Vaping has become quite a popular trend in recent years, but it’s not always about the best vaporizer or e-juice you can buy (we recommend our favorites). What’s more important is ensuring you’re purchasing legitimate vape products.

Vaping is a trend amongst teens, and many people in their 20s as well. Most people that have never been a part of this culture are quick to judge those that do vape. In fact, there are many that would be quick to assume that those that do vape are not using a real vaporizer. In reality, there are many people out there that are using a real vape, but it is the cartridges that are fake, and they are the ones that are causing the real problems.

Fake vape cartridges are a serious problem. They’re often made to mimic well-known brands, and they can reduce consumer confidence in the industry. Worse still, they can make you very sick, or even kill you if you don’t know how to spot them.

Unfortunately, the packaging for these vape cartridges can be incredibly professional. In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how you can spot the fakes. But first, a piece of advice:

Photo by Flickr user Lindsay Fox

The easiest way to avoid fake vape cartridges is to only purchase from trusted sources. You can get lab test results from legal vendors, as cannabis producers have to provide them. In those test results, you can see exactly how much THC and other chemicals are present in the cartridge you’re purchasing.

Getting your products from trusted producers like PAX Era will significantly reduce your risk of ending up with a fake vape cartridge.

RELATED: Fake Cannabis Vapes Are Everywhere And Poisoning Folks

Of course, this advice is only so good when you’re purchasing your cartridges online, or if you’re living in a state where cannabis is still a black market product. In light of that, here are a few tips for spotting fake products.

Know your brands

Websites like Leafly are incredibly good at listing reliable brands and reviews for those brands. Before you purchase or vape a cartridge, look up the brand and name on Leafly or a similar resource site. There are so many different vaporizer cartridges cataloged on these sites that if yours is legitimate, you’re almost sure to find it.

RELATED: Is Vaping Cannabis Really Worse For Teen Lungs Than Vaping Tobacco?

Once you find the product in question, check reviews. You should also visit the website of the brand you’ve purchased. Then, compare the packaging you find with the packaging on your vape cartridge.

Photo by Itay Kabalo via Unsplash

This is not a foolproof method – some of the nefarious actors creating these fake cartridges go out of their way to make their packaging match the real thing. Some of them create very high-quality websites. But doing your research can seriously help reduce your risk.

Check for regulatory compliance

This technique isn’t flawless, but it can help when you otherwise can’t tell whether or not the cartridge is legitimate.

RELATED: How To Make Sure Your Vape Is Safe

Check the regulatory requirements for vape cartridge packaging in your area. In California, for example, you’re required to have:

  • Manufacturer name and contact information
  • Date of manufacture/packaging
  • Government warning statement for cannabis products
  • UID number
  • Batch or lot number
  • Instructions for use and any preparation needed
  • List of all ingredients
  • Allergens
  • Artificial food colorings
  • Expiration, use-by or best-by date

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon via Unsplash

Check state laws or federal laws (in Canada) to see what information is required on the package, then check your package to see if it complies with those regulations. A weed store in Winnipeg is going to have different packaging requirements for its products than a weed store in Denver.

Be suspicious of overly good deals

See a cartridge that promises 99.9% THC for $10? Be very suspicious.

Check online or at your local licensed vendor to see how much cartridges go for, what ingredients they have, and the amount of THC in the cartridge. Compare those values to the values of the cartridge you’ve purchased, and if things are drastically different, you probably have a fake cartridge.

Trust your gut

If something feels like it’s too good to be true, it probably is. You might not be able to tell by taste, smell, or sight. You might just feel like something is wrong. That’s okay. Trust that instinct. It’s better you waste a few bucks throwing out a real vape cartridge than it is to take a gamble on a fake one and lose.

We hope this brief article helps you avoid fake vapes. Stay safe out there!

This article originally appeared on Green Market Report and has been reposted with permission.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can fake carts do to you?

Fake carts can cause a lot of damage to your property. They can cause damage to your walls, floors, and furniture. They can also cause a fire if they are not disposed of properly.

How can you tell a fake Ccell cartridge?

The most obvious way to tell a fake Ccell cartridge is that it will be too light. A fake cartridge will feel like it’s made of plastic and not metal.

Why is my distillate black?

The distillate is black because it has been distilled at a high temperature.


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