Composition of CBD e-liquids marketed in Europe

e liquid vitamin E acetate

Quantification of CBD and vitamin E acetate: a study by the Fundación CANNA

In order to assess the amount of CBD and find out if traces of contaminant are present, Fundación CANNA has analyzed a selection of CBD-based e-liquids on the European market in search of vitamin E-acetate. The foundation conducts studies and conducts research on cannabis and its active components. Its main objectives are: Cannabis plants and their active ingredients, corresponding studies and scientific research, especially regarding the effects on the human body and mind. Scientific research on the use of cannabis and its derivatives.

European e liquid market looking for vitamin E acetate.

For the study operation, the CANNA Fundación has its own laboratory where different analyzes are carried out. In February 2020, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in conjunction with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other public health agencies in the United States, released a report on the state of health of the American population. More exactly a report on the epidemic of e-cigarettes or vaping products. See an outbreak of lung damage associated with the use of e-cigarettes or vaping products (EVALI).

Thousands of 2800 patients were hospitalized, of whom 68 died. The lung damage was attributed to vitamin E acetate. Towards the end of 2019, a death associated with the use of these cigarettes, containing cannabidiol (CBD), was reported in Belgium.

Concerned about the risk associated with vitamin E acetate, Fundación CANNA has launched a study to determine the presence of vitamin E or vitamin E acetate, as well as other harmful substances, in enriched e-liquids. in CBD.

E-liquids enriched with CBD marketed in Europe

To do this, 15 samples of different brands of e-liquids containing CBD were analyzed. E-liquids containing CBD were purchased between late 2019 and early 2020. The products were purchased anonymously from tobacconists, physical stores and online.

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These products were then analyzed in two internationally renowned laboratories, according to two different methodologies established by the researchers of the Fundación CANNA, in order to obtain complete information on the content of the samples and the substances that compose them.

The study looked for traces of substances in the samples analyzed using gas chromatography with a mass detector.

Detection of harmful mass in e-liquids

14 of the 15 samples revealed the presence of propylene glycol (PG) and glycerin (VG), which are usually the basis of e-liquids. generally the basis of e-liquids. In the last sample, neither was found. In the latter, squalane and glycerol tricaprylate, as well as a form of vitamin E, have been identified. In specific tests, this same
sample tested positive for the presence of vitamin E acetate.

There is no data on how much of this compound can be harmful when inhaled through e-liquids. However, the literature on the use of these electronic cigarettes and the presence of vitamin E acetate in people with severe lung problems, make its consumption not recommended.

The presence of benzyl alcohol, which can cause coughing, dizziness and headache, was identified in another sample by both methods. The presence of other compounds such as benzyl alcohol, which can cause short-term and long-term lung problems, points to the need for tighter control of alcohol consumption.

The researchers stress the need to better control the composition of these products, either by limiting their use or by providing information on the label. An earlier study has already found that 85% of cannabidiol products are mislabelled.

Less CBD than expected, more THC, and no match between labeling and product

Product composition : Phytocannabinoids other than CBD have also been found: delta-9-tetrahidrocannabinol (THC) was identified in all samples and cannabidivarin (CBDV) in 12 of them.
identified in all samples and cannabidivarin (CBDV) in 12 of them. The presence of THC in all
samples means that, depending on the amount consumed, drug tests may give positive results for that substance.

This substance : Regarding CBD, 14 of the 15 samples showed values ​​lower than those declared on the label. Only 4 samples showed values ​​less than 10% lower than those declared. On average, CBD was found to be 27% lower than the concentrations declared on the labels. Only 1 sample contained values ​​greater than what was declared on the label.

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There is a very large difference between what is declared and what is measured in some samples, and the homogeneity is very low. If the product is not homogeneous, this means that two drops of product extracted from the same case or from the same container contain different levels, depending on the sample extracted.

Extract. According to Fundación CANNA, this indicates a lack of control and rigor in the production process.
the production process and makes it very difficult for the consumer to control the dosage.

A tendency to add of terpenes present in the cannabis plant to e-liquids, perhaps for the purpose of making the taste of the e-liquid more pleasant similar to that of the plant, has also been observed.

Most of the samples, 12 out of 15, contained terpenes found naturally in the cannabis plant. The most common were beta-caryophyllene, which was found in 10 of 15 samples, limonene in 8 samples, and
beta-myrcene and farnesene in 7 samples.

Message from the director of the CANNA fundation laboratory

When you started the study, did you expect to find more “Vitamin e acetate”? How do you expect the study to impact the CBD e-liquids market in Europe?

Personally it surprised me to find an e-liquid with such high levels of this form of vitamin E, especially considering that the news about deaths produced by this substance in the United States was already public.

We hope that the information will be used so that the consumer of this kind of products pays more attention to the composition and the quality controls undergone by the e-liquids before buying them.

Iñaki Garcia

Summary of the study

  • 15 CBD e-liquids were tested, and vitamin E acetate was found in a single sample.
  • Traces of THC were found in all of these products, and 14 of the samples tested had lower levels of CBD than stated on the labels.
  • CBD levels than those stated on the label.
  • Fundación CANNA insists on the need to regulate the cannabidiol (CBD) vaping market.
  • so that consumers can have access to quality products without fear of suffering harmful effects
  • adverse effects on their health.
Tags : e liquidEtudeEuropePreventionSEARCHVaporization
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