Currently, most commercially available CBD-containing e-cigarettes and refill solutions come in a wide array of flavors, the chemical constituents of which are often not fully disclosed by manufacturers. Emerging evidence that these flavorings are toxic and can induce inflammation has necessitated the urgent need for research into the toxicity of flavored CBD-containing aerosols emitted from e-cigarettes on human bronchial epithelium, the cells that line the airway. In a recent study into this problem, bronchial epithelial cells were exposed to aerosol generated from e-cigarette refills either with commercially available control solvent, unflavored solution with CBD, CBD-free e-cigarettes refill solutions of different flavors, and CBD-containing e-cigarettes refill solutions of different flavors. The toxicological effects were quantified through measuring cell viability, cell metabolic activity, and concentrations of inflammatory mediators.
Data from this study confirmed the above concern. First, compared to the unflavored, CBD-free control aerosol, an unflavored CBD aerosol was significantly more likely to kill or inhibit metabolism of epithelial cells and induce inflammatory reaction. Second, compared to the same control, most e-cigarettes flavored aerosol, with or without CBD, were also more toxic. Finally, for a respective flavor, the CBD-containing aerosol was more toxic than its CBD-free counterpart. In conclusion, smoking CBD e-cigarettes, especially those with artificial flavors, can cause serious damage to one’s respiratory tract.