Nearly 80% of unlicensed THC vape cartridges tested by a lab were unfit for human consumption, with some exceeding limits for dangerous ingredients hundredfold.
The various cartridges were tested as part of a public safety initiative by Platinum Vape and Mankind, a cannabis dispensary in San Diego, California.
The lab found that 79% of tested cartridges were deemed “unfit for consumption.”
Additionally, 62% failed safety tests for pesticides. Almost 40% of the cartridges showed dangerous levels of lead, with one pen testing “almost a hundred times [above] the legal limit.”
George Sadler, the co-founder of Platinum Vape, a vape manufacturer producing high-potency cannabis products, told 10News, that he wanted to spread awareness about the potentially severe health risks associated with using black market vape pens and cartridges.
“It’s horrible,” he tells 10News, adding that “it’s doing so much harm to people, versus walking into a licensed store.”
The unlicensed THC pens and cartridges were sourced as part of a buyback program by Platinum Vape and Mankind. The firms offered to take in products ranging from homemade concentrates to counterfeits of popular legal brands.
Customers could then exchange them for discounted Platinum Vape cartridges, which are lab tested and regulated, according to Mankind Chief Operating Officer Vera Levitt.
“We wanted to encourage them to replace something that could make them sick with something safe,” she told 10News.
All cartridges collected by Platinum Vape and Mankind were sent to Infinite Chemical Analysis Labs, a local cannabis testing lab that then analyzed for potency, pesticides, and heavy metals.
The lab also found that half of the products tested had less than 50% THC in them.
Some of the cartridges were even cut with excessive levels of vitamin E acetate, which is thought to be linked to numerous vape-related deaths and illnesses.
“20% of them had a significant amount,” InfiniteCAL co-founder David Marelius told 10 News.
Levitt urged people not to buy their THC vape products from unknown and untested sources, stressing that the only way to ensure you’re getting safe products is to purchase them from licensed dispensaries.