Vaping cartridges containing THC and labeled "Dank Vapes," as well as some other illegal brands, are linked to the serious lung disease that has recently emerged among people using vaping devices and e-cigarettes to inhale THC or nicotine , or both, health officials said on Friday.
But they also said that Dank Vapes seemed to be a brand that THC sellers can tap into any product, and is not a specific wording or product. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
“Dank Vapes appears to be the most prominent in a largely counterfeit brand, with commonly available online packaging used by distributors to market THC-containing cartridges without obvious centralized production or distribution , "states a report released Friday by state health officials from Illinois and Wisconsin, and from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But officials said they did not know whether vaping illnesses or deaths in other parts of the country were also related to these brands.  In Illinois and Wisconsin, among the patients who reported vaping nicotine, Juul was the clear dominant brand.
C.D.C. held a briefing on Friday to discuss some of the findings in the health surveys of weapon diseases currently reported in 46 states, involving 805 cases and 13 deaths. Oregon reported another death Thursday; State health officials said the person was admitted to a hospital with respiratory symptoms following the cannabis product wrapping.
Dr. Anne Schuchat, chief executive of the CDC, called the lung diseases "severe and life-threatening." She described the market for vaping products as dynamic, saying there was a wide range of products, ingredients, packaging and supply chains, and consumers have no way of knowing what is in the fluids they vape.
Many patients throughout the United States had reported using THC products, the agency said. Some patients have said that they are only weapons with nicotine, but scientists in Wisconsin found that some patients who made the claim had actually used THC.
Of 771 patients nationwide, 91 percent had been hospitalized; 69 percent were male and just over 60 percent were between 18 and 34 years. Of the deaths, C.D.C. said almost 60 percent were men, and the median age was 50 years old.
Both C.D.C. and the Food and Drug Administration have investigated the outbreaks of vaping diseases, in an attempt to identify not only the products used, but also some of the substances that were inhaled.
F.D.A. Commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless told a congressional panel Wednesday that the agency had tested vapor fluid supplied by people who were ill.
"We've received about 300 samples," he said. "We have tested around 150. I would say the answer is about 70 percent of THC products. The rest are nicotine products or something else. A significant fraction of THC products, like half of them, are contaminated with vitamin E acetate. "
Vitamin E-acetate is a skin oil and has" no business "in a product that people inhale, Dr. Sharpless said, adding that the product is added to dilute or" cut "THC before selling.
But Other ingredients or contaminants can also contribute to the diseases, health experts have said.
Patients have become weak and have short breaths, many requiring oxygen supplementation and intensive care treatment. In some patients, lung injuries have been so severe that they have been placed on In a few cases, lung function has been so poor that ventilators were not enough, and patients also had to be connected to machines that pump oxygen directly into the bloodstream.
It's been enough to get home after days or weeks in the hospital, but doctors say it's too early to tell if they will suffer permanent lung damage.
Given the unanswered questions about the exact cause of the diseases, many health experts say that people should simply not vape. Those who continue to do so should avoid THC and not buy steam from the street or add ingredients to commercial products, C.D.C. so. It emphasized that adults who do not smoke should not start using e-cigarettes, and that young people and pregnant women should never use them.
The shootings of illnesses this summer have led several states and legislators to call for more restrictions on e-cigarettes and for law enforcement agencies to crack down on illegal vape shops and illegal vaping product sales. Michigan, Rhode Island and New York have banned flavored e-cigarettes, while Massachusetts has introduced a four-month ban on all vaping products. Washington state is also considering a ban on flavored e-cigarettes.
Katie Thomas contributed reporting.