Back in the day, if you wanted a novel way to experience marijuana, you had to hunt down the mythical Thai stick or get really creative with your homemade bong. Now, novelty abounds in head shops from coast to coast. One of the newer approaches to dancing with Mary Jane is the THC cartridge.
THC cartridges are so new you may not even know what they’re all about. And that’s a shame because THC cartridges really are one of the easiest ways to get your ganja on.
But rest easy — the experts at Honest Marijuana are here to help. In this article, we’ll answer all your questions about pre-filled oil vape cartridges and help you decide whether a vape THC cartridge is right for you.
What Are THC Cartridges?
It all started when some canny cannabis consumer came up with the brilliant plan to modify an electronic cigarette to handle marijuana instead of tobacco.
Those MacGyvered electronic cigarettes caught on quickly and are now known as vape pens. When they first came out, you purchased a small bottle of your favorite e-liquid (or in marijuana circles, “vape juice”), and filled the vape pen yourself.
But progress is all about doing fewer things yourself. That’s where the THC cartridge came in.
A THC cartridge is a pre-filled, disposable container filled with your favorite strain of THC oil. Once the oil in the THC cartridge reaches a certain temperature, it vaporizes. You can then inhale to your heart’s content without worrying about the adverse effects of smoke in your lungs.
But you’re not going to throw your THC cartridge in the oven or boil it on the stove. There’s a very special method to this madness.
How Does A THC Cartridge Work?
All right, let’s walk through this using the above picture as a reference. See the small piece in the foreground with the left end that looks like the mouthpiece of a pipe? That’s a THC cartridge.
Now see the longer piece above it? That’s the vape pen, e-cigarette, or just vaporizer (call it whatever you like, it’s all the same thing).
Actually, the vaporizer is the black shaft from the silver tube on the left to the end on the right (this vaporizer has a THC cartridge attached).
As you can probably surmise from the picture (unless you’re really stoned, in which case, right on!), you first attach the THC cartridge to the vaporizer (usually by screwing it on).
When you’re ready to fly, you press a button on the vaporizer and a small battery heats a coil. The coil then vaporizes the oil in the THC cartridge and you’re off to the races.
“That all sounds great,” you say, “but I’m good with joints, blunts, bongs, and edibles. Why would I want to switch to a THC cartridge?” Good question.
What Are The Benefits Of THC Cartridges?
1) Higher Potency
Vaping with a THC Cartridge is more potent than smoking because using a vaporizer reduces the temperature at which cannabinoids change from solid or liquid into gas.
This temperature reduction preserves many of the active ingredients in marijuana — the stuff that gets you high and makes you feel good — that would otherwise be destroyed when you burn your cannabis.
Think of it this way: a flame is pretty much only one temperature. It’s hot enough to burn your bud and turn it into smoke, which occurs at around 450℉.
But — and here’s the kicker — cannabinoids can be changed into a gas at much lower temperatures (around 284℉). All that extra heat is just destroying a large portion of the cannabinoids and terpenes you’re trying to get into your system.
That’s where the THC vape pens come in. They operate at much lower temperatures than your common, everyday flame. Rather than producing smoke (through burning), they produce vapor (through vaporization).
As a result, you get more “bang for your buck” — or perhaps “cannabinoids for your cash” — because the THC, CBD, CBG, CBN, and others don’t get burned away.
And this occurs in a sleek and indiscreet package that doesn’t require bulky bongs or a plethora of extra tools. All you need is a THC vape pen and your favorite THC cartridge.
2) Ease Of Use
Sure, pills, dissolvable strips, tinctures, and creams are probably the easiest methods of getting marijuana into your system, but vaporizers and THC cartridges are, at the very least, close to the top of the list.
Do you know how to screw two things together? Do you know how to push a button? Do you know how to inhale?
If you answered yes to these three questions, using a THC cartridge will be a breeze.
We love THC cartridges for their portability. Pop a THC cartridge and heating element in your shirt pocket or handbag and you’re good to go.
No baggies that can break open and spill. No lids that can come off. No muss, no fuss. Just plenty of THC goodness in the palm of your hand.
4) Controlled Dosing
Getting just the right dose (be it CBD or THC) is on everyone’s mind when they first use a new product. Nobody wants a bad trip. But with a THC cartridge, you get a controlled dose from each inhalation.
Are colors starting to talk to you? Put the vape pen away for a while and come back when the edges get dull. The THC cartridge will be waiting for you to press that button and start inhaling again.
You can’t do that with a joint or blunt.
With joints and bongs (and other “burn” methods), you’re always concerned about the smoke and smell. You certainly can’t fire up a fatty in the office and not expect some repercussions.
But with a vape pen and THC cartridge, you don’t have to worry about drawing the attention of those around you. Everything is self-contained and the vapor doesn’t really produce an odor.
Plus, the whole thing looks just like an e-cigarette. So you can always tell your anti-ganja friends and neighbors that you’re just trying to quit smoking.
There are more discreet methods of ingesting marijuana, but if you enjoy the act of inhaling your cannabinoids, THC cartridges are just what you’ve been looking for.
What Are The Drawbacks Of THC Cartridges?
1) Undecided Science
The jury’s still out as to the long-term effects of vaporizing with THC cartridges.
But, hey, for the longest time, that same jury was convinced that cannabis was the devil’s weed. Now, look at all we’ve discovered about the medical benefits of marijuana.
2) Shorter-Lasting Effects Than Edibles
Honestly, is this really a drawback? Few methods of consuming cannabis stack up to edibles when it comes to longevity.
To us, this feels like saying, “My Mazda Miata won’t haul as much cargo as my ¾-ton GMC Sierra.” Well, yeah. Duh.
If you want a fun, fast ride that will fit into tight spaces, go with the THC cartridge. If you’re looking for an all-day long haul, gnosh on a pot brownie. It’s all about choosing the right tool for the job, folks.
3) Fewer Terpenes
Because of the way THC cartridges are made, they contain fewer terpenes than raw bud. And when it comes down to it, most concentrates fall into that same boat.
Just like the second drawback above, there are trade-offs with each method of consumption. If you’re ultra-concerned about flavor, stay at home and smoke some fresh organic bud.
When compared to other types of extracts, THC cartridges can be expensive. But you’re also paying for the convenience, portability, and discretion. That’s worth a few extra bucks, isn’t it?
5) Special Knowledge
No, we’re not talking alchemy and Kabbalah. But do you know how to use a vaporizer? That’s the special knowledge you need to get the most from a THC cartridge.
Really, though, it’s a lot less difficult than rolling a joint. Just read the instructions.
Should You Try A THC Cartridge?
Absolutely! Trying new things is the name of the game in the cannabis community. And honestly, what do you have to lose?
If you don’t like it, that smoke sesh is less than stellar, but you can always go back to the old standby (whatever that is for you). But if you do like it, you may just find your new favorite way to get baked.
Before you run out and drop bookoo bucks on a THC cartridge, bum a ride from (a.k.a. share a few tokes with) a friend who already owns a vaporizer. Or maybe she’ll be generous enough to lend it to you for a day so you can really get a feel for how a THC cartridge works.
However you do it, trying before buying is the ideal way to test a THC cartridge and vaporizer for yourself. Just be sure you return the favor should someone ask you.
For more information on all things cannabis and to check out our 100-percent all -natural marijuana products, visit HonestMarijuana.com today.