In the last several years, vaping has experienced a surge in popularity across the country. But with many injuries and several deaths attributed to adulterated vape formulations, some are questioning the overall safety of vaping. In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of vaping and how cannabis vape products are tested for quality and safety in California.
What is Vaping?
To put it simply, vaping refers to the act of vaporization. When you heat up a compound like cannabis flower or extract to a temperature lower than its combustion or burning point (about 450 degrees Fahrenheit), aromatic volatile compounds like cannabinoids and terpenes get released in a fine mist that can be inhaled.
Before vaping exploded in popularity, health-conscious cannabis users invested in bulky vaping rigs like the Volcano vaporizer. These devices allowed users to vape cannabis flower and avoid harmful byproducts like tar and carcinogens that are associated with inhaling smoke.
But today, when the topic of vaping comes up, most people think of e-cigarettes or cannabis vape pens. In the case of cannabis, these devices hold cartridges that contain liquid cannabis extract oil.
Vape pens have become incredibly popular because they’re portable, discreet, and easy to use. And vaping in this form is still frequently touted as being safer than smoking.
How are Cannabis Vape Products Tested?
An increase in vape-related illnesses and deaths has caused many people to question the safety of vape products. However, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control has in place strict testing requirements for all vape products that are sold in the state of California. Vape product testing requirements include:
- Cannabinoid potency testing
- Pesticide testing
- Microbial contamination screening
- Heavy metal testing
- Mycotoxin testing
- Residual solvent testing
- Foreign materials testing
But there’s still a concern that some of the chemical ingredients added to vape oil could be harmful. These include thinning agents like propylene glycol and synthetic flavor additives. It will be up to the FDA to re-evaluate the safety of these substances.
So what can consumers do to prevent vape related injuries? Avoid using vape products from unlicensed retailers and manufacturers. And know your source. Look for vape products with few additives made by reputable, state-licensed companies that are subject to rigorous quality control testing by licensed cannabis testing labs.
Consumers may be starting to re-think their vape obsession. But vaping is relatively safe if the product comes from a trusted source, contains few additives, and has undergone quality control testing.
Encore Labs offers a complete California compliance testing package that will keep your cannabis concentrates and extracts safe and compliant. Contact us today for more information.