Hashtag and our Partners Share Statements on the Safety of Vape Cartridges

 

by Jerina Pillert, COO, Jeff Eckenrode, operations director, and Christine Bryant Cohen, marketing director


CO2 extraction at Pearl Extracts (photo by Blaise Creative).

CO2 extraction at Pearl Extracts (photo by Blaise Creative).

At Hashtag, we take on the responsibility to shape a transparent and educational connection between the cannabis grower or processor, and you, the cannabis consumer. Beginning in 2015, we developed processes to ensure that our guests may choose between the safest, highest-quality cannabis products available in Washington state, and we only enter and maintain vendor partnerships that align with our vision and values. As of September 2019, we partner with 14 different Washington state vendors to provide our guests with a wide selection of vape cartridges, disposable vape pens, and Pax Era pods. 

In the last week, we’ve heard many questions and concerns from our guests about the vape cartridges they’ve purchased from Hashtag. And we share your concerns with regard to the recent news surrounding vaping, lung injuries, and the possible link between the two, described in this Washington Post article, “What we know about the mysterious vaping-linked illness and deaths,” updated on Sept. 12, 2019.

Below, you will hear more about how many of our partners have responded to this safety concern. We share our partners’ outrage and frustrations surrounding these incidences of vape-related illnesses. And we believe it is unacceptable for these unsafe products to be marketed to cannabis users in illegal or legal markets--which is why we are so grateful for the highly regulated and transparent system Washington state has created. It is within this system that we are able to confidently showcase the products we carry from the vendors we have curated. We also believe that this is why a legal, regulated market is in the best interests of all cannabis consumers.

We can say with confidence that every product we carry at Hashtag, vape or otherwise, is subjected to rigorous testing through a state-certified lab before it makes onto our shelves and into your hands. These labs screen for a wide variety of product additives, residual pesticides, and residual solvents to limit the risk of injury or illness when using these products. And this critical testing step is of the utmost importance to our company. That’s why we require a Certificate of Analysis (or COA) for every product we carry. 

Your safety is also our safety, because we enjoy the very same products that you do. If you would ever like to see a product's COA before or after you buy it, please let one of our budtenders know. We should mention that we carry a lot of products, so it may take us a few moments to grab any particular COA from our archives for you. And if you, or anyone you know, has additional questions about products you’ve purchased from Hashtag, then we encourage you to send us an email at service@seattlehashtag.com.

Filling vape cartridges at Pearl Extracts (photo by Blaise Creative).

Filling vape cartridges at Pearl Extracts (photo by Blaise Creative).


Provided below are statements from our partners for you to review, to help you to determine your risk when using cannabis oil vape cartridges you’ve purchased from Hashtag.


AVITAS

Avitas was founded on the principle that high-quality cannabis should be readily accessible for responsible adults to safely consume.   We have the highest standards for business practices, agricultural techniques, and community involvement. We take pride in how we care for our customers, our employees, and our partners.

 

We take the great concern to the individuals who have been harmed vaping cartridges with fillers or cutting agents. We don’t use cutting agents or any other fillers including Vitamin E Acetate. And never will. Avitas products go through several rounds of quality control before it reaches our customers’ hands. We test each batch of flower and oil through state approved and accredited laboratories to exceed state guidelines. We ensure purity in all materials used during the production process. And we check the quality of each batch to test clarity, purity, and taste before it ships.   

 

On top of all of this, we have multi-point quality control checkpoints integrated along the process line. We check each batch for viscosity (how “thick” the oil is — for example, honey is very viscous, while water is much less), color/clarity on a standard visual scale, and cartridge performance and reliability. We have personal relationships with the manufacturers of our cartridges and have been testing many different iterations to ensure a smooth product delivery each time.

 

If you can’t tell, we’re obsessed with bringing you the best flower and oil possible. We utilize top-level science and clean, organic processes to create a safe and premium product for our customers. After all, we’re passionate about getting it right every single time.


BODHI HIGH

The Vitamin E Epidemic: Bodhi High Brands (BHB) Addresses Vape Additive Concerns

Spokane, WA, September 6, 2019


Due to the recent findings associated with the vaping epidemic that is sweeping the nation, health officials have possibly linked the mysterious lung illnesses to a byproduct of Vitamin E combustion. While Vitamin E is found naturally in foods around the world (Almonds, Avocados, Corn, etc.), Vitamin E acetate is the oil derived from the vitamin itself. This compound is commonly consumed as a nutritional supplement and is even applied topically for various skin ailments. Health professionals consider Vitamin E to be a powerful antioxidant that boosts anti-aging properties and may even prevent coronary heart disease.


However, when inhaled, Vitamin E acetate can have adverse effects on lung function. Cases across the country have indicated using Vitamin E oil as an additive in marijuana vape products could be one of the causes behind vape-related illnesses. High levels of Vitamin E acetate were found in nearly half of all cannabis-containing samples tested by FDA investigators. As the device heats up and the oil vaporizes, the chemical compounds can potentially decompose, cool, and ultimately coat the inner walls of the lungs.


Since the underlying cause can’t be confirmed, the FDA is still analyzing a number of compounds, specifically cutting agents used to dilute THC distillate. Last year, Conscious Cannabis discontinued the Honey Tree vape line containing fractionated coconut oil (FCO). FCO or MCT is one of the most common additives for vapor products within the marijuana industry and contains absolutely no Vitamin E acetate. Bodhi High Brands would like to reassure both retailers and consumers that none of our vaping products contain any additives, nor will they ever.


A description of our current vape offerings is as follows:

  • Platinum Pure = Distillate & Live Resin Cannabis-Derived Terpenes

  • Bodhi High = Distillate & Cannabis-Derived Terpenes

  • Honey Tree = Distillate & Organic Plant-Derived Terpenes


About Bodhi High Brands: Bodhi High Brands (BHB) is a vertically integrated company that engages in research, manufacturing, sales, and distribution of recreational, medicinal cannabis, and hemp CBD products targeting beauty, lifestyle, and wellness industries both domestically and internationally.


DABSTRACT & PHAT PANDA

We wanted to reach out regarding the recent news regarding vape products.  

Our Panda and Flav cartridges and pods are comprised of pure cannabis distillate and botanical-derived terpenes only. These are all are tested with the botanical terpenoids added, and there are no cutting agents (vitamin E acetate, VG, PG, coconut oil, etc.) in our vape products. Dabstract vape products include only pure cannabis distillate and cannabis-derived terpenes, no cutting agents added. All of the cartridges used for every brand have also passed heavy metal testing in the California market. The cartridges currently under scrutiny for causing illnesses are black market purchased and are not regulated.

Here at Grow Op Farms/Phat N Sticky, we take our testing procedures and the quality of our products very seriously, every product we send to market is top quality and is tested for compliance.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns. Thank you for your continued support!

Team Phat Panda


FAIRWINDS 

Fairwinds Cannabis vape cartridges are formulated using only cannabis oil, essential oils, and terpenes. We only use processing techniques and terpenes that are native to cannabis in our cartridge production; our commitment to crafting the cleanest, highest-quality cannabis products possible means you'll never find unnecessary ingredients in our formulas.

HAKU

We are deeply concerned and saddened by the recent vape-related illnesses and deaths currently under investigation by the CDC. We want to reassure our customers that we have not and will never put anything but clean cannabis in our vape oils.

SOURCING

We source only high quality, “live”, fresh frozen, organically grown, whole flowers from the state’s most respected and award-winning farms. All of our partner farms are either Clean Green certified or WSDA certified organic.

EXTRACTION AND REFINEMENT

We extract fresh frozen whole flowers via our state of the art and patent-pending CO2 Live Resin process. We painstakingly refine, or “winterize” our extracts via a proprietary 14-step process so that impurities such as plant lipids (fats), cuticle waxes, color-bodies, carbohydrates, flavonoids, and other pulmonary contaminants are eliminated. These native compounds are known catalysts for lipoid and other types of pneumonia along with w/ non-native additives like vitamin E (tocopherols), medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) (sometimes labeled as fractionated coconut oil), vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, micro-particles, etc. Lipoid pneumonia is thought to be the root cause of the recent Vaping Associated Pulmonary Illness or VAPI.

To ensure the safest vaping experience we recommend refined or “winterized” CO2 extracted oil with zero additives in high-quality, heavy metal-free cartridges. Many unrefined oils and “sauces” sport labels like “raw,” “extra virgin,” and “solventless” – these are typically crude extracts that contain native plant waxes, fats, micro-particles, and other contaminants. Due to their unrefined process and moisture content, these types of extracts are known to have a high fail rate for pesticides and microbial contamination, all of which can cause various types of pneumonia.

Our CO2 Live Resin contains zero additives, cutting agents, botanical and/or store-bought terpenes. Our CSO Randy Reed and his network of world-renowned scientists and pharmaceutical formulators have developed the Haku CO2 Live Resin process over years of R&D to ensure Haku products are made with worker and consumer safety as a core focus.

TESTING

We test all of our finished oils with Confidence Analytics, a WA State Certified testing laboratory, which provides us with detailed Certificates of Analysis to certify that our oil is free of pesticides or any harmful contaminants. Although we never work with Vitamin E, we will shortly request Vitamin E (tocopherols) tests from Confidence Analytics as an extra precaution to reassure our customers, since this is the substance that is of particular concern to the CDC and other health authorities.

We are always ready to answer questions from our store partners or consumers about our products, so please email us here: salesteam@lehuagroupusa.com and we will get back to you immediately.

Mahalo nui loa
The Haku Team


HELLAVATED

Like you, we are truly heartbroken to read the recent news reports of vaping-related illnesses and deaths. We want to assure you NONE of our products contain vitamin E acetate, squalene, triethyl citrate, or mineral oil. 


At Hellavated, we use only 100% cannabis derived distillate, isolated terpenes, terpene blends and flavorings for consistent and repeatable flavor and experience. We do not use PG, PEG, VG, or any other cutting agents. Some of the flavoring bases do contain a very small % of MCT as a base for the flavorings.


All of our distillate is tested prior to blending for potency and pesticides, and all products are tested again after blending for potency and contamination. Quality, efficacy, and safety are our highest concerns. We believe in transparency for the good of our industry, our customers and consumers, and we hope others will join with us in supporting transparency in the industry.


HEYLO

Heylo Cannabis vape cartridges, available only in Washington State retail stores, are free of Vitamin E Acetate. None of our products contain vitamin E acetate, squalene, triethyl citrate or mineral oil. Heylo vape cartridges are produced with only pesticide-free, sustainably-grown cannabis flower using supercritical CO2 extraction and organic ethanol following our proprietary RawX Method.


In the lab, our philosophy is that "the plant is smarter than we are." The safest and best experiences with cannabis come from the plant itself. We have worked tirelessly to develop a process that creates an extract as close to the plant as possible, not formulating to deviate from nature’s own development. Adulterating the oil with outside agents introduces unnecessary risk to consumers and has not, nor will it ever, align with our values of education and transparency to consumers.


Further questions or concerns? Feel free to comment on our blog or submit Feedback that will be reviewed by me.

Lo Friesen

Founder/CEO


PEARL EXTRACTS

The recent health events due to vaping is extremely concerning, and we are anxious for the opportunity to educate retailers and consumers on the purity of our cannabis vapor cartridges. Pearl Extracts is pure cannabis oil made in small batches in West Seattle. The only ingredients are cannabinoids and terpenes, which we extract in-house from cannabis grown in Washington State. We will NEVER use vitamin E, cutting agents, glycol, glycerine, coconut oil, ANY additives whatsoever. It's just cannabis.


We flavor our product with terpenes that we extract from the cannabis plant. Nearly 95% of modern cannabis cartridges contain synthetic flavoring, or natural (aka “food-grade”) terpenes isolated from non-cannabis plants in a laboratory. It is unknown how synthetic flavoring and isolated plant terpenes can affect the user. However, humans have been inhaling the broad spectrum of terpenes contained in the cannabis plant for hundreds of years.


We care about the health of consumers, and we only use cannabis that is good for humans and good for the earth. We use the product and take pride in its purity. You can see our promise on the front of every box: just cannabis.


Please share this with colleagues, and if you have questions, please reach out at info@pearlextracts.com.


PUFFIN FARM

Vape Dangers: What We Know

September 8, 2019


As you have all probably heard, there has been a sudden appearance of vaping related illnesses and several deaths. Some of these appear to be related to vapor devices that contain THC. Public health officials are investigating and believe the issue is being caused by additives used to dilute or alter the oil. 


We would like our customers to know that we have never used ANY additives, including cutting agents, glycols (PG), MCT, flavors, non-cannabis terpenes, or Vitamin E acetate in our vapor cartridges. All of our vapes are made from 100% cannabis. We are third-party certified by Clean Green Certified™ to organic equivalent standards for both our production and processing.


Additionally, we source our cartridges from AVD who tests all their components for heavy metals. We have always believed that cannabis should be unadulterated by additives and contaminants of any kind. We know this news is very scary, and it emphasizes the importance of sourcing clean, tested, and 100% additive free cannabis products.


Health officials say these illnesses are a new phenomenon, pointing to the likelihood of a new additive that was not previously used. Officials now believe, based on lab testing, that vitamin E acetate is a likely culprit, as they have found it in many samples associated with illness, although they have not ruled out other possible additives or contaminants at this point.


We have learned that vitamin E acetate was recently introduced to the marketplace as “Clearcut” and “Honeycut” and are used to dilute oil, while acting as a preservative, improving clarity and maintaining a desirable thickness that makes the cutting agent undetectable by the consumer (prior cutting agents made the oil watery and gave away the fact the the oil was not pure).


Leafly just published this article discussing the cutting agents that contain Vitamin E acetate: https://www.leafly.com/news/health/vape-pen-lung-disease-vitamin-e-oil-explained


These agents appear to have been introduced in the last 6 months to the illegal market and possibly in some regulated products as well, which correlates with the recent outbreak of cases. We believe this is an unethical practice. Rest assured we would never consider using anything like this or any other additives in our products.


Puffin Farm Best Practices: 100% additive free and Clean Green Certified™


Puffin Farm takes consumer safety and sustainable organic practices very seriously. Our farm and processing are Clean Green Certified™, which means that we do not use synthetic chemicals or additives of any kind in the creation of our products from soil to oil. Our clean practices encompass soil stewardship, non-toxic processing, extraction and recipe formulation. Additionally all of our products are tested for pesticides.


Our EVFO™ vapor carts are made from hash oil extracted using only carbon dioxide. After extraction residual water is removed and it is put straight into carts without adding any non-cannabis derived additives, flavors, thickening, thinning, cutting or viscosity agents.


Our Vital Roots™ Distillate carts are made from our own pesticide-tested distillate made from Clean Green Certified™ plant material. It is then blended with our EVFO™ using no non-cannabis derived additives, flavors, thickening, thinning, cutting or viscosity agents.


Thank you for supporting Puffin Farm. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions.


RAVEN GRASS

https://www.ravengrass.com/vape-crisis

SITKA

To our Valued Customers, 

In response to recent news regarding vape products, we wish to share with you a statement regarding our popular Fresh&TastyTM, Fresh&TerpyTM, and Fresh&FreeTM vape products sold at licensed retail outlets in the State of Washington. SITKA® is a longtime, established, and trusted source for the cleanest, highest quality products in Washington and our vapes are no different. Since 2015, SITKA® has maintained an unwavering commitment to transparency, quality, and consistency. We hold ourselves, our partners, and every product we make to the highest standards of safety and integrity. 

INGREDIENTS: Fresh&TastyTM and Fresh&TerpyTM vapes are solely comprised of pure short-path distilled ethanol extracted cannabis oil and botanically derived terpenes from True Terpenes, the most trusted and transparent source of distilled terpenes in the industry. We do NOT use cutting agents, thickeners, or additives of any kind (that includes Vitamin E acetate, glycols, or anything else). We have NEVER used cutting agents thickeners, or additives of any kind in the past and will not in the future. These vapes contain two ingredients, and two ingredients only; distillate and terps. 

In response to a perceived need we have now added Fresh&FreeTM vapes to our list of offerings. Fresh&FreeTM is comprised only of 100% pure short path distilled ethanol extracted hash oil. There is nothing added to this product, ever. Fresh&FreeTM is nearly tasteless and odorless by design, and free of anything except pure cannabis oil distilled from the best material available. 

END PRODUCT TESTING: Every SITKA product has been tested as an End Product. That means all Fresh&TastyTM and Fresh&TerpyTM vapes are tested as a final mix with the terpenes already added. 

HIGH QUALITY HARDWARE: Fresh&TastyTM, Fresh&TerpyTM, and Fresh&FreeTM vapes are packaged in a ceramic cell cartridge specifically designed by SITKA to use only 100% lead-free food grade brass and stainless steel components, silicone gaskets, a pyrex tank, and a wood tip. We take great care to design and manufacture effective, reliable hardware that is free of heavy metals and will not leech dangerous chemicals into your oil. 

No SITKA products have been involved in any cases involving lung illnesses attributed to illicit vape products. We advise customers to avoid untested black market products and to seek a trusted source with a demonstrated commitment to quality and transparency. We wish a fast recovery to the individuals affected, and all the best to the families involved. 


Sincerely yours, 

SITKA GOLD OWNER/OPERATORS 

Casey Crowell 

Shawn Richards 

Nicholas Saad 


TOP SHELF

Top Shelf has been closely monitoring the vaping situation in the news. 


Please rest assured: We NEVER use Fillers or Cuts or. Vitamin E Acetate. We use 100% distillate with added food grade terpenes, that’s it, no surprises. Our cartridges are all natural and 100% pure. 


Our stance on fillers has been the same from our beginning. We don't use fillers or cuts in our cartridges. We NEVER have and we NEVER will. We believe in using high quality ingredients that are all FDA approved. We test our products with Confidence Analytics and include results with every delivery. 


Our products pass testing for: 

1. Microbials

2. Residual Solvents

3. Pesticides 

4. Heavy Metals

5. Terpene Analysis 


X-TRACTED, REFINE, AND NW CONCENTRATE

Both state and federal health officials researching recent illnesses linked to vaping have found the same chemical in products of those sickened (see Washington Post, “Contaminant found in marijuana vaping products linked to deadly lung illnesses, tests show,” published on Sept. 6, 2019). The chemical found in those products is derived from vitamin E, and is known as “Vitamin E acetate.”


Accordingly, we at Xtracted Laboratories would like to affirm to our valued consumers that Refine and NW Concentrate vape cartridges, One Times, and Tankers products do not now nor have they ever contained Vitamin E acetate.


Please email info@x-tracted.com with any questions.

 
Christine Bryant Cohen