The portable electronic smoking device, or commonly known as vape mods or vape pens, is rapidly gaining popularity among marijuana users (medical marijuana) and traditional smokers because they can provide a discreet, convenient, and harmless way to administer tobacco and cannabis. The big question is, “How safe are these expensive vape pens like Micro Vaped V4, and the liquid you are using?”
It is assumed that vaping is much healthier compared to administering tobacco or marijuana smoke by inhalation. Inhaling smoke can irritate the lungs due to harmful substances coming from traditional tobacco and marijuana. Since the atomizer or vaporizer of the vape pen heats the tobacco oil concentrate and cannabis extract without burning the extract, the active components are inhaled by the user, but there is no smoke involved.
At least that’s how it should be supposed to work. But any device has its hidden downside, even vape pens. Most of these devices are manufactured in China, marketed on the internet, and sold without proper regulatory controls from the government. Vape pens are available mostly online, vape shops or in medical marijuana shops or dispensaries.
They contain Li-Ion battery and a heating mechanism, if exposed to high heat, will transform any oil or solvents, vape oil additives and flavoring agents into carcinogens and other unknown dangerous toxins.
One of the most popular concerns when it comes to vaping is the use of the chemical, Propylene glycol or PG as an additive to cannabis/hemp oil or tobacco extract in many vape pen cartridges. Propylene glycol is a syrupy thinning compound, are primary ingredients in most nicotine-infused vape juice.
(T know more about propylene glycol, visit https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/phs/phs.asp?id=1120&tid=240.)
When exposed to high temperature, PG or Propylene glycol will be converted into tiny polymers that can cause damage to lung tissues. Researchers and scientists have known Propylene glycol for quite some time. It is found in a lot of everyday household items, baby wipes, cosmetics, pet foods, pharmaceuticals, and even antifreeze agents.
The United States FDA has cleared PG as safe for human consumption and topical applications. But exposure to the substance through inhalation is another matter. Some substances are safe to ingest, but very dangerous if inhaled.
In a study conducted in 2010 by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, it was concluded that vaporized PG, circulating indoors, can exacerbate or induce asthma attacks, eczema and many lung-related allergic reactions.
Children and pregnant women are said to be very sensitive to these airborne toxic substances. Toxicology research warned people using PG found in hairsprays, are very dangerous because aerosol particulates can lodge deep in our lungs and the chances of it coming out of our body are zero. When PG is exposed to high temperature, the potential harm from exposure due to inhalation will increase.
High heat can transform PG and other vaping components like flavoring and Vegetable Glycerin or VG into carbonyls. Carbonyls are cancer-0causing toxins that include formaldehyde, which causes low birth weight and continuous abortions.
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Because the ingredients have low oral toxicity, PG is classified by the United States Food and Drug Administration as safe for human consumption. But the evaluation was based on the study that does not involve exposing propylene glycol to high heat and inhalation.
These FDA-approved flavoring agents, as well as additives that are present in some vape juice cartridges and prevalent in electronic cigarette products, pose risks when inhaled compared when eaten. The flavoring, which is usually diacetyl or acetyl propionyl, is related to respiratory illnesses if inhaled in e-cig devices.
Another hazardous, when inhaled, but safe to ingest, ingredient in flavoring agent, is cinnamon Ceylon, which will turn into cytotoxic when aerosolized.
As of the moment, there is still no conclusive evidence that vape users will develop cancer or any lung illness if they inhale vape oil cartridges. The reason for this is because there are no concrete studies conducted on the long-term and short-term effect of inhaling vape ingredients like propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin.
The possibility of vape pen users might get exposed to unknown health problems underscores the importance of further safety testing for the products mentioned above, which has been lacking, whether on the government side or the manufacturers and pharmaceutical side.