Today we'll be taking an insider look into the - Northland Vapor Company

WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.

Today we'll be taking an insider look into the

September 11, 2019 2 Comments

Today we'll be taking an insider look into the

recent spree of news related to the THC cartridges brought to us by someone who works on the inside of one of these operations.  The twist here is that this person works entirely above board in California as a cannabis lab director for a company that produces the eLiquid cartridges that have put all of the vaping world on blast in the news as of late. The following is taken from a recent reddit post, with permission, from the user blunt-e, and you can view the post and it's comments for yourself here.  


So, first off let me say, please don't hate me. I'm one of the guys out there making vape carts. I also like to think I'm one of the good guys. We work out of a licensed and regularly inspected facility, and I don't use adulterants or cutting agents. Products that leave my facility are rigorously lab-tested, manufactured in a cleanroom environment, and we maintain production records to track issues back if one arises. I've been vaping (nicotine) a long time now, and I've been watching the developments in the cannabis side of things with a slow sense of dawning horror for years.

When MCT first started being used, my reaction was to get on my soapbox to anyone who would listen and rant about Lipid Pneumonia. Fortunately, that hasn't seemed to have occurred as far as I know, and while I would still hesitate to classify MCT as "safe" I don't think it's the cause of the all the people getting sick and/or dying.

It appears that it's being linked to Vitamin E Acetate, or at least that is what the indicators are pointing to. But how and why is that happening? Who is putting Tocopherol or vitamin E oils in their product and why? Also, why has this just cropped up over the last few months, what's changed?

Well, the answer is simple. A new class of cutting agent dilutant was introduced to the market. Thickeners. Thinners, sold under names such as "Viscosity" (TrueTerpenes), "Flavorless" (Floraplex), "Nexus" (Wercshop), among others came out and it was a game changer. Companies were able to lower the viscosity of their distillate without overloading the product with terpenes or using the dreaded "PG" or MCT. the average cannabis consumer, cart user, or dispensary owner will not even TOUCH Propylene Glycol. They think it's somewhere between hydrocholoric acid and cyanide. I don't understand it and I've long stopped trying to educate, it's fucking frustrating. Now the companies selling these thinning agents thought they were being really slick. They kept the formulas proprietary. Secret. Hidden. True Terpenes claimed that theirs was 'only terpenes', some would be more honest, if pressed, and admitted to it being a sort of fractionated squalene. In fact, that is what is in [TFA's thinner] though it looks like they've pulled it from their site. Seeing that a lot with vendors lately. There was a big scandal a few month back, where /u/ExtractNinja2 called 'em out for allegedly having mineral oil in the product, though that appears to be unlikely it did for sure not just contain terpenes as they claimed.

Then, a few months ago, something new hit the market. Thickeners. This is where shit starts getting really shady, because thickness has always been an indicator of purity and potency. If your product is thin, it's over cut. Customers won't touch it. These thickeners allow you to cut the shit out of your product and still sell it looking thick and perfect, like pure distillate and terps. Now this doesn't work in the legal market, we test our products, and say what you will about the state of the legal market in CA it's actually pretty strict on the testing anyway. But blackmarket. There's no rules. Teens and adult users are getting their hands on carts that LOOK legit. Maybe the guy (or girl) they're buying from tells 'em they're real. Just got 'em in from Cali! DankVapes! Rove Cookies Shit, that last one comes w/ a point of sale display... You can't even blame the customers entirely, they're not buying these from some shady dude living in a van down by the river. They're getting what looks like legit carts at pop up markets, at street fairs, and from unlicensed shops.

In California alone, where recreational marijuana is legal, there have been 28 potential cases of acute lung disease among people who had recently vaped cannabis products, according to a spokesperson from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). On August 12th, the CDPH released a health alert regarding a “cluster” of at least seven healthy adults in Kings County, California, all of whom had been admitted to hospitals between July and August 2019, and all of whom had presented with symptoms of severe acute pulmonary disease, including coughing and shortness of breath, and in some cases fever and vomiting. All seven of these cases — including an additional one reported following media coverage of the initial press release — were linked to THC vapes that had been purchased off the black market, Nancy Gerking, assistant director of public health of Kings County tells Rolling Stone, adding they were purchased at temporary, unlicensed “pop-up shops” in the area.

At the risk of sounding too full of myself, I called this over two months ago. I gave an industry presentation to other manufacturers and the theme of my talk could be boiled down to "know what you're using in your products". I broke down the True Terpenes scandal, and the various types of cutting agents, and thinners and thickeners, talking about how us manufacturers have an ethical duty to know, without a shadow of a doubt, that anything leaving our facility is safe. Unfortunately people suck. There are people out there who would stab their own sainted grandmother for a bent nickel. These are the people who are cutting their products with massive amount of these mystery thickeners. Maybe it's a good thing in the end though. The FDA is going to land on the cannabis industry with both feet, and hopefully nothing like this ever happens again (doubt it). Shame that it had to hurt vaping in the process.

Anyway, thanks for reading if you got this far, ask away if you have any questions for me.

Edit #1: I've heard pesticides mentioned a few times. I don't think that they have anything to do with this. I certainly don't think they're good, or should be in cannabis, but if pesticides were the culprit we'd have seen similar lung issues years ago. You think there's pesticides in cannabis NOW? No, now we just see it with lab tests, you should see the shit people were spraying on their crops 8 years ago. Eagle 20 in flower? Fuck it. Azamax? Why not. Mystery magic shit in a mason jar, wrapped in tape, double bagged, and marked only with a skull and crossbones provided by the guy at the hydro store after you bust out a secret handshake, that for some reason smells fucking FANTASTIC but you're pretty sure just gave you a tumor and melted through the plastic sprayer and turned your plants orange? Eh, don't want to lose that crop, you'll get it in flush anyway.

Nah if it was pesticides, we'd have seen this sooner, and it would be more widespread and not associated with the carts.

My money is still either on one or more of the thickener products, or on some synthetic cannabinoid additive, or both.


There you have it, straight from a product producer and manufacturers own text.  The problem comes from these proprietary and/or synthetic ingredients these cart producers have been using, having generally no clue what's in them, and their general nonsensical distrust of propylene glycol. 

Previously in the eLiquid nicotine side of the world we have shut out the very topic in the past because we figured it's a totally separate product with its own methods of communicating how to do things properly, correctly, and most importantly, safely.  

The nicotine vaping community is learning a quick and hard lesson about the THC vaping industry due to these widely publicized issues, and together we can fight the misinformation and maybe even save some lives. 

What do you think about this whole fiasco? Is there some happy future we can all come to where the reality of the healthier than smoking alternatives can be finally publicized and even brought into the general populaces conscious? 

2 Responses

Diane Wiegert
Diane Wiegert

September 16, 2019

I too have been vaping 6yrs. And so far no health issues


September 12, 2019

I’ve been vaping nicotine for 8 years and haven’t had any issues with my health. What do you think of flavored nicotine ejuice? I personally don’t think it’s a problem. Yes companies need to do better about packaging and even juice names, as well as getting better age verification methods (especially online retailers). Thanks for this article

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