Cannabis Vape Carts – What You Need to Know
Cannabis vape cartridges capturing the attention of consumers, continues to be one of the fastest growing cannabis product segments in the Maine Adult Use market.
Portable, easy-to-use and effective, vape cartridges (Carts, represent nearly 25% of all US cannabis sales and this number will only continue to grow - with younger generations and blue-collar consumers embracing this discrete mode of consumption.
For those new to cannabis or vaping, the dizzying array of vape offerings and supporting technologies can be daunting for those who don’t know quite what they’re looking for. Read on for some pointers on choosing THC cartridges that best suit your needs and will deliver the desired results:
What is a Cannabis Vaporizer Cartridge?
Cannabis vape carts (short for vaporizer cartridge) are small, pre-filled units containing cannabis oil. Carts typically contain three key parts:
- Chamber – the center of the vape cart, the chamber contains cannabis oil, which is prefilled in a specified quantity.
- Atomizer – the cartridge’s heat source, the atomizer is attached to the battery and produces heat when activated in order to vaporize the cannabis oil for inhalation.
- Mouthpiece – located at the tip of the cartridge, the mouthpiece is used inhale vapor.
It is important to note that cartridges require a battery to operate, with some units including a disposable battery and others requiring a rechargeable battery (sold separately).
How do Vape Carts Work?
Vape carts are made for use with a vaporizer pen and work by using a heating element inside the cartridge to transform the cannabis concentrate into a vapor. Typically, a detachable battery (or a built-in battery for disposable, single-use vaping devices) heats up the temperature of the heating element to vaporize the cartridge cannabis oil. Vape carts are usually offered in either gram or half-gram package sizes.
How is a Vape Cart Used?
Prized for their simplicity and discreteness, vape carts are easy to use by there are a few things to consider getting the most out of your vape cart purchase:
- Charge up your battery. Attach your battery to the charger and continue to charge until you see the indicator light signify that the unit is fully charged.
- Attach the cartridge. Screw the desired vape cart into the battery ensuring it is fully and properly connected. *Be careful not to cross thread the battery and cartridge.
- Turn on the battery. Depending on the device, some batteries turn on automatically, while others are activated by tapping a button five times.
- Press and inhale. For beginners, it is advised that you only take a maximum of one to two puffs at a time until you are aware of how THC carts affect you. If you are not satisfied after two or three puffs, you can always take a few additional puffs until you reach the level of effectiveness you desire.
Why Use a Cannabis Vape Cart?
While vape carts are far removed from the cannabis plant in its natural form, they offer a clean, convenient, portable, and repeatable experience. This, along with the fast onset of effects, are the reason vape carts have seen such a rise in popularity in recent years.
How to Choose a Vape Cart
First, ensure that the carts you are considering are compatible with your vape pen. Also be sure to buy from a trusted retailer (for adult use) or cannabis caregiver (for medical use) and look for labels verifying lab results to ensure products are high-quality and safe.
Cannabis carts come in an increasing array of varieties. Common concentrate options available in vape carts include:
- Full-spectrum extracts - Full-spectrum extracts contain THC, CBD, other cannabinoids, and most reflect the full experience and potential of the cannabis and a more holistic experience.
- Distillates - Distillate oils are the result of a complex extraction process that singles out desired cannabinoids but sometimes strips away terpenes and other tasty compounds, dramatically impacting flavor.
- Live resin - Live resin is a butane hash oil (or BHO) frequently found in cartridges because it’s ability to deliver strong flavor profiles. Cannabis is flash frozen to preserve the freshness of the plant, terpenes and cannabinoids are then extracted in a chemical process that leaves behind a potent, high-quality concentrate.
- Live rosin – Like live resin, live rosin is made without the use of chemical solvents. Instead, the fresh frozen plants are pressed and heated to extract a concentrated oil.
Choosing the cart with the right cannabinoid compound for you will help tailor and shape your experience.
To learn more about vape carts, check out our guides on troubleshooting common vape pen issues and proper cleaning and storage.