Since 25 August, articles in the national media (and smaller outlets using it as clickbait) have raged against e-liquids, e-cigarettes and the vaping world following around 215 cases of respiratory problems in the states, including one which resulted in death.
But can we really lump these products together with e-liquids?
Everywhere in mainstream media, we read that a “poor quality e-liquid” caused the death of someone and respiratory problems in 215 patients in America. But the cause is not a poor-quality e-liquid but simply the fact that it wasn’t an e-liquid. We’ll try to explain why.
Following an in-depth investigation by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an answer has been found, although it is still too early for them to draw a definitive conclusion on this matter. Indeed, all these cases have a similarity: they would have vaped a vitamin E oil apparently added to cannabis refills sold on the black market.
These refills of well-known brands sold under the name "E-liquid with Cannabis" (only sold in the United States) were simply fake cartridges created from scratch by the bootleggers with the logo and packaging of brands, but filled with an oil derived from Vitamin E. This oil was used as a thickening agent to make the knock off more credible (so that it doesn’t look like water).
In addition to the hard facts about the counterfeit of this American brand, the substance in these cartridges are incomparable to mixture used in a REAL E-liquid. We can still talk about it as product for vaping, but not an E-liquid.
Remember, an e-liquid is a product manufactured and tested for the sole use of being used in an e-cigarette. It always has a PG (propylene glycol) and/or VG (vegetable glycerine) base. It is therefore inconceivable to compare an e-liquid with any other substance inserted into an e-cigarette cartridge that is not made from a PG/VG base. If not, we cannot call it an e-liquid.
Why is oil from Vitamin E harmful in an e-cigarette?
Vitamin E is not harmful when ingested or in cosmetics because it is essentially fat. This acetate liquefies when heated allowing it to enter the lungs via inhalation and returns to its original state as it cools. Once in the lungs, this oil coated and filled the lungs. This therefore led to serious respiratory problems.
“The acetate of vitamin E is essentially fat. Its molecular structure means that you have to ‘heat it warm enough’ to vape. Its boiling point is 363 degrees Fahrenheit, which is well above the boiling point of 212 degrees Fahrenheit for water. Once the oil is warm enough to vape, it can potentially decompose and ‘now you’re breathing in who-knows-what’ said Professor Michelle Francl, a chemistry professor at Bryn Mawr College, in the Washington Post.
At Marie Jeanne CBD, we manufacture CBD e-liquids for e-cigarettes which are tested and certified, so we use only PG and VG bases for our products.