Ceramic versus metal vape cartridges

Published Jan 7, 2023 02:00 p.m. ET
Unsplash / Elsa Olofsson

When it comes to buying cartridges, consumers often look at many factors like the type of concentrate, compatibility with a battery, and whether or not the vape carts are re-fillable, but very few consider the differences between metal and ceramic carts even though the experience offered by each one is unique. Metal vape carts might be the most popular option on the market for now, while ceramics are slowly taking over, and it helps to know why that is.

Ceramic vape carts

Here you’ll find a list of both the pros and the cons of choosing ceramic vapes, and it’s a lot more complicated than some enthusiasts might think, even if they’ve yet to notice the difference. Like with any product, there’s a reason these high-quality options are so well regarded, even if they do have some clear and obvious downsides.

The pros

  • Terpene acids aren’t strong enough to break down ceramic, which means that these devices often last longer, and they tend to deliver a more consistent experience from one hit to the next.
  • Heat in ceramic vape carts releases no chemicals or other toxic elements that might be a hazard to your health.

The cons

  • The primary thing that stands in the way of ceramic vape carts becoming the most popular choice among consumers is the price, as these devices may be harder to find and they’re far more expensive to buy.
  • Ceramic carts cannot withstand as much of a blow if they happen to have fallen.

Metal vape carts

Metal vape carts are often primarily formed with steel, however, there are many other metals that could make their way into the mix, and without a testing kit, it’s nearly impossible to say for certain which elements may be present. Copper, nickel, chromium, lead, tin, and manganese may all be found in metal vapes in trace amounts.


The pros

  • Metal vape carts are made using materials that are much cheaper than ceramic, which is good news for those on a strict budget.
  • Metal carts do hold up to wear, tear and physical abuse that may be inevitable during transit.

The cons

  • Terp acids will almost certainly break down metal carts over time, leading to an increased chance of breakage, or leaks.
  • As metal carts break down, they may leach chemicals and other toxins into the cannabis concentrate, which could pose a hazard to your lungs.

Which is better?

At the end of the day the best choice for you may come down to things like accessibility, budget, and functionality, but if those things are of little to no concern, then ceramic vape carts are superior in virtually every way. If you can’t tell what a vape cart is made of, then you can either inquire with the company that produces them or ask your local budtender for their advice. Sadly, this isn’t a quality that gets advertised as much as it probably should because so few consumers are aware there is a difference between the two. Luckily, you’ve got the good old Cannabis Wiki fam to help steer you in the right direction.

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