For years, luxury and premium items have been faked. From designer purses, to jewelry and apparel. Now THC vape carts join the high-end goods being replicated, but the cheaper cost for THC consumption comes with a cost of their own. One that could affect your health. These risks are trending in mainstream media, but what’s not often reported is the fact that legitimate, safe THC vape carts do still exist. Here we’ll go in-depth into how fake carts are giving THC vaping a bad name, and how to truly spot real vs. fake vape carts.
To put it simply – if you’re purchasing from a licensed dispensary or retailer (again, like NUG) then your real vape cart has passed for safety assurance by the State. With that said, one test that’s not yet required by California (and most legalized states) is for Vitamin E acetate, or other additives approved by the FDA. Although brands that are going above and beyond are now providing these results or assurances too.
For education purposes and to ensure your own health’s sake – here are a few things to look for when purchasing vape carts in general, to tell the difference between fake and real.
- Check the testing. If you’re not purchasing from a trusted retailer, put your detective hat on and do your own research. You can contact (or check online) the third-party testing lab’s information, and request the test results directly. If fakers gonna fake, they can photoshop too.
- Check the packaging. Real vape carts usually provide specific manufacturing information on the package label. This includes manufacturing date, packaging date, batch or lot number. Tracking the products journey through seed-to-sale systems. Look for spelling or grammar errors as another common red flag for known fake carts.
- Check the price. If the price is too good to be true – it probably is. Real vape carts are made of the purest cannabis compounds – high levels of beneficial cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes too. The process to extract and isolate these precious goods – isn’t cheap itself. So when real vape carts are priced as top-shelf goods – there’s a good reason. Avoid any low-priced knock-offs to avoid fake carts altogether.
- Check the consistency. Hold your suspected vape cart upside down. Real carts will be thick in consistency and slow moving. Most fake carts, due to the additives will be thinner, faster moving and may contain bubbles too.
Most fake or black-market goods don’t come with real consequences. Like fake THC vape carts are proving to for many who have been duped by their prototypes. In fact, according to Federal health officials 12 people have died from lung illnesses associated with vape pen use, and over 800 have been hospitalized in 46 states.
So what are these cases proving to health officials trying to find a solution?…. It’s a few key ingredients in low-quality vape cart that are the cause of the mysterious rise in lung conditions.
Fake vape carts typically contain additives to ‘cut’ the amount of cannabis that’s used. Reducing the potency, quality, and safety of the fake product. Speaking of flower, usually the quality being used isn’t grown in top-notch facilities, like NUG, or other reputable vape cart manufacturers. So, pesticides, fungicides, molds, and mildews are adding to vape related health issues too.
Here’s a quick view into why and how fake carts are causing real consequences –
- Fungicides & cyanide…NBC news recently found that 10 out of 10 fake THC carts products contained hydrogen cyanide. Which is also tied to another finding that fake vape cart investigators are eyeing as a harmful source – myclobutanil. Myclobutanil is a fungicide, also found in many fake vape carts recently tested. And what’s worse? Upon heating, myclobutanil transforms into hydrogen cyanide (a highly poisonous gas).
- Additives & oils…To cut the cost of manufacturing, many fake vape cart producers are using additives to mimic the purity of the real deal. Vitamin E acetate being the most popular. What sounds like a daily dose of nutrients is not meant for inhalation. In actuality, inhaling the cutting agent coats lungs with oil causing inflammation. Inhaling Vitamin E can also cause lipoid pneumonitis, a once rare condition that comes from particles of fat being consumed into the lungs. Other additives that cause similar symptoms are Vegetable Glycerin, Polyethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol. The agents are actually approved by the FDA. But again – not for inhalation.
Overall, a lack of testing and regulation for fake vape cart pens is doing more harm than good. With any real or trusted vape cart manufacturer, you’ll be provided a third-party testing report or certificate of analysis. These tests will also confirm that your real vape cart pen is under the threshold for pesticides or contaminants allowed by the regulating state. If you want to learn more about testing vape carts, check out our more in-depth article here.
Which leads us to what’s most important for you, as a THC consumer…What’s what in fake vs real vape carts and how can you tell if you’re puffing safely?