UPDATE: November 8th 2019 the New York Times reports that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has confirmed that the primary cause of the vape illness is Vitamin E Acetate — an additive used by makers of black-market THC vape carts. Foria has never used this additive. More detail below...
We were deeply saddened to learn of the recent illnesses and loss of life attributed to vaping. Tragically, the problem appears to have been caused by irresponsible vape manufacturers making a quick buck.
Vitamin E: Causes of the Vape Illness Outbreak
The illnesses appears to be caused primarily by black-market vape pens manufactured without state regulation, ingredient traceability, or independent lab testing. Fly-by-night manufacturers were using cutting agents (primarily Vitamin E acetate) to make their THC vape cartridges appear more potent than they really were.
Although Vitamin E is healthy to ingest, heating and inhaling it (especially in the high quantities used in those products) inflamed people’s lungs, requiring hospitalization and, in some cases, resulting in death.
In early November the CDC was able to find Vitamin E Acetate in the lungs of multiple people hospitalized with the illness, though they left open the possibility that additional toxins could be contributing to the problem. As reported in the NYTimes:
Dr. Schuchat left open the possibility that other chemicals or toxins from vaping fluids or devices could also be causing the severe respiratory ailments. The outbreak has revealed the existence of a vast, unregulated, shadowy marketplace of illicit or bootleg vaping products that are essentially a stew of unknown chemicals concocted, packed and sold by unknown manufacturers and sellers.
Other Factors: Pesticides & Other Toxins
Vitamin E isn’t the whole story, though. There are likely other factors involved, from pesticide contamination to toxic materials used for building cheap, mass-market vape hardware. These contaminants are likely part of a constellation of toxins that combine to create a crippling illness.
An NBC News investigation recently found the fungicide myclobutanil in almost all samples of black-market THC vape pens. Fungicides are bad enough, but when this one is heated it creates the poison hydrogen cyanide.
There's also the hardware itself. Cheap vape cartridges are often made with plastic, solder, glue and other materials that should never be heated and inhaled. Reports suggest that some carts are washed in solvents that leave behind toxic lead.
Vape Safety & Regulation
A largely unregulated market for devices like vaporizers means consumers are less likely to know what they’re getting – even when they buy a vape pen in a seemingly legitimate convenience store.
We fervently hope that continued legalization of cannabis will lead to consistent regulation and oversight, preventing further tragedies. Even though CBD has been legalized throughout the US, it's not immune from similar abuses by shady manufacturers — it's actually less regulated than legal cannabis vape pens.
We believe that an educated public is a healthier public. Always shop with an eye toward purity, transparency, and accountability – and we’ll continue to make products following the same principles.
Vaping vs Smoking
It’s important to point out that vaping in general has not been proven 100% “safe,” but in principle, vaping is significantly safer than smoking, because it minimizes the inhalation of carbon ash and other combustion chemicals – but that's only if you use a vaporizer of proven quality, with pure ingredients.
Still, in an ideal world, we probably wouldn’t be inhaling heated substances at all — but in the interest of harm reduction, if you do choose to vape, it’s vitally important that you know what’s in the product you’re using.
We want to reassure you about the vast difference between quality brands like Foria and these black-market products.
Foria's CBD Vape Pen
We are pleased to announce that Flow, our CBD vape pen, is available once again. We’d like to thank you, our community, for your patience. Although we pride ourselves on the purity of all our products, we thought it best to be as cautious as possible regarding our community’s health.
However, in light of the vape crisis, we had additional lab tests done so we could continue to assure you of the safety of Flow.
Foria's Vape vs Others Vapes: CBD Oil
Foria Flow is made with 100% natural ingredients (natural cannabinoids and terpenes), many of them organic-certified.
We never add synthetic flavors (like diacetyl) or cutting agents (like propylene glycol) to our formula.
The final oil is tested by 3rd-party labs to verify freedom from pesticides, solvents, microbes, and heavy metals.
Foria's CBD Vape vs Others: Hardware
For both purity and flavor, we selected the industry's highest quality hardware – the ceramic "C-Cell" heating element.
Cheap vape pens aren't designed with safety in mind.
The heating elements are typically made of a plastic wick wrapped in an electrified metal coil, which can reach excessive temperatures and create toxic combustion chemicals—especially when the wick isn't fully saturated with oil.
How can I vape more safely?
We recommend being judicious about your use of vape pens. As we've said, the ultimate health practice would be not inhaling heated aerosols into the lungs. We humans love our habits, but perhaps the best policy is to use your CBD vape pen only when you need immediate, fast-acting relief. For daily wellness and balance, we advise taking CBD as an oral oil (and don't forget to swish before swallowing, for maximum absorption). Regular, consistent use of CBD oil balances the endocannabinoid system, increasing resilience, mood, and diminishing discomfort.
When you do use your vape, we recommend activating it no longer than 1-2 seconds. Longer inhales (3+ seconds) cause the ceramic heating element to reach hotter temperatures, making hotter vapor that can irritate the lungs.
For a cooler vape, take a short puff followed by a big inhale of fresh air to cool/dilute the vapor within the lungs. Then wait about 5 seconds for the device to cool down before taking another puff. When in doubt, picture taking little sips, not deep drags.
If you are not a smoker already and considering using our vape pen, pay close attention to your response when using the device, and start slowly.