. Many cannabis companies have released statements saying they don't use vitamin E acetate in their own cartridges. On the black market, however, there's no real way of knowing whether vitamin E acetate or other cutting agents are present in the cartridge.

Packaging Problems
One of the best ways to identify counterfeits is by knowing what to look for on product packaging. Although many illicit vape products are being sold in packaging that is nearly identical to the real brands, many companies are increasing their efforts to implement indicators that help verify true products from the fakes.
According to Ortiz, consumers should look for product packaging to include:
  • Child-resistant security mechanisms
  • Lab testing batch numbers
  • State government warnings, and
  • Additional manufacturing information such as who it was manufactured by, as well as the date it was produced and packaged
While vape counterfeits have garnered the most attention due to the recent health scare, there are numerous other cannabis brands dealing with a constant influx of ripoffs. For example, the California-based cannabis brand Kushy Punch has spent a small fortune to continuously separate its edible products from imposters.

“We have changed our packaging six times in the last two years to make our products look different,” Ruben Cross, CEO of cannabis brand Kushy Punch, which sells its products in California as well as Michigan, told Weedmaps News. “It has cost our company well into the millions trying to stay one step ahead of the fake Kushy.”

The Only Way To Avoid Counterfeits
When it comes down to it, all the brands Weedmaps News spoke to offered the same solution to avoiding counterfeit products: Purchase only from a licensed retailer.
This is not an option for those who live in states without a regulated cannabis market, leaving cannabis consumers at risk of encountering counterfeit or even products from brands that don't actually exist. In cases where consumers are unable to access legal cannabis, they should refrain from buying cannabis vape oil cartridges from street dealers, online social media accounts, and websites that offer to ship THC-based products.

Beware Of Fake Brands
It's not just top cannabis companies that have been swept up in the counterfeit craze. There are also a variety of unvetted brands that have popped up in illegal states may not even exist in regulated markets.

In an investigative report published by Inverse on Aug. 19, 2019, the article focused on a mysterious vape brand called Dank Vapes. Despite having a popular social media presence, merchandise line, and a formidable grip on the street market, this potentially illicit brand could be completely fake.
At a glance, the packaging for Dank Vapes doesn't look too unlike certain products you'd find in a licensed dispensary, featuring colorful cartoon graphics and familiar strain or flavor names such as “Blue Dream” and “Chemdawg.” Because packaging for Dank Vapes and even counterfeit packaging from real brands can be easily obtained online, the source of these potentially fatal cartridges are difficult to pinpoint, though packaging for several of these so-called “brands” are readily available from online retailers such as DHGate and Alibaba.

Dank Vapes aren't the only alleged culprit in this illicit vape cartridge scandal, there are also the likes of:
All of these appear to be fake brands made in order to capitalize on the rising popularity of cannabis vape cartridges.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
And industry has to do this why? Perhaps because for $175K a year, the empty suit morons we send to Congress can't see this for themselves. Hell, any bus driver or janitor (both honorable professions, by the by) could tell Congress the same thing. sigh

Industry leaders urge Congress to legalize cannabis in wake of vaping crisis

Nearly 800 cannabis business leaders and policy experts led by the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) are calling on Congress to remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act as the vaping crisis continues.

“The recent illnesses are an unmistakable reminder of the importance of effective regulation,” a letter to congressional leaders states.

“If it is confirmed that Americans are being hurt because of unregulated, illicit market cannabis vape products, it is yet another reason for real, comprehensive federal cannabis reform that will allow the regulated, tested cannabis industry to displace illicit market actors.”

The letter is signed by officials and executives from the Marijuana Policy Project, 4Front Ventures, Berkeley Patients Group, Columbia Care Illinois and hundreds more.

The NCIA made a similar argument last month in a news release, as have other industry associations.

In addition to urging Congress to immediately deschedule cannabis and regulate it like alcohol, the letter makes the following recommendations:
  • Make funds available to state medical authorities to investigate the vape illnesses.
  • Ask licensed vape cartridge producers to stop using any additive thickening agents until more data is available on what’s causing the lung illnesses.
  • Encourage producers to recall vaporizer products that use vitamin E acetate as an additive and urge retailers not to sell such products.
  • Urge consumers to buy only from state-licensed cannabis retailers.

Congress currently is in recess and it’s unclear whether lawmakers would take up this kind of reform upon returning.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
Mayo Clinic Says Vaping Injuries Resemble Chemical Burns From Mustard Gas

Surgical pathologist Dr. Brandon T. Larsen said the injuries are consistent with toxic chemical exposure and chemical burns.

Patients receiving treatment for lung illnesses sustained from vaping had injuries that resemble chemical burns from mustard gas, according to a physician at the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Brandon T. Larsen, a surgical pathologist at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, told the New York Times that lung tissue samples from 17 patients had been analyzed for a study.

The samples were taken from four women and 13 men who ranged from 19 to 67 years old, 70 percent of whom had a history of vaping nicotine or cannabis.

“All 17 of our cases show a pattern of injury in the lung that looks like a toxic chemical exposure, a toxic chemical fume exposure or a chemical burn injury,” Larsen said.

“To be honest, they look like the kind of change you would expect to see in an unfortunate worker in an industrial accident where a big barrel of toxic chemicals spills, and that person is exposed to toxic fumes and there is a chemical burn in the airways,” he added.


Larsen also said that the patients’ lungs resembled the injuries sustained by soldiers poisoned by mustard gas during World War I.

The results of the study were published earlier this week in the New England Journal of Medicine. 11 of the patients whose samples were studied were located in Arizona. Five were from Minnesota and the remaining patient was treated in Florida.

Two of the cases occurred prior to 2019. Larsen said that he believes that the condition may have existed for some time without the cause being recognized.


THC, Vitamin E Exonerated by Study
The findings seem to dispute earlier speculation that oils in the vape liquids could be building up in the lungs and causing the illnesses. Both vape liquid additives, including vitamin E acetate and THC oil itself, were postulated as possible culprits. The Mayo Clinic, however, found no signs of oil accumulation.

Instead, they found immune cells called macrophages that appeared white and foamy, a symptom usually observed in patients with chemical burns.

“So maybe we need to look more closely at the chemical compounds, and not just oils, but the chemical constituents, to figure out which ones are injurious,” Larsen said.


So far, nearly 800 people nationwide have been afflicted with serious lung illnesses after vaping and at least 16 have died as a result, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most were vaping cannabis products, but some have claimed to have only used nicotine vaping devices.

Although most patients who were hospitalized with vaping-related injuries have recovered and were able to leave the hospital, it is not yet known if they will recover fully.

“Based on the severity of injury we see, at least in some of these cases, I wouldn’t be surprised if we wind up with people down the road having chronic respiratory problems from this,” Larsen said. “Some seem to recover. I don’t think we know what the long-term consequences will be.”
 

felvapes

Well-Known Member
Mayo Clinic Says Vaping Injuries Resemble Chemical Burns From Mustard Gas

Surgical pathologist Dr. Brandon T. Larsen said the injuries are consistent with toxic chemical exposure and chemical burns.

Patients receiving treatment for lung illnesses sustained from vaping had injuries that resemble chemical burns from mustard gas, according to a physician at the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Brandon T. Larsen, a surgical pathologist at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, told the New York Times that lung tissue samples from 17 patients had been analyzed for a study.

The samples were taken from four women and 13 men who ranged from 19 to 67 years old, 70 percent of whom had a history of vaping nicotine or cannabis.

“All 17 of our cases show a pattern of injury in the lung that looks like a toxic chemical exposure, a toxic chemical fume exposure or a chemical burn injury,” Larsen said.

“To be honest, they look like the kind of change you would expect to see in an unfortunate worker in an industrial accident where a big barrel of toxic chemicals spills, and that person is exposed to toxic fumes and there is a chemical burn in the airways,” he added.


Larsen also said that the patients’ lungs resembled the injuries sustained by soldiers poisoned by mustard gas during World War I.

The results of the study were published earlier this week in the New England Journal of Medicine. 11 of the patients whose samples were studied were located in Arizona. Five were from Minnesota and the remaining patient was treated in Florida.

Two of the cases occurred prior to 2019. Larsen said that he believes that the condition may have existed for some time without the cause being recognized.


THC, Vitamin E Exonerated by Study
The findings seem to dispute earlier speculation that oils in the vape liquids could be building up in the lungs and causing the illnesses. Both vape liquid additives, including vitamin E acetate and THC oil itself, were postulated as possible culprits. The Mayo Clinic, however, found no signs of oil accumulation.

Instead, they found immune cells called macrophages that appeared white and foamy, a symptom usually observed in patients with chemical burns.

“So maybe we need to look more closely at the chemical compounds, and not just oils, but the chemical constituents, to figure out which ones are injurious,” Larsen said.


So far, nearly 800 people nationwide have been afflicted with serious lung illnesses after vaping and at least 16 have died as a result, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most were vaping cannabis products, but some have claimed to have only used nicotine vaping devices.

Although most patients who were hospitalized with vaping-related injuries have recovered and were able to leave the hospital, it is not yet known if they will recover fully.

“Based on the severity of injury we see, at least in some of these cases, I wouldn’t be surprised if we wind up with people down the road having chronic respiratory problems from this,” Larsen said. “Some seem to recover. I don’t think we know what the long-term consequences will be.”
Have there been any cases at all in all of those that were vaping as most of us here do
With either feco or rosin or dry herb vapes?

As far as I have seen its only the black market "thinned" out oils?
The oil pen type devices

I mean the article above is saying that the and even vitamin E is not building up or the issue

So what we do has not had victims?
 

felvapes

Well-Known Member
Not a one that I've read about. This all has to do with 'fake' vape cartridges. Although... my personal feeling is that vape cartridges, in general, aren't that great to use.
I agree myself
I think the less additives the better
I have not tried to make bho as I don't like the idea of the butane in the process
I had it once and compared to rosin I didn't like the taste I could tell there was something

I don't like feco unless I did it either as often it is too runny and I'm suss on the quality of the purge

So a cart that has extra chemicals added makes my mind start going

Like food - over processed is not good for you

This is just my thinking but yea
I hadn't read about it being an issue except with the carts

What I'm concerned about especially here is that as one state is trying to legalise weed
I've seen on the social media people advertising selling weed carts here only very recently

Now I'm pretty sure any we have here are black market
And then if people start getting sick here before the legalisation takes on (or it has a chance to anyway ) then we get a backwards step as we haven't had the legal use of rosin etc to compare to what is making people sick


I mean it's good news for me that I'm not gonna get sick vaping

But bad news if it ends up slowing the fight for legalisation
 
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psychonaut

Florist
Company Rep
The only time I use carts is with distillate and it's been a while now, maybe a year and a half? So I guess I dont even use carts anymore. I always worried about it, having been an e-cig vaper for so long I knew there was something else going on. ecig users learned a long time ago that oil based flavorings were bad especially at higher concentration, the cannabis black market cart industry ignored that memo. Backyard producers using questionable material and methods thankfully was discovered to be the cause and it looks like both sides were vindicated but the damage has been done and we all know undoing damage is a lot harder.

If we can just get back to consuming cannabis as flower or extracts and use the correct device and stop cutting corners acting like nothing can go wrong.

PG, VG these seem to me to be safe to inhale, I've been inhaling them for over a decade, We can't add cannabis to this because it is not very oil soluble, it's water soluble. So people look for oil soluble agents and those are questionable to unsafe to inhale.

Don't make yourself SICK for convenience vaporists!
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
California vape maker Kushy Punch caught making illegal products

California has a troubling new wrinkle in the vaping story rocking the nation.

Prompted by a tip, investigators at the California Department of Consumer Affairs served a search warrant on Thursday, Oct. 3, at a light industrial space in northwest Los Angeles’ Canoga Park district.

There they found an illegal cannabis product manufacturing operation apparently operated by Kushy Punch, a legal state-licensed company. Authorities seized a number of finished products, including gummies in Kushy Punch packaging and disposable vaporizers in Kushy Vape packaging.

In photos obtained by Leafly, the facility appeared to be performing petro-solvent extractions, where a technician concentrates the active ingredient in cannabis, THC. Petro-solvent extraction is legal with a permit in California. The extraction method can sometimes have the effect of concentrating pesticides along with the THC.


California officials documented slabs of raw THC oil fresh from the extractor. (Courtesy of CA Dept. of Consumer Affairs)

Edibles and vape cartridges seized

TheSan Fernando Valley facility appeared to be in the business of putting those extracts into professional-looking THC foods as well as disposable vape pen cartridges. Tall file cabinets held thousands of boxes of Kushy Vapes pens and Kushy Punch edibles packaged and ready for sale and consumption.

“Investigators confiscated thousands of illegal vape carts worth millions of dollars,” Bureau of Cannabis Control spokesperson Alex Traverso told Leafly. The investigation is ongoing.

Kushy Punch CEO Ruben Cross did not answer Leafly questions via email, or text, nor did he return phone calls or voicemails.

Kushy Punch under scrutiny

A source familiar with Kushy Punch accused the adult-use licensee of maintaining two facilities: one licensed and one black market. (Leafly is granting the source’s request for anonymity because disclosing their personal information might endanger their own safety and the safety of others.)

The source alleges that cannabis that tested clean went through Kushy Punch’s licensed facility and into the licensed supply chain.

The source also says cannabis that might fail the state’s stringent pesticide standards went to the illicit extraction lab, pen factory, and kitchen located at 8427 Canoga Ave. in Canoga Park. That facility sits on the same block as the Los Angeles Police Department’s Topanga Community Police Station.

“This is where they have all black market operations going,” the source told Leafly. “They are using untested black market oil that is heavy in pesticide.”

Kushy Punch CEO Ruben Cross did not respond to Leafly’s attempts to reach him to address the accusations.

Kushy Punch’s licensed edibles are manufactured and distributed by Vertical Bliss Inc. of Northridge, a legal state cannabis licensee, according to documents posted on the KushyPunch.com website.


Packaging machinery at the Canoga Park facility investigated by California state officials on Oct. 3. (Courtesy of CA Dept. of Consumer Affairs)


BCC investigation ongoing

The BCC said its investigation has the same information, is testing the oil, and examining the possible links between the raided facility and the Kushy Punch brand, said BCC spokesperson Alex Traverso.

“Everything about this tip has checked out 100%,” Traverso told Leafly. “Based on the tip, there is a legal side of things and an illegal side of things. We’re still investigating both sides of the equation.”

“If this is something we’re seeing linked back to someone who has a license I would be surprised if they had a license much longer,” Traverso added.

Split operations detailed

California’s adult-use cannabis market is one year and nine months old. The state’s medical marijuana era lasted 23 years. Kushy Punch operated during both eras.

Leafly’s source alleged that Kushy Punch management split the legal business from the illegal one when the company obtained a state cannabis manufacturing license. The source said Kushy Punch managers assigned the same staff members to work both the legal and illegal facility.

The company’s website also states that Kushy Punch is selling its products into both markets.

Kushy Punch describes itself as “California’s #1 edible” and provides a store locator tool listing licensed stores.

But it also states that it manufactures edibles and vape products for “California collectives and clinics for California medical card holders.” Commercial medical collectives became illegal on Jan. 1, 2019. All retail sales must go through a state-licensed adult-use or medical retailer. Licensed cannabis retailers must only carry products from licensed cannabis manufacturers.


California state officials suspect these Kushy Punch products were headed to the street market. (Courtesy of CA Dept. of Consumer Affairs)

Illicit vape carts in police crosshairs

The bust comes amid a national series of vaping associated pulmonary injury (VAPI) clusters linked to illicit THC vape cartridges.

At least 1,080 people in 48 states have a confirmed or probable vaping-associated pulmonary injury. As many as 20 people have died from VAPI, according to investigators at the Center for Disease Control. Doctors said 17 victims in Wisconsin had what’s called chemical pneumonitis—akin to a chemical burn on their lungs.

One of the main suspects in the VAPI outbreak continues to be illicit THC vape carts contaminated with one or more toxic chemicals. Known toxic chemical contaminants in so-called ‘fart carts’ sold on the street and capable of causing chemical pneumonitis include: diluent thickener tocopheryl-acetate (vitamin E oil); the pesticide myclobutanil; and solvents like butane.

“The administration is really prioritizing these complaints because of the public safety aspects of that,” the BCC’s Traverso told Leafly.

Based on a tip, the BCC raided a vape shop in Fresno on Set. 25 and confiscated roughly 2,200 street market “Dank Vapes” carts and packaging for 4,400 more. Many VAPI victims have reported using Dank Vapes carts.

The BCC aims to shut down more illicit pen factories, rather than chasing down the product at their end-point—street dealers, pop-up markets, unlicensed cannabis retailers and couriers, and smoke and vape shops selling them under the counter.

“It’s not enough to just go after the retailers and shut those places down,” Traverso said. “We’re making an effort to go after the big fish.”

Bust confirms a popular rumor

Industry experts suspect more than one licensed California cannabis manufacturer may be selling into the illicit market.

Why take the risk? Experts familiar with California’s cannabis industry say the extra cash generated by a street-market operation might raise enough money to keep a company afloat as it makes the costly transition to become licensed and compliant with state regulations. The illicit market is three to five times bigger in California than the licensed market. Just 450 or so stores and couriers exist for a state of 38 million people, due to local licensing bans and delays.

“It’s a law of averages. There’s bound to be a few” licensed companies also operating outside the law, said Sean Donahoe, an industry expert and central California-based consultant. “Generally speaking, we’ve got thousands and thousands of licensees. Combine human nature and statistical averages and it’s just a matter of time before one regulated operator chooses to cross over and compete with themselves in the unregulated space.”

Quoting the film Casablanca, he said, “I would not be ‘Shocked, shocked that there’s gambling—or bootlegging—going on in this establishment.’”

Stringent testing squeezed operators
Licensed operators might also cheat in order to offload THC products that are too dirty for the state’s toughest-in-the-world purity standards.

In July 2018, adult-use stores shelves went nearly bare soon after California’s pesticide regulations kicked in. On Jan. 1, 2019, testing for heavy metals kicked in.

Over the past 21 months, California’s licensed cannabis labs have quarantined nearly 6,000 product batches that failed to meet these tough standards. Most of the products had labeling issues (the potency of the product did not match the potency promised on the label), but batches also failed tests for pesticides, heavy metals, residual solvent, and microbes. And those are just the dirty batches sent to labs for testing.

Private R&D testing

Licensees can perform private “research and development” lab testing to isolate dirty cannabis before it’s sent down the supply chain. Operators are supposed to destroy dirty stock, but California’s statewide track-and-trace system has yet to get up and running—and may still be months away. Without that system, it’s easy to divert tainted cannabis.

Vape industry expert Peter Hackett, founder of the law-abiding California company AirVapor, explains the logic of selling out the back door. If a licensed company fails R&D lab testing on 30,000 vape carts at $50 retail each, do they just throw away $1.5 million?

“Hell no,” says Hackett. “That’s going to get redirected into the underground black market network.”

California NORML co-director Ellen Komp also said she heard one rumor of an operator selling out the back door in Southern California.

“This started happening at the time when California pesticide regulations kicked in,” said Komp. “It stands to reason that not everyone might have destroyed all their expensive products.”

See something? Say something

California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control encourages ethical operators and whistleblowers to report any illegal activity they see.

You can file a complaint at the BCC’s File a Complaint web page.

“We rely on tips and complaints and definitely follow up on everyone. We don’t always see and hear everything or have the ability to have inside knowledge,” said the BCC’s Traverso. “We’re really encouraged by how we were able to quickly follow up on this complaint and get these products off the street.”
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
Not a one that I've read about. This all has to do with 'fake' vape cartridges. Although... my personal feeling is that vape cartridges, in general, aren't that great to use.
I do keep a few carts in the house....very good for 3 am pain relief. But they are super critical CO2 extracted only which needs no thinners or cutting agents as its the right viscosity natively. I have spoke to the reps of the couple of companies whose product I buy, and both said the same thing....seperate trim/shake run for terps added back in.

But their main feature is convenience as I have hardly ever found the effects to be quite the same as flower....with the exception of a GSC cart from Oleum in WA state. Dunno how they do it, but it was fire.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
While these findings were made in Colorado, it's a nationwide problem. And Colorado is not the only state that has now banned flavored products.

Colorado Lab Results Point to New Culprit in Vaping Cases: A Specific Chemical Used in Cheap Vape Pens

Studies being conducted by different health agencies and labs aren't eliciting the same findings. If the newest study out of Colorado holds truth, Gov. Brown's flavor ban misses the point.

A new study by a Colorado lab points to a new potential culprit in the nationwide wave of lung injuries caused by vaping: a rare disease caused by inhalation of a chemical present in many cheap vape pens that is used to fuse metals together.

The study used data from 53 patient cases in Wisconsin and Illinois who suffered severe lung illness due to vaping. From that study, the lab concluded that the vaping illness symptoms directly correlate to an advanced stage of a very rare disease, almost exclusively suffered by welders and others who inhale chemical concoctions, called Metal Fume Fever.

The advanced stage of Metal Fume Fever, which the lab believes are the equivalent of the vaping illnesses, is called Cadmium Pneumonitis.

The culprit chemical, according to the lab? Silver solder, which helps binds metals together in many cheaply manufactured vape pens, which contains the chemical cadmium. When inhaled, cadmium oxide fumes are highly toxic to organs, and according to the study the fumes "directly injure lung cells, leading to fluid accumulation, impaired lung function, and respiratory failure."

Silver solder is used to "make stable unions between dissimilar metals such as copper and stainless steel," the study reads. The appeal of lower-end vape pen manufacturers using silver solder is its low price: "Cadmium-containing silver solder is less expensive than cadmium-free alternatives and has improved flow properties which facilitate the joining of dissimilar metals found in vape pen electrical components," the study reads.

The study, conducted by the Colorado Green Lab, is the latest evidence as health officials try to solve a wave of lung illnesses—including two deaths in Oregon—linked to vaping.

Several high-profile studies have come to different conclusions. While some have blamed black market cartridges and possible cutting agents like vitamin E acetate causing oil build-up in the lungs, others have likened the lung injuries to chemical burns.

Last week, Gov. Kate Brown implemented a six-month temporary ban against all flavored vaping products. The ban restricts all additives and flavors in cartridges including artificial flavors and botanically-derived terpenes. The ban will take effect within the week.

The new Colorado study suggests that Oregon's ban on flavored cartridges won't slow the wave of vaping-related sickness—because the source of the illness is the vape pens themselves, not the oils inside.

But if the newest study from the Colorado Green Lab holds any bearing, Gov. Brown's flavor ban will have missed the mark.

But Susan Pinnock, a nurse for Washington County's health department, says she's read all the research—and isn't convinced the illnesses are being caused by just one culprit. If hardware is found to be the issue, she says, it won't mean that Brown's flavor ban is pointless.

“I feel like [the ban] still holds validity, because again we’re trying to reduce the risk and harm. A lot of the kids aren’t going to use if there’s no flavor,” Pinnock says. “The flavor ban is just going to help reduce the kids’ access.”

Pinnock also thinks it will take longer than six months to identify the source of illness—and if chemicals in the hardware is a factor, then she says Brown should consider an all-out ban on vaping.

“I don’t think it will be happen in the the next six months. I think it’s going to take longer to figure that out. So I don’t think that will affect this particular six-month ban,” Pinnock says. “If it’s a hardware issue, then there’s no safe way to vape.”

The study out of the Colorado lab largely backs up the findings out of the Mayo Clinic's study of 17 lung tissue samples last week, which found that all the injuries resembled severe chemical burns, similar to those caused by mustard gas, a biological weapon created during World War I.

The Mayo Clinic’s study reported that patients had severe cell and tissue damage and fluid accumulation.

Yet other studies have blamed additives like vitamin E acetate, present in many black market cartridges, for the illnesses and deaths.

NBC News gathered vaping products and commissioned CannaSafe Lab in California to test the cartridges: 13 out of 15 black market cartridges contained vitamin E acetate, and none of the legal cartridges contained any harmful additives. Ten out of ten black market cartridges tested for pesticides contained myclobutinol, a highly potent pesticide that turns into hydrogen cyanide when burned.

The Colorado study includes a chart comparing the symptoms of the vaping related illnesses to the symptoms of Cadmium Pneumonitis:



The data set the Colorado Green Lab used to conduct the study was originally made available in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Further complicating the issue in Oregon is that both of the patients who died from vaping purchased products from licensed dispensaries. Another patient who survived, Justin Wilson, told WW he exclusively vaped non-THC Juul pods. His doctor told him oil build-up in the lungs had caused his near-death illness.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
The ban restricts all additives and flavors in cartridges including artificial flavors and botanically-derived terpenes.
And "botanically-derived terpenes"??? FFS So glad the Gov of CO is a knee jerk, ignorant, politician like the rest of them. I would have been disappointed otherwise! haha
 
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CarolKing

Always in search of the perfect vaporizer
Washington state has decided to have a 120 day ban on vape carts and all flavored oil, also flavored Ecig juice. I’m feeling disappointed because a product that I’ve been using for a year will be no longer be available. With all the restrictions and analytical checks on products with THC why weren’t they doing safety checks on a regular basis? With all the seed to sale and bar code etc packaging.

The governor has decided the product t I’ve been using for a year “might be unsafe?” WTF! I love the product, now It won’t be able to buy it. It took me awhile to find this. Some vape carts were horrible. . I feel they really dropped the ball on this, plus overreacted. Wanting to make a point regarding young folks and flavored ecigs and vaping. What about my rights?

Folks will be buying online to get the products they are looking for. Unfortunately it won’t fix the problems. I stocked up but won’t last 4 months. Good thing I also like flowers. Pissed off in a legal state for cannabis.
 
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