Laura TennantOctober 25, 2019

By now, lots of Canadians have heard about the slew of vaping-connected illnesses and related deaths that are seemingly sweeping the US. But what does this news imply for Canadians, with our lately legalized adult-use cannabis?

In the US, cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, but some person states have legalized the substance for either health-related or adult use. As a outcome, there remains a big legacy marketplace for cannabis merchandise. In certain, vape pens have turn into well known in lots of US states as a discreet way to consume THC.

Right here in Canada, adult-use cannabis is legal, but vape pens and concentrates have but to enter the scene. These merchandise, amongst other individuals, became legal in Canada on Oct. 17, 2019, but have not but turn into obtainable for sale. In spite of this, some Canadians are applying illicit marketplace vape pen cartridges to consume cannabis.

The arrival of legal cannabis vape pens in Canada will bring with it lots of inquiries. How can Canadians vaporize cannabis safely? What should really Canadians know about vaping-connected illnesses? And what is Overall health Canada undertaking to guarantee that the legal merchandise it will provide are protected?

What are vaping-connected illnesses?

Vaping-connected illness is a catch-all term to describe a late 2019 outbreak of illnesses believed to outcome from the use of e-cigarettes and vaping.

The symptoms usually incorporate shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, weakness, and tiredness.

Scientists have coined the term EVALI, which stands for “e-cigarette, or vaping, item use related lung injury,” to refer to the syndrome. Leafly and other individuals refer to “vaping-related pulmonary illness” as VAPI.

Scientists are not but positive of the causes of the illness. Most sufferers report applying vape merchandise containing THC, but some report applying nicotine-containing merchandise only.

Importantly, vaping-connected illnesses are not related with vaporizing dry cannabis flowers. The illness is linked to vape pens and e-cigarettes which use e-liquid, rather than cannabis flowers.

Early study indicated that a single ingredient might be the result in of the challenges. This ingredient is named vitamin E acetate, and it is usually applied as a thickener in cannabis-containing vape cartridges.

Nonetheless, in an Oct. 18, 2019 release, the CDC insisted that the result in of VAPI has not but been determined.

“No single compound or ingredient has emerged as the result in of these injuries to date, and there may be much more than a single result in. Out there information recommend THC-containing merchandise play a part in this outbreak, but the particular chemical or chemical compounds accountable for [VAPI] have not but been identified, and nicotine-containing merchandise have not been excluded as a attainable result in.”

For now, the CDC recommends that persons “should not use e-cigarette, or vaping, merchandise that include THC. Persons should really not invest in any sort of e-cigarette, or vaping, merchandise, especially these containing THC, off the street.”

What should really Canadians know?

Even though the very first instances appeared in the US, Canada has not been spared in the vaping illness crisis. As of Oct. 17, 2019, there are 5 confirmed or probable instances of VAPI in Canada.

In an Oct. 11 statement, Overall health Canada urged Canadians to “consider refraining from applying e-cigarettes or vaping merchandise, especially any merchandise that have been bought illegally, which includes any merchandise that include THC.”

As of Oct. 2019, all vape pen merchandise containing THC are unregulated, as legal merchandise have not but hit the markets. In spite of this, Canadians do use cannabis-containing vape merchandise. An Aug. 2019 report from Statistics Canada indicates that 19% of Canadians who applied cannabis in the very first half of 2019 applied vape pens.

“Canadian buyers have been applying illicit cannabinoid-infused vape merchandise for lots of years. To date, all of these merchandise have been unregulated. The great news is that with Legalization two., Canadian buyers will not have to rely on the legacy marketplace for cannabinoid-infused vape merchandise,” mentioned cannabis skilled Paul Pedersen, CEO of Vancouver-primarily based Nextleaf Options.

“The current difficulties connected to vaping, mainly related with cannabinoid-primarily based vapes in the US, underscore the significance of a appropriately regulated marketplace exactly where players should abide by strict high-quality assurance and manage requirements,” Pedersen continued.

“In the Canadian legal cannabis framework, buying from a legal supply assures the customer that the item they are finding has been tested by a laboratory, usually a single that is independent and third-celebration, which meets the high-quality requirements set by Overall health Canada.”

Overall health Canada and regulated cannabis vape merchandise

Overall health Canada has been somewhat inconsistent with their position on the vaping illness crisis. With legal cannabis vape merchandise on the horizon, Canadians will no doubt have inquiries about their security.

In the Oct. 11 statement, Overall health Canada advised Canadians to use regulated, authorized legal cannabis merchandise, when they turn into obtainable:

“If you use vaping merchandise, do not invest in them from illegal or unregulated sources, which includes merchandise containing THC. Items obtained from the illegal marketplace are not topic to any controls or oversight and might pose more dangers to your wellness and security.”

But in the exact same breath, the statement urges Canadians to “consider refraining from vaping” altogether. So are government-regulated cannabis vape merchandise protected, or not?

When asked this query straight, Overall health Canada spokeswoman Maryse Durette responded on Oct. 23:

“All federally licensed producers of all legal cannabis merchandise should comply with great production practices, item formulation restrictions, high-quality requirements for components, limits on microbial and chemical contaminants, and mandatory testing specifications, amongst other strict specifications,” mentioned the spokeswoman.

Durette emphasized the stringent regulations on vaping merchandise in certain.

“… In creating the regulations governing the production and sale of new cannabis merchandise, which includes vaping merchandise, Overall health Canada took into consideration dangers related with several routes of exposure to cannabis … Some of the regulatory specifications pertaining to inhalable cannabis extracts, such as vaping merchandise, are even much more stringent than these for other non-inhaled cannabis merchandise,” she continued.

Durette assured Canadians that the agency is conscious of the vaping illness circumstance, and will not hesitate to act if it is warranted.

“Health Canada and the Public Overall health Agency of Canada are actively monitoring the vaping illness circumstance in the US and in Canada, and are in close get in touch with with the US Meals and Drug Administration and the US Centers for Illness Handle and Prevention to far better fully grasp their investigation into the result in or causes of the vaping illnesses,” she explained.

“Health Canada will continue to monitor all obtainable information sources and surveillance systems and will take more action, if warranted and as acceptable, to defend the wellness and security of Canadians.”

Echoing these sentiments, Pedersen was also confident that regulation will defend Canadians.

“In the occasion that a [legal] item … was located to be out of compliance with the regulations, a speedy recall program guarantees that the public was informed of the possible situation, and an investigation could be completed in a timely manner, hopefully stopping comparable difficulties in the future.”

When asked what Canadian cannabis buyers should really do in light of the vaping wellness crisis, Pedersen had a very simple message.

“With the current difficulties connected to vape merchandise, I’d advocate buyers wait for legal cannabis vape selections, and stick to vaporizing dried flower till these legal merchandise are obtainable,” he explained.

In summary: Secure vaping dos and don’ts


  • Acquire only legal, Overall health Canada-authorized cannabis vape pen merchandise when they are obtainable
  • Contemplate vaporizing dry herb rather of applying a vape pen
  • If you pick out to threat applying illicit marketplace merchandise, appear for components lists and study the components in your e-liquid

Do not:

    • Obtain illicit marketplace cannabis merchandise, specifically THC-infused e-liquids
    • Obtain vape cartridges from corner shops or on line unregulated retailers, as these are illegal
Laura Tennant's Bio Image

Laura Tennant

Laura Tennant is a Toronto freelance science writer. She has an Honours B.Sc. in Neuroscience from the University of Toronto. She hopes her writing will assist other individuals make far better-informed selections about their wellness and way of life.