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CDC Says Bootleg THC Cartridges Playing A Major Role In Vaping Illnesses

Written by Alexandra Hicks
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According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly four out of five people hospitalized from vaping-related lung illnesses were using bootleg THC cartridges.

More specifically, 77 percent of 514 patients used a product that contained THC, either alone or combined with nicotine. Another 16 percent said they used nicotine alone, while another 7 percent used an undetermined combination of products.

In a separate and smaller study, health officials in Wisconsin and Illinois narrowed it down a certain brand called “Dank Vapes”, which 2/3 of patients in those states claim to have used. Other brands cited include Moon Rocks, Chronic Carts, Cookies, TKO, Off White, Smart Carts, and Kingpen – but this is all preliminary information.

Last Thursday, the CDC announced that there is a new total of 805 hospitalizations and 13 deaths across multiple states; two in California, Oregon, and Kansas, and one in each of the following: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, and Missouri.


These recent discoveries prompted U.S. health officials to issue an immediate warning to consumers, urging them to stay away from black market THC cartridges and instead, by them from a reputable dispensary or online vendor.

“These findings do highlight the predominate use of pre-packaged, pre-filled THC cartridges obtained through informal sources,” said Jennifer Layden, chief medical officer and state epidemiologist at the Illinois Department of Public Health.

As we recently reported, multiple states – including Washington, New York, Michigan, Massachusetts, and California – are enacting bans and/or increased regulations or taxes on certain vape products. Earlier this year, the city of San Francisco banned the sale of vape products within city limits.

The Trump Administration also endorsed a ban on non-tobacco, flavored vape cartridges and other countries, such as Israel and China, are enforcing stricter laws as well.

For more updates on this developing story, subscribe to the Medical Cannabis Weekly Newsletter.

About the author

Alexandra Hicks

Alexandra is the managing editor at CBD Testers. She has always been interested in alternative and natural remedies, and the versatility of cannabis as a healing plant is something that greatly appeals to her. It's for this reason that she decided to work as a cannabis industry journalist and editor, to help spread accurate information about the benefits of this plant.

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