Vape cartridges are that tube of cannabis concentrate that users attach to their vape pens/batteries. Vapers make up a large proportion of the cannabis community in Canada. This is apparent by looking at the wide variety of vape products to choose from. And with this competition comes higher quality products as everyone is trying to outdo each other. In addition, the high level of competition leads to lower prices for consumers to enjoy. Vape technology took major steps in recent years and higher quality, better tasting and more potent products are the result. Lastly, and most important, vaping reduces the health risks that are associated with smoking.
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MARIJUANA CONCENTRATES 101: Vape Cartridges Canada
An Introduction to Vape Cartridges
Vaping has become one of the most popular ways to take cannabis extracts in Canada. Vaping allows for a cleaner and smoother smoke and new advances in technology are making vape cartridges gain in quality and drop in price. A vape cartridge (atomizer tank) is the container that attaches to vape pens and is meant to hold cannabis concentrates. Vape cartridges are most commonly found in 0.5 ml or 1 mg cartridges.
What’s in a Cartridge?
There are a few types of cartridge vapes but the type most people choose is the pre-filled cartridge vapes. If that’s the one you do choose, then you should have a better understanding of what you’re going to be inhaling. A lot of people have an interest in knowing what ingredients they’re putting in their body. The same concept applies here, so let’s take a look at a few commonly found ingredients in vape cartridges.
- Cannabis-derived terpenes: These are full spectrum cannabis terpenes sourced from real cannabis. Liquids with these have a lot of monoterpenes that haven’t been degraded by oxidation or heat.
- Non-cannabis derived terpenes: These terpenes are sourced from other plant life and sources apart from cannabis. It’s done to mimic cannabis-derived terpenes but it’s impossible to do it perfectly. Only an approximate resemblance can be made.
- Steam-distilled terpenes: Cannabis terpenes that are extracted through steam distillation. These provide a softer hit than terpenes that were extracted without using heat. A lot of terpenes are lost in the water used for distilling.
- High-Terpene Full-Spectrum Extract (HTFSE): It’s still cannabis terpenes. But the terpenes were extracted through hydrocarbon extraction. It’s popularly done by extracting the terpenes from pressed rosin. HTFSE is particularly aromatic and has a large amount of terpenes.
- CO2 Extracted: This is another form of cannabis terpene extraction that might be used on the liquid in your cartridge. CO2 extraction can manage to collect a few terpenes from the flower but the method starts off with drying the cannabis. This start kills off most of the precious monoterpenes and leaves the extraction with a composition of mainly primary terpenes and a few lucky monoterpenes.
Because of this, while the result of a CO2 extraction can still be regarded as potent, it is not as fragrant or as flavorful as HTFSE or terpenes extracted without heat.
- Hydrosols: They’re also known as floral water or essential oils and are usually created during steam distillation or low-heat distillation of cannabis. Since heat is used during the process, the terpenes within the water are there but have been degraded by heat.
- Artificial flavors: Manufacturers usually add some flavor to make the vapour smell and taste better. There are many flavors available but the problem is that they’re not really safe for consumption. Studies have shown that artificial flavors and sweeteners can have an adverse effect on appetite, obesity and gut health.
A lot of manufacturers mix and match terpenes from different extractions into one cartridge. They do this to save cost and sometimes, to make up for the poor quality of one extraction with the high quality of another.
Effects of Vape Cartridges
- Benefits of Vape Cartridges: The best selling point of vape cartridges are that they are a convenient way to take cannabis products and is much cleaner than most other options since the unwanted plant material is removed during the extraction process. Vape cartridges are known to provide an intense cerebral high due to the high levels of THC (sometimes higher than 90%). Common effects include increase in happiness, relaxation, euphoria, sedation, and more.
- Medical Uses of Vape Cartridges: The most common medical uses of THC vape cartridges is to relieve symptoms of anxiety, depression, stress, aches, pains, inflammation, appetite loss and sleep disorders. The medicinal properties of cannabis are in its early stages and new uses are being discovered regularly.
- Negative Effects of Vape Cartridges: The most common side effects are cottonmouth, dry eyes and lethargy. In rare cases, dizziness, nausea, paranoia, headaches and hallucinations could possibly occur. These are normally not persistent and aren’t that big of an issue.
Different Types of Vape Cartridges
With vaping making its stamp in the Canadian cannabis community, everyone is getting in other action. This means more products and lower prices. Of the many vape products available, THC cartridges and CBD cartridges are the two most common. The difference between the two is that THC cartridges get the users high, whereas CBD cartridges do not contain any compounds that lead to intoxication.
THC is the psychoactive compound that give users an ultra-relaxed feeling. This compound is called tetrahydrocannabinol and it’s mostly found in marijuana.
While tetrahydrocannabinol can also be found in the hemp plant, the amount is exceedingly low, especially compared to what can be extracted from marijuana. Cannabidiol (CBD) is the main compound that can be extracted from hemp.
CBD is usually used for more therapeutic reasons and there is evidence that it works well for pain, nausea, insomnia, and other issues. This is not to say that THC cannot be used to help with some other problems because there are studies that support its use for pain and muscle relaxation.
The process of extracting the terpenes from the flower concentrates the compounds and makes the effects even stronger. Depending on the method of extraction used, one vape cartridge should have enough juice to settle the average user for quite some time.
Categorization of Vape Cartridges
Vape cartridges can be categorized using two criteria: type and quality. Although, we’re describing the types of cartridges, we are also describing the types of vape pens that use cartridges. These two concepts go hand in hand.
- Disposable Pens
This is a one-time use vaping device. It’s great because you can just buy one and start using it immediately without the need for assembling or charging. Once the liquid in the cartridge is used up, these pens are meant to be thrown away. They’re a good choice for beginners or people who are curious about vaping and want to test it out.
- Pre-filled Cartridge
Pre-filled cartridges are great for vapers who already have a vape pen at home and just need a cartridge to continue their high. They’re made to be compatible with many vape devices and can be bought from the dealer that you got your vape pen. You can get your vape pen cartridge in Canada from another reputable vape shop like WeedSmart.
- Refillable Chamber
This type of vape pen works best for veteran vapers who want to try a combination of strains or liquids. But, refillable chambers need regular cleaning to function properly. They’re also more expensive.
As for quality, vape pen cartridges can be divided into low-quality and high-quality. There might be exceptions but for the most part, this categorization holds true.
Features of Low-quality Cartridges
- They have poor quality or ill-fitting O-rings that leak
- They’re made of plastic. This is bad because terpenes can penetrate plastic and plastic may steal chemicals from the cannabis oil.
- They may moistened wicks that’ve been primed with allergy-causing liquid like glycerin or propylene alcohol.
Features of High-quality Cartridges
- Have properly fitted O-rings.
- Be made from premium materials (not plastic).
- Have joints that deal the liquid from the air.
Best Ways to Use Vape Cartridges
It is recommended to use a vape pen that is made for the type of vape cartridge. For example, most vape cartridges that you can find in Canada are 510 threads, so a vape pen that supports 510 is what is needed. Some cartridges won’t work with certain vape pens, so it is important to do some research beforehand.
How to Use a Vape Cartridge
Using a vape is pretty easy but here’s a guide if you’ve just gotten your first vape pen and cartridge.
- Charge your pen. Before you begin, you have to ensure that you’re starting with a fully-charged pen.
- If your dab cart and vape pen are apart, screw the two parts back together. Make sure the part where the two join is air tight to avoid oil leakage or terpenes getting exposed to oxygen.
- Look for a button or dial on your vape and press it a few times to start the heating.
- If there’s no button or dial, then you probably have an “auto-draw” vape. These vapes start heating when they sense the air being drawn up by your inhale.
- Go slow as you inhale. Cannabis liquids are very concentrated.
Note: This article’s sole aim is to provide an informational guide for users and you’re advised to contact a medical personnel for advice on prescription and dosage.
Alternatives to Vape Cartridges
Cannabis has been ingrained in Canadian culture for decades and this has led to a wide variety of different and innovative ways to take it. Here are some of the most common categories of cannabis products in Canada:
- Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)
- Shatter Wax
- Terp Sauce
Best Place to Buy Vape Cartridges in Canada?
The best place to buy vape cartridges is from Weed Smart, the number one online cannabis dispensary in Canada. We offer a huge selection of vape cartridges from some of the leading companies in Canada. So don’t waste any more time and save money when shopping WeedSmart.
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