The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified vitamin E acetate, an ingredient used to cut cannabis concentrate oils, as a "very strong culprit" in the rash of vaping-related lung injuries across the nation that now include more than three dozen deaths.
The CDC report
released today does not rule out the possibility other chemicals or toxins could be contributing to the vaping-related illnesses, which have now impacted more than 2,000 people, and warns against vaping products that contain THC, "especially obtained from informal sources such as friends or family, or those from the illicit market, where product ingredients are unknown or can be hugely variable."
The report comes after the CDC analyzed fluid samples taken from the lungs of 29 patients hospitalized with the lung disease and found vitamin E acetate in each of them.
"Until the relationship between vitamin E acetate and lung health is better characterized, it is important that vitamin E acetate not be added to e-cigarette, or vaping, products," the report concludes.
As the Journal
reported in this week's Week in Weed
recently purchased 10 cannabis vape cartridges from unlicensed dispensaries in Los Angeles, testing five for pesticides and five for vitamin E acetate. Four of those tested for vitamin E came back positive, with one sample from an Exotic Carts — Mars OG cartridge found to be 34 percent vitamin E acetate.
While the state of California doesn't currently include vitamin E acetate in its testing regulations for cannabis products, there have been no reports definitively linking licensed products sold in California to lung injuries. Nonetheless, the Journal
readers to follow health officials' advice and refrain from vaping any cannabis oils or nicotine products until more information is available.