In the late summer of 2019, a mysterious and deadly lung illness caused alarm from coast to coast in the United States. While the CDC, media. and politicians initially blamed vaping e-cigs, the real cause has since been found to be vitamin E acetate used as an additive in illicit cannabis oil. Vitamin E acetate is not used in nicotine e-cigs. It is used only in oils. As a result of the confusion between vaping e-liquids and using cannabis oils in a vape cartridge, the real threat has been obscured.
The CDC found that a black market product called Dank Vapes was most commonly linked to the outbreak. Dank Vapes are so common that the practice of using cannabis oil in a vaporizer is called “danking”. But dank Vapes is one of many names black market THC oil dealers use. Chances are that any THC oils bought off the streets will be unsafe.
Vaping THC Oil
Vape pens for THC and CBD oil are widely available. The quality varies tremendously. Not all vape pens are suitable for oils. For example, you cannot put oil into a vape made for nicotine e-liquid. Vape pens for oils are specially designed to work with the thicker viscosity of an oil. Always use the proper type of vapor device for each type of vaping.
Another important fact to keep in mind is that oils do not actually vaporize. Technically, using an oil vaporizer is not vaping. Oil does not vaporize. Each type of oil has a smoke point. In contrast, liquids have a boiling point, which is the temperature where a liquid is converted into a gas. Also known as vaporization. But again, oil does not vaporize. Oil burns once the temperature reaches the smoke point. The user then inhales the smoke.
But to be clear, using a vaporizer with THC oil is not like smoking cannabis. THC oil is very concentrated. As a result, the aerosol emitted by an oil vape pen is more potent than smoke. THC oil packs a punch. Be careful not to overdo it. No one under 21 should use nicotine or THC products of any kind. And never use black market THC products bought off the street.
How Black Market THC Oil Is Made
Unfortunately, there are multiple websites describing how to make THC oil. That includes YouTube videos. While we will not fully share how to make THC oil for obvious reasons, we will tell you the basics. Spoiler alert, it’s gross.
Black market THC oil is made in unsanitary environments like backyards, garages, or kitchens. Drug dealers do not use a professional lab. Instead, they use PVC pipe, buckets, stovetops, and other tools that are unsuitable for producing a substance that human beings will ingest. The first step in making THC oil is to stuff cannabis into a PVC pipe. Then soak the cannabis in lighter fluid. The butane, lighter fluid, separate the THC from the plant materials. Unfortunately, the butane also extracts toxic materials from the PVC pipe as well.
After letting the cannabis soak in butane, the fluid is drained into a bucket. The liquid is slowly heated to burn off the butane and leave the liquid form of THC. At this point, the THC liquid may be watery. The black market manufacturers will then add thickening agents like vitamin E oil.
Finally, the oily substance is then put into a 70 cent oil cartridge from China. By the way, lab testing in California has shown that cheap Chinese oil cartridges can leach lead into the oil. Anyway, the cartridge is then put into professional-looking packaging and shrink wrapped to make it look legit.
Who Sells Black Market THC Oil?
Black market THC oil is sold by drug dealers. Often the same person who sells weed. Of course, not all drug dealers are the shady characters as portrayed in movies. In real life, drug dealers are friends and fellow students. Social media provides a platform for THC oil dealers to reach a lot of potential customers. There are reports of THC oil dealers who strictly use popular photo-sharing websites to find customers.
How To Tell Black Market THC Oil From Legitimate Products
Licensed THC oils made in a professional lab setting are sold to adults by licensed dispensaries. In a professional lab setting, the oil is manufactured in a sterile setting using proper materials. The process includes advanced filtration to eliminate unwanted toxins. Given the prevalence and dangers of illicit THC oil, it is important that consumers do their due diligence to confirm that any given THC oil product is safe.
- The first thing to do is check to ensure that the dispensary is licensed by the state. This may take a phone call to confirm because not all dispensaries are licensed.
- Legitimate commercial THC oil products should have a manufacturing date and lot number printed on the packaging.
- Call the manufacturer to confirm the lot and batch numbers.
This seems like a lot of work to confirm that a THC oil product is legitimate, but it is worth the effort.
Black market THC oil products will not hold up to close scrutiny. Watch out for any product named Dank Vapes. Many of the products that have been traced to the outbreak of lung illness were branded Dank Vapes. This is a prime example of how drug dealers can make their illicit products appear legitimate with some packaging and shrink wrap. Never buy THC oil off the street! Only buy from licensed dispensaries.
Young adults and teenagers should not be using vapor products of any kind. That includes both nicotine vapes and cannabis products. The vaping hysteria among underage users is a separate issue from the vape lung illness of 2019. It can be tempting to buy THC oil from peers advertising on social media. But be aware that black market THC oil is dangerous and may even be deadly.