Vape cartridges are rapidly growing popular with new cannabis consumers, also it?s not difficult to fathom why: They are portable, discreet and usually less pungent than flower. During the first four months of 2018, Californians purchased $165 million worth of vape carts, Coloradans shelled out $62.4 million for them and Oregonians spent $31 million, in accordance with data from BDS Analytics, making cartridges the top-selling product in every three states. Given the hype, let?s examine both cartridges and their contents, as you will find a wide range of quality available to buy.

While there could be exceptions, cartridges (the vessels holding the cannabis extracts) can largely be categorized as high or poor.

Typically, low-quality cartridges:

are made of plastic (terpenes can penetrate plastic, and plastic could leach chemicals from the oil),
have poor-quality or ill-fitting O-rings that leak; and
have pre-moistened wicks primed with glycerin or propylene glycol that can cause allergic reactions in some people.
Low-quality cartridges will have a higher customer return rate (in case a return policy exists) and will drive away customers who become frustrated with the lackluster experience.

High-quality cartridges typically:

are made of premium materials, such as glass, metal and ceramic;
have properly-sized O-rings; and
have sealed joints that prevent contact between your air and cartridge contents.
Choose your cartridges wisely and always examine the cartridge?s quality. A low-cost cartridge is not necessarily better for the business, and it alerts the client that the contents may be poor-quality, too.

As consumers are more educated about their options, it is likely they will begin to examine your cartridge?s stated ingredients, exactly like they do for food ingredients, ultimately affecting how dispensary purchasing managers approach you. Whether you’re vertically integrated or working with a third-party extractor, it?s crucial you know everything about your product. Do you claim to use organic practices or even to be chemical free? Do you have certifications proving it? Does your product contain cannabis-derived terpenes, artificial flavors or terpenes derived from other sources? What terpene-isolation method was utilized? If non-cannabis-derived terpenes or artificial flavors were used, what exactly are they, and from where were they sourced? If a purchasing manager asks a question about your product that you cannot answer, you?re in trouble.

Here is a rundown of contents within typical vape cartridges:

1. Cannabis-derived terpenes: Cannabis terpenes sourced from cannabis.

Full-spectrum in composition, products made with these terpenes contain a raised percentage of monoterpenes that have not been oxidized or degraded by heat application.

2. Steam-distilled terpenes: Softer in taste than extracted terpenes which were isolated without utilizing heat, many steam-distilled terpenes are lost in the water used to produce steam, aka ? pot water.?

3. Hydrosols: Hydrosols are a byproduct of steam distillation and low-heat distillations. They’re classified as floral waters (i.e., essential oils) and contain only small percentages of actual terpenes. Heat is utilized and degrades the terpenes, too.

4. Non-cannabis-derived terpenes: Terpenes sourced directly from plant leaves, fruits or other organic sources, rather than from cannabis. It is impossible to recreate the aroma or flavor of the initial plant/cultivar utilizing terpenes from non-cannabis plants, but a gross approximation can be achieved.

5. Artificial flavors: Typically, the artificial flavors within cannabis cartridges are sourced from the e-cigarette industry. There are thousands of flavors, but their safety is involved (e.g., diacetyl causing ?popcorn lung?).

6. HTFSE (High-Terpene Full-Spectrum Extract): Created from hydrocarbon extraction, there’s been a recent trend of producing the products from pressed rosin. Also called sauce, HTFSE has high terpene content and is aromatic and flavorful.

7. CO2 Extracted: Some CO2 extractors collect a few available terpenes from CO2 extraction, but, generally, the cannabis product utilized to extract is dried, thus a lot of the available monoterpenes are lost in the drying process. This can result in a terpene composition that is mostly made up of basic primary terpenes and low percentages of available monoterpenes. Therefore, both final aroma and flavor aren’t as strong as HTFSEs, or if you had utilized a no-heat methodology of terpene isolation.

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