State health officials said Friday that many patients sickened with mysterious lung injuries used black market marijuana vaping devices, offering the strongest clues so far into what might be making people sick.
Officials in Wisconsin and Illinois, the states that were the first to report cases, conducted in-depth interviews with 86 patients who said they used a wide range of e-cigarette products. The vast majority reporting using illicit products containing THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana, according to a report released Friday. The products were sold as prefilled vape cartridges — tiny disposable containers — and obtained from informal sources, officials said.
Nearly 70% of those patients said they used Dank Vapes cartridges, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Friday. Dank Vapes appears to be predominant in a class of “largely counterfeit brands with common packaging that is easily available online and that is used by distributors to market THC-containing cartridges with no obvious centralized production or distribution,” the report said.
Other brands identified by people with the lung injury include TKO, Off White, Moon Rocks, Chronic Carts and others. Industry experts said many THC products on the black market come from distributors who buy empty cartridges, fill them with THC mixtures, and then purchase packaging with those brand labels.
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