Global & Disaster Medicine

7 people were hospitalized in ICU with a potentially fatal lung toxin after vaping cannabis or CBD oils

County of Kings PH

Nancy Gerking  Assistant Director of Public Health Phone (559) 852-2574
HANFORD – Dr. Milton Teske, Health Officer, with the Kings County Department of Public Health is issuing a warning regarding the dangers of vaping cannabis or CBD oils. Since June, seven cases of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) have been identified, requiring hospitalization and respiratory support among previously healthy adults. Some of these patients’ conditions were so severe they were admitted to the intensive care unit and required respiratory support through mechanical devices.
The first symptoms of ARDS are feeling like you can’t get enough air into your lungs, rapid breathing, a low blood oxygen level, low blood pressure, confusion, and extreme tiredness.  If you are experiencing any of these symptoms seek immediate medical treatment.
A reported common exposure among these patients is that they have been vaping cannabis or CBD oils. At this time, no infectious cause has been identified.
One pattern also observed during the investigation is that all of the cases to date have involved the purchasing of vape cartridges from “pop-up shops”.  Pop-up shops are temporary shops that open for an undetermined amount of time, advertise by word of mouth, and will move locations frequently.  These pop-up shops are not licensed retailers and do not follow any current regulations or safety practices, including selling only products that have been tested for contaminants. Under no circumstances should you vape cannabis or CBD oils obtained from a “pop-up shop”.
Although cannabis or CBD oil use is legal in California, if you are going to use cannabis or CBD oil or a combination of both, be cautious, and only purchase from a licensed retailer.
The Kings County Department of Public Health has partnered with the California Department of Public Health for continued investigation and surveillance.
For more information on cannabis or vaping uses go to:

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