A new study shows further evidence of the harms of vaping. Conducted by researchers from Portland State University and published in the journal of Chemical Research in Toxicology, the study claims that the process of heating up cannabinoid acetates creates a toxic gas called ketene that’s harmful to the lungs.
Researchers tested different cannabinoid acetates and tried to measure how much ketene was produced in a single vape puff. They measured acetates like delta-8 THC, a compound that’s currently unregulated by the FDA and that’s potent, crossing the blood-brain barrier more easily.
The dangers of toxins
Researchers found that ketene is formed at lower settings of heat than anticipated and that each puff releases an amount of toxin that’s dangerous to people’s health. Ketene is supposedly so toxic to humans that it’s dangerous to even test it, thus, becoming difficult to measure its impact on the human body.
“The thing we’re most concerned about is prolonged exposure, we don’t know what that is,” said Kaelas Munger, a doctoral student and one of the authors of the study. “That’s why papers like ours are needed. Otherwise people would be exposed to this really toxic substance and it’s really impossible to look for the evidence.”
Ketene was previously linked to EVALI disease, a condition that led to nearly 3,000 hospitalizations and deaths in 2019. The condition was ultimately linked to Vitamin E acetate, which caused an uproar in the industry and led to the banning of several vape products and ongoing conversations regarding the risks of these items, especially since they’re used by a young demographic.
More and more evidence and controversies continue to show vapes in a bad light. While some will continue to use these products for their convenience and comfortability, many will think twice before purchasing a vape, considering flower or edibles instead.