Cannabis Cartridges: Inside Out

in Culture

Cannabis vape pens have become a staple consumption method for the industry at large. Vapes are popular because they offer a convenient, discrete form of cannabis consumption. However, a brief period of controversy hit in 2019 when products from the illicit market led to illness and, in some cases, fatality. The CDC called it EVALI, or the “e-cigarette, or vaping, product use associated lung injury.” After Leafly identified vitamin E acetate as the cause of these adverse reactions, reports of vape-related illness continued to decline. Still, the health scare highlighted the need to understand what substances are within cannabis cartridges.

The traditional cannabis market regulates through required lab testing, which tells retailers and consumers exactly what is in the product. While this is beneficial to everyone involved, the average consumer still doesn’t have a wide-lens picture of what is actually going into their bodies. After all, the chemistry of these compounds changes when heat is applied.

I spoke with Dr. Markus Roggen of Delic Labs, whose vape and smoke research involves a smoking machine that simulates how a person would inhale. The inhalation is captured and the contents are analyzed. Spoiler alert: toxic compounds are found.

Courtesy of High TimesWhat’s Inside Cartridges?

The short answer is cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and potentially some cutting agents.

Cannabinoids are unique compounds found in the cannabis plant that interact with the endocannabinoid system. The more infamous of these compounds include THC and CBD. Synthetic cannabinoids will be distinguishable on a lab test. However, those who consume products that haven’t been processed by the standards of the traditional market are at risk of inhaling these potentially unsafe compounds that are intended to mimic cannabinoids.

Terpenes are aroma and flavor compounds found in plants. Some commonly known terpenes are myrcene, limonene, and linalool. The …

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Author: Madison Ortiz / High Times

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