A message from Kanabo
At Kanabo we are aware of the recent incidents of vaporiser related illness (EVALI), and we wish to address this issue directly.
These incidents are believed to be the result of non-medically certified products being introduced into the market by unscrupulous and illicit suppliers, who are using untested devices and dangerous thickening agents like vitamin E acetate. A distinction should be made between these offenders and those providing fully certified dose-metering devices and cartridges designed to provide a safe, medically verified vaping experience.
Our users rely on our vaporiser device and formulations to provide much-needed relief from a variety of disorders and we are committed to their safety and efficacy. Kanabo ads no synthetic agents or emulsifiers to our cannabis extracts and terpene formulations, and we meet GMP standards in the manufacturing of our products.
Kanabo’s medical grade VapePod® device is produced in a facility that has GMP and ISO134885 medical certification and has undergone rigorous testing for safety and performance reliability with similar compliance equal to CE Mark regulatory requirements. Our device has also been independently tested to guarantee that there are no heavy metal residuals whatsoever, ensuring the consistency of product composition pre and post heating in the device.
We are encouraged by the interest this health crisis has raised. It highlights the dangers of allowing unregulated products to enter the vaporiser market, creating a more informed, vigilant public and medical community.
We have witnessed a large increase in commercial use of vaporisers since the beginning of the 2000s. As of today, the estimate is 10-20M daily e-cigarette consumers and with this we understand the general technology safety is well established. We have outlined below several common questions and concerns this crisis has raised. The answers were provided by Physicians and Scientists according the results of rigorous testing that Kanabo’s products undergo. Please feel free to contact us if you have further questions.
The Kanabo Team
What is a vaporiser?
A vaporiser (colloquially known as a vape or vape pen) is a device used to vaporise substances for inhalation. It consists of a battery and a cartridge or pod that includes a tank, heating chamber, and atomizer/heating element. Plant material (in the case of dry flower vaporisers) or extracts (in the case of Kanabo’s concentrated plant oil vaporiser*) can be used to fill the cartridge with cannabis, tobacco, or other herbs. However, when concerning e-cigarettes, the cartridges can also be filled with a combination of diluents: propylene glycol, glycerin, fractionated coconut oil (MCT) in addition to nicotine, or when concerning cannabis vaporisers, THC, CBD or other cannabinoids.
Kanabo has done extensive research and development in order to create high-quality cannabis extract formulas and has paired them with innovative extract vaporisers currently undergoing certification processes for medical validation. Clinical and validation activities, including the most rigorous safety and efficiency tests available today, have been conducted on all of our products.
*Our focus and reference to “extract-based vaporisers” will be referred to as vaporisers in this FAQ list.
How do vaporisers work?
Vaporisers use power from the battery to instantaneously heat a tiny wire coil or a heating chamber (CCELL), which in turn heats and instantly vaporises a liquid substance into a fine mist (aerosol) that is inhaled through a mouthpiece connected to the heating chamber. A steady supply of the liquid is evenly fed into the heating chamber from the tank to produce the vapor for inhalation.
Kanabo offers a medically validated vaporiser device called VapePod® which utilizes next generation CCELL technology to guarantee a consistent temperature and steady flow. VapePod® is powered by a universally rechargeable, breath activated battery, with haptic feedback replacing traditional LED alerts for discreet operation.
What are the differences between e-cigarettes and cannabis vaporisers?
The design and mechanism of e-cigarettes and cannabis vaporisers are essentially the same. However, there are several attributes that differentiate the devices:
E-cigarettes are usually made with a wick and coil heating system that are designed to work at higher temperatures than cannabis vaporisers. Additionally, e-cigarettes are made for higher doses of consumption than cannabis vaporisers. The active ingredient nicotine typically constitutes only 2-3% of the material in the cartridge; the remaining amount are e-liquid diluents (often a propylene glycol /vegetable glycerin mix).
By contrast, most high quality cannabis cartridges use a ceramic heating chamber instead of wick and coil technology and the active ingredients (Cannabinoids & Terpenes) can constitute up to 90-95% of the material in cannabis cartridges. As a result, consumption patterns vary; e-cigarette users will consume multiple times throughout a day (10-20 inhalations when used), while users of cannabis vaporisers will typically consume only a few times a day (typically 3-5 inhilations when used).
At Kanabo, we offer only the best and most updated technologies to develop our product lines to ensure a safe and effective experience.
Have there been any studies conducted showing that vaping is safe?
Generally yes, studies on e-cigarettes with nicotine have shown that vaping is safer than the conventional method of smoking. The studies indicate that E-cigarettes are likely to be far less harmful than combustible tobacco cigarettes, while e-cigarette use is around 95% safer than smoking, and declaring that there are clear potential benefits to e-cigarette use.
The studies published on cannabis vaping suggest that using a vaporiser is less harmful than smoking cannabis. It is commonly accepted that combusting/smoking cannabis can create respiratory problems. On the contrary, vaporisers heat cannabis to release active cannabinoids, but remain cool enough to avoid the harmful toxins and carcinogens produced by combustion. A study was conducted to identify the impact of cannabis vaporisers on respiratory symptoms, which concluded that vaporiser use resulted in fewer respiratory symptoms while still allowing cannabinoids to effectively enter the bloodstream. When vaping cannabis is compared to e-cigarettes and smoking tobacco, the dangers are likely even less given that tobacco is overall more detrimental to lung health.
So why do we suddenly see cases of people getting sick from vaping?
There has been a rapid increase in vaporiser use over the last decade, but research and regulations around vaping have not been able to keep up with widespread consumption. There are many parallels between the current vaping crisis and the era of alcohol prohibition in the United States, where unregulated ‘moonshine’ and ‘bathtub gin’ often led to mass sickness and even poisoning. An unlicensed and unregulated market means little to no consumer protections or product safety.
Initial studies into vaping illnesses have shown the following:
- Tissue samples of patients who have fallen ill reveal chemical injury; early testing indicates many vaping illnesses involve chemical contaminants, toxic by-products, and other noxious agents in the vaporiser liquids similar to the damage of exposure to toxic chemical fumes, poisonous gases, and toxic agents such as pesticides and mineral oil diluents.
- Regarding device hardware, many vaporisers are manufactured in unregulated facilities without production standards. Health hazards include the possibility of heavy metals leaching into the formulation, battery failures or malfunctions that cause leaking or even explosions, and shoddy manufacturing that results in over-heating, combustion, and release of toxins.
- Unregulated cannabis cultivation and production can lead to additional risks. The usage of pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, or other additives can lead to residual amounts in the cannabis material, which can then be concentrated at dangerous amounts in vaporisers.
- A key concern focuses on carrier oils and diluents often used in cartridges to decrease potency and increase profit margins. Thinning and thickening agents are being added to formulations that were never meant to be inhaled. Recently, tests have pointed to high levels of vitamin E acetate in vaping products, while other tests pointed to a fungicide that can turn into hydrogen cyanide when burned.
Kanabo’s products are currently undergoing medical validation and certification, they have been tested to ensure both the formulations and device are easily dosable and safe for consumption. We do not add any carrier oils or diluents to our formulations and our VapePod® vaporiser is certified as a medical device in Israel by the Israeli Ministry of Health. We are proud to state that our formulations and vaporisers are triple-tested and reliable.
What are the risks of vaping cannabis?
Vaporising unregulated cannabis cartridges from the illicit market poses significant consumer risk due to the unknown ingredients and long term effects. The FDA is currently testing a range of cartridges seized from illicit dealers for toxins, pesticides, and other active ingredients, with many testing positive for formaldehyde and other harmful agents.
Cannasafe reported that 10 out of 10 cartridges sold in the illicit market tested positive for tocopheryl-acetate, a type of vitamin E, often used in cosmetics or dietary supplements. Further FDA testing found this type of vitamin E commonly used as a diluent, with concentrations in cartridges ranging from 31% to 88%.
By contrast, cannabis vaporisers sourced from regulated, licensed dispensaries were tested and found to have no heavy metals, pesticides or residual solvents like vitamin E acetate. Cartridges from the regulated market can be tracked through every stage of production, are tested by third-party state-accredited labs for quality and potency, and have consumer protections in place to ensure these products are safe to use and consume.
What is different about Kanabo’s technology?
Kanabo is a highly regulated medical cannabis company. Our company and product development strategy is focused on safety, efficacy, and quality.
Our Targeted Formulations:
Kanabo’s formulations do NOT include any artificial carrier oils or diluents. All of the company’s products are made with 100% cannabis derivatives and only include Cannabinoids, naturally occurring Terpenes, and Flavonoids; there are absolutely no mineral oils added. Additionally, Kanabo’s products go through preclinical and clinical testing at the company’s R&D center in Israel to ensure safety and efficacy. By offering a high potency product, only a small amount of the formulation is needed to achieve the desired effect.
Our VapePod® Device:
Kanabo’s VapePod® vaporiser, with unique metered-dosing capabilities, is the first cannabis vaporiser certified as a medical device in the world. The VapePod® device is produced in a GMP facility that meets similar pharmaceutical grade safety and manufacturing standards. The cartridges are regularly tested for heavy metals and degradation to ensure all hardware meets production and safety standards. It is designed to use low temperatures that prevent the formulations from ever being combusted.
In 2018, Kanabo’s VapePod® device was approved by the Israeli Ministry of Health for research use in clinical trials to continue efficacy and safety testing. The device is currently undergoing rigorous testing for medical device registration in the EU.
How does Kanabo ensure that the product will always be safe?
Kanabo ensures oversight and responsibility for all aspects of the supply chain to ensure in-house production standards are met and quality control is maintained.
All Kanabo products are TRIPLE TESTED; every formulation batch is tested three times to ensure safety, efficacy, and quality before it is approved for release to the market.
- After the extraction process is complete, a full panel compliance test for potency, pesticides, and heavy metals is conducted by independent third-party laboratories. This ensures that Kanabo remains compliant with relevant regulations regarding THC, THCA, THCV and CBN and other cannabinoid and terpene levels.
- Once the formulation process is complete, a detailed full panel test is conducted by independent partners of Kanabo on the vapor produced by the device to ensure device integrity and performance.
- At the packaging stage, a third and final test is conducted for quality and consistency of the final product as well as full panels tests on potency, pesticides, and heavy metals by independent third-party laboratories.
Which tests are performed on the vapor produced by Kanabo’s VapePod®?
With other cannabis products, analysis is typically performed only for the concentrated Cannabis oil that’s put into the cartridge. At Kanabo we also perform analyses of the vapor (aerosol) after vaporisation to evaluate the safety and the consistency of the inhaled product.
- That all of our formulations are stable after heating during the vaporisation process.
- That the same composition found in the cannabis extract is exactly the same as the vapor (aerosol) after inhalation. The vapor (aerosol) which exits from the vaporiser is caught in a special vessel and analyzed with powerful analytical equipment (GC-MS and HPLC), for every formulation variant. This is done to insure that all of the materials are safe with no other unexpected ingredients.
How big is this problem?
Since 2011, the market for vaporisers has increased from roughly 7 million users to 44 million users in 2018. Due to this rapid increase in vaporiser use, research and guidelines on vaping safety and efficacy have been unable to keep up. As of October 2019, there have been over 1,500 reported cases of people suffering from EVALI (vaporiser-related illnesses) 34 deaths to date have been reported to the CDC in the United States. Unfortunately, little is known about the causes or widespread impact of recent vaporiser associated illnesses and deaths.
How can this change?
As governments and their regulations catch up with the increasingly widespread use of vaporisers, many of the issues challenging the vaporiser market today will be solved through regulations that ensure strict production standards and consumer protections. The FDA does not currently regulate cannabis vaping products, in part because cannabis remains illegal under federal law in the United States. These federal restrictions combined with state-regulated cannabis markets confuse consumers by creating a ‘grey’ market with a lack of regulation, safety, and quality control measures.
Consumer protections will come from clear regulations that require third-party testing and strict production standards, which markets in Israel and Germany are already adopting. Additionally, regulated markets lead to increased enforcement against illegal products and ensure only safe vaporiser products are brought to market.
What can I do to be safe?
At Kanabo, we believe that vaporising cannabis can be safe when using medically validated formulations of cannabis oil and a medically certified device like the VapePod®.
To ensure safety, it is important to research and investigate the vaporiser device and contents before consuming. Please consider the following guidelines when deciding which product to use:
- Purchase products from licensed, regulated businesses that are committed to conducting third-party quality testing.
- Look for and read the ingredients listed on the packaging as well as any quality and safety certificates. Investigate the manufacturer by checking their website for reports that show safety, potency, and efficacy test results.
- Choose to use medical grade devices with temperature and dose control functions that are regulated by a medical board or a government agency.
- Use cartridges that are designed and optimized specifically for your vaporiser device of choice to avoid system malfunction or damage.
- Purchase products from the illicit, unregulated market where there are absolutely no consumer protections or safeguards for quality or efficacy.
- Choose a product that makes any sort of health or medical claim, which are currently illegal when made without sufficient scientific evidence.
- Use any product that utilizes untested carrier oils or diluents; avoid using any unrecognized ingredients or ingredients not intended for inhalation.
- Select cheap, poor quality vaporiser cartridges and devices that routinely malfunction, which can overheat and burn additives, releasing toxic chemcials and noxious gasses.
As a medical R&D company, our mission is to provide much needed relief from a variety of disorders. Our formulations are created with consumer’s best interest in mind. Synthetic carriers or diluents are never added to Kanabo’s formulations; our recipes are 100% natural cannabis and naturally occurring cannabis terpenes, are put through rigorous third-party testing following strict safety and health standards simultaneously offering a “medically validated” vaporiser device, the VapePod™.
We believe that vaporising cannabis is safe when using compliant, tested products purchased from reputable sources. We urgently advise anyone who currently has an illicit cartridge or if the origin of the cartridge or vaporiser is unknown, to dispose of it.