Getting a new dab pen from someone you just met may appear like manna from heaven. But how sure are you about its authenticity? With the rampant issues of drug overdose and fake vape pens, being meticulous is very crucial nowadays. So, how do I know if my dab pen cart is fake/laced?
There are actually several ways to determine if this key part of the dab pen is altered, from getting a distinct taste to some variations in the usual THC content. But before we dive into the technical details, it’s important that you have a thorough grasp of the nuts and bolts of a dab pen.
What is a dab pen cart?
The dab cart is the cartridge that is found at the top portion of the equipment. It serves as the chamber of the mouthpiece as well as the part where the cannabis oil or e-juice is contained. And to activate the cartridge, the dab pen would require batteries.
With the power from the battery, the tool heats up the e-juice or oil to generate a vapor that you will inhale. Meanwhile, there are some batteries that are activated by the act of inhaling, which means you first need to draw air through the mouthpiece to heat up the concentrate.
Often than not, a dab pen is associated with a vape pen. Well, these two are pretty similar in terms of functionality. It’s because these are designed to vaporize the e-juice. However, they differ accordingly when it comes to design and key benefits.
Dab pens normally heat thicker substances while vape pens vaporize smaller amounts of oil or CBD concentrate. This means that the former offers a more potent high while also giving users more control over the concentrate. So, people who want a full effect with just a single dab make use of dab pens.
But of course, vape pens are still widely utilized, especially for those who prefer an easy-to-use tool with immense portability. Likewise, most vape pens come with a pre-filled TCH cartridge, plus a lower battery usage.
What are the key signs of a fake or laced dab cart?
When we say laced, this refers to the contamination of a substance with other psychoactive drugs, which are generally toxic. And unfortunately, vape pens can be laced with harmful elements like heavy metals, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and opioid, among others.
And unlike vape pods that are typically sealed to prevent tampering, dab pens are highly susceptible to bacteria contamination and consumer refills. Not only that but because of the higher and stronger concentration that a dab pen can hold, any lacing of drugs would be very dangerous.
Therefore, you need to be wary of accepting vape devices from persons you do not know because these could be counterfeit items. To help you distinguish the authenticity of a dab pen cart or a vape product, below are some of the elements that you need to take into account before using the tool:
1. No public licensing of the product
One of the most pivotal ways to spot a fake dab pen cart is through the licensing of the product. If you can’t find any public documents or lab results to back up the product, it could be a sign of potential illegal production. Any reputable company would ensure that its products are professionally tested.
Thus, if you are unsure of the authenticity of the dab pens, check with the manufacturer’s website. There is also a key department tasked to regulate the creation of cannabis. One renowned agency is the Bureau of Cannabis Control, which gives you information about the products on the California legal market.
FDA is also an imperative agency that promotes the safety and efficacy of public health by approving legal food, drugs, vaccines, cosmetics, and such. Therefore, products from retailers and dealers should be acknowledged by FDA.
With the help of the data provided by the designated agencies, you’d be able to determine if there is actually a professional license by the manufacturer. So, try to capitalize on the information provided by the official agencies to evaluate the legitimacy of the dab pen.
2. Odd packaging
Are there some discrepancies with the packaging? Perhaps issues with the manufacturing, expiration, and package date or errors with the lot or batch number? Unclear percentages of the ingredients could also raise suspicions about its legality.
So, if you come across issues like these, there could be a possibility of having a counterfeit product. Well, no reputable company would release products that have lots of packaging errors, more so inconsistency with dates.
Therefore, these elements can be a determining factor if you’ve got a faked dab pen cart. In addition, some products have a QR code, which serves as a license number. This is very helpful in checking the legitimacy of the item.
QR codes are sometimes mandated by the state or cities to ensure legal production and distribution. So, if there’s a QR code, make sure that you scan it first to ensure that it is authenticated by a specific department. This way, you are saving yourself from possible usage of a harmful product.
3. Unusual THC content
Because of the rise of people using vape pens and dab pens as an alternative to traditional cigarettes, there has also been an increase in the supply of fake vapes in the marketplace, specifically in the black market. These unlicensed shops sell fake vape carts and vape cartridges that may contain perilous drugs.
That’s why it’s crucial that you have an idea of the normal content of a THC cartridge. The standard THC composition is 60%, which means anything less than that amount is possibly laced with something else. On the other hand, THC content that is more than 98% is also risky.
The high composition signals a likelihood of having a counterfeit product or a potentially dangerous drug. Therefore, you need to be very careful with the THC content, which serves as the main psychoactive component of cannabis. Too much THC can be lethal and may have a serious impact on your health.
So, always take your time to see the ingredients and the composition before you start using the product. If uncertain, always seek guidance from the manufacturer and confirm the content with the experts. This way, you prevent harmful or even ill-fated effects that can cause damage to your organs.
4. A burnt flavor
Let’s have a scenario where you’ve got the dab pen cart from a newfound friend and you seemingly tried it out of respect. While taking your first puff, you felt something is off from the flavor. If there is a burnt tang while vaping, then this should raise suspicion on your part.
A burnt and disgusting flavor is one of the most distinguishing factors of a laced dab pen. It’s because a THC concentrate should taste like a weed―earthy and bitter but with a good kick. More so, if you’re using vape juice for e-cigarettes, then the flavor would be much more palatable.
Most e-liquids have delectable aromas because of the simplicity of their composition, only being made of propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin, water, and some flavorings. Some also come with nicotine to elevate the vaping experience.
Therefore, always be wary about the flavor and make sure to halt dabbing if you’re uncertain. It always pays off to be safe than sorry.
5. Comes with a metal aftertaste
Aside from having a burnt taste, the laced cartridge also comes with a metal trace that would certainly make you lose interest in continuing a dab session. The distinct aftertaste is a key factor that signifies something is added to the oil or concentrate.
The reason for this is high-quality ingredients when heated up do not have a bad chemical reaction. Meanwhile, when the cartridge is laced, you get a ghastly hint that appears to be a burnt flavor with a metal aftertaste.
What are the aftereffects of using a fake or laced dab cart?
Dealing with fakes can be detrimental to your physical and mental well-being. Some of the common symptoms of dabbing a laced THC cartridge include coughing and shortness of breath. There are also others who have to endure fevers, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Depending on the potency of the drug as well as the frequency of usage, some may also experience hallucinations, paranoia, blackouts, and anxiety. And in the long run, smokers and vapers may get severe and chronic pulmonary illnesses and heart diseases.
What are some tips on how to avoid counterfeit dab carts?
To prevent an unpleasant dabbing experience and avoid unfortunate drug accidents, you need to be very careful with your purchases. Make sure you only buy from licensed and certified dealers. You may be spending extra dollars, but it’s better than wasting your money on fakes.
So, it’s advisable that you do your research diligently and stick to brands with a reputable background and trustworthy reviews. Or if you want to ensure your safety, you may also opt for trusted dispensaries in your state.
Counterfeit dabs pens aren’t that tricky to determine―as long as you are knowledgeable of the brand and the contents of the product. So, go through our detailed information and relevant tips above before making your purchase or kicking off your dabbing session!