Portable cannabis vaporizer cartridges have exploded in popularity, and it’s easy to see why. Vapes with disposable carts are easy to use, are about as portable as you can get, and are as discreet as they are convenient. The market for portable vape carts is projected to be worth around $6.5 billion by 2022, according to a market research report from ArcView and BDSA.
Of course, when you have an increasingly popular market, you will see bad actors pop up and sell lower quality or even dangerous products. Illegally sold counterfeit vape carts led to the vape crisis of 2019, which sent hundreds to the hospital for lung injuries and even caused a few deaths. Fortunately, there are several ways to spot lower quality or potentially dangerous vape carts—here’s how.
Pay Attention to Packaging
As with many “bootlegged” or counterfeit products, scammers are advanced at putting out lower-quality or even fake vape carts that look like the real deal. Pay attention to the packaging. If there are any misspellings, that’s a dead giveaway the product is low quality or potentially dangerous. Carts that are sold cheaply also tend to be low quality. Carts in dispensaries are sold for about $25 – $75, depending on the state, individual location, and product (e.g., potency and quantity).
Another tip-off is that most manufacturers of higher-quality cannabis vape carts will display a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) warning or label with a separate sticker on the hardware (the “inner container”) rather than just the box. This isn’t the case all the time, but it is a good indicator of a lower-quality product. Packages with cartoon characters are often counterfeit as well, as legitimate manufacturers will not put videogame characters or cartoons on their packaging as a matter of law. Manufacturing and batch/lot details should be accessible.
Look Closely at the Oil
It is much easier to spot lower quality vape carts when you can hold them in your hands, as doing so without handling them can be tricky. Higher-quality oil will have a thicker consistency and should be lighter in color, such as gold to light amber. Lower-quality oil can be darker colored, perhaps due to improper product refinement. If the oil runs quickly when you turn it upside down, that’s a dead giveaway that the oil is low quality. Reputable oil makers place their lab results online, so be sure to check for the lab testing before purchasing. If a company doesn’t have a website, that’s almost always a surefire way to tell that you will get lower-quality oil.
There will always be lower-quality products sold in all industries, but if we work together, we can avoid another vape crisis and reduce the number of low-quality vape carts that are sold.