What is behind lung diseases from vaping cannabis extracts?

What is behind lung diseases from vaping cannabis extracts?

Health department officials do not yet know why so many people are getting sick after vaping cannabis with electronic cigarettes

Vaping cannabis extracts. Adam Hergenreder of Illinois has been hospitalized since last week. He is 18 years old but his lungs are like those of a 70-year-old man. Hergenreder says he vaped with THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. The teenager bought the electronic cigarette with THC from a drug dealer.

Soon after, Hergenreder had a high fever, began to vomit and was out of breath. His mother took him to the hospital where he went directly to intensive care. In fact his mother believed that his son was going to die because doctors told him it was very likely to happen. Hergenreder said he had been vaping for about two years, to get the maximum effect of nicotine and then the effect of marijuana. When he tries now to take a deep breath most of the time he ends up coughing.

Hergenreder says he now regrets it and that his lungs will never be the same. Hergenreder pulmonologist, Dr. Stephen Amesbury fears that the current crisis is just the beginning. When asked about the relationship between vaping and the numerous episodes of lung diseases, Amesbury replied that there seems to be nothing more in these cases. The doctor claims to have searched for other potential causes, but they have not been able to find anything else, and coincidentally all the sick have been vaping.

Numerous officials from the New York Department of Health have said that black market cannabis products could be the cause of the mysterious outbreak of serious lung disease that has caused more than 200 people to become seriously ill and killed two. The outbreak begins to look like an epidemic.

The New York Department of Health has said that laboratory test results have shown very high levels of vitamin E oil in cannabis cartridges used by the 34 people who became ill in New York State after using electronic cigarettes for cannabis use.

At this time, vitamin E acetate has become the main suspect in the Department’s research in its search for the causes of lung diseases related to vaping.

Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, explained that vitamin E acetate is a nutritional supplement widely used in the food industry, which is taken orally or applied to the skin. What should never be done is to heat it and then inhale because it is oil and the lungs react very badly to the inhaled hot oil.

The health department believes that many of the products related to the outbreak of lung diseases among cannabis vapers are counterfeit cannabis recreational vaporization products that are illegal in New York but are available in other states.

The images of the products that have been published in the media were labeled with the names of “Dank Vapes” and “Chronic Carts”.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a few days ago that they were investigating 215 possible cases of lung disease associated with cannabis vaping in 25 states.

The first death happened in Illinois at the end of August. For its part, Oregon announced this week a new death related to vaping. But on this occasion the deceased had used an electronic cigarette with cannabis that he had bought in a dispensary and was not a counterfeit electronic cigarette.

Since the end of last June the new cases showed symptoms such as difficulty breathing and chest pain before being hospitalized. Sometimes the patients had vomiting, very severe diarrhea and a high fever.

Almost all the patients responded to a steroid treatment and in fact recovered well. Electronic cigarettes can be purchased in the United States since 2006. In fact, many nicotine addicts use them to gradually stop their addiction. Unfortunately they have become very popular among teenagers who use tobacco and / or marijuana cigarettes.

Its use among teenagers has skyrocketed in recent years: some 3.6 million middle and high school students used vaping products in 2018, which means an increase of 1.5 million more than the previous year.

According to experts from the Centers for Disease Control Prevention in the United States, some of the cases that have arisen since the end of June are from people who have vaporized THC. Ann Thomas, an Oregon health official, says they are still unsure if the last victim’s illness has been caused by contaminants, ingredients in the liquid, or the vaping device. Ann Thomas is baffled because the woman who died in July was hospitalized and had a ventilator to assist her breathing. In a very short time the patient improved but soon after she died suddenly. Health Department officials believe that these diseases are related to oil derived from vitamin E, found in samples of marijuana products used by victims.

The truth is that although the cause of the mysterious disease has not yet been identified, all cases have a common denominator: vaping. All patients manifest symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath and fatigue, as well as some episodes of vomiting and diarrhea. No evidence has been found that any type of infectious disease is responsible. No viruses or bacteria were found. Health authorities no longer know what to do and numerous tests are being done to identify any harmful compound.

In the state of Michigan it is not legal to sell flavored electronic cigarettes. According to health authorities, what does seem a reality is that electronic cigarettes are more harmful than what it seems. A man died recently when one of them exploded while vaping.

There is a thriving black market for steam cartridges with THC. These cartridges are legally sold in medical marijuana dispensaries in some states. But the black market makes counterfeits at a lower price that can be the cause of this mysterious outbreak of lung diseases among cannabis users through electronic cigarettes. Users who have purchased these counterfeit cartridges online have warned about the dangers that these counterfeits pose.

The question is whether regular vaping is safe. The truth is that the reasons for this mysterious pest have not yet been found and the link with THC products is still unclear.

 The American Vaping Association says that recent illnesses are due to illegal vapers containing THC. Regardless of legal vaporizers or fakes, Dr. Brian King, of the CDC’s office on smoking and health, says it is a mistake to believe that vaping is completely safe, because electronic cigarettes contain a variety of identified harmful ingredients, including elements such as very fine particles, heavy metals such as lead and chemicals that cause cancer, in addition to diacetyl, which is a flavoring used to give a butter-like taste and has been linked to severe respiratory problems.

King also believes that it is possible that other similar cases have been going on for a long time without us being aware of it.

According to a spokeswoman for the state health department, the same chemist has been found in almost all cannabis samples of patients who have become ill in New York in recent weeks. Vitamin E is found naturally in numerous foods, such as canola oil, olive oil or almonds. The oil that comes from vitamin is called vitamin E acetate. It is a very common nutritional supplement harmless when ingested or when used in topical skin treatments. But its molecular structure could make it dangerous when inhaled.

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