Dr. Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director of the CDC, said she would characterize it as a breakthrough in the agency’s investigation, although more tests are necessary.
“These new findings are significant,” Schuchat said during a press briefing on Friday. “We have a strong culprit.”
There is still more work to do and the CDC said it is continuing to test for a wide range of chemicals.
“This does not rule out other possible ingredients,” Schuchat said. “There may be more than one cause.”
The CDC says its tests found vitamin E acetate in samples taken from 29 patients who were sick with vaping-related illness in 10 states. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the primary psychoactive component of the cannabis plant, or its metabolites were detected in 23 of 28 patients. Nicotine metabolites were detected in 16 of 26 patient specimens.
During the press briefing, CDC’s Dr. James Pirkle described vitamin E acetate as “enormously sticky” when it goes into the lungs, and it “does hang around.” Pirkle said it wouldn’t be unusual for THC to be absent from some of the samples because it leaves the lungs faster. He added finding THC in 82% of the samples from 28 patients was “noteworthy.”
In September, New York health officials linked cases of severe lung illness to vitamin E acetate in cannabis-containing vaping products. At the time, investigators said it was “a key focus” of the state’s investigation into the illnesses.
To Read The Rest Of This Article By Jen Christensen on CNN
Published: November 10, 2019
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News