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How to Choose a Medical Cannabis Cartridge

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As California enters the legal market under much scrutiny, testing laboratories have become more prevalent and more integrated into the cannabis industry. Of particular concern has been a recent study that showed Cannabis concentrate cartridges containing significant traces of heavy metals and lead. While Colorado has the most advanced and well-integrated testing practices in the country, there are still things left to be concerned with when picking up a portable vaping solution.


One of the larger problems that exist in the cannabis industry as a whole, and is even more evident in cartridges is quality control. Most cannabis concentrates companies have several different lines of products, usually based on certain desirabilities. While it isn’t the move for everyone, it is easy to feel the difference between the effect of a $15 cartridge and a $45 cartridge. For consumers with a higher tolerance, even though they usually consume more cannabis, smoking more of those cheap cartridges does them less good than a single, more expensive cartridge. If you want to get high and not just maintain a slight buzz, spring for the better brand.


Cartridges are hard to keep track of. Many of them appear to be the same once out the package and just by looking at two side by side is confusing. One thing the customer can do while examining cartridges is turn them upside down. Oftentimes, during production, the concentrate meant to go into the chamber of the cartridge is too thick, so it is frequently cut down with any number of cutting agents, such as MCT (coconut oil) or Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) to name a couple. A good cartridge should demonstrate itself to be very viscous. That is, when you turn it upside down, you should not see rapid displacement or movement of the oil inside the chamber. If you do, chances are your cartridge is heavily cut. Next time you are shopping, ask your budtender which of the cartridges they sell are uncut, and give the packages a good read as to their ingredients.


Concentrates span the gamut as far as percentages go, and any rookie budtender will say that the higher the THC percentage, the higher you get. What you should do when this falls out of their mouth is remember that this isn’t necessarily true. Different people react differently to different concoctions of cannabinoids. The best bang for your buck in cartridges will certainly be from a Full Spectrum Concentrate (FSCs). FSCs tend to have THC percentages in the 60s to high 70 percentages, and despite this number being so low, it actually contributes to their being a wide range of cannabinoids present in the concentrate. Not all cartridges that have a lower THC content will contain a range of cannabinoids, but it is commonly accepted that the entourage effect contributes to an improved feeling of highness.


One of the most subjective ways of deciding which cartridge that you like may be taste. While everyone has a different palate of personable flavor preference, if something tastes good, it usually points towards your body enjoying it. Taste has been reinforced through human development as a way of making sure our bodies got what they wanted, which is why sugary foods incite such a craving in humans these days. If a cartridge tastes funny upon exhale, it can be any number of things.However, the takeaway should always remain the same, don’t buy that brand next time.

Lastly, one of the more obvious indicators that a cartridge is of a higher quality is the battery being sold along with it. While most people tend to have batteries at home, an easy way to glimpse at the quality of the cartridge is to see whether the cart is draw-activated. While this isn’t necessarily a fool-proof test, as some very good brands are draw-activated, it is a significant indicator of whether the cartridge is cut or uncut.

If you have more questions about a cartridge, ask your friendly Standing Akimbo Medical Dispensary budtender for more information!

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