Pesticides that can turn into poisonous cyanide were found in black market THC vaping cartridges by an NBC News investigation last week.
All 10 of the black market THC cartridges reportedly tested positive for myclobutanil, a pesticide that turns into hydrogen cyanide and other toxic gases when heated.
This same gaseous cyanide is also found in trace amounts in tobacco cigarettes, according to MedicineNet author William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR. The FDA identifies this substance as toxic to both respiratory and circulatory health.
Inhaling small amounts of cyanide can cause several health symptoms, Dr. Shiel says. They include:
"Cyanide sometimes is described as having a 'bitter almond' smell," Dr. Shiel says. "But it does not always give off an odor, and not everyone can detect this odor."
Anyone experiencing cyanide poisoning must seek medical attention right away, he says. "The most important thing is for victims to seek medical treatment as soon as possible."