Two cases of a lung ailment associated with vaping cannabis or cannabis oils have been reported in Stanislaus County. Both locals were hospitalized and both had recently vaped cannabis.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food & Drug Administration are investigating 215 possible cases of severe lung illness associated with e-cigarette product use reported by 25 states, including California, from June 28 to August 27. One death has been confirmed.
Most patients nationwide report vaping the cannabis compounds THC and/or cannabidiol (CBD), and some also report vaping nicotine products. The exact cause of the illnesses is not yet known.
Symptoms reported by people who have been hospitalized have included cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain. Some have also reported nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, or weight loss.
Since June, 43 cases of vaping-associated lung injury requiring hospitalization have been reported in California.
Stanislaus County Public Health Officer Dr. Julie Vaishampayan recommends that clinicians report similar cases to Stanislaus County Public Health and collect associated vaping products for testing.
Vaping involves inhaling vapor from an electronic smoking device, or e-cigarette, which heat vaporizes liquids that can contain nicotine, chemical flavorings, cannabis, or other drugs. The liquids used in e-cigarettes are largely unregulated and can contain toxic chemicals.
The public is advised to consider refraining from using e-cigarette products if concerned about these specific health risks. Regardless of the ongoing investigation, anyone using e-cigarette products should not buy these products with THC and other cannabinoids off the street and should not modify e-cigarette products or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.
The local health department said that e-cigarette products should not be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women, as well as adults who do not currently use tobacco products. Those who use e-cigarette products should monitor their selves for symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, chest pain and promptly seek medical attention if concerned about health.
Adult smokers who are attempting to quit should use evidence-based treatments, including counseling and FDA-approved medications. If you need help quitting tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, contact your doctor.
The department encourages the public to submit detailed reports of any unexpected tobacco or e-cigarette-related health or product issues to the FDA via the online Safety Reporting Portal: https://www.safetyreporting.hhs.gov.