Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported an “outbreak” in lung illnesses due to vaping, citing over 450 possible cases in 33 states, including five deaths. They highlighted particular concern with vapes containing THC, the main psychoactive substance in cannabis.
News of the CDC findings found its way to national headlines and has left people wondering about the safety of cannabis vaping products.
Multiple marijuana dispensaries in Aspen said some customers had raised questions and concerns about vaping.
Sasha Couturier, a budtender at Best Day Ever in Aspen, said he’s been reassuring customers that the problem-causing vapes have originated on the black market.
“If you’re buying your marijuana vapes at a recreational dispensary,” Couturier said. “Then you’re fine. If you’re buying it off the streets, then there’s nothing we can do about that.”
In August, the CDC issued a warning in the wake of their findings. That warning specifically cited bootleg THC vapes as a danger, and its report of the lung illness outbreak identified many instances in states without legal and regulated recreational marijuana.
Couturier said regulations minimize the chances that any legally-sold recreational cannabis products could contain harmful substances.
“If it even has any traces of solvents left in edibles, concentrates or even the cannabis, we can’t even really sell it.”