With increasing reports of vaping-associated pulmonary injury, taking care is more important than ever. People die. Countless others fall gravely ill. There is no surefire way to tell if vape cartridges are safe or not, no foolproof method to detect fakes. If you are using disposable cartridges, then how can you protect yourself? How can you know if what you are puffing will help or harm?
Recalls happen even in well-regulated industries. However, it is possible to avoid contaminated products. For experts, the best possible advice is to stay away from illegal markets. All agree that consumers should only order weed delivery from licensed outlets. Licensed products are certainly safer, but even they are not completely safe. Yet, there are still many ways to protect yourself from fakes.
Why Licensed Products?
From laboratory technicians to industry professionals, public health agencies, California’s consumer affairs, and everyone involved with cannabis, all reiterate the need to buy cannabis from the legal market. Because of factors such as stringent testing requirements under state law and increased accountability, legal products are likely to be much safer, and demonstrably so.
Further, and most importantly, no vaping cartridges bought at licensed outlets have any links to these illnesses. Only those purchased illicitly have any association. To stay safe, it is wise to remember this advice. It is paramount that you make sure a license exists. Not all retailers have licenses. Not all comply with mandated safety regulations. Telling them apart is trying, especially in big cities like Los Angeles.
When searching Google for “weed delivery near me,” verify before ordering that the store is a member of the regulated and legal market. Check its license. Look for the product’s unique QR code and brand markings. Stores must post their license number clearly in California. You should be able to see it easily. You can also check for licensed and registered retailers with the California Bureau of Cannabis Control.
If you cannot see a license number anywhere, the store is not operating legally. It belongs to the illegal market. At least, it is certainly not complying with rules for licensees, which is already a huge problem in Los Angeles. Unlicensed shops are especially prevalent here and fake vaping cartridges are everywhere. You can also use these tips to help you determine if your vape is safe or not:
Check the Packaging
Packaging should be clear and easily decipherable. You should be able to see the date of manufacture, the date of packaging, the batch number, and the lot number. Such details must be on clear display.
Popular brands are a common target for fraudsters, who put fake versions into the market. Always look for state-mandated labels, such as California’s THC warning icon. If the required packaging standards are lacking in the label, the product might be illicit and not compliant with potency and purity safeguards. Fakes might contain the THC warning icon too, however. It alone is not foolproof.
Check for other marks of authenticity. Look for manufacturer stamps. Most popular vaping cartridges contain a clearly visible stamp to distinguish them from any fake copycat products. You can also find more data on whether products are genuine or not by scanning QR codes for verifying information. If you look closely enough, fakes look like fakes. They often lack the quality and detail of original brands.
You will find many diluents in vape cartridges, such as medium-chain triglycerides, or MCT oil, propylene glycol, and vegetable glycerin, to name a few. Unscrupulous folks add them to manipulate consistency for easier vaping, or to lower prices with cheaper ingredients. These cutting agents are likely responsible for vaping related illnesses, particularly Vitamin E acetate, or tocopherol-acetate, a new thickener.
Familiarize Yourself with Brands
Look for trusted brands. Those with good safety protocols and records. You want brands that have established their reputations, been around for a time, and have a significant presence online. These brands will not risk their names by selling bad vaporizers. What is more, they are under regulatory scrutiny. They will not chance losing their licenses.
Unlike illicit products in the illegal market, or even just new brands, these companies cannot run away. They cannot put harmful substances in their vaping cartridges, sell them to unsuspecting consumers, and then disappear when trouble looms. They have to face the consequences of selling fake vaporizers, and tried, tested, trusted, credible, reputable, established brands will never risk it.
Look for Laboratory Results
Licensed products undergo rigorous laboratory testing. Always ask for the product’s Certificate of Analysis, or COA. Some fakes even provide fake laboratory results, photoshopped to fool consumers. Licensed stores have the duty to check with the laboratory itself to verify these results. Some neglect to do this, and occasionally these fakes end up on legal shelves. You can check with the laboratory yourself.
Do Some Calculations
Do the math. Look for any red flags you can find, on test results, as well. A good way to spot fake COAs is to add the numbers. Are THC percentages especially low? Are they particularly high? Experts say that any vape cartridge measuring THC lower than 60 percent likely has cutting agents added to it. You should be suspicious of any strange numbers. Extremely high numbers, like 99 percent, are dodgy too.
These tips apply to everyone, even those shopping outside of California. State packaging regulations may differ, as with ways to check licensees, but finding the information should still be easy. The moment it becomes difficult you should feel concerned. In Los Angeles, compliance is high among licensed stores. These tips should enable you to order marijuana delivery confidently, without buying fake vaporizers.