Since time immemorial, cannabis users have answered the question, “Do you smoke?” with the same vague answer: “Smoke what?”
Since the passage of 788, there is a new question that stoners in Oklahoma need to answer with just as much mysterious ambiguity: “Do you vape, bruh?”
THC oil cartridges (“carts,” as the cool kids say) are one of the most popular ways to medicate — being convenient, discreet and portable. They have become a staple in cannabis consumption.
I’m going to lay down some important information about vape carts so you can make the most informed decisions, when you wanna vape and blow some phat clouds…bruh.
Type of Oil
THC cartridges are a lot like people: what truly matters is always on the inside, and it’s often gooey. The THC oil in your typical cartridge comes in two varieties: Distillate and CO2 oil.
Distillate is what happens when you take cannabis into a laboratory and you remove all that pesky nature with a centrifuge and science magic. What you’ve got at the end is a delicious golden liquid so thicc it should have its own Instagram account. The result is almost pure THC; that’s why carts can boast THC percentages of up to 97%.
Drawbacks: There is a lot more to cannabis than THC. Being so refined removes all the other CBDs, terpenes and cannabinoids that affect your cannabis experience. Because of this, these components are generally added back into the distillate after it’s made. This is why some carts taste like you just licked Mr. Clean’s lemon-saturated forehead. Not all companies use the best products in their distillate. It’s also debated whether or not adding all the goods in after the fact provides the same medicinal effect as a product that hasn’t been refined as much.
A good distillate cartridge is never going to taste artificial or chemical at all. It should be light golden/amber in color and thick. The slower the bubbles move, the better.
CO2 oil is similar to distillate in that it is heavily refined cannabis, but the process in which it’s made seems less spiteful to mother nature. It allows the oil to retain a lot of the base plant’s terpenes oils, and waxes. This means that vaping CO2 oil is closer to smoking actual flower — the cart’s effects and flavor should be similar to the strain its made from. Many of these carts will be labeled as full-spectrum because of this.
Drawbacks: Being less refined, CO2 carts typically have a lower THC percentage than their distillate counterparts and thus won’t blast you past Jupiter with a single button click. Additionally, they also tend to have more of an odor, so if you are trying to medicate on the DL in your employee bathroom, these aren’t the way to go.
A good CO2 cartridge is going to have a very plant-like flavor profile. It’s going to be darker than your typical distillate but should still be a clear, dark amber. It should still be thick but will be slightly thinner than a good distillate.
Quality of Cartridge
Good cartridges are going to feel high quality; they will be made of metal and glass, generally, and the best ones have ceramic heating elements that avoid using cotton of any kind.
You will know a bad cartridge when you see one. It’s going to be made of plastic and feel flimsy. The worst carts tend to leak a lot and have a heating element that solely consists of a piece of fabric at the bottom of the cart that absorbs the disgusting runny hotdog water that probably fills the cheap thing.
It’s important to be picky about what kind of cartridge your oil comes in and spend the money where you can for quality. You don’t want some cheap cart burning evil chemical spirits into your lungs when you are trying to medicate.
There are a lot of products on the market, and it can be overwhelming. Hopefully, now you feel slightly more confident in your cartridge buying decisions. Vape on, bruh!