By Luke Sumpter

Questions & Answers: THC and CBD Vape Oil vs Cartridges

? Where can I buy THC/CBD vape juice?
You’ll find THC/CBD vape juice in dispensaries, cannabis clubs, headshops, and other outlets that sell cannabis products. Although you can only purchase THC vape juice in select legal states and countries, you’ll have access to CBD vape juice just about anywhere.
? Where can I buy THC/CBD cartridges?
THC and CBD vape cartridges are available in most of the same places where you can buy vape juice. However, you’re more likely to find high-quality cartridges in specialised dispensaries as opposed to headshops.
⚖️ Is CBD vape oil legal?
Yes, CBD vape oil is legal as long as it contains less than 0.3% THC in the United States and less than 0.2% THC in Europe.
? Does CBD vape juice show up on a drug test?
Most drug tests don’t screen for CBD, as the non-psychotropic cannabinoid is legal in many countries. As long as you buy high-quality products containing negligible levels of THC, you shouldn’t receive a positive test result.

In the modern era, cannabis users are spoilt for choice when it comes to the sheer diversity of products available. Although such a colourful market offers almost endless ways to consume CBD and THC, things can quickly become confusing, especially for those new to the space.

With the advent of THC and CBD cartridges and vape oils, cannabis users now have a safer, more convenient, and discreet way to inhale cannabinoids.

THC and CBD Vape Juice vs Cartridges: What’s the Difference?

While shopping for vaping products, you’ve likely come across vape juice and cartridges and wondered: how are they different? Although these cannabis formulas are similar (at times, the exact same), they can feature distinct differences that might sway your buying decision. Discover the important distinctions below.

  • What Is Vape Juice?

When you enter a niche vaping shop, you’ll see vape juice (aka e-liquid, vape oil) lining the walls and counters. Typically used for non-cannabis vaping, these formulas often include nicotine and different flavourings.

However, innovators within the cannabis space have created vape juices containing high levels of THC, CBD, and other phytochemicals from the weed plant. These products feature a foundation of non-toxic additives that make up the bulk of the formula, alongside flavourings and other additives that make each one unique.

What Is Vape Juice?
  • What Are Vape Cartridges?

Vape cartridges (or “baskets”) contain cannabis oil, derived from either hemp or cannabis plants. High-quality THC or CBD cartridges are commonly created using CO₂ extraction, which pulls the cannabinoids and terpenes away from unwanted molecules. Vape cartridges are typically found in specialised cannabis dispensaries and clubs, and are available in both CBD and THC-rich options.

As we'll explain more below, the main distinctions between CBD/THC vape oil and cartridges are the additives used, the potency of the final product, and, perhaps most noteworthy—the names themselves.

What Are Vape Cartridges?
  • CBD Vape Juice and Cartridges

CBD vape juices and cartridges contain just that—CBD—alongside terpenes and flavourings. These products produce no psychotropic effects, instead offering a lucid and clear-headed effect that keeps the mind functioning normally. This makes CBD vape oil and CBD cartridges ideal for both daytime and evening use, giving these products great versatility.

  • THC Vape Juice and Cartridges

Because they contain THC, these vape juices and cartridges do produce a psychotropic effect. The high varies depending on the dose of THC and the accompanying terpenes, and users can choose from various formulas to gear their high more toward a cerebral or relaxing state.

Types of Compatible Vaporizers

There are hundreds of unique vaporizer models on the market. All of them offer different advantages and drawbacks. Not all vaporizers are compatible with vape juice and cartridges. Some only work with dried flowers, and others are designed for specific kinds of extracts.

Fortunately, people that enjoy vape juice and cartridges have a wide range of vaporizers to choose from.

Vape juice or e-liquid vaporizers feature a large refillable chamber heated by a battery. Models compatible with cartridges are often shaped like portable pens, allowing users to easily switch between pre-filled or homemade baskets.

Common Additives

Manufacturers place additives in vaping formulas to dilute their products and give them substance. Check out the common additives used in both vape juice and vape cartridges below.

  • Vape Juice Additives

Vape juice usually contains two primary additives. These substances help to create large clouds, smooth hits, and even add a hint of flavour.

Propylene Glycol (PG)

As a non-toxic product, PG serves as the base for many types of vape juice. The additive features no colour or odour, allowing the taste of terpenes to really shine through. It carries flavour more effectively than the alternatives, but feels slightly more harsh on the throat.

Vegetable Glycerine (VG)

VG features a sweet taste and gives off thicker clouds of vapor. The natural product offers smooth hits and a flavour that complements some terpene profiles. Some manufacturers mix VG with PG in order to reduce the density slightly and make these formulas easier to vape.

  • Cartridge Additives

Some vape cartridges feature no additives at all. Certain distillate products and full-spectrum extracts can reach a vapable consistency without being cut with thinning agents. High-end producers pride themselves on using these pure cannabinoid extracts in their products.

As you can imagine, these cartridges boast exceptional quantities of THC and CBD—usually more than THC and CBD vape oils. Some cartridge makers opt to include small amounts of VG or PG in their formulas to dilute them, making them more affordable and driving the potency down as a result.

Important Terms to Look Out For in THC and CBD E-Liquids and Cartridges

If you’re new to vaping CBD/THC vape juice or cartridges, you’ll soon come across a long list of new terms. Once you make them part of your lexicon, shopping for products will become a whole lot easier. Check out some of the most common terms below, what they mean, and the benefits and drawbacks of each.

CBD Vape Juice vs Cartridges
  • Full-Spectrum

Full-spectrum oils feature a rich cocktail of phytochemicals found in the cannabis plant. Vape cartridges containing this type of extract offer a blend of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.

Full-spectrum oils tap into the full potential of the cannabis plant. The phytochemicals within work together to create more pronounced effects than CBD or THC in isolation.

However, full-spectrum oils sacrifice THC/CBD purity for phytochemical diversity. If you’re looking to benefit exclusively from CBD or THC, you’ll prefer other types of formulas, such as those made from crystal isolate CBD.

  • Terpenes

Terpenes are aromatic molecules found within cannabis flowers that underpin the unique tastes and smells of each strain.

Not only are terpenes delicious, but they work side by side with cannabinoids to exert a variety of effects on the body. Some terpenes light up the mind, while others will make you feel stoned and relaxed.

The terpenes within CBD and THC vape juices and cartridges contribute heavily towards the taste. Cannabis contains over 200 terpenes, each with its own distinctive flavour. If you purchase a product and don’t like the taste, you won’t enjoy vaping it. Make sure you learn which terpenes you prefer before investing.

  • Cannabinoid Crystals

Cannabis crystals offer the most potent form of extract possible. Created using high-performance liquid chromatography, they offer an unparalleled potency of 99%.

Vape juice that contains THC or CBD crystals will offer a pure, focused experience. These preparations are ideal for users seeking high doses of THC and CBD, without concern for terpenes and other cannabis chemicals.

Despite the potent effects, formulas that feature crystals miss out on the entourage effect of terpenes and cannabinoids working side by side.

CBD/THC Vape Juice vs Cartridges: Pros and Cons

CBD and THC vape oil and cartridges feature their own advantages and disadvantages that make them attractive to different users. Explore the pros and cons of each below.

THC and CBD Vape Juice

Pros Cons
Cheaper Higher additive content
Easier to make Not as potent
Smooth hits Hard to find THC products
Huge vape clouds -

Overall, vape oils provide a pleasant experience. Smooth hits of massive vapor clouds make it fun, while lower costs go easy on the wallet. However, the difficulty of finding THC vape juice, not to mention the potential for reduced potency, turns some users off.

THC and CBD Vape Cartridges

Pros Cons
Very potent Expensive
Fewer additives or none at all Harder to make
Easy to find in dispensaries and cannabis clubs -

Premium THC and CBD oil cartridges contain large quantities of these cannabinoids, with few additives. They offer powerful and instantaneous effects, but their price simply lies outside of the budget of some cannabis users.

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