When most people try CBD vapes for the first time, they expect a relaxing experience. What they certainly don’t expect is to end up in a coma after just a couple of puffs.
Nevertheless, that’s exactly what happened to Jay Jenkins in the United States.The issue in his unfortunate case being that while the vape he tried was labelled as a CBD product, it didn’t actually contain any CBD whatsoever. Instead, it was loaded with the same potentially lethal chemicals used to manufacture synthetic cannabis.
As the CBD craze gathers momentum around the world, manufacturers are going to extremes to cash in on its momentum. Unfortunately, a surprising proportion of producers are attempting to cut costs and maximize profits by substituting CBD for synthetic cannabis. According to a recent report published by the Associated Press, synthetic cannabis has found its way into CBD vapes, edibles and other products across America.
In fact, of approximately 350 samples of CBD products put through government tests across nine states, almost 130 were found to contain deadly synthetic cannabis. Along with having absolutely no CBD in their makeup whatsoever, these illicit products contain compounds that have been blamed for dozens of deaths and hospitalisations all over the US.
Cat and Mouse
The speed at which the market is growing is making it difficult for regulators and drug enforcement agencies to keep up. With comparatively few cases of such lethal products having been brought to justice, operators are seeing the lack of intervention as a green light to do whatever they want.
It’s now estimated that up to a third of all CBD vapes being sold across the US contain the same synthetic ingredients as Spice, K2 and other forms of synthetic cannabis. All of which have been known to trigger dangerously adverse reactions in thousands of users – some of which have died after taking the drug.
Experts have therefore likened the issue to an ongoing game of Russian Roulette for those who buy and consume CBD products. At the same time, public health groups continue to insist that there is in fact a lot that can be done to stay safe. Or at least, to reduce the likelihood of falling victim to tainted CBD vapes.
Common-sense precautions advised include the following:
CBD vapes, edibles and all other CBD-infused products should only be purchased from established, licensed and reputable vendors. It is essential to ensure that the retailer can confidently trace each CBD product back to its origins – i.e. they know exactly where it has come from.
Shopping online for CBD products must be approached with extreme caution – particularly where smaller and newer retailers are concerned. Unless they have an established reputation and demonstrate total commitment to quality and safety, they’re to be avoided at all costs.
It’s often possible to spot the signs of a counterfeit or substandard product, simply by examining the packaging. If there is anything suspicious whatsoever about the quality or consistency of the labelling, assume the worst.
Do not accept CBD vapes from friends or even family members, unless they can tell you exactly where it came from and verify its safety.
If you feel even the slightest unpleasant side-effect after consuming a commercial CBD product, seek medical advice immediately. Treat all adverse reactions to CBD products as medical emergencies.
It’s unfortunate, but the reputation of CBD as a potentially revolutionary therapeutic compound is being eroded by the irresponsible actions of the few. Nevertheless, just as long as synthetic cannabis maintains its unwelcome presence, the best advice is to exercise extreme caution when consuming CBD products.