Mystery has embraced concern amidst the vape epidemic which has left over 2, 000 patients hospitalized and taken the lives of over 30. A finger has been consistently pointing at one toxin that has made itself apparent. Vitamin E acetate, or a-tocopherol, has been poised as an incredible hazard when smoked or vaporized. It has even been found in the lungs of 29 patients. Considering people are becoming seriously ill, it should be impossible to be burning this ingredient in a Health Canada approved substance that is intended for smoking or vaporizing, right?
Pesticides hide Vitamin E Acetate
Tocopherols can be found hidden in pesticides. It is allowed to be added as an ingredient without disclosure. While Neudorff moved away from producing pesticides, they still hold licenses for other companies canola oil and potassium salt formulations. Thankfully, pesticides containing pyrethrins aren’t allowed to be sprayed onto cannabis, at least not yet. Neudorff does use a-tocopherols with this organic insecticide, to prevent sulphur from degrading the active ingredient. No patent relating to any pesticide approved for use on cannabis declares the use of Vitamin E acetate. However, many different companies own cannabis-approved pesticides that keep their ingredients a secret.
A regulators blind-eye
Few of the cannabis sprays have open information that details their recipes, and Health Canada does not regard specific inert ingredients when analyzing the safety of a pesticide. They do take into account the safety risk for the product’s intended uses, such as ingestion, but cannabis and smoking bypass these protocols. Furthermore, hidden poisons are added directly to the cannabis-approved hydrogen peroxide spray, Zerotol. Health Canada does seem to care about some cannabis sprays though, as they are given heavy Maximum Residual Limit restrictions. One, in particular, Myclobutanil was restricted due to its cyanide producing properties upon combustion. So, will they start to reconsider the use of Vitamin E acetate as an inert ingredient in cannabis pesticides?
Motives to Regulate versus an Inevitable Danger
Regulations require motives. The vape crisis has mixed the financial interest tied to crushing cannabis’ black market, or the rise in non-big tobacco produced nicotine products, with health and safety. Myclobutanil restrictions were more about making a point – ‘Health Canada is keeping you safe.’ In reality, those regulations restrict the medicinal value of cannabis, suffocating mom and pop businesses, more than keeping to a focus on bringing safety. Vitamin E acetate may not be