CBD Vaping! What you should know…
Vaping devices themselves, when heated, can cause a chemical reaction in the vapor, posing further risk to the lungs—one reason the American Lung Association cautions people away from all vaping devices.
The CDC traced many of the hospitalizations back to vitamin E acetate, used to dilute oils used in vaping. The vast majority of the illnesses involved products that contained nicotine or THC and CBD, especially those purchased illicitly. Brian King, Ph.D., chief science officer with the CDC initially warned consumers to avoid all vaping products, on Jan. 17 the agency limited that advice to THC vape pens. Growing research found “a strong link between these products and the lung injuries,” King says.
Besides the dangers of vitamin E acetate, little is known about the long-term effect of inhaling several other chemicals often found in vaping oils.
Propylene glycol is a synthetic food additive that belongs to the same chemical group as alcohol. It is colorless, order less, slightly syrupy liquid a bit thicker than water. It dissolves some substances better than water also good at retaining moisture and used in anti-freeze due to their low melting point.
Manufacturers sometimes also use polyethylene glycol and what’s known as medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), such as coconut oil.
What is “GRAS”
Manufacturers use some solvents that the FDA had given a GRAS (“Generally Recognized As Safe,”) designation “But the chemicals were only considered safe by the FDA to ingest into your digestive tract, and have not been deemed safe to inhale into your lungs,” according to Michelle Peace, Ph.D., a toxicologist in the department of forensic science at VCU.
In fact, the FDA does not maintain a list of chemicals that are safe to inhale. “GRAS is a standard that applies to food,” says Stephanie Caccomo, an FDA spokesperson. “The FDA does not have a GRAS standard for tobacco products and/or ingredients.”
There is little regulatory oversight of CBD in general and vaping it in particular. The FDA—which oversees tobacco products, including vaping ones—has not yet determined how it should regulate CBD vaping products.
The CBD industry has called for more FDA oversight, says Jonathan Miller, general counsel for the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, which represents CBD manufacturers and funds the industry’s certifying group, called the U.S. Hemp Authority. While the FDA provides some guidance on dietary supplements, foods, and cosmetics, it does not offer similar oversight of vaping products, he says. That lack of regulation on vaping prevents the U.S. Hemp Authority from certifying CBD vape oils, as it does for CBD topical, tinctures, and edibles.
Vaping Concerns Grow With The Growing Numbers
Concerns take on added urgency now as the popularity of CBD continues to grow, and vaping remains one of the most popular ways of use. Sales of CBD are expected to nearly triple in the next five years to $1.6 billion, according to the Brightfield Group, which tracks the CBD industry.
Nearly a third of Americans who tried CBD in the past 24 months—an estimated 20 million people—said they vaped the substance, according to a January 2019 CR nationally representative survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults. Even after the lung-injury crisis made headlines, fewer than a quarter of people who vape CBD said they changed their habits, according to the Brightfield Group.
If you’re wanting to try CBD or THC products, consider other forms like edibles, tinctures, or topical. To many uncertain concerns and risks when it comes to using vaping devices. If you choose you use vape make sure it is a certified manufacturer and not a generic knock off.