A vape pen is a portable, easy-to-use device that turns cannabis oils or distillates into an inhalable vapor. Named for the fact that they’re about the same size and shape of an actual pen, vape pens consist of a battery and a cartridge (or cart). Finding the best vape cartridge can be challenging, especially if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. Here’s what you need to know.
What is a Vape Cartridge?
A vape cartridge is a small container pre-filled with cannabis oil. It attaches to the battery of your vape pen. It consists of three components:
- The chamber: The chamber is the area that contains the oil, typically one to one and a half grams.
- The atomizer: The atomizer is the heat source. When activated, it turns the cannabis oil into an inhalable vapor.
- The mouthpiece: The mouthpiece is what you use to breathe in the vapor.
Benefits of a Vape Cartridge
There are several benefits associated with using vape cartridges, including:
- Ease of use
- More discreet than smoking
- Easy to dose
Are There Any Drawbacks?
As with any other method of cannabis use, there are some drawbacks to keep in mind when it comes to vape cartridges:
- Cartridges can be expensive
- You have to pay attention to the battery on your vape pen
- The effects don’t last as long as some other methods of use
Types of Vape Cartridges
There are several different types of vape cartridges on the market. Consider your options when choosing the best one for you.
510 (or universal) refers to the threading of the vape cartridge that enables it to screw into the pen. Most cartridges on the market are 510, but some pens require specific cartridges (Pod style) that are unique just to them.
High grade winterized CO2 oils are those that don’t require any additives. They’re the ideal viscosity for vaping on their own. They retain many of their terpenes, which act as natural thinning agents and give the oil its flavor.
A distillate is a highly refined oil. It contains cannabinoids, but nothing else; The refinement process removes the terpenes and other compounds. While distillates can be made from virtually any cannabis oil, they do require the use of thinning agents.
Cartridges with Thinning Agents
Some oils use added thinning agents to ensure an optimal viscosity for vaping. Some of the most commonly used agents include propylene glycol, polyethylene glycol, MCT oil, and vegetable glycerin.
The use of thinning agents is raising health concerns, so cartridges with these additives are becoming less common.
High THC Vs. High CBD
The type of oil in a cartridge depends upon the strain used to make it. Most oils are high THC, but high CBD options are available as well. You can also find oils that have a balanced THC to CBD ratio.
With high CBD oils, you don’t have to worry about the high associated with THC-dominant varieties.
CO2 oil maintains much of its original terpene profile. It’s also possible to extract terpenes from different strains and re-add them to oils to obtain the right consistency as well as create an array of effects and flavors.
Full-spectrum extracts contain all of the essential bioavailable components of a strain, with nothing removed, added, or reintroduced. These cartridges tend to have a greater depth of flavor and effects. Although they provide an incredible experience, they are more expensive than other options.
Finding the best vape cartridge can take some time. Do some research and consider the pros and cons of each option. You can also speak with a budtender at your local dispensary to get some suggestions.