As a Cannabis industry medical practice, we would like to update our patients on the current recommendations from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and the FDA regarding the issue of severe lung illness related to vaping. As of this date, there have been approximately 450 cases reported in multiple states, including Florida. There have been 5 deaths reported. To date no definitive source of the illness has been determined. It has occurred in people vaping e-cigarettes or other vaping devices containing nicotine, substances extracted from cannabis (THC, CBD), or both.
Although not definitive, cases related to cannabis appear to be more common in products bought from the internet black market or unlicensed distributors. One of the most common ingredients in samples from sick patients is Vitamin E acetate, which is a non-approved substance per Florida guidelines for dispensaries. At this time, there is no recommendation to avoid vape products sold in our licensed state dispensaries.
Warning signs include coughing, fatigue and shortness of breath in anyone who has vaped within the last 90 days. If you develop any of these symptoms, we urge you to report this to us, as well as your primary care doctor.
Food and Drug Administration statement:
“Because consumers cannot be sure whether any THC vaping products may contain vitamin E acetate, consumers are urged to avoid buying vaping products on the street, and to refrain from using THC oil or modifying/adding any substances to products purchased in stores”.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statement includes these recommendations:
- While this investigation is ongoing, consider not using e-cigarette products
- Youth and young adults should not use e-cigarette products.
- Women who are pregnant should not use e-cigarette products.
- If you do use e-cigarette products, you should not buy these products off the street (for example, e-cigarette products with THC or other cannabinoids).
- You should not modify e-cigarette products or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.
We will continue to closely monitor and update our patients as needed.
Mitchell N Davis, DO, FACOI, FACG
Chief Medical Officer, ComCan Healthcare, LLC