Illegal vape carts hospitalize 7 people in California

Published Sep 8, 2019 01:00 p.m. ET
iStock / pixinoo

So far, Canadians have drifted through federal marijuana legalization with no major issues, but other regions have not been so fortunate. This past month 7 individuals have been hospitalized, and every case so far has been directly linked to the ingestion of an illegal THC cartridge. This has many people concerned about the safety of these marijuana products, but the issue isn’t with the vape cartridge itself, it is what can be found inside that is often sold as THC vape juice.

Is it still safe to use a THC cartridge?

The rash of hospitalizations has turned many potential consumers away from what was once a highly sensationalized option. With the trend of vaping slowly reaching to nearly every portion of the globe, it makes sense that consumers and vaping enthusiasts are asking questions, but the problem isn’t with the act of vaping, it is what they are filled with that is the problem. The injured victims in this sudden rush of emergency trips have fallen prey to a scam that is rampant right now in California, where unlicensed vendors are selling imitation THC vape juice and pens.

What is an imitation THC cartridge?

Imitation THC vape juice is a real danger, as history has shown in the past when black market vendors were caught in the same area selling these illegal vape carts filled with spice and other mind-altering substances that can be dangerous when ingested by an unsuspecting consumer. An imitation vape cartridge may not be easy to spot, as the most experienced makers of these products have gotten skilled at buying empty vessels and making them look just like the real thing by using packaging or stickers that resembles that of name-brand manufacturers.

How to check for real THC vape juice

Unfortunately, merely inspecting a THC cartridge likely isn’t going to expose how real or fake it might be, as there are various consistencies of marijuana concentrates that are used to make THC carts. So, looking for a liquid or some other obvious factor might not be enough to know for certain if you have the real deal. The only way to be sure is to have the contents of the package tested, but there are a couple of things that you can do to avoid ever buying an illegal THC cartridge in the first place.

How to avoid purchasing an imitation vape cartridge

  1. Make your own THC vape juice
    Once you learn how to make THC vape juice, you will never again have to rely on the purity of a product from any supplier, and the best part is that it can save you hundreds of dollars a year while giving you peace of mind about the safety of what you are ingesting.

  2. Only purchase from licensed vendors
    THC vape juice isn’t available worldwide, so not everyone has this option, but whenever possible, it is a good idea to buy THC carts and juice from only licensed vendors. Reason being, these establishments use approved suppliers that must quality check their products regularly.

  3. Never use or buy marijuana products without a tamper-resistant seal
    If you come across a reduced cost THC carts that are in packaging that appears to be damaged, then avoid it at all costs. Some brands offer extra protection for their loyal customers, by adding a tamper-proof sticker feature that is prominently displayed on each vape cartridge. That way, if you don’t see the sticker, then you know for sure that something isn’t right.

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