Never vape MCT oil? Yes, you heard correctly.  

It is extremely dangerous to your health when the oil becomes heated and inhaled. Propylene glycol [PG], vegetable glycerin [VG], polyethylene glycol 400 [PEG 400], and medium chain triglycerides [MCT, like coconut oil) that are heated to 230°C are all problematic for vaping.  Some are better than others, but all should really be avoided. 

What are medical professionals worried about in regards to inhaling oils, like MCT oil (ie. coconut oil)?  Bottom line, they are worried about lung infections, and serious ones at that.

Lipid pneumonia or lipoid pneumonia is a specific form of lung inflammation (pneumonia) that develops when lipids enter the bronchial tree. The disorder is sometimes called cholesterol pneumonia in cases where that lipid is a factor.

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Study: Carbonyl Compounds Produced by Vaporizing Cannabis Oil Thinning Agents
Research conducted and published by:  William D. Troutt and Matthew D. DiDonato. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine Vol. 23, No. 11. Download the full article for free, here.

The Background on The Research

Objective: Cannabis use has increased in the United States, particularly the use of vaporized cannabis oil, which is often mixed with thinning agents for use in vaporizing devices. E-cigarette research shows that heated thinning agents produce potentially harmful carbonyls; however, similar studies have not been conducted (1) with agents that are commonly used in the cannabis industry and (2) at temperatures that are appropriate for cannabis oil vaporization. The goal of this study was to determine whether thinning agents used in the cannabis industry produce potentially harmful carbonyls when heated to a temperature that is appropriate for cannabis oil vaporization.

Design: Four thinning agents (propylene glycol [PG], vegetable glycerin [VG], polyethylene glycol 400 [PEG 400], and medium chain triglycerides [MCT]) were heated to 230°C and the resulting vapors were tested for acetaldehyde, acrolein, and formaldehyde. Each agent was tested three times.

Setting/Location: Testing was conducted in a smoking laboratory.

Outcome measures: Carbonyl levels were measured in micrograms per puff block.

Results: Analyses showed that PEG 400 produced significantly higher levels of acetaldehyde and formaldehyde than PG, MCT, and VG. Formaldehyde production was also significantly greater in PG compared with MCT and VG. Acrolein production did not differ significantly across the agents.

Conclusions: PG and PEG 400 produced high levels of acetaldehyde and formaldehyde when heated to 230°C. Formaldehyde production from PEG 400 isolate was particularly high, with one inhalation accounting for 1.12% of the daily exposure limit, nearly the same exposure as smoking one cigarette. Because PG and PEG 400 are often mixed with cannabis oil, individuals who vaporize cannabis oil products may risk exposure to harmful formaldehyde levels. Although more research is needed, consumers and policy makers should consider these potential health effects before use and when drafting cannabis-related legislation.

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Last updated: Oct. 15, 2018 (tm)