Is Vaping Safe: Studies Have Revealed The Negative Effect Of Phytol On Health
Let’s talk about what phytol is and is it safe to use. The fact is that the well-known EVALI epidemic in North America prompted the authorities to carefully study the composition of vaping liquids. Soon enough, they figured out that the epidemic was linked to the use of vitamin E acetate in the manufacture of THC-containing dressings.
After publicity in the media, sales of cartridges with this compound in the legal market stopped and the epidemic subsided. However, Canadian researchers warn that there is another potentially hazardous substance in the fluids. Let’s find out if vaping is safe for health and analyze the research findings of phytol in e-cigarette cartridges.
What Is Phytol?
The phytol found in green tea is diterpene, which is formed by the breakdown of chlorophyll. Phytol inhibits an enzyme that breaks down the neurotransmitter GABA, which may partly explain its relaxing effect.
Phytol terpene is actually present in very small quantities in the cannabis plant and may have medical significance.
It is a fragrant vegetable oil, but with an unpleasant odor. In its natural state, it can smell like grass, but synthetic phytol, which is more often used commercially, has no smell.
Outside of the cannabis industry, phytol is used in the manufacture of products such as shampoos, household cleaners and detergents. In the cannabis industry (both legal and illegal), vape cartridge manufacturers use phytol as a diluent for pure cannabis oil.
Synthetic phytol is a colorless to pale yellow liquid that is sold in bulk to almost anyone looking to find it online.
Anyone can get phytol by flipping through a couple of pages in Google in search of a store, entering their payment card details and specifying the delivery address. Phytol is sold in the United States for about $100 per fluid ounce, which is comparable to cannabis oil, but much more readily available. Industry experts believe phytol allows dealers to significantly expand their supply of THC oil.
In illicit markets that do not require laboratory-proven THC efficacy, consumers do not know they are getting a diluted product that, in theory, could harm their lungs.
Why Was Phytol Worrisome?
Since the 2010s, humanity has been involved in massive uncontrolled field trials of electronic drug delivery systems, better known as vaporizers, vapes or vaporizers. Young and old people are experimenting with liquid chemical mixtures never found in nature, which are sprayed by electronic equipment directly into the delicate tissue of the lungs.
In 2019, a lack of quality control over vaping products escalated into a public health crisis. Consumers across America were diagnosed that year with so-called EVALI (pulmonary injury associated with e-cigarettes and vaping products), which affected 2,807 people in six months and killed 68 of them.
The researchers also published a chest CT scan showing diffuse pulmonary infiltrates found in three cases of vaping-related pulmonary injury.
Some terpene supplements in vapes have been linked to lung damage that appears cloudy on the left x-ray and clear after treating one suspected VAPI patient in Utah.
Investigation of those cases helped to identify the culprit: it turned out to be vitamin E acetate, which manufacturers added mainly to cartridges with THC to make it easier to keep this substance in the liquid. After publicity in the media, the epidemic began to decline, as conscientious manufacturers quickly excluded it from their formulation.
However, there is no need to talk about a complete cessation of the epidemic, because products can still be found on the black market, where it is not at all necessary to report the true composition of products on product labels. In addition, in addition to vitamin E acetate, there is another little studied (in the context of inhalation) substance that is still actively used in the production of cartridges with THC – phytol.
What the Canopy Growth Study Found
The Canopy report indicated that certain levels of phytol inhalation damage lung tissue in laboratory rats.
Prior to this, there was no data comparing the toxicity of inhaled phytol and propylene glycol. The latter is a widely used diluent in legally licensed cannabis cartridges. It is used to liquefy cannabis oil and allows it to easily contact the heating element of the vape device, which vaporizes the mixture.
Canopy contracted with researchers in New Mexico to give laboratory rats a mixture of phytol and air, propylene glycol and air, or just air. The researchers planned to conduct the experiment for 14 days, exposing the rats to the mixtures for 30 minutes, 1, 2, 4, or 6 hours.
But by the second day, all the rats that consumed phytol in both forms had died or suffered so badly – they were suffocating and did not respond to stimuli – that the scientists had to put them to sleep. In this case, the rats who inhaled propylene glycol successfully survived their 14 days of exposure and subsequently showed no side effects.
Autopsy of rats exposed to phytol showed profuse bleeding in the lungs, as well as decomposition of tissues in the nose, throat and lungs during necrosis. People who smoke vapes are likely to immediately give up phytol-based blends if they see what its effects on animals lead to.
Is Vaping Weed Safe?
Inhalation levels of terpenes, which are safe to smoke, have not yet been determined in the study. Therefore, no one knows yet if any level of phytol inhalation is safe. Experts generally agree that there is not enough research to conclude whether it is safe to inhale any amount of this substance.
Does This Research Apply to Humans?
Experts say the amount of phytol inhaled by rats may not directly affect vaping in humans, but requires real caution.
Imagine five gram vape pens completely filled with phytol. Now imagine that the mixture has been evaporated in a one cubic meter drawer. Both are the dosage and concentration of phytol that the rats received.
Some critics of the study argue that the dosage of phytol in rats was too high and the vaporization temperature was too low to simulate human inhalation of phytol in a vape cartridge mix. Others, on the contrary, argue that the dosages were minimal, and the rats still died in two days.
However, the data was compelling enough to force Canopy to withdraw all available phytol vapes and notify Canadian health authorities. However, active users of e-cigarettes in illicit markets are likely to still be at risk of potential lung damage from phytol.
Other Studies of Terpenes in Vapes
Very often manufacturers are deliberately adding terpenes to vape juice. This is done to enhance the flavor and enhance the aroma. The fact is that this substance can increase the risk of cancer and serious lung problems.
Let’s take a look at another study of terpenes in vaping. Recently, the University of Portland (PSU) conducted an experiment in which it was revealed and officially confirmed that terpenes or other compounds commonly added to hemp distillates potentially increase the risk of causing cancer in vapers or dabbers. Let’s move on to the conclusion of the study.
The conclusion of the study is that several of the detected components are classified by the International Agency for Research on Carcinogens as cancers that pose a threat to human health.
However, for you to understand, the source of these dangerous toxins was not pure THC. The whole danger comes from the evaporation of terpenes (the components of hemp that give it smell and aroma, as we said earlier). This vaporization created higher levels of toxins than THC alone. Terpenes are found naturally in the cannabis plant, but at relatively low doses. On the other hand, cannabis growers often add up to 30% terpenes to their concentrates to enhance the smell or aroma, but do not think about how it can affect consumers.
Is vaping marijuana safe? Considering that research results have shown clear negative effects on the body, it should be noted that vaping is safer for health than smoking cannabis. But we cannot tell you what to smoke and what not – this is a conscious choice of each person. If you feel any discomfort, then immediately consult a doctor to conduct all the necessary research. Try not to overuse vaping so as not to put yourself at risk.
The blog authors have tried to tell you about the consequences of smoking vapes. Numerous studies have shown that artificial terpenes, especially phytol, negatively affect human lungs and can cause cancer and other lung damage. Do not overuse vapes and always think about what product you are using.
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The content on this channel does not form a professional opinion, recommendation, substitute for consulting a specialist, or receiving medical advice. Cannabis is a dangerous drug, as defined in the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, for all that assumes. Four Hundred and Twenty does not encourage or recommend consuming any substance and will not be responsible for any such use.
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