RALEIGH – If the recent spate of reported lung injuries linked to vaping aren’t enough to deter you, than maybe this study released today from a local firm will.

Remedy Review, a new Raleigh-based media company focused on “separating fact from fiction” in the growing market of cannabidiol (CBD) products, recently conducted its own lab tests of CBD products – and the findings aren’t good.

Among the most concerning: 60 percent of the vape liquids tested contained flammable, toxic solvents or pesticides.

It also found that eight out of 15 products were mislabeled — containing at least 20 percent less CBD than advertised. All gummies tested were mislabeled — one contained zero CBD.

“This is a reminder to people that they should check test results and be especially cautious with any products they are putting in their lungs,” Marc Lewis, Executive Editor of Remedy Review told WRAL TechWire.

“If a brand does not have batch-specific test results available, try a different brand.”

Lab tests were conducted at Avazyme, Inc., a contract research and testing laboratory based out of Durham.

Tested products included some sent to the company for review and others purchased from prominent e-commerce platforms. Each of the products was tested for cannabinoid content, terpenes, heavy metals, pesticides, and residual solvents. Cannabinoid tests were used to measure label accuracy.

Lewis says the firm decided to conduct its own tests to “add a layer of scrutiny to a growing market.”

“We are a review site. We wanted to take a look at a variety of products to check labels and contents. We have previously done random testing on larger brands as well.”

‘Minimal oversight in market’

Vaping is a growing public health concern.

There were 2,290 cases of lung injury linked to vaping as of November 20, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

The vaping injuries have been reported in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Alaska remains the one state without any vaping-related injuries reported to the CDC.

The CDC also reports 47 confirmed deaths in 25 states and the District of Columbia.

CDC recommends that people not use e-cigarette products that contain THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. While it appears that vitamin E acetate, a thickener used in some vaping products, is linked to the lung injury cases, the agency can’t rule out other chemicals, it said.

At present, Lewis says there is minimal oversight of this market.

“Consumers should educate themselves on test results, request recent results from brands, and scrutinize these products that are sold as wellness supplements,” he said.

“We hope consumers use websites like ours to vet brands. We’re an FYI before you buy. There are a lot of smart online resources about CBD products that can help people find brands that are very invested in testing and quality control.”

Launched in 2018, Remedy Review is an online site dedicated to publishing “evidence-based articles on the medical, economic, and lifestyle potential of hemp.”

One Better Ventures, which is headed by former Burt’s Bees CEO John Replogle, invested $2 million in the startup. It’s based out of the headquarters at Three Ships, a Raleigh-based digital publisher and customer acquisition company.

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