SWEET JANE readers likes vapes. Many women prefer them to other forms of cannabis and CBD consumption. But the recent and tragic deaths from unsafe vaporizers is a red flag for us to ask what are the risks.

The safest way to vaporize cannabis through disposable cartridges, is to purchase your product from a licensed, regulated dispensary that is selling licensed and tested products.

If you live in a state where you do not have safe or legal access to legal, licensed, and tested vaporizer cartridges, now is the time to begin advocating for adult-use laws in your state so that collectively we can put these public safety concerns to rest through legalization. Prohibition only creates unsafe environments for people who are merely trying to access plant medicine.

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What are potential risks in legal cannabis vapes?

  • If the product was cut with any substance other than cannabis including: Vitamin E, propylene glycol (PG), PEG 400, vegetable glycerin (VG), or medium chain triglycerides (MCT), there is a risk. These are all potentially harmful, especially when heated. 
  • If the product was made with cannabis grown with pesticides, this can create a cause for concern. 
  • If the product is vaped at too high a temperature, the potential for producing potentially harmful compounds is increased.
  • If the product was produced using a hydrocarbon extraction technique like butane (BHO) or propane (PPO) it may have residual solvent, which is toxic to humans.
  • Hardware made with cheap plastics and metals may introduce harmful compounds like lead, into vape liquid.

Thank you to our friends at Elmore Mountain Therapeutics, creators of hemp-derived CBD products (that are tested!), who have contributed to this post.

To learn more about how regulating cannabis in response to reports of Vaping-Related Illnesses, we suggest reading the National Cannabis Industry Associations statement.

“The vast majority of these reports have been linked to vape cartridges that were produced and obtained in the illicit and unregulated market, or that were adulterated by consumers. The minute number of cases that have so far been associated with legal cannabis products have not shown definitive links to those specific products. Cases have been reported in states with and without regulated cannabis markets.”

We also recommend reading the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statement on the recent illnesses, and what work is being done to understand what is causing the illnesses. 

“While many of the patients, but not all, reported recent use of THC-containing products, some reported using both THC- and nicotine-containing products. A smaller group reported using nicotine only. No evidence of infectious diseases has been identified in these patients, therefore lung illnesses are likely associated with a chemical exposure. However, it is too early to pinpoint a single product or substance common to all cases.”

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