Buying the right vape pen and vape pen cartridges isn’t the easiest of tasks, as the growing market is quickly becoming oversaturated with vape carts, both of quality and not. For buyers, it’s no longer just a question of which vape cartridges appear to be the best, but which are truly the right fit, of quality, constructed with integrity and produced by a reputable, trusted company. While more challenging, doing just a bit of research to ensure these factors are met makes all the difference when it comes to actually utilizing vape pen carts.
With 2019’s large outbreak of lung injuries among e-cigarette users, product safety — now more than ever — demands top priority when purchase considerations are being made. The following information can provide more helpful insight on what to be conscious of when seeking the “right” vape pen carts.What to look for when choosing the “Right” vape cartridge
Look for a vape cartridge with the proper construction
One of the most important considerations to make when on the hunt for quality vape carts is how they’re constructed and how successfully they can interact with a pen base. Many vape cartridges sport a similar screw-top model that can sometimes present a host of issues.
If faulty, these vape pen carts can leak and release all of their cannabis oil contents. Not only can these lead to the damage of the vape pen itself, but possibly other items in its vicinity (i.e., other purse or backpack contents if not properly stored in a quality case). Defective or flawed vape carts can also cause contamination by simply being an improper fit entirely. This style has also been criticized for how easy it is for children to access; carts that are screw-top, while straightforward to attach, are often just as effortless to detach.
Look for a vape cart that has been lab-tested
As cannabis grows in popularity for its potential medicinal benefits, its products are beginning to be treated as such — they’re undergoing testing similar to medicinal products, noting strength, proper dosage, etc. Lab testing of vape carts typically entails two large parts focussed on human safety for consumption and the product’s potency.
Regulatory agencies have begun establishing quantity limits for contents like residual solvents, pesticides, heavy metals, microbes and mycotoxins in cannabis product test results. It’s important to test for residual chemicals such as these because they can sometimes cause serious safety issues, flaring pre-existing conditions such as asthma or allergies. Luckily, information on these compounds can and should be found listed in a vape pen cartridge’s certificate of analysis. Results like this, or a way to access them via code or scan, will always be available on the products’ packaging if the vape cart / its production batch has truly been analyzed.
This certificate of analysis should also entail a cannabis product’s cannabinoid makeup and terpene profile. These chemical makeups play a large role in altering and enhancing a user’s experience when vaping or ingesting cannabis in other ways, so understanding these details can be vital to doing so safely. In short, knowledge is power, especially when it comes to better understanding the quality of vape cartridges and cannabis products at large.
Buy vape cartridges from reputable dispensaries
Online shopping has quickly gained immense popularity, accounting for “more than half of all gains in the retail market last year,” according to an analysis of the U.S. Department of Commerce. However, with regards to vape pen cartridges, the habit of online shopping can be dangerous. It’s suspected a good portion of the unregulated vape pens and vape carts for sale in the United States are manufactured by shady companies abroad, where materials are usually inexpensive and production often lacks extensive oversight. Many of these are the types of vape pen cartridges to avoid — the “wrong” vape carts, so to speak. However, keep in mind that not all vape carts made abroad are faulty, it mostly depends on the company, their standards and oversight, and the transparency under which they operate.
Instead, buyers should seek out more dependable and transparent dispensaries for their vape carts. Carts and other cannabis products sold in licensed and reputable dispensaries should always come in packaging that includes some type of lab results, serial number, or QR code. This type of quality assurance not only enables buyers to form trusted relationships and repertoire with their local cannabis retailers but to avoid any counterfeit or cheaply made vape cartridges.
Look for vape carts without dangerous cutting agents
As touched on briefly in sections previous, some vape pen cartridges can contain suspect chemicals and solvents — usually in the form of cutting agents. Cutting agents range in makeup, but ultimately all aim to lessen the viscosity or dilute cannabis oils, making them thinner and easier to vaporize. These agents are also used as a means for shady companies to produce more vape carts of lesser quality.
Additives of any kind are not often seen in a positive light. However, the problem with these cutting agents doesn’t usually lie solely in what they are/made of, but rather how they’re being used, how much and who has added it. For example, Vitamin E Acetate was a common cutting agent found in 13 of the 15 bootleg vape cartridges that were tested by CannaSafe, known for their cannabis lab testing, upon the request of NBC during the outbreak of lung injuries of 2019. As a note, the agent itself has not been directly identified as the cause of the lung injuries. Ultimately though, Vitamin E Acetate and thinners alike should be taken very seriously and watched out for in products’ certificate of analysis.
To sum it up
While the choices may seem endless, purchasing the “right” vape pen cartridges — constructed properly, lab-tested, without any harmful heavy metals or cutting agents and sold by reputable companies — is made much easier with a bit of research. Trusted brands like Vessel, can help provide the proper base, and then it’s just a process of asking the right questions and avoiding vape carts that seems too good to be true.