Vapor pens have been in the news a lot likely, but not because they are helping people give up smoking. Recently, news stations have featured stories regarding the dangers of vape pens, blaming them for rises in overdoses. Naturally, a lot of marijuana vaporizer pen users who rely on vape pens for medical treatment are worried about whether or not it's safe to vape. The good news is that a responsible marijuana vape pen user really doesn't have anything to worry about. Keep reading to get the full story behind the alarming headlines.
Vape Pens Getting Bad Publicity
The headlines of the news stories really are alarming, as they state that vape pen users are "filling up ERs" in certain areas of the country. Take a closer look at the stories being told, however, and you'll find out that it's not the everyday weed vape pen user who is suffering from ill effects. Rather, the rise in overdoses related to vape pen use have occurred due to synthetic marijuana, not to using a dry herb vape pen or wax vape pen to vape real cannabis. Many doctors continue to promote the use of ecig and vaporizer pen units in place of smoking to help patients avoid the carcinogens in tobacco cigarette and marijuana smoke.
Understanding the Problem
So just what is the drug that's giving the vaporizer pen a bad reputation? Synthetic marijuana, also called K2, spice, and many other names, is a mixture of chemicals, incense, and some plant parts that is produced to affect the body similarly to natural THC found in the marijuana plant. In many parts of the country, synthetic marijuana is very cheap and easy to purchase. The trouble with synthetic marijuana is that it really isn't marijuana at all. It's actually 100 times more intoxicating than weed and very likely to produce serious side effects.
The Dangers of a Vape Pen Combined with K2
It's easy for anyone to accidentally overdo it when using synthetic marijuana in a dry herb vaporizer pen, but many of the people who are ending up in hospitals across the country are teens. Using a wax pen or dry herb vape pen isn't like smoking synthetic marijuana. A vape pen doesn't give off foul odors or produce smoke, so many teens are able to get away with vaping when their parents are home and even at school. A dry herb vape pen or wax pen usually looks very much like an ordinary e cig, so it's not even easy for police officers and drug enforcement agents to recognize them.
Unfortunately, vape pen usage among teens is on the rise. The CDC found that the rate of vapor pen use in people under the age of 18 increased by 300 percent just from 2013 to 2014. While some teens are using vaporizer pens as electronic cigarettes to vape nicotine-containing e-juice, there are many online videos and social media postings that suggest teens are loading their vapor pens with K2 spice. These young people are putting themselves at risk for ending up in emergency rooms due to the high potency of synthetic marijuana.
Making Sense of the News
Yes, the news stories about teens dying and becoming deathly ill due to vaping synthetic marijuana are alarming. The stories make it clear that stores need to be hyper vigilant to keep vaporizer pens out of the hands of minors, and that parents, teachers, and community leaders need to be talking to teens about the risks associated with K2 spice in general. What the stories don't show is that using a vaporizer pen to vape dry tobacco, medical marijuana solids or concentrates, or e-liquids is causing overdoses.