What's in Your Medical Marijuana Vaporizer? Toxic Vape Oil Endangers Patients
In the summer of 2015, Project CBD published a report by Dr. Jahan Marcu that exposed the potential hazards of heating and inhaling propylene glycol (PG), a widely used thinning agent in many cannabis oil products, including vape pen cartridges. Project CBD was the first cannabis industry watchdog to call attention to research showing that when PG is heated in an electronic vaporizer, it can decompose into formaldehyde, a potent carcinogen. We noted with concern that thinning agents such as PG are typically present in hemp-derived CBD oil extracts. Nearly every hemp CBD vape oil brand we examined included PG or, even worse, polyethylene glycol (PEG), another toxic additive.
A recent peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (JACM) validated the dangers of PG and presented evidence that PEG is even more hazardous when heated. Scientists at the Medical Marijuana Research Institute in Arizona studied the degradation of PG, PEG, vegetable glycerin, and medium-chain triglycerides (such as coconut oil). They heated these compounds to 230ËšC, a high but plausible temperature for a vaporizer. PEG produced a large amount of acetaldehyde and formaldehyde, two carcinogens. Their work also confirmed that PG decomposes into formaldehyde at this temperature.