We’re big fans of inhaling THC in various creative ways – but new info has come to light that has us thinking twice about putting it in a vaporiser.
Seven people have died and 450 are suffering from lung disease in the United States due to chemical exposure from smoking e-cigarettes.
The US government’s investigators say a common thread in these cases is that the patients smoked vape liquid which had dodgy THC oil in it that they had purchased off the street.
“This outbreak does not appear to be associated with traditional legally-sold e-cigarettes, but with illicit and sometimes counterfeit THC vaping cartridges,” said Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor at Boston University School of Public Health.
SA vapers warned against THC
Now the Vapour Products Association of South Africa (VPASA) has warned vapers to avoid any vape products containing THC.
VPASA board member Kabir Kaleechurn said the lethal liquid that killed the American patients was laced with Vitamin E Acetate, which should never have been inhaled.
“It appears that the products responsible for the currently reported illnesses are illicit products containing THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis,” Kaleechurn said. “It was reported that the THC was cut with Vitamin E Acetate, which has no place in a vaping product.”
Cases in SA
So far, it seems we’re in the clear locally: there hasn’t been a single reported case of illness or death as a result of vaping in the Western Cape, according to provincial health department spokesman Mark van der Heever. But he did say that there is legislation in the works which will control e-cig and vape smoking as tightly as cigarettes are currently restricted.
Professor Elvis Irusen, who is the Head of Pulmonology at Tygerberg Hospital and Stellenbosch’s medical school, warned that inhaling fatty oils can clog up the lungs and be life-threatening.
“The recent deaths in the US are due to vaping cannabis oil,” he said. “This is fatty and clogs up the lungs leading to lung failure needing ICU and is extremely dangerous as there is no definitive treatment.”
What you should do
VPASA says that the products linked to deaths in the US are not available in SA as far as they know, but they have the following advice for vape users to be safe until health investigations can give us a definite answer:
- Refrain from vaping products containing THC
- Procure vaping products from reputable sellers (like Zootly – We have a large range of premium dry herb and oil vapes)
- Avoid counterfeit products
- Exercise extreme caution with ‘mix-your-own’ schemes
- Do not modify vaping devices for any reason whatsoever as this may lead to equipment malfunction and compromise safety.
Zootly says: Roll it, light it, hit a bong or puff a pipe – there are so many great ways to inhale THC goodness, but we reckon it’s worth some caution before sticking thc/cbd oil in a vape until we know it’s safe to do so.