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Analysis Demonstrates Why Regulating Cannabis Is The Right Approach

Cannabis Plants

In a regulated cannabis market, products undergo stringent testing to ensure that they are suitable for human consumption. Cannabis products are properly labeled in regulated markets and they are subjected to inventory tracking requirements.

Cannabis, like nearly every commercially available consumable product on earth, will be deemed to be unsuitable for human consumption from time to time. Regulations help ensure that such products do not make it to retail shelves, and in the limited instances when it happens, recall protocols are in place. None of that is true for the unregulated market.

A recent analysis was performed in Canada that examined heavy metal contamination rates in cannabis vape pen cartridges. The analysis involved cartridges that originated from the regulated market as well as samples that came from the unregulated market. Below is more information about the analysis via a news release from NORML:

Ontario, Canada: The use of certain cannabis vape cartridges may result in heavy metal exposure, according to an analysis of products available in the Canadian marketplace. The findings were presented at the spring meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Canadian scientists analyzed 41 products for heavy metals, including lead, cadmium, arsenic, and mercury. Several of the liquids in vape cartridges tested positive for metal contamination. In some instances, nano-sized particles were present prior to the products’ heating mechanism being turned on – suggesting that metal contaminants may be produced during the production process rather than during the products’ use.

Products obtained from unregulated producers were more likely than legally regulated products to contain elevated levels of heavy metals.

The findings are consistent with US data reporting that the use of some commercially available cannabis e-liquid devices may result in exposure to unwanted metals, including copper, nickel, and lead.

Third-party testing of unregulated delta-8 products and CBD vape cartridges has also identified the presence of heavy metals, including arsenic, chromium, and mercury.