Q: I have been seeing a lot of stories in the news about people dying from vaping CBD products and it has me concerned. Any thoughts? –Martha C., N.F.M
A: In recent weeks the news has been full of vaping related deaths and many states are starting to fast-track legislation to get in front of what is going on. As far as CBD is concerned… I have not heard of any deaths or illness is directly related to CBD products whether through vape or under the tongue application. Most of the news has reported on bootleg THC vape cartridges as being the culprit. I have written on this topic extensively in an effort to educate the public on the difference between CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). CBD is extracted from the hemp plant and does not get you high where THC is extracted from the marijuana plant and provides the euphoric high most people associate with cannabis consumption.
There is considerable variation in cannabis laws from state to state. With the passing of the Farm Bill in December 2018, hemp-derived CBD has become federally legal in all states. THC (marijuana product) remains federally illegal in all states, but many states have begun to pass their own laws to allow marijuana product sales despite the federal ban. So far, there are 11 states plus D.C. that allow recreational use of marijuana as well as 33 states that have approved marijuana for medical use only. Unfortunately, whether talking about CBD or THC infused products, many people may not know or understand the importance of being able to trace the source of the product from seed to oil as well as knowing how the oil is extracted. CO2 extraction is one of the most common (and safest) ways oil is extracted from the hemp or cannabis plants. The other common method is to use solvents like ethanol or butane to extract the plant material. There is always a risk that these solvents may not have burned off completely and could end up in your end product.
Now back to the vaping related deaths on the news. With minimal regulations when it comes to the distribution of cannabis-based products nation-wide, you can never be sure what you are purchasing without first researching the business practices of the company selling the products. This leaves consumers exposed to the side effects of impure cannabis infused products with a lot of false claims made online by disreputable companies that have labels that do not match the product inside the bottle/cartridge. Let me re-iterate, I have not heard of any CBD related deaths whether through oral or vaping applications. The news has reported ONLY THC vaping catridges that were “boot-legged” or purchased on the black market that were contaminated with toxic chemicals. The important part of that story is that these cartridges were purchased from disreputable companies/people without proper research prior to purchase. As a doctor educated on the medical benefits of CBD/THC my recommendation is to leave vaping out of it when choosing your cannabis application. The long-term effect of vaping ANY chemical (CBD/THC/nicotine) has not been established so why take the chance with your lungs? The second recommendation is to ONLY purchase from researched companies that have been approved by either by the Federal Hemp Authority for CBD or a strictly regulated dispensary for THC products.
In our office, we only offer researched and lab verified organic products. When researching for a reputable and high-quality CBD company, it is important to inquire about the product’s third-party test results. This way, you will be assured that you are getting a high-quality and safe product.
Dr. Misty Green is a local Chiropractor serving the Cape Coral/North Fort Myers, Florida area for over 20 years. She can be reached at (239) 772-5777 to schedule an appointment. Check out our website at AskDrMisty.com for short and sweet video health tips.
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