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How To Identify Fake Vape Cartridges?


Vape pens have become the go-to choice for inhaling nicotine and concentrates. While vaping may seem like a better alternative to smoking, you need to stay away from fake vape cartridges causing more harm than good. Unfortunately, you can see counterfeit products thriving in the black market, even in states that have legalized cannabis. Some people opt for black-market products to avoid high taxes associated with buying a legal cartridge. But, several health problems develop due to such fake vape cartridges. 

A lung outbrake that started in 2019 raises alarms of the dangerous product. Are you not convinced? Read ahead to know why you need to identify and avoid such black-market products.

Dangers Of Fake Cartridges


Vaping pens came under immense public scrutiny when many news portals reported an outbreak of lung diseases due to vaping. While the federal and local authorities have not found an official cause for the problem, they suspect fake vape carts behind the problem. Stay away from such black-market products as it can trigger several issues such as:

  • Severe cough

  • Chest pain

  • Rapid weight loss

  • Developing nodules in the lungs

Most people suffer from complications within two weeks of using fake products. During the outbreaks, many doctors first thought the problems have symptoms linked to fast-growing cancer. Eventually, medicos identified black market vape cartridges as the reason behind lung problems. The severity of the crisis resulted in the CDPH (California Department of Public Health) and several other states like Utah and Wisconsin issuing a health all regarding the black market vape cartridges. Using questionable vape cartridges has resulted in rising cases in many states of the USA.

Steps To Identify A Hoax Vape Cartridge


How can you differentiate a pure vape cartridge from a counterfeit one? Unfortunately, you have no foolproof methods to differentiate the two. Even well-regulated markets face at times. So, you are more at risk of consuming a contaminated product. But, you can try to spot fake or harmful vape cartridges with the pointers.

Choose Licensed Dispensary

Avoiding the illicit market is the best tip to stop getting fake or dangerous vape carts. It is a valuable piece of advice that you need to take into account. Always purchase vape carts from a licensed dispensary or a reputed brand. It is important to note that no cannabis vaping product purchased from a licensed cannabis business has caused the illnesses reported. Instead of experimenting with new or unknown brands, you can stick to known brands. A brand with a good reputation, safety records, and protocols trigger no ill effects.

Ensure License Exists

In bigger cities, you can quickly check for licenses. But, in smaller areas, it can become difficult to detect which retailers in the area have a license. Due to the presence of illicit market dispensaries, you need to verify the license of the store you choose to shop for vape cartridges. Check for the license number displayed on the stores or browse the Bureau of Cannabis Control site to detect the store’s legality. It helps check if a store is a registered and licensed retailer. Stores with no license may not post it, or you cannot find their licensed status on the site. Choose to ignore such brands or retailers.

Check The Packaging


Choosing a regulated market for vape cartridges can make a big difference. But, it is also significant to read the product packaging. It will help you uncover anything fishy or suspicious. A regulated retailer will display the following on the packaging:

  • The manufacturing date of the product

  • The packaging date of the cartridge

  • A batch number

  • A lot number of the product

Stay Away From Fake Copycats

Fraudsters are trying new methods to sell their fake products. Apart from manufacturing toxic products and fictitious brands, they also put out counterfeit versions of famous brands. Many users have suffered the unfortunate incidents of buying their favorite product only to get counterfeit labels. You need to check the carts for manufacturer stamps. Certified brands contain such stamps that distinguish them from fake products. Some brands add QR codes. If you are buying from such brands, you can scan for verifying the information.

Read The Ingredients

Check the ingredient lists. Do you know that vape cartridges may contain harmful diluents? The common diluents used in cartridges are:

  • Vegetable glycerin

  • Propylene glycol

  • MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) oil

In most cases, the oil offers a liquid consistency for more effortless vaping. But, some manufacturers add cheaper ingredients. Specific cutting agents like Vitamin E acetate can do more harm than good. It is the new thickener, also referred to as tocopheryl-acetate, that can trigger lung disorders. It is currently under investigation to determine the exact cause of the 2019 lung disease outbreak linked to vaping. While officials at the CDPH (California Department of Public Health) remain tight-lipped regarding the disease’s origin, these diluents can trigger the problem.


To safeguard your health, shop cartridges with utmost care and caution. Keeping the tips suggested here will help you make the right decision. You may feel tempted to choose sellers with no license due to the low cost. But, making such a decision can get you sick. Never fall prey to the attractive offers from the black market sellers. For best results, stick to a licensed local dispensary. Saving a few bucks is not worth risking your precious life. If you feel adverse effects after smoking the vape cartridge, seek immediate medical assistance.

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