EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CANNABIS VAPE CARTRIDGES
Vaping is one of the most harmless ways to enjoy cannabis. With this method, the vapor reaches the lungs free from the dangerous elements of combustion, which would otherwise move into the bloodstream through a process where the effects are first felt in the brain. This is why vaporizers, which heat up a small amount of bud to trigger the release of cannabinoids and terpenes, are a great alternative to smoking. But if you’re up for something quicker and easier, cartridges may just be your thing.
Cannabis vape cartridges are pre-filled capsules that work with a vaporizer or an e-cigarette. They carry concentrates with varying amounts of cannabinoids and use terpenes to give the oils strain-specific flavors and aroma.
The heating process of these concentrates or oils is very similar to the one used for crumbled bud in other types of vaporizers – i.e. when a certain temperature is reached, the compounds are released and travel to the lungs. For those of you looking for discretion, cartridges – as well as vaporizers and e-cigarettes – will fit in your pocket, and as there’s no need for you to handle your buds while on the go, they’re also the easiest thing to use. Plus, they’re virtually odor-free and are heated up in under one minute.
PRECAUTIONS TO TAKE WITH CANNABIS CARTRIDGES
As already stated, oils release the cannabinoids and terpenes when they are heated up. Depending on the vaporizer, this can be achieved through two methods: conduction and convection. While conduction heats up the cartridge quickly via contact, with the risk of spoiling the concentrate if overheated, with convection the heat is transferred through air particles that go through the liquid, allowing for better temperature control and thus reducing the risk of overheating. This is why, despite their higher price, conduction vaporizers are the preferred choice of most cannabis enthusiasts.
But let’s move on to the precautions you should take when using cannabis vape cartridges. The first thing to consider is the ingredients. Polyethylene glycol (PEG), which is used to lower the viscosity of the oil, may contain ethylene oxide, a carcinogenic substance, and propylene glycol (PG), used also for viscosity reduction, can damage the kidneys and cause a sore throat or a dry mouth.
Also, you should check the package or label for the origin of the terpenes. Normally they are sourced from cannabis, but it’s not unusual to find terpenes sourced from fruit peel, such as limonene, which can be derived from citrus fruits. So, when possible, choose cartridges that clearly state the origin of the terpenes, which need to be food grade. Also, make sure the production process does not involve the use of butane, propane or hexane.
Last but not least, check that the cartridge is compatible with your vaporizer or e-cigarette. This shouldn’t be a major problem, though, as most cartridges support even the models that have been on the market for years. So if you already have a vaporizer, chances are that you won’t have to buy a new one.
WHERE TO BUY
There’s no secret to purchasing a cannabis cartridge or e-liquid: you just have to head to your local grow shop or trusted online shop and browse the catalog, where you will find everything from hemp extracts to oils. Generally, they come in various sizes and prices to suit all pockets.
Other products available include terpene profiles, which are naturally extracted from cannabis and contain no cannabinoids. These can be used with everything from e-liquids to extracts and even candles, and include flavors based on strains.
The extraction technique dates back to ancient Persia and involves the use of steam, which is pumped through the plant matter until the terpenes are gathered into an oil. When the vapor is cooled down and turns to liquid, the oil can be separated from the water. Generally, terpenes are sold in dropping and pipette bottles, a couple of drops being enough to flavor a gram or milliliter of e-liquid. The mix is then left to sit for 24 hours to aid terpene fixation, after which it is ready for use.
If you stick to the tips above, you will find cannabis vape cartridges safe, and easy to use.