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Understanding the Cannabis Vape Pen Crisis!

Updated: Aug 20

What mainstream media has failed to tell you about the current vape pen crisis sweeping the United States!


You would have to be living under a rock somewhere in the wilderness not to have heard of the crisis sweeping across the vaping industry. As of last Friday, September 6th, the CDC had reported over 450 cases of severe acute respiratory distress syndrome in 33 states across the U.S. So far; there have been three reported deaths in Indiana, Oregon, and Illinois.


The number one question being asked, is should I stop vaping?


  • If you are in possession of illicit vape cartridges or know someone who is, throw them out immediately. The HHS, CDC, and FDA have advised consumers to avoid using any cannabis products which were purchased illegally. Illegal products are untested, unregulated, and could be dangerous.

  • Illicit vape cartridges made using the incorrect ingredients could carry the risk of permanently damaging your lungs.

The suspected diagnosis behind the vaping crisis is believed to be a condition known as lipoid pneumonia. It has been previously found in people that inhaled mineral oils.


So far, the leading suspect in the contaminated vape cartridges is vitamin E oil. Authorities believe that vitamin E oil is used as a cheap thickener in vape cartridges. The FDA has gathered over 120 samples for further testing and analysis. Some of the other things which they’re focusing on are THC concentrates, nicotine, cutting agents (known as diluents), opioids, poisons, toxins, and additives.


While many of the vape cartridges seized feature recognizable brand names, it’s unsure whether or not the illicit cartridges are imitations or copies.

What are some of the symptoms concerned vape users should be looking for?


The symptoms usually appear within 1-2 weeks of using a contaminated illicit vape cartridge. Some of the symptoms are dizziness, nausea, weakness, shortness of breath, and tiredness. If you have used an illicit vape cartridge and experience of these symptoms, you should consult with a doctor or health care professional and bring the cartridge with you.


Many vape users are concerned about the rapid onset of this crisis. For legitimate manufacturers that follow recommended health guidelines, this crisis is extremely concerning. Especially when you consider the fragile state of the vaping and cannabis industries. With a rash of hasty explanations and panic sweeping across the community, it’s important that consumers understand the difference between legal, regulated vape products and illicit vape products which are unregulated.


However, there are ways that consumers can protect themselves.


  • It’s important that consumers only buy products from companies which sell products legally. Purchasing cheap or illegal vaping cartridges from people off the street is potentially fatal. Legitimate manufacturers selling legal products are upfront about the ingredients they use in their vaping products.

  • If you’re concerned about your vape cartridges, especially if they were purchased from illicit vendors, then dispose of them immediately.

  • When you’re purchasing vape cartridges for your vape pen, only buy them from legal vendors who have state approval to sell THC vape cartridges. Many of these companies offer test results for their consumers.

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