The Hazards of Untested Products

Recent news articles have shed light on a new problem that is being attributed to vape pens. The CDC has stated that “all reported cases have e-cigarette product use or ‘vaping.’” but that some patients have also acknowledged use of cannabis products containing THC. At this time there is no specific product that has been implicated in these adverse events, but we at ASA wanted to reach out and remind consumers and patients to be aware of the products they are consuming. 

Our recently published “Patient’s Guide to CBD” includes several helpful tips when trying to find products. Topics include advice on reading packaging and labeling as well as understanding certificates of analysis. Certificates of analysis give consumers information about the testing that should be happening on each product before it is placed for sale. A product that does not have a certificate of analysis should be viewed with a great deal of caution. 

The Patient Focused Certification program was created to help provide patients and consumers with reassurance that businesses have undergone thorough, third-party assessments to ensure conformance and compliance with not only state regulations but also the guidelines developed by PFC alongside AHPA. These assessments are done voluntarily by businesses seeking to go the extra mile to reassure patients and consumers about the quality of their products, and require that products be tested, even in markets that don’t require testing. If you don’t know if your dispensary or cannabis product is PFC certified, please ask them.

All legal businesses are required to have procedures for receiving adverse events. If you suspect that you have experienced an adverse event you should report it to the business that you purchased the product from as soon as you are able. If you are seeking medical attention you should be honest with doctors and answer all the questions that they ask. Without honest answers, the doctors will not be able to pinpoint the source of the problem.

Consumers should be aware that if they are purchasing cannabis products outside the legal marketplace, whether that be medical or adult-use, there is no guarantee about the quality of the products. There have been reports of heavy metals being leached into cannabis vape cartridges because they were not reliably sourced and this issue could cross over into tobacco products; unfortunately, this type of information isn’t necessarily available to those who consume tobacco products.