Portable electronics, generally known as “vape pens,” are popular among medical marijuana patients among others because they provide a convenient, discreet, and presumably benign approach to administer cannabis. But exactly how safe are vape pens as well as the liquid solutions within the cartridges that connect to these units? Who knows what’s actually being inhaled?
It’s generally assumed that vaping is a healthier method of administration than inhaling marijuana smoke, which contains noxious substances that may irritate the lungs. Since a vaporizer heats the cannabis flower or oil concentrate without burning it, the active ingredients are inhaled but no smoke is involved. At the very least that’s how it’s meant to work.
But there may be a hidden disadvantage to vape pen starter kit, which are manufactured (typically in China), marketed, and utilized without regulatory controls. Available on the internet and then in medical marijuana dispensaries, vape pens consist of a battery-operated heating mechanism, which at high temperatures can transform solvents, flavoring agents, and other vape oil additives into carcinogens and other dangerous toxins.
Of particular concern: Propylene glycol, a popular chemical which is blended with cannabis or hemp oil in lots of vape pen cartridges. A syrupy, thinning compound, propylene glycol is also the key ingredient in most nicotine-infused e-cigarette solutions. At high temperatures, propylene glycol converts into tiny polymers that will ruin lung tissue.
Scientists know a good deal about propylene glycol. It is located in an array of common household items-cosmetics, baby wipes, pharmaceuticals, pet food, antifreeze, etc. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada have deemed propylene glycol safe for human ingestion and topical application. But exposure by inhalation can be another matter. A lot of things are safe to nibble on but dangerous to breathe.
A 2010 study published inside the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health figured that airborne propylene glycol circulating indoors can induce or exacerbate asthma, eczema, and several allergic symptoms. Children were reported to be particularly sensitive to these airborne toxins. An earlier toxicology review warned that propylene glycol, ubiquitous in hairsprays, could possibly be harmful because aerosol particles lodge deep inside the lungs and they are not respirable.
When propylene glycol is heated by way of a red-hot metal coil, the possible harm from inhalation exposure increases. High voltage heat can modify propylene glycol and other vaping additives into carbonyls. Carbonyls are a small grouping of cancer-causing chemicals which includes formaldehyde, that has been connected to spontaneous abortions and low birth weight. A known thermal breakdown product of propylene glycol, formaldehyde is undoubtedly an International Agency for Research on Cancer group 1 carcinogen.
As a result of low oral toxicity, propylene glycol is classified from the FDA as “generally accepted as safe” (GRAS) for usage as being a food additive, but this assessment was based on toxicity studies that did not involve heating and breathing propylene glycol.
Prevalent in nicotine e-cig products and offer in a few vape oil cartridges, FDA-approved flavoring agents pose additional risks when inhaled as opposed to eaten. The flavoring compounds smooth and creamy (diacetyl and acetyl propionyl) are related to respiratory illness when inhaled in tobacco e-cigarette devices. Another hazardous-when-inhaled-but-safe-to-eat flavoring compound is cinnamon ceylon, which becomes cytotoxic when aerosolized.
Currently, there is not any conclusive evidence that frequent users will develop cancer or some other illness should they inhale the valuables in vape oil cartridges. That’s because little is actually known regarding the short or long term health negative effects of inhaling propylene glycol as well as other ingredients that can be found in flavored vape pen cartridges. A number of these prefilled cartridges are poorly labeled with little or no meaningful info on their contents.
The opportunity that vape kits might expose men and women to unknown health risks underscores the value of adequate safety testing for these products, which thus far has been lacking.
Scientists face several challenges while they try and gather relevant safety data. As yet, no one has determined how much e-cig vapor the typical user breathes in, so different studies assume different numbers of vapor his or her standard, which makes it tough to compare results. Tracing what goes on on the vapor once it really is inhaled is equally problematic.
The biggest variable is definitely the device itself. The performance of each and every vape pen may vary greatly between different devices and in some cases there exists considerable variance when comparing two devices of the same model.
Some vape pens require pressing some control to charge the heating coil; other people are buttonless and one activates the battery simply by sucking in the pen. The surface portion of the vape pen’s heating element and its particular electrical resistance play a sizable role in converting ingestible solvents into inhalable toxins.
Another confounding factor may be the scant information about when and just how long the user pushes the button or inhales normally, how much time the coil gets hot, or even the voltage used during the heating process. A five-volt setting yielded higher amounts of formaldehyde in the controlled propylene glycol study cited from the New England Journal of Medicine.
In the case of vape pens, there’s a great need for specific research regarding how people actually begin using these products in the real world in order to understand potential benefits or harms.
Such studies have been conducted using the Volcano vaporizer, a first generation vaping device that is different from a vape pen, a far more recent innovation, in a number of ways. Utilized in clinical trials like a medical delivery device, the Volcano is just not a transportable contraption. The Volcano only heats raw cannabis flower, not oil extract solutions, plus it doesn’t combust the bud.
Vape pen manufacturers don’t prefer to admit it, however when the heating element gets red hot within a vape pen, the perfect solution inside the prefilled cartridges undergoes a procedure called “smoldering,” a technical term for which is tantamount to “burning.” While most of the vape oil liquid is vaporized and atomized, a portion of the vape oil blend undergoes pyrolysis or combustion. In this sense, the majority of the vvape pen starter kit no nicotine that have flooded the commercial market might not be true vaporizers.
Unlike vape pen devices, the Volcano vaporizer continues to be tested for safety and pharmacokinetics (a measurement of what’s within the blood and how long it stays there). Collectively, the information vapeopen that vaporizing whole plant cannabis exposes an individual to lower levels of carcinogens when compared with smoke and decreases negative effects (like reactions on the harshness of smoke).
But nonportable vaporizers much like the Volcano might still pose health conditions in the event the vaporized cannabis flower is below acceptable botanical safety standards. A recently available article inside the Journal of Analytical Methods notes that high levels of ammonia are produced from vaporizing cannabis grown incorrectly, perhaps due to the absence of flushing during hydroponic cultivation. There’s an expanding body of data suggesting how the chemicals utilized to push the plant towards unnaturally high THC concentrations continue in the finished product.