What is a marijuana vape cart, or vape cartridge?

When it comes to ease of use, portability, and functionality, one cannabis product stands tall above the rest—vapes. You may know them as vape carts or pre-loaded cannabis oil vape cartridges, and they have quickly become the go-to concentrate-based product for both cannabis novices and enthusiasts.

However, when it comes to choosing the right vape pen, various factors come into play. Many of these products seem similar at first glance, but there are many nuances that distinguish them. Understanding the differences between these disposable pens can help you make an educated decision on which product is right for you.

What is a vape cartridge?

A vape cart is a glass cartridge pre-filled with a gram or half-gram of cannabis oil. This oil contain various combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes extracted from cannabis.

Most oil vape carts are high in THC, however, more and more CBD-dominant vape cartridges are entering the market, as are 1:1 THC:CBD products. Vape cartridges come in many forms: 510-threaded cartridges (the most common), as well as some proprietary forms like Pax Era Pods and Airo Pro oil cartridges.

How do vape pens work?

smoke cart

Vape cartridges work in conjunction with vape pen batteries. The vape battery will power an atomizer in the cartridge that heats up the oil, activating the various chemical components in it. You then inhale the vape smoke, which produces the effects of cannabis. Some vape batteries have multiple functions that enable temperature customization and dose management.

Most products are offered in the form of a small cylinder containing the following key parts:

  • Chamber – This section contains cannabis oil, which is prefilled in a specified quantity.
  • Atomizer – This is the cartridge’s heat source. The atomizer section is attached to battery and produces heat when activated in order to vaporize the cannabis oil for inhalation.
  • Mouthpiece – This channel at the tip of the cartridge allows the patient to comfortably inhale vapor through the device.
  • Please note that cartridges also require a battery in order to operate. Some units include a disposable battery, while others must be paired with a rechargeable battery (sold separately).

Advice for beginners

Dr. Jordan Tishler, a Harvard-educated physician as well as president and chief executive officer of the Association of Cannabis Specialists, said that the Johns Hopkins study confirms what he and other cannabis advocates have been saying for years.

On a puff-for-puff or gram-for-gram basis, vaporizing leads to more intoxication, but that’s not how the study’s findings should be interpreted.

“With more efficient systems, you simply need or should take less,” Tishler told Healthline. “This ultimately leads to fewer trips to the dispensary for the patient and less money spent on cannabis.”

And, for those who don’t use too much or too often — or those trying it for the first time — there are some unwanted potential side effects.

Cannabis, like any other substance that alters your state of consciousness, is not entirely safe or right for everyone.

But part of it starts with helping the body build a tolerance to it.

Jessie Gill, the registered nurse behind MarijuanaMommy.com, says in the beginning cannabis can affect the heart a lot like exercise — a patient’s heart rate and blood pressure may increase.

For many new to marijuana, this could be alarming and trigger anxiety and nausea, a reported complaint from the high-dose smokers and vapers in the Johns Hopkins study.

One thing Gill noticed about the Johns Hopkins study is that too many subjects started at too high of a dose, in particular those who received 25 milligrams of THC right off the bat.

“One of the biggest causes of cannabis-induced anxiety is overconsumption,” said Gill, who encourages new patients to start with around 2.5 to 5 milligrams of inhaled cannabis, or about one hit of vaporized flower. “Their tolerance will increase gradually.”

Lisa Harun, the co-founder and chief marketing officer of the cannabis-vaping company Vapium, said that those new to cannabis should clear their schedules and choose a comfortable environment that encourages relaxation with some friends they trust.

Essentially, she suggests that people ease into cannabis, but first-time users should be prepared to not get high at all or the exact opposite — too high. Vapium recommends conscious consumption and learning one’s limits.

“Don’t jump into bong rips, slab dabs, or things of that nature until you take a few baby steps,” Harun told Healthline. “You don’t run a marathon without prep and the same principle applies to smoke. Your mission was to get high for the first time, not melt your entire face off.”

Keith Humphreys, PhD, a psychiatrist at Stanford Health Care and a former senior policy advisor for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy under President Barack Obama, warns younger users that regular cannabis use carries a risk of reducing your ability to concentrate, to plan, and to remember important details.

What are the drawbacks of vapes?

While vape cartridges are great for ease of use, portability, and dosing, there are a few drawbacks over other consumptions methods.


Vape carts can be pretty pricey, with costs between $20-60 or more per half-gram or gram of hash oil, depending on the market and extraction method. When you can get a gram of flower for a lot cheaper than a one-gram vape cartridge, it makes it a little tougher to choose the latter.

Physical effects

Vape cartridges tend to provide a shorter-lasting high than other methods like joints, dabs, and edibles because you consume them in smaller doses. However, while the effects may last shorter, they can also hit harder if overconsumed, so make sure to monitor dosing appropriately.

A New Way to Experience Medical Marijuana

smoke cart

Ultimately, vape cartridges are an excellent way to indulge in medical marijuana in Florida.

If you’re ready to leave the flower behind, it’s time to opt for a medical marijuana vape cartridge at a dispensary near you.  Many popular name brand vape companies call Florida home, and you won’t have any trouble finding the perfect medical marijuana vaporizer for you.

Whether you need to renew your medical marijuana license or need to apply for a new medical marijuana card – there’s no better option than Compassionate Healthcare of Florida.  Once you have your medical marijuana license — the sky’s the limit with a cannabinoid packed vape cartridge.

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