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May 29, 2023 6:25 am

Vape Carts – Real vs Fake – Updated for 2022

What’s most important for you, as a THC consumer? What’s what in fake vs real vape carts and how can you tell if you’re puffing safely?
Beauty shot NUG live resin vape cart

For years, luxury and premium items have been faked. From designer purses, to jewelry and apparel. Now THC vape carts join the list of high-end goods being replicated, but these cheaper costs for THC consumption come with a cost of their own. Costs that could affect your health. These risks are trending in mainstream media, but what’s not often reported is the fact that legitimate, safe THC vape carts do still exist. Here, we’ll go in-depth into how fake carts are giving THC vaping a bad name, and how to truly spot real vs. fake vape carts….

Woman holding NUG live resin vape cart


Safety risks are trending in mainstream media, but what’s not often reported is the fact that legitimate, safe THC vape carts do still exist. Here, we’ll go in-depth into how fake carts are giving THC vaping a bad name, and how to truly spot real vs. fake vape carts.

  • Check the packaging. Real vape carts provide specific manufacturing information on the package label. This includes manufacturing date, packaging date, batch or lot number to track the product’s journey through seed-to-sale systems. Look for spelling or grammar errors as another common red flag for fake carts.
  • Check the front, sides, and back of the product packaging to see if anything is missing, distorted, or just looks “off.”
  • Labels on all California Cannabis products will include:
    1. A manufacturing date
    2. A packaging date
    3. A batch number
    4. A lot number
  • Check the price. If the price is too good to be true – it probably is. Real vape carts contain the purest cannabis compounds – high levels of beneficial cannabinoids, flavonoids and terpenes too. The process to extract and isolate these precious goods isn’t cheap. So when real vape carts are priced as top-shelf goods – there’s a good reason. Avoid any low-priced carts to avoid fake knock-offs altogether.
  • Check the consistency. Hold your suspected vape cart upside down. Real carts will be thick in consistency and slow moving. Most fake carts, due to the additives, will be thinner, faster moving and may contain bubbles too.
  • Check the COA or Certificate of Analysis – the testing panel. If you’re not purchasing from a trusted retailer, put your detective hat on and do your own research. You can contact the third-party testing labto verify the testing information, and to request the test results directly, or you can verify authenticity online. If fakers are gonna fake, they are gonna photoshop too.


Fake THC vape carts are proving harmful to many who have been duped. In fact, according to Federal health officials 12 people have died from lung illnesses associated with vape pen use, and over 800 have been hospitalized in 46 states. Fake vape carts typically contain additives to ‘cut’ the amount of cannabis that’s used, reducing the potency, quality, and safety of the fake product. The best carts on the market are using high-quality flower grown in top-notch facilities, quality tested for harmful additives and contaminants. This eliminates, or at least significantly reduces, the risks of residual pesticides, fungicides, molds, and mildews in your cartridge adding to vape related health issues. Here’s a quick view into why and how fake carts are causing real consequences –
Fungicides & cyanide
NBC news found that 10 out of 10 fake THC carts products contained hydrogen cyanide (a highly poisonous gas). This is also tied to another finding that fake vape cart investigators are eyeing as a harmful ingredient – myclobutanil. Myclobutanil is a fungicide, also found in many fake vape carts recently tested. And what’s worse? Upon heating, myclobutanil transforms into hydrogen cyanide.
Additives & oils
To cut the cost of manufacturing, many fake vape cart producers are using additives to mimic the purity of the real deal, with Vitamin E acetate being the most popular. What sounds like a daily dose of nutrients is not meant for inhalation. In actuality, inhaling the cutting agent coats lungs with oil causing inflammation. Inhaling Vitamin E can also cause lipoid pneumonitis, a once rare condition that comes from particles of fat being consumed into the lungs. Other additives that cause similar symptoms are Vegetable Glycerin, Polyethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol. These agents are actually approved by the FDA, but again, not for inhalation. Overall, a lack of testing and regulation for fake vape cart pens is doing more harm than good. With any real or trusted vape cart manufacturer, you’ll be provided a third-party testing report or certificate of analysis. These tests will also confirm that your real vape cart pen is under the threshold for pesticides or contaminants allowed by the regulating state. If you want to learn more about testing vape carts, check out our more in-depth article here.


When you buy Fake cannabis carts, you’re NOT getting pure products. Those fake THC vape carts may be full of fillers, additives and potentially toxic ingredients. So, instead of paying for one gram of pure cannabis, vape cartridges typically contain a mixture of cannabinoids and terpenes. When you buy a fake, you’re wasting your money on additives you don’t want to buy.


With a plethora of information in the news today, like any topic – it’s best to always check your facts. And when in doubt – always stick with a source you trust. NUG has been committed to quality since 2014 – with innovation and single sourced premium flower as a catalyst in the brand’s mission. For a safe, discreet and delicious real cart, choose NUG’s latest premium vape cartridge product to hit the shelves.


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Blueberry Pancakes – A delicious indica-dominant hybrid

One of the many unique features of NUG’s lineup is the wide selection and high quality offered. Due to their intentional cultivation and production process, NUG’s products deliver consistent, sought-after product. Their strains are not only diverse but also fresh, potent and flavorful, making them stand out in the market. NUG has a great variety of strains that cater to different tastes, preferences, and desired effects. So which strain is right for you, your desired experience or a best fit for your occasion? In this new feature, we check in with some experts about what they’re smoking.


NUG Cannanbis

Shop NUG’s cannabis dispensaries, online or in the dispensaries, for the widest selection of award-winning NUG Premium indoor flower, award-wining chocolate and edibles, live resin cannabis cartridges and all the best disposable and reusable pods. Browse your your favorite premium cannabis brands, including Stiiizy, Lolo, Jeeter, Trinity Reserve, West Coast Cure, Raw Garden, Seven Leaves, Wyld, Himalaya, West Coast Cure, Lost Farm, Heavy Hitters, and Fig Farms. Order online and pick up in store.

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