A public health official issued a warning about the dangers of unlicensed cannabis products following the hospitalization of seven Californians who fell ill after vaping. In a notice released last week, Dr. Milton Teske, health officer with the Kings County Department of Public Health, said that those stricken had been taken to the hospital in the Central California community after experiencing pneumonia-like symptoms.
“Since June, seven cases of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) have been identified, requiring hospitalization and respiratory support among previously healthy adults,” reads the notice. “Some of these patients’ conditions were so severe they were admitted to the intensive care unit and required respiratory support through mechanical devices.”
Initial symptoms of ARDS include the feeling that one can’t get enough air into the lungs, rapid breathing, low blood oxygen level, low blood pressure, confusion, and extreme tiredness.
Six of the patients are in their 20s and the last is a 60-year-old experienced cannabis user who had tried vaping for the first time. Teske noted that all seven patients had recently used THC or CBD oil vape cartridges that they had purchased at unlicensed marijuana “pop-up shops” and urged consumers to purchase cannabis products only at regulated retailers.