KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 2 – United States health authorities have suggested that THC vaping products may be a cause of an outbreak of lung injury among e-cigarettes users that has taken 16 lives so far.
The report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that in interviews about e-cigarette use that were conducted with 86 patients in Illinois and Wisconsin, use of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing e-cigarette products, the majority of which were prefilled cartridges obtained from informal sources, was reported by 87 per cent of patients during the 3 months preceding illness.
“Among the 86 interviewed patients, 75 (87 per cent) reported using e-cigarette products containing THC, the principal psychoactive component of cannabis, during the three months preceding illness; 61 (71 per cent) reported using nicotine-containing products; 50 (58 per cent) reported using both THC- and nicotine-containing products,” the report said.
Only four (5 per cent) of 86 interviewed patients reported prescription drug misuse or illicit drug use other than THC.
“Nearly all (96 per cent) THC-containing products reported were packaged, prefilled cartridges, and 89 per cent were primarily acquired from informal sources (e.g., friends, family members, illicit dealers, or off the street).”
The report suggested that while the cause of this outbreak is unknown, it might be related to prefilled THC cartridges.
“Although no single brand name was reported by all patients, a prefilled THC cartridge sold under the brand name Dank Vapes was reported by 57 (66 per cent) patients,” the report further stated.
Other brands mentioned by patients include TKO, Off White, Moon Rocks, Chronic Carts, Cookies, Smart Carts, Kingpen and Dabwoods among others.
The nationwide outbreak has caused 16 deaths: two in California, two in Kansas, two in Oregon, and one each in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Nebraska, Virginia and New Jersey.
CDC officials last week said that the total confirmed and probable cases of lung injury associated with e-cigarette use was at 805 cases.