Last year’s disturbing trend of vaping-associated pulmonary disorders has already made lots of people sick and killed many. There are different ways to avert the risk of vaping a contaminated product. Read on to understand how you can tell a fake vape cartridge from an authentic one.
Steer Clear of the Illicit BlackMarket
Buy vape cartridges only from a licensed dispensary. It is likely for cannabis, from a legitimate market, to be safer due to increased answerability and meticulous testing called for by the state legislation.
Also, vaping products bought at licensed cannabis dispensaries have never been linked to VAPI (Vaping Associated Pulmonary Illness). If you wish to be safe, confine yourself to the regulated medical cannabis programs running in your state; or buy from the legal cannabis markets in California, Alaska, Massachusetts, Colorado, Oregon, Nevada, Washington, and Illinois.
Check the License: It is imperative to validate that the store you are purchasing from is a part of the legal market. You could also browse the State Bureau of Cannabis Control website to check whether a dispensary/store is actually registered and licensed.
You could also inspect the packaging of your product to see if anything is amiss. Labels on products in a regulated cannabis market should have a manufacturing date, a packaging date, a batch number, and a lot number.
Be Careful of Copycats
Swindlers are not just producing fabricated brands and toxic products. They are also churning out fake versions of well-known brands. To spot an authentic product, look for state-mandated icons (for example California’s THC warning sign) on the package.
There could also be a stamp or a QR code that distinguishes them from their fake copies. If the labeling is not in sync with the necessary packaging standards, it becomes evident that the product has been made by an illicit manufacturer, and does not conform to the state’s potency and purity standards.
Check the Ingredients
Doctors have expressed concerns about various diluents used in vape tanks, for a long time. Diluents such as MCT oil, vegetable glycerin, and propylene glycol are added to render a more liquid consistency to the cannabis extract, so vaping becomes easy and the product becomes cheaper by mixing cheaper ingredients.
A new thickener called Vitamin E acetate is currently under the scanner as a possible cause of the outbreak of vaping related illnesses. Steering clear of these diluents would be a good practice while they are still being tested.
Diluents: Legal but Unhealthy
Further elaborating on the previous point, all the above diluents are legal in the regulated cannabis market, if listed as an ingredient on the label. CBD vape pens would always have diluents because CBD is inherently crystalline and has to be mixed with a diluent to make it vapable.
While the researchers are still out to find out which of these diluents are questionable, it is advisable to completely avoid them. Just switch to vape pens that are made from 100% cannabis-derived extracts.
Understand Your Brands
Hunt for popular brands with excellent safety protocols and records. Go for brands that have been around for many years, carry a good reputation, and have a considerable social media presence. These brands have a reputation to live up too and are under constant scrutiny from the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC).
Check the lab Results
Always ask your budtender for your product’s “certificate of analysis” (COA), as all licensed brands furnish lab test results to the sellers.
Do the Calculation
Switch to Flowers, Sift, Rosin
If you want to keep yourself safe, steer clear of tanks and distillates. Go for solventless alternatives such as rosin, live rosin, and dry sift as they are not treated with harmful chemicals. You could also go back to the good old flower.
Some Additional Tips
Steer clear of vape cartridges that are considerably below the market price or sold without packaging. Browse the manufacturer’s website to compare your cartridge against their authentic products. There could be a QR code, serial number, or some stylistic dissimilarities that would help you understand if what you have is an authentic cartridge.
Also, a quick internet search about a particular brand should uncover plenty of resources that would help distinguish a real vape cartridge from a counterfeit one. Finally, trust your instincts! If something smells or tastes wrong, stay away from it!