Identifying Counterfeit Vape Cartridges fake packaging, commonly ripped off brands
The vaping industry has exploded but with serious lung issues becoming a concern for some users, spotting counterfeit vape cartridges has never been more needed. Luckily for you, there are some fool-proof methods you can use to identify fakes to stay safe and healthy.
Be Familiar With Popular Brands
Become familiar with popular brands in the vaping industry to easily identify counterfeit products. One way to do this is by going to the manufacturers website and looking over the product pictures provided. Check out the fonts being used, the location of all the design elements, and any unique identifying elements. The more brands you can recognize when you’re out shopping, the less chance you have of being swindled by fake products.
You should also check out any reviews on specific products or the website as a whole. Read through some forums where you can find a larger source of information about the company or products being offered.
Ideally, you should be using established and trusted websites or brands like Linx Vapor or PAX Labs for your vapes to ensure you’re getting high-quality products. These popular vendors will have lab results where you can look over the ingredients and materials in their products to see if anything seems fishy.
Brush Up On Regulatory Compliance
You won’t always find yourself in the ideal scenario to buy directly from trusted brands but you can at least become familiar with regulatory compliance for vaping products before purchasing.
All vaping manufacturers must have packaging that complies with federal regulations, with no exceptions. This makes it easier to spot a package that isn’t following regulations, which means you shouldn’t trust it.
All states that have legalized vaping have their own specific regulations on what needs to be included so you will need to check your specific state.
Some of the information that may be required are:
- A government warning statement
- Date product was manufactured or packaged
- Manufacturer name and contact info
- UID number
- Batch number
- Instructions on how to use
- Artificial additives
- Expiration date
Pull up your state’s required information on your phone as you’re going through sites or markets. It will help you easily go through a checklist of what needs to be included so you can weed out any counterfeit vapes and cartridges.
Don’t Be Fooled By Outrageous Deals
Become familiar with pricing for the different brands and THC amounts.
If you see a vape cartridge that claims to have 99.9% THC but it’s selling for $9.99 then it’s probably too good to be true.
You should check the local dispensaries you trust and start to price out different brands in the store. Check the THC amounts and see how much the price adjusts when the THC level increases. Later, when you’re at a store you aren’t familiar with, you’ll have an easier time identifying if the products being sold are legitimate.
Holidays and special events will frequently have some of the most discounted prices for vapes and cartridges. You should expect some good deals at these times since vendors are typically looking to get rid of as much product as possible to gain customer loyalty.
It’s outside of these special occasions where you should be more cautious about going for a deal that looks too good to be true.
Double Check License Registration
As legalization grows, so does the amount of counterfeiters looking to profit off the ignorance of others.
These counterfeiters will often open up shops that don’t have a license which aim to regulate the industry. These licenses are given out to stores that have complied with federal and state regulations for the vaping industry. In most states, the license is required to be shown clearly in the store so you’ll be able to quickly identify which stores don’t have a license and which ones do.
There are even some websites you can visit that have a database of all licensed dispensaries in all legal states. After inputting your living area, you’ll find a list of reputable dispensaries that are properly following all regulations for the vaping industry.
Check Out the Ingredients
Some vaping tanks include diluents to help the oil have a more liquid viscosity.
This helps the liquid to move more freely inside the cartridge, leading to a more efficient vaping experience. The only problem with these diluents is they haven’t been fully approved by the vaping industry as being good for a person’s overall health. Some of the diluents like propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil have been investigated for being harmful when ingested.
These diluents also make the overall production of oils and concentrates less expensive for manufacturers so they have an added incentive to produce oils that have more of these diluents. That’s why you’ll notice that counterfeit brands often have these ingredients listed on the label and you’ll notice the oil itself moves around more freely inside the cartridge.
The more you become familiar with the ingredients in your favorite flavors, the better you’ll be at noticing fakes.
Trust Your Instincts
Call it what you want, sometimes your intuition just knows better.
If you notice a vape or cartridge and there is something that feels off about it, it’s better to just move on. This can be especially true when you smell or taste something that doesn’t feel right. You need to listen to your body in these moments and stop using the vape. Even though some of the diluents in vapes don’t have a specific taste or smell, it’s always better to remain on the side of caution than blindly moving forward.
Some of the chemicals found in vapes are causing severe lung issues in heavy users. If you believe at all that you may be in possession of a fake vape, it’s much safer to throw it out than it to try and save a little money.
Ask For Test Results
Every legitimate dispensary that has a license and has followed regulatory standards will be able to provide test results for their vape cartridges.
If you’re ever in doubt about a product, ask for the test results immediately so you can get a better look at what’s going on under the hood. Search through the THC numbers and see if you notice anything fishy like extremely low amounts of THC. This could signify the manufacturer added in additional diluents that were not needed in order to save costs on producing the oil. If you spot any THC amount below 60%, it’s very likely the oil has been cut with additional materials and is much less safe than legitimate products.
On the other hand, if the product test results claim there is 99.9% THC in the oil this would also be very suspicious. Diluents are actually necessary in order to make the oil easier to vape so an extremely high amount of THC should seem unlikely.
Often, manufacturers will attempt to skew their numbers because they know customers are only looking for very strong products.
Know Your Vapes
By familiarizing yourself with your favorite vaping brands and products you stand a much better chance at not becoming a victim of fraudulent vapes and cartridges. Memorize the packaging and ingredients as well as any regulatory requirements by your state. It will give you the knowledge needed to spot a fake when you see one.