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By: Amber Blacharski

Vape cartridges are simple, easy to use, and ready at the touch of a button. They're portable and discreet. The vapor produced is not strong in odor and the odor does not linger. Plus, it's easy to control your concentrate dose with a cartridge. If you're new to cartridges or not yet familiar with the types of cartridges on the Colorado market, not all vape cartridges are the same. Here's the low down.

What is a Vape Cartridge?

A vape cartridge is a device pre-filled with cannabis concentrates, terpenes, and/or cutting agents. The average cartridge size and contents in Colorado is 500mg. Each cartridge includes a heating element used to vaporize its contents, called an atomizer. Depending on the cartridge brand, the atomizers are of different quality. Also, there are two predominate types of cartridges on the market. The standard, 510 threading cylindrical cartridge, and the PAX, rectangular-shaped cartridge. In addition to the cartridge, you'll also need a battery to power the cartridge. You probably know this part of the vape as the "pen."

Batteries

There are some vape cartridges on the market that are an all-in one. These cartridges are considered disposable because the battery is included. Typically, these cartridges include 250mg or 300mg of concentrates. They're a great option for tourists or beginners that don't want to commit to buying a battery just yet.

If you find that you really enjoy the vape pen cannabis lifestyle, you'll need to purchase a battery separate from your cartridge. All batteries are rechargeable and include the charger with the purchase. The standard 510 threading cartridge requires a 510 threaded battery attachment (like these:NectarBee 3-Heat Pen,Lusso Voltage Control Battery,Lusso Variable Voltage Battery) and the PAX cartridges require thePAX Era Pen.

What is in a Vape Cartridge?

Butane only, propane only, propane-butane, or CO2-extracted hash oil which is purged of residual solvents (Residual solvents must be tested below a certain threshold by law in order to be eligible for store shelves) and the concentrated content is possibly further refined through distillation. Also, either cutting agents, artificial flavors, natural flavors, or terpenes are introduced to create a thin, vape-friendly oil.

Extraction Solvent Pros and Cons

The pro of butane, propane, or a combination extraction is that it retains more terpene content than CO2, creating a more flavorful experience. The con is that these extractions have increased, but still contain legal levels of residual solvents. The health effects of legal levels of residual solvents in concentrates are still unknown.

The pro of CO2 extraction is that it yields a cleaner, residual-free extract (If any CO2 remains after the extraction process, it evaporates). The con to this solvent is that its terpene content is often lost during extraction, creating a nondescript flavor. Terpenes are added back in as a thinner to create natural terpene or cannabis-derived terpene flavors.

Purge Methods

Different purge methods determine the final texture and appearance of the concentrates. That's why you see so many different types of concentrates from hash oil, wax, shatter, pie crust, to live resin, etc. PAX offer an array of concentrates in their pods. The standard 510 thread cylindrical cartridges are most often hash oil.

Distillation

Some cartridges boast they are filled with distillate. What does that mean? Distillation is a refinement technique which removes the majority of excess plant material beyond the THC. It is the cleanest and most pure THC experience. These cartridges also include thinners.

Hash Oil Thinners

Cutting Agents

Propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin are often used to thin out hash oil to reduce atomizer clogging and to allow for full vapor puffs.The FDA states these additives are safe for humans, but there are conflicting studies that prove otherwise.

Terpenes

Terpenes are smaller particles of essential oils. They're responsible for flavors and aromas of all plants, including terpenes. There are three terpenes options that can be added to vape cartridges. One: food-grade terpenes derived from non-cannabis plants; two: cannabis-derived terpenes not derived from the same plant or strain as the hash oil; and three: cannabis-derived terpenes extracted from the same strain. The third option is known as full-spectrum strain-specific concentrates which are the most natural vapor experience.

Now that you're equipped with the knowledge of what vape cartridges are and what you may find in them, decide for yourself which cartridge is right for you! The Green Solution offers a variety of vape cartridges and batteries. Check out our cartridge selection atMyGreenSolutionand stop by your local Green Solution to pick one up today!

Quick Fact

Curing Cannabis Plants- This very gradual drying process involves moderate humidity and mild temperatures, preserving the dimensionality of cannabis plants and the consumption experience. The better and more gradual the curing process, the more sophisticated a grower's yields become, including preserved aromas, flavors, and potency.