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January 4, 2023

Vape Ingredient Safety: An Accessible Means of Assessment for Manufacturers and Regulators

Assessing ingredients for safety is one of the most critical ways manufacturers of cannabis products can help protect consumer safety and work to maintain compliance. It’s also an important way for regulators to establish guidelines for product safety and compliance. But without an in-house expert in toxicology, a means for assessment based on science-backed safety data has been out of reach for producers and regulators alike.

Until now.

A new paper published by thought leaders from True Terpenes, PAX, and Portland State University has just made it feasible for producers and regulators without significant toxicological expertise to assess the safety of ingredients intended for use in vape products.

A First-Tier Framework for Assessing Toxicological Risk from Vaporized Cannabis Concentrates was published this week in Toxics, an international, peer-reviewed, open-access journal. The paper covers research performed by Shawna Vreeke, Ph.D., Head of Research and Toxicology for True Terpenes, Echoleah Rufer, Ph.D., Director of Health Sciences at PAX, and Diplomate American Board of Toxicology, Robert M. Strongin, Ph.D., Professor of Organic Chemistry and Researcher at Portland State University, and David M. Faulkner, Toxicologist at PAX Labs.

We created and implemented this methodology to review every ingredient that goes into every True Terpenes formulation and wanted to share this research with the community,” said Dr. Shawna Vreeke, Head of Research and Toxicology at True Terpenes.

“As researchers, scientists, and experts in this industry, it’s our responsibility to protect consumer safety,” Dr. Vreeke continued. “The best way we can do that is to educate the decision makers who are creating products and setting regulatory standards and ultimately impacting people’s lives. This is a first step in giving them the tools they need to assess ingredient safety based on scientific data.”

An Important Step Forward

Vaporization is becoming an increasingly popular method of consuming cannabis products and is an accessible way for individuals who are new to cannabis to experience the benefits of the plant. However, due to the historic limiting effect of federal prohibition on scientific research, little guidance exists for producers and regulators alike to assess the safety and limits of additives (including those naturally found in cannabis) used in vape products.

This paper provides tools (including a Safety Limit Assessment Calculator) that can help producers and regulators make safety assessments to inform manufacturing and policy decisions.

“Research limitations have created an environment where clear, actionable guidance doesn’t exist the way we’d like to see around inhalation safety. We view this framework as a starting point and look forward to continuing to evolve it as research evolves and testing capabilities are developed,” said Dr. Echo Rufer, DABT, Director of Health Sciences at PAX.

A Commitment to Creating a Sustainable Future for Cannabis

This paper is the latest example of the commitment True Terpenes has made to supporting the establishment of policy that is both based on science and best serves the interests of patients and public safety. This work is especially critical as we move toward the inevitability of federal legalization.

It’s also part of a larger mission to continuously drive the standards for safety and fill a gap for research in our young industry. This critical research informs our own formulations and helps us to reformulate blends for new customers. “I have spent the last two years developing and implementing a safety assessment program at True Terpenes,” said Dr. Vreeke. “This work is continuously evolving and updating as new research is released. With the groundwork set, I am excited to work with producers and manufacturers to assist them in producing the best products, backed by scientific data.”

“We are incredibly proud to be the only GMP, ISO9001, & FSSC22000 terpene supplier in the world,” said Chris Campagna, Founder and CEO of True Terpenes. “After creating the most stringent testing specifications for heavy metals, pesticides, and solvents, we wanted to go further. The science and methodology to review ingredients didn’t exist, so we created it from scratch. We believe that quality and safety are fundamental and must be the foundation for all innovation. Our customers will be more prepared for the increased regulation that comes with federal legalization. It’s also just the right thing to do.”

Community Collaboration

This research project marks a significant contribution to the sustainable growth of our industry, and we’re proud to have collaborated across industry and academia to create this framework.

Download the paper to learn more and to put the valuable tools to work for you.

Obtain an ingredient audit or license our safety data. Reach out to [email protected] for more information.

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