The Army is seeing an increase in emergency room visits linked to vaping synthetic cannabinoid oil. Two have died and more than 60 soldiers were hospitalized due to this emerging public health threat.
The United States Army Public Health Center has issued a health alert, warning the public on the health effects of vape oil containing unknown substances. The advisory said users of e-cigarettes and vaporizer pens must ensure that the products they purchase do not contain Cannabidiol oil, tetrahydrocannabinol, or synthetic cannabinoids.
The army banned the use of pot and other products derived from marijuana, so some soldiers use synthetic oil through vaping.
Consumer Vigilance On Vaping
"Consumers must be extremely vigilant if they are going to use vaping oils and should seek medical attention immediately if they feel they are having an adverse reaction to one of these products," says Chanel Weaver, a spokesperson for the center.
An estimate of 60 patients with medical conditions potentially related to vaping were admitted to the Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg and at the Naval Medical Center at Camp Lejeune.
The hospitalized troops experienced symptoms including headache, nausea, vomiting, palpitation, dizziness, agitation, and seizures. Two service members died from accidents resulting from seizures, while a soldier suffered a significant neurological damage due to seizure.
Four public cases have been reported in North Carolina and 33 cases in Utah, all from the use synthetic cannabinoids.
What Is Cannabidiol?
Cannabinoid is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. The most common cannabinoid is the phytocannabinoid. Cannabidiol or CBD is extracted from cannabis and exhibits various effects.
CBD oil, also known as hemp oil, is a derivative of Cannabidiol. CBD oil is made from high-CBP, low-THC hemp. Over the years, it has become a much-sought-after compound and is now widely available in drugstores and groceries. A person doesn't need a medical card to purchase CBD oil. These chemical substances are designed to mimic the effects of cannabis or pot.
The CBD works by interacting through the body's endocannabinoid system. This system regulates the body's homeostasis or general state of balance, and impacts functions such as mood, sleep, appetite, hormone regulation, pain, and immune response.
The use of e-cigarettes and vapes have been officially banned in the United States Navy on May 14, 2017, after incidents of exploding vaping equipment that caused serious injuries to soldiers aboard ships.
Unknown Substances In Vapes
This health concern problem may spread quickly across the Army because of soldiers' use of vaping products.
"The health of our forces remains a top priority, and we are working diligently to better educate our soldiers on the potentially adverse health effects associated with using vaping oils with unknown substances," said Weaver.
Aside from CBD, THC, and synthetic cannabinoids, vape oils may contain other undisclosed substances that may contain illegal and potentially harmful substances.
Since most vapes are made up of unknown products, consumers may unintentionally purchase and use CBD, THC, and other synthetic cannabinoids.
Stopping this vaping trend is among the army's top priority especially with the rising health threat.