State and federal health authorities investigating mysterious lung diseases related to vapors have found in samples of marijuana products the same chemical used by people who have been getting sick in different parts of the country in recent weeks and various brands used by products.
Chemical is an oil derived from vitamin E. Researchers at the US Food and Drug Administration found the oil in cannabis products in specimens from patients who became ill in the US. According to several call officials, FDA officials shared this information during a telephone meeting this week.
The same chemical was also found in almost all cannabis samples from patients who were ill in New York in 2000, according to a spokeswoman for the health department in recent weeks.
Vitamin E is naturally contained in certain foods such as rapeseed oil, olive oil and almonds. The oil derived from vitamin E acetate is commonly available as a dietary supplement and is used in topical skin treatments. It is not known to be harmful if taken as a vitamin supplement or applied to the skin. His name sounds harmless, experts said, but its molecular structure could make it dangerous to inhale. Its oil-like properties may be associated with respiratory symptoms, many of which have been reported by patients: cough, shortness of breath and chest pain.
"We knew from previous tests in New York that they had found vitamin E acetate, but to convince the FDA of their entire test plan that was the most notable thing we heard," said one official at the Meeting and was not authorized to speak publicly.
The FDA also announced that According to another person who participated in the conference call, Wednesday's lab tests found nothing out of the ordinary for nicotine products that were collected from sick patients.
The state health authorities report new cases every week. By August 27, 21
On Wednesday, Oregon health officials said a middle-aged adult had died from a serious respiratory disease at the end of July using an e-cigarette containing marijuana oil purchased from a legal drugstore. It is the second death related to nationwide vaping and the first one related to a product purchased in a store. Illinois officials reported the first death last week. They did not indicate what kind of product was used in this case.
State and federal health authorities have stated that they focus on the role of contaminants or counterfeit substances as a likely cause of vapor-induced lung disease. Many patients have told officials and clinicians that they have bought cannabis products from the street. Many patients said they had evaporated marijuana-containing products, but some also used traditional nicotine e-cigarettes. Many report both. The authorities said they did not rule out adulterants of nicotine vapor products.
Although the discovery of a common chemical in laboratory tests by the FDA and the highly regarded laboratory of the Wadsworth Center in New York offers a potential lead, the officials warned that this is a long way from understanding what makes so many people sick.
An FDA spokesman said the agency is investigating "possible clues to a specific ingredient or compound that is involved". The FDA tests samples for a wide range of chemicals, including nicotine, THC, other cannabinoids, "cutting agents" that can be used to dilute liquids, other additives, pesticides, opioids, toxins and toxins.
"The number of samples received continues to increase and we now have over 100 samples to test," said spokesman Michael Felberbaum on Thursday .
Not all samples are suitable for testing. The FDA analyzed 12 viable nicotine samples and 18 viable THC products. Vitamin E acetate was found in 10 of the 18 THC products.
"This was the only thing that appeared in 10 of the 18 cannabis products," said a state official who participated in the call.
The Federal Laboratory Results appear to confirm New York State outcomes. At the end of last week, the lab found "very high levels of vitamin E acetate" in nearly all cannabis samples tested. More than a dozen cannabis samples have been tested, a Health Ministry spokeswoman said Thursday. At least one Vape product containing Vitamin E acetate was linked to each patient who submitted a product for testing.
"Vitamin E acetate is not an approved additive for New York State Medical marijuana program approved vape samples and has not been seen in the nicotine-based products that have been tested. As a result, vitamin E acetate is now a focal point in the New York inquiry, said Howard Zucker, New York state health commissioner, in a statement released Thursday.
The second death report has highlighted the danger of this lung disease. "It was surprising that the patient suddenly showed up without other underlying health conditions and became sick enough to die from this syndrome," said Ann Thomas, an Oregon Health Authority physician.
Vaping refers to the increasingly popular practice of inhaling vapor from an e-cigarette, which often heats a liquid that may contain nicotine, marijuana or other drugs.
Vitamin E acetate is basically fat, said Michelle Francl, chemistry professor at Bryn Mawr College. Due to its molecular structure, it has to be "pretty hot" for it to evaporate. Its boiling point is 363 degrees Fahrenheit, which is well above the boiling point of 212 degrees Fahrenheit for water and is nearly four times higher than the normal body temperature of humans.
Once the oil is hot enough to evaporate, it may decompose and decompose. "Now breathe in, who knows what," Francl said.
When this vapor cools down in the lungs, it returns to its original state at that temperature and pressure. Coated the inside of your lungs with this oil. "
Unlike the human digestive tract, which can decompose and remove foreign substances, according to experts, the lungs are designed only for gases. 19659023] Laura Crotty Alexander, a pneumonia and e-cigarette researcher at the University of California at San Diego, said it was not clear if the chemical itself or its by-products could be toxic.
"We did not study the toxicity of vitamin E in the lungs," she said. "The lungs are designed to exchange gas molecules and are not exposed to other chemicals."
When the lung cells die, there is often an inflammatory reaction, and "other cells have to come in and cleanse the cells." Cell debris, "said Alexander. But the lungs are very sensitive. Each time additional cells come in, "they hinder gas exchange," she said. This makes it harder for oxygen to enter a person's bloodstream. The inflammation can cause fluid to accumulate in the lungs and make breathing difficult, she said.