Black market cannabis vapes from China found to contain cyanide
It is thought the illicit vape cartridges are being imported from China
Cannabis vape pens sold by unlicensed dealers have been found to contain hydrogen cyanide and other chemicals which cause lung damage.
Out of 15 pens bought from unlicensed dealers in a science experiment, 13 contained Vitamin E — which causes lung damage when inhaled.
The same number contained a fungicide called Myclobutanil which can turn into hydrogen cyanide when heated.
Myclobutanil is banned in Canada, Colorado, Washington, and Oregon for the production of medical and recreational marijuana.
Meanwhile, three cartridges were bought from legal dispensaries in California — and those didn’t contain the dangerous compounds.
CannaSafe, a company which provides quality control for the cannabis industry, carried out the tests in its science labs.
“You certainly don’t want to be smoking cyanide,” Antonio Frazier, the vice president of operations at CannaSafe told NBC News.
“I don’t think anyone would buy a cart that was labeled hydrogen cyanide on it.”
David Downs, a bureau chief for Leafly, a website about cannabis, said black market vapes were being imported into the US from China.
He told NBC News: “This all starts in China where you can get the empty cartridges both for the THC market and the nicotine market, as well as the additives, flavourings, and thickeners that are being put into these cartridges alongside the THC oil.”
The death toll across the United States from vaping-related illnesses has risen to 13, although there is no suggestion any of these are linked to black market cartridges.
A man with a heavy vaping habit died this week from a lung disease that resembles a rare form of pneumonia.
Other teens have had lucky escapes.
Maddie Nelson, 18, was put in a medically-induced coma after suffering from lung inflammation linked to her tobacco vaping habit.
Anthony Mayo, 19, who thought using flavoured tobacco vape was safe, was lucky to be alive after his lungs were shown to smothered in solidified vaping oil in shocking pictures.
The world’s first vaping death was confirmed in August.
When the fifth person died , officials urged e-cigs users to stop vaping.