Cannabis Vaping - FAQs and Safety

Concerns About the Safety of Vaping and E-Cigarettes

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and State and local health departments, including Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) are investigating a multistate outbreak of e-cigarette or vaping product use associated lung injuries (EVALI). As of November 21, 2019, they have identified vitamin E acetate as a chemical of concern among people with EVALI. In addition, there may be other chemicals contributing to EVALI. The CDCHDOH, and the American Medical Association all recommend that people should not use e-cigarettes, or vaping, products; particularly from informal, off-market or unregulated sources like friends, or family, or in-person or online dealers.

As of November 20, 2019, 2,290 cases of EVALI have been reported from across the country. At least forty-seven deaths have been confirmed in 25 states and the District of Columbia.

All known EVALI patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette, or vaping, products. Vitamin E acetate has been identified as a chemical of concern among people with EVALI.

Those affected reported a gradual onset of symptoms, including breathing difficulty, shortness of breath, and/or chest pain. Some cases reported mild to moderate gastrointestinal symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhea, while others have reported experiencing fever or fatigue.

THC is present in most of the samples tested by FDA to date, and most patients report a history of using THC-containing e-cigarette, or vaping, products. The latest national and State findings suggest that products, particularly those supplied by informal sources like friends, or family, or in-person or online dealers, are linked to most of the cases and play a major role in the outbreak because they contain contaminants, such as vitamin E Acetate.

No. Never. Noa Botanicals uses a cold ethanol extraction system to safely extract cannabinoids, terpenes, and other natural bioactive compounds from cannabis flowers cultivated in our production center. The resulting extracts are pure and contain no additives of any kind and are therefore safe for human consumption.

Yes. The State of Hawai`i requires that every batch of flower or manufactured product be submitted for analysis by a third-party regulated by the State. This mandatory analysis includes screening for the presence of residual solvents, artificial additives and other contaminants. The State of Hawai’i does not allow additives in medical cannabis vaping products sold in licensed dispensaries.

No.  Noa Botanicals is licensed and regulated by the Hawaii Department of Health, license No. A07-MC.

Yes. Unregulated products are often packaged in, or with, inexpensive vaporizing devices manufactured with rubber, plastics or materials that may also vaporize at high temperatures. These cheap vaporizing devices often sold in smoke shops or by illicit market sellers are unsafe and may pose health risks.

The State of Hawaii requires licensed dispensaries to sell only SPA (Safe Pulmonary Administration) devices manufactured from non-reactive materials like ceramic, glass, and stainless steel. All SPA devices sold by Noa Botanicals have been evaluated and approved by the Hawaii Department of Health.

Medical research has indicated that common additives in e-cigarettes may pose health risks. Two specific additives, propylene glycol (PG) and polyethylene glycol (PEGs), are often added to  e-cigarettes. While the FDA had approved PG use in at least one inhalable product, but that product was intended for inhalation alone, not heating and inhalation.

Cannabis “vaporization” is a technique that suppresses irritating respiratory toxins by heating cannabis to a temperature where active cannabinoid vapors form, but below the point of combustion when smoke and associated byproducts are released.

Yes, several. Beginning in 2001, Arno Hazekamp, PhD from University of Leiden in the Netherlands has conducted studies on vaporized cannabis flower and extracted cannabis oils for Storz & Bickels, manufacturers of the first cannabis vaporizers. His research showed that cannabis compounds heated below the temperature at which they burn will become a vapor that can be inhaled into the lungs and released in the bloodstream. His studies concluded the uptake of THC in the lungs from vaporization is comparable to smoking cannabis, while avoiding the respiratory disadvantages of smoking Dr. Hazekamp advised the Dutch national medical cannabis program and is considered one of the world’s leading experts in cannabis chemistry and cannabis oil manufacture. Several other studies have confirmed his findings that vaporization of cannabinoids is safe.

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