JAN 28, 2021 11:30 PM PST

Phytol May be Potentially Dangerous Cannabis Vape Ingredient

WRITTEN BY: Angela Dowden

As vaping cannabis grew in popularity a couple of years ago, so too did concerns about its safety. Between August 2019 and February 2020 a total of 2,807 hospitalizations and deaths occurred as a result of vaping-related lung injuries, with the finger of blame pointing firmly at vitamin E acetate, an additive common in street-purchased or home-mixed THC e-liquids.

But while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says vitamin E acetate does indeed seem to be the cause of the most egregious lung injuries, a new study suggests there may be other components, including in mainstream vaped cannabis products, that could harm the lungs.

The research published in Inhalation Toxicology, the journal of the International Forum for Respiratory Research, found that one of the toxic ingredients is phytol — a terpene  — and that it may have more detrimental effects than polypropylene.

Both of these can be used as thinning agents for cannabis extracts, but phytol is often thought of as more innocuous as it is a naturally-occurring terpene known for being an antioxidant. Most notably it is found in green tea but is also naturally found in some marijuana varieties, including Cheese and Sour Diesel.

In the study, researchers exposed male and female rats to 5 milligrams per liter of phytol or propylene glycol for periods of up to six hours over a span of up to two weeks.

The rats exposed to phytol showed several severe clinical changes, including weight loss, harm to respiratory tissues and even death. In fact the phytol effects were so pronounced the trial for those rats was halted.

By comparison, the rats exposed to propylene glycol showed no adverse reactions after 14 days of high-dose exposure.

The study was commissioned by Canopy Growth USA, LLC (CG) with the intent of comparing two potential excipients for their cannabis product portfolio. Experiments were designed, performed, and interpreted independently by Lovelace Biomedical scientists without influence from CG.

 

Sources: Marijuana Business Daily, Taylor & Francis Online

 

About the Author
  • I'm a journalist and author with many year's experience of writing for both a consumer and professional audience, mostly on nutrition, health and medical prescribing. My background is food science and I'm a registered nutritionist.
You May Also Like
MAR 18, 2021
Immunology
"Brainwashed" Immune Cells Help Breast Tumors Thrive
MAR 18, 2021
"Brainwashed" Immune Cells Help Breast Tumors Thrive
Immunologists have discovered a mechanism through which immune cells get recruited into breast cancer tumors, and instea ...
MAR 18, 2021
Microbiology
How a Chronic Hepatitis B Infection Happens
MAR 18, 2021
How a Chronic Hepatitis B Infection Happens
Hepatitis B can cause a long-term and sometimes fatal disease. Princeton University researchers have learned more about ...
MAR 28, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
Fish Oil Benefits May Depend on a Person's Genetics
MAR 28, 2021
Fish Oil Benefits May Depend on a Person's Genetics
The benefits of fish oil have been debated for years. New research can explain why it's been difficult to reach a solid ...
MAR 30, 2021
Neuroscience
Prolonged Amygdala Activity Predicts Personal Wellbeing
MAR 30, 2021
Prolonged Amygdala Activity Predicts Personal Wellbeing
Researchers have found that activity in the amygdala (the emotional center of the brain) following exposure to negative ...
APR 01, 2021
Health & Medicine
Flavanol-rich Foods Protect Heart from Stress
APR 01, 2021
Flavanol-rich Foods Protect Heart from Stress
Drinking hot cocoa is comforting on cold winter nights, and new research from the University of Birmingham shows that it ...
APR 07, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
New Approach Reveals 13 Novel Alzheimer's-Linked Genes
APR 07, 2021
New Approach Reveals 13 Novel Alzheimer's-Linked Genes
Scientists have been using genetic and computational tools to find small changes in the sequences of genes that are like ...
Loading Comments...