A recent test of vape cartridges by a cannabis testing facility in California found that all of the illegal vape cartridges tested contained a fungicide that could introduce an extremely dangerous poison to the body. None of the legal vape cartridges tested had the fungicide. Now, some are wondering if this may be the reason behind the mystery respiratory illness striking vapers across the country.
The facility tested 15 black market cannabis vape cartridges and three cartridges from a legal dispensary in California, all from different manufacturers. All 15 of the illegal cartridges tested positive for the fungicide myclobutanil. This is alarming because the fungicide can turn into hydrogen cyanide when burned.
Thirteen of the bootleg marijuana vaping cartridges also tested positive for Vitamin E acetate, a solvent used to cut cannabis. According to previous studies, the solvent could trigger an immune response that causes pneumonia when it gets into the lungs. None of the legal vape cartridges tested positive for either of those substances.
Right now, federal regulators are trying to find the cause behind hundreds of cases of vape-related lung illness. More than 500 cases have been confirmed, with nearly 1,000 more being investigated in 46 states. Nationally, about a dozen patients have died from the illness, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The exact cause of the illnesses remains unclear and no definitive substance/product has been determined as the cause.
Until a cause has been found, the CDC is advising people to stop using e-cigarette or vaping products. Reports have emerged that sales of marijuana vaping products are down as much as 60 percent in some states due to the warning and increased awareness of the risks.