There’s no question that vape cartridges are one of the fastest growing product categories among cannabis consumers. Viewed by some as the future of cannabis consumption, these modern devices offer patients a range of benefits in a compact package. For anyone new to the world of cannabis cartridges, the following guide will explain how these innovative products work and how to get the most out of your cartridge purchase.
What is a Cannabis Vape Cartridge?
Put simply, a cannabis vape cartridge is a small, pre-filled unit containing extracted cannabis oil designed for vaporization. Products in this category may vary in style and branding, but they typically follow a standard design formula. Most products are offered in the form of a small cylinder containing the following key parts:
- Chamber – This section contains cannabis oil, which is prefilled in a specified quantity.
- Atomizer – This is the cartridge’s heat source. The atomizer section is attached to battery and produces heat when activated in order to vaporize the cannabis oil for inhalation.
- Mouthpiece – This channel at the tip of the cartridge allows the patient to comfortably inhale vapor through the device.
- Please note that cartridges also require a battery in order to operate. Some units include a disposable battery, while others must be paired with a rechargeable battery (sold separately).
Why Do Patients Use Cannabis Vape Cartridges?
Vape cartridges offer a number of advantages that contribute to their growing popularity with patients:
- Convenience: Cartridges allow patients to inhale cannabis medicine with the simple push of a button. They offer a quick and easy option for treating sudden symptoms.
- Discretion: Cartridges are small and discrete, enabling patients to keep their medical use private. They also produce a milder odor with a shorter duration than smoked cannabis, which may make their use less noticeable or bothersome to others.
- Selection: Cartridges are available in a variety of strain selections and/or specific medicinal formulations. Patients may choose the best product for their individual needs and may prefer to have multiple cartridge selections on hand for different situations, such as daytime vs. nighttime use.
- Comfort: By heating cannabis oil at a low temperature, cartridges offer a smooth inhalation experience that many patients find enjoyable.
How Do You Use a Cannabis Vape Cartridge?
Cartridges are known for their simplicity, but it’s important to use the product correctly in order to get the most out of your purchase. Please note that most cartridge products work similarly, but there may be some variation in how individual products are properly operated. Be sure to follow any instructions listed on the packaging or provided to you by your sales associate.
For stand-alone cartridges, you’ll need a standard 510-threaded rechargeable battery to connect to the product and turn it into a “vape pen”. If you don’t have a battery on hand, ask your sales associate for assistance selecting one.
Once you have your cartridge and battery in hand, here are the steps you’ll need to follow:
- Charge your battery: Before using a new cartridge, you’ll want to make sure your battery is adequately charged. Attach your battery to the charger and wait until the indicator light shows that it’s fully charged.
- Attach the cartridge: Remove any packaging and attach the cartridge by screwing it onto the battery. Make sure the unit is snuggly and properly connected.
- Activate the battery: Some batteries turn on automatically, while others require 5 taps of the button to activate. Batteries usually have a light that turns on when the button is pressed, letting you know that the unit is turned on.
- Press and inhale: Hold down the button on your battery while inhaling softly through the mouthpiece on the cartridge. You should see the battery light up and begin to feel vapor entering your lungs. You should see a small amount of vapor when exhaling, which lets you know the unit is working properly.
- Titrate your dose: The correct dose will be determined by your individual tolerance, severity of symptoms, and the potency of the product. For some patients, one or two inhalations may be sufficient, while others may require slightly more. Remember to pace yourself and assess the product’s effect on you before continuing to consume.
Additional Tips and Tricks
Once you’ve got your unit set up and working properly, there are still a few things to keep in mind. The following tips will help you get the most value out of your vape cartridge:
- Know what you’re buying: Regulated dispensaries like ours follow strict manufacturing guidelines to protect patient safety. Purchasing vape cartridges from a trusted and licensed provider is the best way make sure you’re getting top quality cannabis oil. Products purchased from unknown sources can contain unsafe ingredients, inaccurate labeling, and poor construction. Purchasing from a reliable and regulated provider is especially important with this product type.
- Keep your unit clean: the threading on your cartridge and battery must be clean to ensure a firm connection when attached. Carefully using a q-tip with rubbing alcohol is the best way to clean these small parts. It’s important to avoid water exposure, which can damage your battery and also doesn’t work well for cleaning cannabis resin.
- Don’t overheat: If the unit stops working, it might be too hot. Prolonged activation of the battery can cause it to shut down. An overheated unit can also damage the cannabis oil inside the unit. Even when treating strong symptoms, it’s best to take your time when vaping.
- Understand your battery: Knowing the features of your battery will help get the best results and troubleshoot when necessary. Most batteries will blink when they need to be recharged or they’ve become overheated. If your battery is blinking or its light changes color, the device is communicating something to you about its current condition.
- Store properly: For best results, cartridges should be stored away from bright light and extreme temperatures. Reapplying any caps or containers that came with the cartridge is recommended when storing. Keep in mind that cartridges can sometimes work effectively for months after purchase, but performance will be strongest if used within a few weeks. When using an older cartridge, try warming it in your hand for a few minutes before use to loosen up the cannabis oil.
Vape cartridges are a great example of innovation in the medical cannabis industry. We expect to see continued advances in the quality of the products we offer and we’re excited to introduce patients to new ways this medicine can improve their quality of life. We hope this guide has been helpful and our dispensary staff is always available to demonstrate products and answer any questions you have.