Two cases of a lung ailment associated with vaping cannabis or cannabis oils have been reported in Stanislaus County. Both subjects 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 Aug. 27, 2019. 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, in 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.
Actions are also recommended for the public. While this investigation is ongoing, if you are concerned about these specific health risks, consider refraining from using e-cigarette products. Regardless of the ongoing investigation, anyone who uses e-cigarette products should not buy these products off the street (e.g., e-cigarette products with THC, other cannabinoids) and should not modify e-cigarette products or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.
Also, regardless of the ongoing investigation, e-cigarette products should not be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women, as well as adults who do not currently use tobacco products. If you use e-cigarette products, monitor yourself for symptoms, such as cough, shortness of breath, and chest pain, and promptly seek medical attention if you have concerns about your health.
The Stanislaus County Department of Public Health 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.