Editorial by, Lekisha Leonard
Naturally speaking, there seems to be a major topic brewing mixing communities of tobacco and cannabis regarding vapes, and teenagers. There are articles highlighting the increase in e-cigarettes and vaping among teens due to sweet flavor options. You can purchase e-cigarettes with nicotine, and without, which can damage the parts of the brain that control attention and learning, and also cause addiction. Wisconsin’s health department and scientists who have analyzed e-liquids say that sometimes these fluids can contain heavy metals like nickel, tin and lead, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There is definitely proven research, that nicotine and tobacco use have absolutely no health benefits and shouldn’t be consumed, by anyone let alone teenagers. It’s important to ensure stores that sell the products are accountable and not selling to minors and marketing agencies are not targeting minors. The initiative to fight this and get in front of it, is important as vaping e-cigarettes has increased drastically. The more we move into the world of holistic and plant based options, we will see big pharma stir the pot and add confusion, by bunching cannabis and tobacco usage altogether to continue the stigma and miseducation. As with any industry the risk of abuse and misinformation is out there to confuse consumers. It’s important to understand the lack of government regulation and oversight within the Cannabis industry will continue to play a role in just how far companies are willing to go to make profit. Which, leads to putting consumers health at risk.
As for adult vape usage, it’s important to do your research and understand fact verses fiction and proven research verses opinion. I have found that when you peel the layers back you find a whole world of enlightenment. When it comes to CBD and vaping we have to breakdown exactly what CBD is and when it is vaped, what is actually taking place during this process. CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis. It is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin to marijuana plant. Cannabidiol is known for its therapeutic properties, according to a report from the World Health Organization, in humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential, to date. There is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.
Burning cannabis oils can produce some of the same free radicals that are formed when you burn tobacco, which is why people have turned to vaporizing (vaping). Vaporizing means that cannabis is heated without combustion. Active ingredients are released by the heat into a fine-mist vapor. Since combustion does not occur, smoke is not created. There are several harmful agents to avoid in cannabis oil. When vaporized, cannabis oils are frequently mixed with thinning agents for better performance in a vaporizing device. However, when some thinning agents are heated, potentially harmful carbonyl compounds can be produced. Carbonyls are a group of cancer-causing chemicals that includes formaldehyde, which has been linked to child birth complications. Most research in regard to the thinning agents have been completed in e-cigarettes, which have been around for nearly a decade. The 2017 study conducted at the Medical Marijuana Research Institute in Arizona, researchers looked at the by products produced when vaporizing cannabis oil, propylene glycol (PG or PPG), vegetable glycerin, polyethylene, medium chain triglycerides. The thinning agents were heated to 230c (450F), and scientists tested the resulting vapors to detect the presence of harmful compounds like formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acrolein. When purchasing your vaporizers, avoid if the ingredients propylene glycol and or polyethylene glycol 400 are listed. Vaping cannabis is supposed to be a healthier mode, than smoking cannabis. Vaporization is supposed to heat the oil enough to release volatile terpenes and cannabinoid compounds (THC, CBD) into the air, but not enough to create smoke.
When choosing your pen, look for certificate of analysis (COA), which will ensure the liquid is free from heavy metals, pesticides and other toxins, and that the company is transparent about its manufacturing process. Don’t buy disposable pens, that are not biodegradable, they just end up in a landfill. Be sure to look for pens with glass, ceramic or quartz components, to ensure a clean puff. When purchasing vape pens always look for broad spectrum or full spectrum extracts, which contain cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids to provide you, the benefit of “The Entourage Effect”. There is more research to be done, but there are several companies out there on a mission to help people with ethical and healthy plant based products for those that seek alternative options.