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Juice, Cannabis and CBD

It pays anti-vape campaigners to confuse vaping with substance abuse, but the police and PayPal seem to be baffled by the difference between vaping, cannabis and CBD.

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The Centres for Disease Control (CDC) has jumped back on the anti-vape bandwagon with the release of a study proclaiming vaping to be heralding a new era of substance abuse in America’s teen population. The logic behind the paper’s conclusion is flawed. Confusion exists on this side of the Atlantic too as PayPal and the police seem unable to distinguish between CBD eliquids and marijuana.

“The US Surgeon General has concluded that e-cigarette aerosol can contain harmful and potentially harmful constituents. The National Academies of Sciences has found cannabis use among youth can adversely affect learning and memory and may impair later academic achievement and education. Thus, strategies to reduce cannabis use in e-cigarettes are critical for protecting young people from these potential health risks.”

In writing the above conclusion, Katrina Trivers and her team have managed to conflate a number of issues in order to drive an ideological position. In order to get to that point they have indulged in some rather selective statistical manipulation.

Rather than conducting research of their own, the team took data sets from the 2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey. They linked ever use of ecigs with ever use of cannabis, the product was then “weighted to provide national estimates”.

The fact that the results were published as a letter in the staunchly anti-vape JAMA Pediatrics journal speaks volumes about the intent of the CDC team.

Richard Miech, principal investigator of the "Monitoring the Future" project, welcomed the research, as he believes that teen vaping will continue to rise over the coming year.

He said: “Kids need to be made aware that this isn't just a harmless fad. I would expect to see a very big increase in vaping in the coming years. As vaping in general goes up, then vaping nicotine will go up, and vaping marijuana will go up. I think they're all grouped together.” Unfortunately for him, the trends are declining use, maybe he should have been aware of this as a self-proclaimed expert?

Trivers said: “Although we've seen considerable declines in the use of regular cigarettes among U.S. youth over the past several decades, the tobacco product landscape is evolving, and the use of other tobacco products has become increasingly popular.”

“This high rate of cannabis use in e-cigarettes is a public health concern, because any form of tobacco product use is unsafe among youth, irrespective of whether it's smoked, smokeless or electronic.”

Trivers claims their analysis points to almost 10% of American teens vaping marijuana – but their projected figure of 2 million teens equates to 4.7% of the U.S.A.’s 42 million.

According to Act For Youth, “Over one in five students (22%) reported having used marijuana.” This contradicts the team’s findings, but then facts aren’t what this study was about – this is simply a stick to beat vaping with as a section of America attempts to drive through an ideological position.

The confusion in the CDC’s position is being mirrored in the U.K., with PayPal and the Police unable to distinguish between cannabis and CBD.

Eliquid Brands UK recently complained that PayPal has placed a block on its account: “I can’t believe PayPal shut down our account this morning claiming we were selling illegal products (i.e. CBD). Their claim is false and these products are 100% legal in the UK and sold in many national stores that, funnily enough, also use PayPal. Looking for answers.”

It transpires that the same action has been taken against Drip Hacks, Congleton; with some people worrying it could close small businesses unless resolved swiftly.

Lee Whittaker and Ashley Cole of Vaping Is Personal, Plymouth, have even gone so far as to make a formal complaint against the local police following a raid on their premises.

Officers seized all CBD-related products from the shop. Whittaker said: “It’s going to cause a massive loss of sale, both online and in-store, as well as the damage it will cause to our reputation. The police refused to give me a property receipt, so apart from me videoing it, I have no idea of what they took as they refused point blank to give me any receipt for it."

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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