Mohr reported from Carlsbad, California; Panama City, Florida; and Jackson, Mississippi. Contributing to this report were Allen Breed in Lexington and Ninety Six, South Carolina; Juliet Linderman in New York, Philadelphia and Towson, Maryland; Reese Dunklin in Dallas; Krysta Fauria in Carlsbad and Los Angeles; Carla K. Johnson in Seattle; Justin Pritchard in Washington and Los Angeles; Rhonda Shafner in New York; Ted Warren in Grants Pass, Oregon; and Mitch Weiss in Lexington, South Carolina.
But local and state authorities have limited ability to pursue problem products to their roots.
Back in the car, Jenkins tried it first. Things “got hazy,” then terrifying.
Singh pleaded guilty in 2017 to federal charges he sold a smokable “potpourri” that he knew contained synthetic marijuana. He said that experience taught him a lesson and blamed counterfeit products for the synthetic marijuana detected in Green Machine.
Some operators are cashing in on the CBD craze by substituting cheap and illegal synthetic marijuana for natural CBD in vapes and edibles such as gummy bears, an Associated Press investigation has found.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved one CBD-based medicine for treating seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, but says it cannot be added to food, drinks or dietary supplements. The agency is now clarifying its regulations, but aside from warning manufacturers against making unproven health claims, it has done little to stop the sale of spiked products. That’s the job of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, but its agents are focused on opioids and other narcotics.
Green Machine’s packaging says it’s made with industrial hemp, but there’s no information about who is behind it.
Synthetic marijuana is a concern, according to Weintraub, but she said the industry has many reputable companies. When products turn up spiked, the people or companies behind them often blame counterfeiting or contamination in the supply and distribution chain.
It was May 2018 and he said his friend bought a cartridge of blueberry flavored CBD vape oil called Yolo! — the acronym for “you only live once” — from the 7 to 11 Market, an austere, white board-and-batten building in Lexington, South Carolina.
There is a steadily rising number of cannabis oil producers that insist on not adding any cutting agents to their product. If you're concerned about the potential harm of these cutting agents, seek out raw products that only contain cannabis distillate and cannabis-derived terpenes.
It's not just the cannabis oil that is at risk of contamination. In a 2018 study conducted by scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, researchers discovered that unsafe amounts of toxic metals, including lead, were leaking from the heating coils of e-cigarettes and seeping into the aerosol that was inhaled. As the FDA continues to grapple with how to properly regulate e-cigarettes and vape pens, it's up to vape cartridge manufacturers and testing labs to catch potentially hazardous products.
Vape pens have gained acceptance from the cannabis community for their ease of use. Since vaping technology is so new, long-term health effects of vaping aren't yet known. (Photo by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps)Trendy as they may be, vape pen cartridges are still the new kid on the cannabis block. This recent emergence, akin to the rise of e-cigarettes, has researchers scrambling to find out the long-term health effects of vaporization. Meanwhile, many states which have legalized cannabis are still refining testing requirements. The lack of insight into vaping has left many cannabis consumers to wonder whether their vape cartridge is safe to consume.
Are There Contaminants in Your Vape Cartridge and Pens?
Another consequence of the vape pen's rising popularity is the steady stream of fake THC cartridges that have flooded the market. Some of the industry's most recognizable brands, such as Connected Cannabis Co., Heavy Hitters and Kingpen, have battled against counterfeit vape cartridges. These counterfeit cartridges are being sold with similar branding, logos, and packaging as some of these producers, making it difficult for the average consumer to tell whether they're buying legitimate products.
A vape pen comprises two primary components: a battery and the vape cartridge. The battery consists of the bottom portion of the vape pen, providing power to the heating element, which vaporizes the cannabis oil contained inside the vape cartridge. Most vape oil producers will tell you which voltage is compatible with the selected cartridge. These devices come in many shapes, sizes, and styles. Some vape pens have a button that activates the vape cartridge, while others are buttonless and only activated once the user takes a draw.
What's Inside Your Vape Cartridge?
Vape cartridges include a mouthpiece, chamber, and heating element known as an atomizer. The chamber is filled with concentrated amounts of cannabinoids, usually either THC- or CBD-dominant, and terpenes. The atomizer is activated when contact is initiated with the battery, heating up the chamber and vaporizing the cannabis oil.
As lab testing requirements have been bolstered in California, scientists have been able to identify vape cartridges that contain high levels of lead before they reach the legal market. The California Bureau of Cannabis Control implemented Phase 3 testing standards on Jan. 1, 2019, which included analytical testing for heavy metals.