The vape market keeps growing rapidly, as high consumer demand keeps driving manufacturers to produce more products and develop new vape juice flavors.
According to Grand View Research, the global vape market’s value was $15.07 billion in 2020. If it continues growing at a CAGR of 23.8%, it will reach over $67 billion by 2027.
That may be excellent news for manufacturers and retailers, but it could make it even more overwhelming to identify reputable vendors. How can you ensure that someone is trustworthy in a sea of providers?
What’s more, the numbers above show estimates for the legal market. Unfortunately, the black market is growing as well, with who-knows-how-many fake vape cartridges.
You’re not buying a pair of sneakers that you could return and get a refund. You’re purchasing an inhalable product that could potentially hurt your health if it contains questionable ingredients.
That’s why you should take the following steps to spot fake vape cartridges and make smart purchasing decisions.
Look into the Retailer’s Lab Testing
This is the most crucial step for ensuring you buy from a reliable vendor. Whether you use mechanical or variable mods, their vape replacement cartridge must pass the necessary lab tests to ensure compliance with state and industry standards.
Some providers conduct in-house lab testing, which is often a tell-tale sign that their products may not be as safe as they would like you to believe.
Every reputable provider works with a third-party lab that conducts rigorous testing to check the ingredients’ quality, purity, and safety.
For instance, if an e-liquid contains potentially harmful additives, an independent lab would flag it and ensure it doesn’t hit the shelves.
The same goes for CBD oil. If a manufacturer hasn’t used a proper extraction method or the THC concentration exceeds the legal limit, the lab wouldn’t provide a certificate of analysis (COA) as quality assurance.
Some brands even go the extra mile and test their products multiple times to check for potential contaminants. Those are your go-to sources of high-quality vape cartridges.
No lab test results whatsoever are your cue to avoid that vendor, as they likely don’t have a state license and offer poor-quality products.
Check the Ingredients
Counterfeit vape carts often contain ingredients that could be potentially harmful to your health. Many unreliable providers use cheaper ingredients, cheaper CBD extraction methods, additives, and diluents to cut production costs and boost profit margins.
The most dangerous ingredients to avoid are vitamin E acetate and MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) oil. Both can cause lung-related severe injuries, while the former can even lead to death.
Another harmful element to watch out for is diacetyl in vape flavorings. It can cause bronchiolitis obliterans or the so-called “popcorn lung.” It’s an inflammatory condition that leads to extensive damage to the lungs’ airways and causes dry cough and shortness of breath.
If you’re buying an e-liquid, make sure it only contains propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerine (VG), and flavoring without diacetyl. Additives don’t improve the taste. They’re cutting agents that manufacturers use to dilute vape juices, but they can be potentially dangerous.
If you’re looking for a CBD vape cartridge, make sure the oil doesn’t have anything but CBD, terpenes, and other hemp-derived cannabinoids if it’s full- or broad-spectrum, including ≤0.3% THC.
Consider the Price
When it comes to vape cartridges, the saying “you get what you pay for” couldn’t be more accurate.
Reputable brands often offer discounts and other great deals, but be wary of others whose prices are consistently low. They could indicate cheap, low-quality ingredients and no lab testing.
Lab testing can be expensive, which is why many vendors cut corners and avoid testing their products. So, if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
It’s better to pay more for a high-quality vape cart at a trusted vape shop or dispensary than to buy from a fraud that doesn’t follow the highest industry standards.
Inspect the Packaging and Labeling
Whether you buy an e-liquid or CBD vape cart, it should come in a childproof package with a clear label that shows the manufacturing date, the packaging date, lab testing information, and the batch and lot numbers.
If it contains THC, the package should have a THC warning label. A QR code is another indicator of a legitimate provider.
Beware of copycats who sell knock-off products. They look almost authentic, with slight packaging and labeling inconsistencies, including misspellings. Some of the most notorious fake vape cartridge suppliers are Dank Vapes, Heavy Hitters, and Brass Knuckles.
Check the E-Liquid or CBD Oil’s Color and Consistency
High-quality vape juices are clear, some with a slight yellow tinge. They change color due to oxidation, going from yellow to light orange and dark orange. But when purchasing, make sure it’s clear.
It should also be oil-like instead of watery.
As for CBD oil, it should have a light amber hue. Darker colors indicate an imperfect distillation process. It should also have a high viscosity, just like any other oil.
There are many fake vape cartridges out there, but these essential tips will help you identify and avoid them. They’ll help you find trusted suppliers who go above and beyond to ensure their genuine and safe products.