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TBI: Vape pens are newest emerging drug trend

Local agents said they haven't seen many vape pens with THC in the Knoxville crime lab, but expect that to increase.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The TBI said vaping is the newest emerging drug trend its agents are dealing with across the state.

Local agents said they haven't seen many vape pens with THC in the Knoxville crime lab, but expect that to increase.

THC is the ingredient the produces a high in marijuana.

RELATED: Tennessee Dept. of Health reports second death from vaping-associated respiratory disease

"Heroin has kind of in the last few years really got the foothold, but I think if you're talking about the emerging trend I would say it probably would be in the vape cartridges," said Jim Williams, TBI's Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Investigation Division for Upper East Tennessee.

The TBI said it's hard to know without testing vape oils how much THC they contain, even if a percentage is advertised on the bottle.

"You can't detect the smell. It's odorless. It's becoming increasingly difficult to detect any of those," said Tommy Farmer, TBI's Special Agent in Charge over the Tennessee Dangerous Drugs Task Force.

RELATED: Need to Know: Resources to help teens stop vaping

The TBI Crime Lab currently only tests vape cartridges for illicit substances, not other chemicals that make up the oil inside.