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Publication Title | What is peg Polyethylene glycol

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What is peg?

Polyethylene glycol, or PEG, is an organic compound made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. PEG has been sci- entifically demonstrated to be safe for human consump- tion and is used frequently for pharmaceutical purposes. PEG’s characteristics vary greatly depending on its mo- lecular weight, which can range from 300 to 10 million. With all these variations, PEG has a number of different uses in a wide variety of common household items. Just how common? PEG is on the FDA’s “Generally Regarded as Safe” classification list and can be found in toothpaste, skin cream, soft-gel pill capsules, chewing gum, sports drinks, and pharmaceutical inhalers, just to name a few.

In the cannabis industry, PEG is often used as a carrier liquid for THC in vaporizer cartridges. At certain molecu- lar weights, PEG has the perfect viscosity to thin extracted THC and make the concentrate in your cartridge turn into vapor more quickly and efficiently. That is to say, PEG im- proves the function of concentrate in a vaporizer.

PEG is also used to standardize consistency. Refined CO2 oil can vary dramatically in THC potency, anywhere from 40 to 90 percent or more depending on input material, extraction methodology, refining methodology, and other factors. Adding PEG allows manufacturers to dilute the raw extract to a standard, reliable potency.

PEG has been the focus of a large number of toxicity stud- ies (including the National Academy of Sciences, and U.S. National Library of Medicine) as a result of its wide range of uses in products designed for consumption. There have been well over 40 different studies conducted over the last 70 years looking at the effects of PEG exposure on animals and humans. These studies have found that at normal dos- es, PEG has no toxic effects when inhaled or ingested. For example, rats who were exposed to concentrated PEG200 vapor for six hours did not have any adverse or visible effects

"peg can be found in toothpaste, skin cream, soft-gel pill capsules, chewing gum, sports drinks, & pharmaceutical inhalers"

compared to a control group (Crook et al. 1980). In another study, dogs were given a diet that included 2% concentra- tions of PEG400, PEG1540, and PEG4000, and the animals experienced no adverse effects (Smyth et al. 1955).

If peg is so commonly used and proven to be non-toxic, why is there such wide discussion about its safety?

One of the sources for the confusion is that PEG is often con- fused with ethylene glycol (EG), a chemical compound used in antifreeze, hydraulic brake fluids, and in the manufacture of polyester fibers. EG is toxic in large doses. The confusion

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