Hashish Vape Oil Liquid, Vapor and Aerosol in California Vape Oil Cartridge Samples

By: Jessica (Jessi) Cox

Los Angeles, California

Vaping hashish has captured the eye and hearts of countries throughout the pandemic. Throughout this time professionals within the hashish vape group have been arduous at work combating towards false claims, constructing our merchandise higher and inventing higher formulations to make use of within vape {hardware}.

Researchers have been working day and night time to assist stabilize the hashish vape business since 2018. Bringing a way of professionalism to the hashish vape business together with introducing security requirements to an in any other case loopy time.

We have now collectively supported all vape {hardware} analysis, due diligence and help advocacy of vaping. Vaping product use Related Lung Damage (EVALI) outbreak of August 2019 to February 2020, the California Division of Public Well being, Meals and Drug Laboratory Department obtained quite a few hashish vape oil cartridge investigation samples from all through the state.

Many of those merchandise had been instantly linked to sufferers; others had been collected as a part of investigations. It has been decided the foremost elements and components in twelve unused hashish vape oil cartridge samples obtained earlier than (n = 2) and throughout the EVALI outbreak (n = 10) in California from September 2018 to December 2019. Loving The Plant examined for main constituents in vape oil liquid, vape oil vapor, and vape oil aerosol phases.

A non-targeted Gasoline Chromatography Mass Spectrometry direct injection screening technique was developed for vape oils, a headspace heating module used for vape oil vapors and a solid-phase micro-extraction (SPME) vaping rig for aerosols generated by vaping.

Loving The Plant analysis engineers have recognized greater than 100 terpenes and pure extracts, 19 cannabinoids, and different potential poisonous components corresponding to Vitamin E Acetate, Polyethylene Glycols, and Medium Chain Triglycerides. It has additionally been decided extra terpenes and minor cannabinoids will be produced through vaporizing and aerosolizing the vape oil. Delta9-THC and potential poisonous components had been discovered at decrease ranges within the vapor and aerosol than within the vape liquid.

Introduction & Clarification

Medical hashish turned authorized in California since 1996 beneath Proposition 215–the Compassionate Use Act (CUA). In November 2016, 57% of voters handed Proposition 64–the Grownup Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), resulting in leisure hashish gross sales in California (CDPH Laws).

Since then, hashish merchandise are increasing into many progressive varieties consumed by each medical sufferers and leisure hashish customers. Quite a lot of hashish merchandise can be found in California together with joints, drinks (in numerous flavors), concentrates/distillate, vape cartridges (in numerous flavors), topicals, oral dietary supplements, tinctures, capsules, and varied infused edibles corresponding to candies/candies, mint/chews, dried meat, crackers, dairy product and baked items.

Amongst these hashish merchandise, vape oil cartridges are notably well-liked as they share the digital nicotine supply methods (ENDS). This technique of consumption and supply of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is claimed to be safer and extra environment friendly than different merchandise.

Nevertheless, ENDS use is just not with out brief or long-term adversarial results attributable to further chemical substances generated within the system and the power of energetic contents (Rehan et al., 2018Livingston et al., 2019).

ENDS had been first invented by Lik Hon in Hong Kong in 2003 and was entered in Europe and the USA in 2006 (PRLOG, Hon Lik, 2010). It turned well-liked in 2012 after tobacco producers joined the market (Hajek et al., 2014). There are a lot of phrases used to explain ENDS corresponding to vapes, vaporizers, vape pens, hookah pens, digital cigarettes, and so on. (USFDA, 2020a).

It consists of an atomizer because the heating component, a wick, a battery energy supply, and a cartridge or tank container. As an alternative of containing nicotine, hashish vape cartridges sometimes comprise a combination of cannabinoids, terpenes, varied solvents used as thinning brokers, and flavoring components.

By urgent the facility button, the vape oil is heated to create an aerosol that the consumer inhales. Total, e-liquid aerosol comprises fewer sorts and decrease ranges of toxicants than smoke from flamable tobacco cigarettes (Hajek et al., 2014The Nationwide Academies of Sciences, E et al., 2018). Nevertheless, the latest outbreak of EVALI has triggered well being considerations within the vaping group.

The EVALI outbreak was first recognized in August 2019 and peaked in September 2019 adopted by a gradual, however persistent decline (CDC Replace, 2019Heinzerling et al., 2020). As of February 18, 2020, a complete of two,807 hospitalized EVALI circumstances or deaths have been reported to CDC from all 50 states.

Nationwide and state knowledge from affected person reviews present THC containing e-cigarette or vaping merchandise, notably from casual sources, on-line sellers, and illicit market are linked to most EVALI circumstances.

Vitamin E acetate has been present in these product samples examined by FDA and state laboratories. It was additionally present in affected person lung fluid samples collected from varied states and examined by CDC (Heinzerling et al., 2020Blount et al., 2020Duffy et al., 2020). The surge of the EVALI outbreak strongly reveals the necessity of routine investigation of hashish merchandise on the markets and in-depth analysis for the protected use of e-cigarettes or vaping merchandise.

Quite a few research have been performed on e-liquids containing nicotine utilizing propylene glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerin (VG) as solvent thinning brokers (additionally referred to as slicing brokers for the convenience of vaporizing) with added flavonoids (The Nationwide Academies of Sciences, E, 2017The Nationwide Academies of Sciences, E et al., 2018LeBouf et al., 2018Strongin, 2019).

These research revealed the considerations of Dangerous and Doubtlessly Dangerous Constituents (HPHCs) formation throughout heating and aerosolization of the e-liquids. Such research can’t be instantly utilized to hashish merchandise as they’ve completely different main constituents corresponding to THC (50–80% focus) and terpenes.

From restricted research on hashish vape cartridges, ketene as an exceptionally poisonous gasoline could also be a possible byproduct within the aerosol of vape cartridges containing Vitamin E acetate (Attfield et al., 2020Strongin, 2020Wu and O’Shea, 2020). Poklis and Peace et al. additionally discovered artificial cannabinoids in vape liquids (Peace et al., 2017Poklis et al., 2019).


As well as, residual solvents, pesticides, heavy metals and different poisonous chemical substances will be concentrated throughout the hashish extraction course of and stay within the vape oil (Raber et al., 2015Hashish.web., 2020).

Many vape pens have poor temperature management and the vape cartridge content material could also be heated to past the optimum temperatures, and even to the purpose of combustion (Wagner et al., 2020).

Consequentially, customers could inhale hashish smoke containing carbon-monoxide, tar, ammonia, heavy metals and different by-products which can be dangerous to the lungs and respiratory well being (King, 2020).

Due to this fact, to develop the understanding and accumulate extra information to make sure product security for customers, the Nationwide Academies of Sciences analysis group recommended research deal with hashish merchandise containing hashish, cannabinoids, or THC (The Nationwide Academies of Sciences, E, 2017).

Within the present research, we investigated twelve hashish cartridge samples obtained from varied dispensaries in California from September 2018 to December 2019.

Amongst these twelve samples, three had been previous to the EVALI outbreak and ten had been throughout the EVALI outbreak.

Upon analyzation the composition of the vape oils specializing in unstable and semivolatile chemical substances. By utilizing a non-targeted gasoline chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) display technique, researchers had been in a position to detect and establish unknown and suspicious compounds along with cannabinoids, terpenes and different recognized main components.

Researchers hypothesized there have been completely different constituents within the cartridges collected earlier than and throughout the EVALI outbreak. As producers drive to enhance income, they might alter product formulations by utilizing cheaper elements of their merchandise, and these new elements could pose well being dangers to customers.


The brand new elements ought to have a security evaluation by following U.S. Division of Well being and Human Providers, Meals and Drug Administration (USFDA) steerage prior including them into the merchandise [USFDA, 2020bNonclinical, 2020b].

A nonclinical toxicity evaluation can even assist to handle the potential toxicity of chemical substances, particularly novel chemical substances and impurities generated from heating in product supply methods.

On this research, researchers additionally examined vape oil composition in its vapor and aerosol phases utilizing headspace heating and solid-phase micro-extraction (SPME) GC-MS analyses. Scientists hypothesized that there have been some variations amongst authentic vape oil liquid, vapor and aerosol.

By heating and aerosolizing the vape oil, the analysis crew and scientists simulated the battery powered vape pen situations utilized by customers. This may increasingly assist to find out the foremost constituents and their quantity in vapor or aerosol that get into consumer’s lungs.

To the most effective of our information, that is the primary research that in contrast the foremost constituents in unused vape oil to these of its vaporized and aerosolized varieties.

Methodology and Supplies

Hashish Vape Cartridge Samples

On this research, researchers investigated twelve hashish vape cartridges obtained by the California state surveillance program from September 2018 to December 2019.

Pattern particulars are listed in Focus 1.

Every of the twelve hashish vape cartridges went by analyses in its oil liquid, vapor, and aerosol phases for the dedication of the foremost constituents.

Focus 1: New and unused vape cartridge samples obtained from September 2018 to December 2019 in California dispensaries.

Nontargeted GC-MS Display for Hashish Cartridge Vape Oil

The nontargeted GC-MS display technique makes use of a full scan mode in MS to tentatively establish recognized and unknown/nontargeted chemical substances in a pattern primarily based on a match to a longtime mass spectral library.

This technique has been used for toxin display in United States Division of Agriculture Meals Security and was validated in our laboratory for hashish vape oil samples with modifications (United States Division of Agriculture Meals Security and Inspection Service, 2013).

Normally, minimal of 0.5 g of hashish vape oil was taken out from cartridge gadget by centrifugation to a 15 ml tube. Roughly 10 mg of pattern was aliquoted and precisely weighed right into a 1.5 ml Eppendorf vial after homogenization by gently stirring with a pipette tip. Aliquoted samples had been diluted in methanol by one thousand instances (1000 x) and spiked with an inside normal combine (Triphenylphosphate and Phenanthrene-d10, Sigma-Aldrich), earlier than being injected on Agilent GC7890B coupled with MS5977B (Agilent, Santa Clara, CA).

High quality management samples containing toxin requirements (Nicotine, Parathion, Codeine, and Strychnine, from Sigma-Aldrich and AccuStandard) had been included in every pattern batch.

An injection of 1 µl of every pattern was injected on the GC injection port utilizing splitless mode. Chromatographic separation was achieved in a 30 min run time utilizing a DB-5MS column (30 m × 0.25 mm × 0.25 µm, Agilent) with 1 ml/min helium move.

The oven temperature program was set at 60oC at 1 min, adopted by a 12°C/min ramp to 320°C and maintain for 7.3 min. The switch line temperature was set at 280°C, the ion supply temperature at 250°C, and EI ionization vitality at 70 eV. Mass spectral knowledge was acquired within the scan mode from 25 to 550 m/z at a velocity of two.8 scan/s. Tentative compound identifications are primarily based on a comparability of electron affect mass spectra with the Wiley11/NIST 2017 Mass Spectral libraries and Cayman Spectral library.

The match standards from the compound mass spectra to the database will need to have a match of larger than 90% match ratio and visually verified by the analyst.

All main cannabinoids recognized by the library match had been confirmed utilizing the cannabinoid requirements bought from Cerillant and Cayman Chemical. Nineteen main terpenes accessible in hashish terpene combine and components corresponding to VEA, MCTs, PEGs recognized in samples had been confirmed with the requirements bought from Sigma-Aldrich, and Emerald Scientific.

When making a hashish vape product for mass manufacturing it’s crucial to do your analysis, communicate with different professionals and perceive the dangers related to the formulation and the way the formulation will behave within the hashish vape {hardware}. At all times search for heavy steel compliant hashish vape parts, particularly for parts that contact vape oil or mouths of shoppers.

If you’re in search of extra details about making a glossy, trendy and compliant vape {hardware} platform on your hashish model attain out to me at this time.