Vapecation: Cannabis Cartridges

Vapes, dab pens, carts, cartridges, or “weed pens” as your pops might say, whatever you want to call them, cannabis cartridges are the sleekest and most discreet way to medicate. A vacation in your pocket, this method of cannabis consumption has increased over the past decade given its quick accessibility, strength, and absence of lingering smoke. Gone are the days of needing dryer sheet-covered toilet paper rolls to mask medicating, the future of cannabis is here and now. 

What is in a vape pen?

A vape pen is a method of consuming THC/CBD through vaporization of extracted oil. The oil resides in a cartridge and is attached to a battery that heats up said cartridge to deliver vaporized oil to the consumer. Because the oil is highly concentrated in THC percentage, a little goes a long way. The majority of vape pens contain extracted THC known as distillate, as well as natural or reintroduced terpenes, which give the various flavors many know and love. However, some are solventless, and made from cannabis rosin, or live and come from fresh frozen which does not require reintroduced terpenes. Vape pens are called such due to the way the cannabis cartridge fits on the traditionally sleek battery that makes a pen like aesthetic. 

What are the differences between vape pens?

Most THC vape pens test with THC percentages well over even the most premium of nugs. The main differences between cartridges are the plant material from where in which their contents come from, and how the oil is extracted. Solventless extraction and live resin cartridges are full spectrum, and create more of an experience close to flower. Distillate cartridges are highest in THC, but do not have the entourage effect benefits of live resin and rosin carts. They typically have super vibrant and tasty flavors, however, their terpene profiles reflect said flavor of their strains as opposed to actually affecting the body the way full spectrum consumption does, due to the terpenes remaining intact through that extraction process. If you’re more interested in the highest percentage of THC and good taste, distillate carts are a great choice, however if you are looking for benefits of specific strains, you’ll definitely want to explore live resin and rosin options!

How are vape pens made?

The method of making cartridges varies between the cartridges. The main three types of cartridges are: Distillate, Live Resin, and Rosin. Rosin cartridges solventless extraction method utilizes ice, heat, water, and pressure to create the rosin that is in the pen. Distillate is made through extracting cured nugs/trim/etc with a solvent such as ethanol, butane, etc, which strips everything except for the THC and is safely flushed out, leaving only the THC concentrate.  Terpenes are then reintroduced. Live Resin is also extracted using a solvent, BHO, however it is done so from fresh frozen cannabis nugs, which keeps it full spectrum. Full spectrum means you’re receiving the full benefit of the plant, such as terpenes, as well as the THC. 

Are Vape pens safe?

Vape pens have gotten a bad rap due to dangerous anecdotes of medical emergencies with nicotine vape pens, as well as black market cannabis vape pens. Black market vape pens are not regulated nor tested, resulting in cartridges with unknown and often unsafe additives in order to cut corners on cost. That being said, medical grade cannabis cartridges are tested for all that are in them (spoiler alert: it’s plants!), and do not contain nicotine or dangerous chemicals. There is no research that states medical grade cannabis cartridges are harmful. In fact, many people prefer vaporization, as it tends to be less irritating to the throat and lungs compared to smoking plant material.

How do I choose a vape battery?

Most cartridges fit with a “C-Cell” battery, and there are a variety of options from colors, buttons, to entire shapes. Some are sleek like a pen, others are flat and square to fit snugly in your hand. However, some brands make their cartridges in a way that they benefit from a different temperature or type of battery. In this case, you can often purchase the battery separate. There are also disposable pens, which are super efficient. Disposable batteries don’t need to be charged like standard vape batteries, once you’re out of oil, you’re good to toss them! 

Travel may be up in the air during this pandemic, but vape pens allow for consumers to travel to new heights efficiently and effectively. Next time you come into the shop, ask your patient consultant about the various brands we carry, and the strains we have in stock. We’re always updating our inventory!