Cannabis vape pens and cartridges are some of the most popular products on dispensary shelves for their ease of use and ability to deliver potent hits on-the-go. These products are quickly becoming one of the fastest rising segments of the cannabis market, experiencing 400% growth in 2016 alone. To fill the demand for vaporizer cartridges, new products and brands are hitting the shelves across legalized states in rapid succession. However, that rapid product ascension may come with several potential negatives to your health.
Currently, the vaporizer cartridge market is fairly unregulated with little to no research surrounding some of the additives used in production. And while product manufacturers are required to disclose the ingredients within their vape cartridges, consumers often fail to understand if those ingredients are safe for human consumption. With more than just cannabis oil going into numerous cartridges across the country, consumers need to be asking themselves, “Should I consume this?”
In the production of vaping cannabis oil, manufacturers have introduced potentially unhealthy chemicals into the cannabis oil. The most common and criticized cutting agents are polyethylene glycol (PEG), ethylene oxide, ethylene glycol and propylene glycol (PG), commonly known as “Anti-Freeze” agents.
Though the FDA recognizes PG as generally safe for humans, conflicting studies prove otherwise. As Rolling Stone noted, “A study from 2010 showed inhaling propylene glycol can exacerbate asthma and allergies, and multiple studies have shown that propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol break down into the carcinogens formaldehyde and acetaldehyde — especially when vaped at high temperatures.”
Recently, an increased number of cases of lethal pulmonary toxicity have been observed with the legal usage of vaping cartridges. So, until several ongoing investigations are completed in order to better understand the safety profile of these vaping products, it seems reasonable to immediately stop using these vaping cartridges, especially in children and young adults.