As consumers, we’re more conscientious than ever about the contents of any product that goes into our bodies. We want to know that every ingredient we consume is not only non-toxic, but provides some sort of practical or physiological benefit. This is especially true of CBD products.
Because the CBD industry is relatively new, regulation is still a work in progress, which means the market has an unfortunate abundance of poorly made or even counterfeit products, often containing significantly less CBD than advertised at best, and potentially harmful ingredients at worse. Concern around cannabis and CBD products saw a brief escalation in 2019 when vitamin E acetate was implicated in an outbreak of respiratory illnesses among consumers of both cannabis and nicotine vape products. Many consumers still associate this outbreak with cannabis and even CBD products in general, confusing vitamin E acetate with vitamin E, a common FDA-approved additive in CBD and other ingestible products that is typically safe, depending on how it is used and the form with which it’s consumed.
Here we’ll give you a quick breakdown of what vitamin E is, how it’s safely used in reliable CBD products, and what you can do to make sure you’re consuming CBD products that contribute to the cannabinoid’s beneficial properties.
What is Vitamin E?
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble compound (or, more accurately, a group of compounds) found in a wide variety of foods and consumable products, including cereals, nuts, eggs, meat, green vegetables, and other herbal oils. It is also sometimes taken as a supplement in rare cases of vitamin E deficiency.
How is Vitamin E Used in CBD Products?
As an additive in CBD oils and other products, vitamin E is often included as a carrier oil or to help extend a product’s shelf life by protecting it from degradation.
What is Vitamin E Acetate?
Vitamin E acetate was a major suspect of an outbreak of lung illnesses in 2019. These illnesses were largely associated with the use of counterfeit cannabis and nicotine vape cartridges, which are often cut with thinning agents to stretch the availability of THC oil. These thinning agents can break down into volatile compounds that can be toxic when heated and inhaled.
By the end of 2019, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed through hospital and laboratory data that vitamin E acetate was the main culprit of the vape-related lung injury outbreak. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that vitamin E acetate might have caused lung injuries by breaking down into a potential lung irritant called ketene when heated. The CDC also clarified that “vitamin E acetate usually does not cause harm when ingested as a vitamin supplement or applied to the skin. However, previous research suggests that when vitamin E acetate is inhaled, it may interfere with normal lung functioning.” If a compound is safe to consume or apply to your skin but not to inhale, it’s usually because it breaks down into smaller, carcinogenic molecules when heated into an inhalable vapor.
What Does This Mean for Vitamin E?
Vitamin E and vitamin E acetate are of the same compound class, but that doesn’t mean they’re the same molecule. Both compounds are distinct from one another and have their own respective set of properties. Vitamin E has not been linked to any of the health risks associated with vitamin E acetate. It’s also a powerful antioxidant, and contributes to blood, brain, skin, and reproductive health.
What vitamin E does share in common with vitamin E acetate is that it’s generally safe as a topical additive, as well as for consumption in the small amounts typically found in foods and herbal extracts.
How to Protect Yourself from Harmful Chemicals
If you’re interested in taking CBD but concerned about potentially harmful additives in CBD products, there are steps you can take to greatly minimize your risk. One of the most important is to only shop for CBD from companies that offer a Certificate of Analysis (COA) for every product on their website. A COA from an accredited third-party lab should verify that a product's cannabinoid content is accurate, and that it is free of harmful chemicals and impurities.
For a full spectrum CBD-rich hemp extract that comes with a certificate of analysis, treat yourself to MyRemede CBD Oil today!