Recent investigations on vaping related illnesses that are affecting CBD consumers have shown that some products did not actually contain the non-psychoactive cannabis compound. Rather, some producers in the US have substituted that with cheap, dangerous synthetic cannabis, also known as ‘spice’ or ‘K2’.
The Associated Press has conducted a few tests on vaporizer cartridges which were supposed to contain CBD extract, but lab tests demonstrated that some of them contained the infamous synthetic cannabis.
For instance, in New Zealand, synthetic cannabis has become a serious health crisis, and is considered to be the cause of a number of deaths, hospitalizations and deadly car crashes, like the one that happened in Taranaki where seven people got killed.
A problem mainly related to the recreational market
It is important to note that this problem only affects the recreational market. CBD products are said to have some healing properties. However, it is not as easy as it might sound: real CBD oils to treat health conditions is sold only through specific channels, and they come at a cost. Cheap CBD products cannot be considered reliable, and the recent spree in vaping related illnesses has demonstrated that.
Ban on all non-tobacco flavors
In order to put a stop to the spreading of this type of product, president Donald Trump has announced that his administration plans to tackle the rise of e-cigarettes by removing all non-tobacco flavors from the market. Founder and Director of Education at Lock & Key Remedies Oleg Maryasis says the President is "right" to ban artificially flavored vapes and that "the marketplace for CBD is saturated with heavily-marketed products that feature insignificant dosing that could be dangerous."
However, the real issue at the heart of this is uneducated consumers. “Vaping illnesses are a problem of the recreational use,” says Thilo Max Holzmann, HMC co-owner. “The drug is not responsible, it is the uneducated user.” On this matter, Stuart G. Williams, New View CEO, commented that “As a former ER trauma specialist I do not recommend vaping. It is not the cannabis aspect of the carts that causes the problem rather it is a problem stemming from additives. There is ample anecdotal evidence to suggest that vitamin E , glycol and glycerin, when heated, create a thin film that migrates to almost every portion of the lungs. This film occludes proper transfer of gases and impedes lung function.”
Better control, more transparency
The vaping related illnesses show that it is necessary to have a better control over the industry. There is need for transparency and standards, in order for consumers to have safe and healthy products. If on the one hand, this issue gives to prohibition supporters another argument in their favor, on the other hand, it pushes cannabis operators to be extremely efficient, and to carry out their operations in the most responsible manner.