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Analysis: Heavy Metals Present In Some Cannabis Vape Cartridges

Products obtained from unregulated producers were more likely to contain elevated levels of heavy metals

The use of certain cannabis vape cartridges may result in heavy metal exposure, according to an analysis of products available in the Canadian marketplace. The findings were presented at the spring meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Canadian scientists analyzed 41 products for heavy metals, including lead, cadmium, arsenic, and mercury. Several of the liquids in vape cartridges tested positive for metal contamination. In some instances, nano-sized particles were present prior to the products’ heating mechanism being turned on – suggesting that metal contaminants may be produced during the production process rather than during the products’ use.

Products obtained from unregulated producers were more likely than legally regulated products to contain elevated levels of heavy metals.

The findings are consistent with US data reporting that the use of some commercially available cannabis e-liquid devices may result in exposure to unwanted metals, including copper, nickel, and lead. Moving forward, the team behind the study wrote it “wants to determine how many of these particles are transmitted into the vape aerosol when a device is used. This is when the metals could get into users’ lungs, which will be important to determine the public health implications of these findings. The effect has been demonstrated in nicotine vapes, and the researchers expect that cannabis vapes could show the same.”

Third-party testing of unregulated delta-8 products and CBD vape cartridges has also identified the presence of heavy metals, including arsenic, chromium, and mercury.

This article was republished via NORML.