What are pre-filled THC oil cartridges?
Pre-filled THC oil cartridges are mini vape tanks filled with weed oil, sometimes referred to as hash oil. The tank contains a small coil which is powered by either a standard weed pen, a 510 thread battery, or a proprietary pod style device. Most THC cartridges contain a gram (1 mL) or half gram (0.5 mL) of THC oil, usually extracted from cannabis plants or hash. They are generally good for around 200-400 puffs.
Sometimes potent THC distillate cartridges are mistakenly referred to as wax carts or dab carts. Although some companies do make re-fillable 510 tanks for wax and dabs, they are not as convenient. The most popular ways to vape dabs or wax is using an e-nail or a dab pen.
How to use a pre-filled THC oil cartridge
Here are some helpful tips for using your pre-filled THC oil cart for the first time.
- There is almost no learning curve. Attach your cartridge to the battery and make sure it’s charged. Most devices require you to press the fire button five times.
- Some devices are draw-activated while others may require you to press a button to vape.
- If your device allows you to adjust the voltage, start at the lowest possible setting first.
- Begin with small 3-5 second puffs so you can gauge the potency of the oil, and the THC effects. You can always take another puff, so don’t overdo it.
- Experiment with raising the voltage for a stronger hit, but if it starts to taste dry or burnt, take it down a notch before you damage the coil.
- Most cartridges can be refilled with your own THC oil, CBD vape oil or e-liquid before you need to get rid of them. If it’s a 510 style cartridge, just unscrew the mouthpiece and fill the tank up. You may need to use a syringe for accuracy.
- When the flavor starts tasting burnt, that means it’s time for a new cartridge. Keep in mind, there are many great re-fillable oil carts available right now as well.
Advantages of pre-filled THC oil carts
The biggest advantage of using pre-filled THC oil cartridges over smoking and dabbing is the convenience factor. There is nothing to fill, just attach it to your battery and vape. Oil pens produce a very faint odor, which dissipates rather quickly, so they are perfect for stealthy sessions. Flavor is another major reason why people are switching to pre-filled oil carts. They allow you to experience your favorite cannabis strains in a whole new way. The taste is much purer than smoking a bowl, or using a dry herb vaporizer! Pre-filled THC oil carts are an excellent way to vape THC.
- Modern technology
- Much safer than smoking
Disadvantages of pre-filled THC oil carts
There are still some cons to using pre-filled THC cartridges. The first one is that although they all contain 0.5-1.0 mL of oil, the potency can vary drastically. That means one puff on any given cartridge can potentially have a different result. Also, the physical effects from oil carts tend to be more subtle than smoking or dabbing. Another disadvantage is the fact that strain selection is usually limited. Finally, pre-filled cartridges can be less cost effective than the ones you fill yourself.
- Varying levels of potency
- Effects can be more subtle
- Limited strain selection
- Not cheap
What to look for in a THC oil cartridge
Here are some things you want to keep in mind when shopping for weed oil cartridges.
- Extraction method – The best extraction method for THC oil is currently CO2 extraction. It is also the most popular and safest method for making cannabis oil, distillate and live resin carts. The reason why it is so prevalent these days is because this THC oil doesn’t contain residual solvents like alcohol or butane.
- Thinning agents – Most THC oil cartridges contain some kind of thinning agent. This is required for the oil to maintain a consistency that is optimal for vaping. The most common thinning agents are vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol (VG and PG), which are commonly found in regular e-liquid. Some cartridges contain other fillers like PEG and more recently TEC Temper, which is a new formula derived from natural terpenes.
Potency – If you’re looking to get blasted, you can’t be wasting your time with weak THC oil carts with mostly filler. For the strongest effects, you’ll need something extremely potent, preferably distillate or live resin. They contain the least amount of filler and the highest levels of THC and natural terpenes.
- Terpene-specific – Terpenes are organic compounds found in all plants that give them their individual flavor and personality. They also determine whether a cannabis strain is a hybrid, indica or sativa. Terpenes interact synergistically with other cannabinoids to create different effects. They enhance the flavor and serve as a natural filler to keep the viscosity down.
- Cannabinoid-specific – Many pre-filled cartridges contain cannabinoid-specific oils. The most common cannabinoid, other than THC, is called cannabidiol, also known as CBD. A lot of research shows that THC can actually enhance the benefits and effects of CBD oil. These cannabinoid-specific oils are generally found in various ratios like 50/50 or 80/20 THC:CBD for example. Some may incorporate other cannabinoids such as CBC or Δ8THC, which can provide additional benefits beyond THC and CBD alone.
Quality – If you live where cannabis is legal, you probably have access to high quality pharmaceutical grade THC oil. The products listed above have been carefully selected based on reviews and research. If you don’t select any of the brands on this page, be sure to do your own research before making your purchase. Avoid cheap oil carts high in filler with and potential residual solvents.
- Compatibility – There are two main styles of pre-filled THC cartridges. The most common is the standard 510 e-cig tank, which connects to your standard e-liquid and CBD vape pens. The other style of cartridges are called pods, which require a specific device like the PAX Era for example. Make sure that you are getting the appropriate cartridge for your particular device and it could never hurt to have a few backups on hand.
How to use a refillable oil cartridge
Once your oil cartridge is filled and primed, just screw it on to your weed pen. Some batteries that are draw-activated will not require you to press any buttons to turn the device on or off. But besides that, there’s not a subtantial difference in how vape pens work.
- Make sure your battery is on and charged.
- Set your device to the lowest voltage setting.
- Start by taking small short puffs to gauge the effects and to prime the coil.
- Some cartridges may require more voltage to produce a satisfying puff.
- Turn the battery off when you are done by clicking the fire button five times.