A new study by Portland State University showed that terpenes and other components, which are often added to cannabis distillates to improve taste and smell, can emit toxins that increase the likelihood of getting cancer.
University scientists have investigated the chemical reaction that occurs when hemp is consumed through soaring or smoking debs. For the experiment, they used analytical grade THC from Michigan and a mixture of terpenes from California. The cooked distillates were tested using an electronic cigarette and a homemade deb device.
The laboratory then examined the resulting chemical composition and discovered several toxins, including isoprene, methacrolein, benzene, and methyl vinyl ketone. The study noted that “according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, some of the identified components are carcinogens, and their effects may affect the health of people who use marijuana through deba or electronic cigarettes.”
However, the main source of these toxins was not pure THC, since much more was formed during the evaporation of terpenes of hazardous substances. Manufacturers often add up to 30% terpenes in concentrates in addition to improve their taste or smell, but in ordinary marijuana, there are not so many of them.
“ THC produces fewer toxins than terpenes,” said chemistry professor Rob Strongin, co-author of the study. “This information does not contradict diseases caused by hemp soaring. Hospitalizations and deaths are not due to the active ingredients themselves, such as THC and nicotine, but because of what they are mixed with.
Strong explained that scientists have never considered how supplements like vitamin E acetate and other thickeners, which may be the cause of a recent outbreak of lung disease, affect people’s health. “There is a reason that no one has studied the inhalation toxicity of many of the ingredients of electronic cigarettes. No one thought that we would be so crazy to inhale them,” he said. “But now the problem is that our knowledge is not enough.”
Although the results are worrisome, research has shown that soaring and deb are still not as harmful as smoking. “The data show that distillates have a tenfold lower risk index and the risk of getting cancer compared with the same rates when smoking hemp. These results are not final and should be interpreted carefully, as this is only the first step towards determining the safety of inhaled marijuana methods in general. ”
“The development of new cannabis inhalation products has outstripped both theoretical and applied research,” the authors concluded. “This has prevented regulators from properly informing the public about the safety of these products and how they are taken.”
Scientists intend to do more research to check for other possible toxins, such as formaldehyde and carbon monoxide, that could endanger lung health.