Vaping has caused a global scare recently – hundreds of people in the US have been diagnosed with a mysterious lung disease expected to be caused by tainted THC cartridges.
Vaping which was earlier presumed to be safer than tobacco has thrown up complexities, which prove this theory incorrect. The perpetrator earlier was found to be Vitamin E acetate, and cartridges containing it were found to be supplied undetected even by reputable brands. It is not the base product, i.e. cannabis or THC that causes the illness but Vitamin E, PG, and PEG.
It is an additional product that is used to make the THC easy to vaporise.
The whole issue has highlighted that post-legalisation, the cannabis and vaping industry needs regulation.
While the Donald Trump administration has issued a ban on flavoured e-cigarettes, it will not help in curbing the issue since it is not targeted at the actual problem – tainted THC cartridges.
There is no mechanism to test or ascertain whether these cartridges come with or without such products – the confusion between cannabis being a recreational or a medical product. Since only 25 US states have legalised it currently, it cannot come under the rule of the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), which controls standards for other products.
However, it is funny that no marijuana-related deaths were reported over thousands of years of consumption, but as soon as it was commercialised, such issues began to emerge.
Until the current situation is resolved, it is advisable to avoid vaping liquids or oils. It will be safer to go for other ways such as vaping loose-leaf flower. For this, you will need special vapes designed to vape dry herb.
While people in the UK can only consume medical marijuana on the advice of a registered medical practitioner, a group of MPs is working on legalisation, based on the Canada model.
It has a long way to go but research on the subject has started.