What's Going on With Vape Pens?

A lot has been happening in the vaping world. Amid its increasing popularity is a growing list of health concerns as a number of deaths have been reported alongside many cases of people falling sick after vaping. Vape pens are said to be a safer alternative to smoking, but why are people getting ill from vaping? 

What are Vape Pens?
Vaporizer pens are portable battery-power devices ranging from the size of a regular office pen to marker. They are used to heat cannabis extracts and eliquids (a liquid solution made from different substances like nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerin, flavorings, etc.) that can be inhaled and exhaled as vapor
A vape pen is made of different major components, which include. 

  • A heating element which draws power from the battery to heat the product. It is also called a dry herb atomizer. 
  • A tank that holds the eliquid or oil. It usually comes with the atomizer as a single component. It also has different options - refillable or disposable cartridge.
  • A Battery, usually built-in or removable, which supplies power to the device. 
  • A mouthpiece for inhaling the heated material.

As mentioned earlier, vape pens are very tiny. You can easily hide it in your palm or pocket without anyone knowing what you are holding. To be more discreet in public, use vape pens with less flashy colors, and always vape at lower temperatures for less vapor production. 

No Nasty Smell
Vaporizer pens are way better than smoking when it comes to smell. Vaping produces little to no smell at all, but the same cannot be said for smoking. You can always take quickdraws from your vaporizer without worrying about any nasty smell.

Precise Temperature
Unlike smoking that gives you no control over the temperature, vape pens come with precise temperature settings, which offers a lot of flexibility and control over how much heat you need to vape your material. 

No Smoke
Vape pens don't produce fire, so there is no smoke. Vaporizers only produce heat to extract the active ingredients from your cannabis or liquid solution and turn them into clean vapors. 

Why Are People Getting Ill from Vaping?
While investigations and research are yet to tell us the exact reason why people are getting sick from vaping, some of the emerging clues for the vaping illness outbreak include.

Fake vape cartridges
The increasing number of illicit cartridges is one of the reasons why people fall ill after vaping. Since fake vape carts are usually cheap, many people, due to their low budget or ignorance, buy them without knowing the risks they pose. Affected patients in Illinois and Wisconsin were found to have used fake prefilled THC cartridges, which they bought from "informal sources."

Vape cartridges from known brands like Juul, TKO, Off White, Moon Rocks, Chronic Carts, Naked, etc. are being adulterated and sold to unsuspecting individuals. This is why it's important to buy from authorized and reliable distributors when shopping for vape cartridges.

Vitamin E
Recent lab tests conducted by the New York State Department of Health revealed that almost all the cannabis samples they tested showed high levels of vitamin E acetate oil. Although Vitamin E is safe when applied or in the skin or used as a nutritional supplement, experts have noted that when inhaled, it could cause some of the symptoms linked with the vape illness. 

Although pesticides are used in many food products, some like myclobutanil are harmful and can turn into hydrogen cyanide when heated. Consuming large doses of cyanide can cause severe heart and respiratory issues. Recent reports from NBC News revealed that a pesticide test on THC carts found hydrogen cyanide in 10 out of 10 products.

According to the CDC, patients who became sick from vaping experienced the following symptoms after a few days to several weeks of using their vape pens.

According to Milton Teske, MD, a public health expert for Kings County, CA, pesticide infected cartridges can cause weakness, and many of his patients who became sick after using vape pens complained of feeling "so weak." 

Respiratory Issues
Many people who fell sick after vaping complained of respiratory symptoms such as chest pain, cough, difficulty breathing, and shortness of breath.

Other Symptoms
Other common symptoms suffered by patients include diarrhea, nausea, weight loss, pain, headache, and fever. 
Ensure that you see a medical expert whenever you start experiencing any of the listed symptoms after vaping. 

Written by: Alex M of Smoke Tokes

The Higher Learning LV C3 Podcast

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