Wax Cartridges: What to Know Before You Buy

Vape pen with wax cartridges
iStock / HighGradeRoots

While cannabis flower still remains one of the most popular ways to consume the plant, concentrates and vaporizers are quickly catching up to traditional weed. With an array of benefits on their side, it is no wonder that users are turning to wax cartridges, cannabis-oil filled canisters that are attached to vaporizers, to get their daily cannabis fix.

If you are new to wax carts or simply want to learn more, this guide is here to illuminate your way on this cannabis concentrate journey.

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Wax Cartridge Basics

In the most basic terms, a wax cartridge describes any small pod or cartridge that is filled with cannabis oil and a variety of terpenes and cannabinoids. The oil is extracted from the cannabis plant through a variety of chemical processes in order to isolate THC (and occasionally CBD) and produce a potent and pure product.

Wax carts vary in shape, size, strain, potency, and contents depending on the manufacturer. The amount of concentrate inside of each wax cart can also differ from brand to brand but it is usually anywhere from ½ gram to a full gram of the potent goodness. That being said, all wax cartridges are consistently made with the goal of a smooth fire-free smoking experience with flavorful puffs and unmistakable effects.

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What are the Benefits of a Wax Cart?

Wax cartridges are progressively becoming one of the most popular ways to consume cannabis, and for good reason. The benefits of using a wax cart include:

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  • Potency: Wax cartridges tend to be way more potent than their flower counterparts, with some brands boasting THC levels as high as 80% — beginners beware.
  • Flavor: While many prefer to keep things au naturel, some prefer the enhanced flavor in wax carts. Cartridge manufacturers are able to tailor the terpenes in the concentrate to their needs and deliver a pronounced taste and aroma, unlike flower.
  • Ease of Use: Smoking cannabis can sometimes become a big “to-do”: first you need the flower, then a smoking device, a grinder, and finally combustion. Vaporizers require virtually no assembly and no accessories. Just grab, go, and smoke (just make sure it’s charged of course!).
  • Discretion: In addition to its portability and user-friendly attributes, vapes can also be incredibly discreet. They often come in sleek designs with inconspicuous branding and produce little to no odor, making them perfect for those low-key smoke sessions.

What are the Cons?

As with all good things, there are also a few negatives to consider before making your first wax cart purchase like:

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  • Cost: Due to the fact that producing cannabis concentrates takes a great deal of TLC, wax carts can be a bit more pricey than flower. On the affordable end, wax carts can cost as little as $20 but prices can go upwards of $60 depending on the brand. The hefty price tag may make you take a second look at your gram of flower.
  • Battery Life: You know that feeling of leaving your house with a perfectly rolled joint only to realize that you don’t have a lighter? Yeah accidentally leaving the house with a dead vape feels a lot like that — only there’s no option but to wait for it to charge up before you can enjoy.
  • Not Environmentally Friendly: As we become increasingly aware of our carbon footprint, many decide to avoid vapes altogether to decrease waste. Most vape carts are disposable one-use items made of non-biodegradable materials, like plastic and glass. In addition to the carts themselves, some are built directly into a single-use battery that gets thrown out along with the cartridge. For the most eco-friendly choice, opt for a wax cart that can be attached to a rechargeable battery to use it time and time again.

Who are the Top Wax Cartridge Brands?

With each passing day, more and more manufacturers are hopping aboard the wax cart train and producing their own signature line of products. From ultra-luxe to beginner-friendly, there is a wax cartridge out there for everyone.

The Clear

As one of the first brands to distill cannabis concentrates, The Clear has solidified its spot as one of the top vape cart manufacturers. They are known for their outstanding flavor and pure products — making it “the clear” choice.

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Korova

Korova is infamous for their powerful edibles, but are now making a name for themselves on the concentrate scene. They now offer a line of powerful, hard-hitting cannabis oil carts that are sure to blow your mind. If you’re a smoking expert, this brand is for you.

Kurvana ASCND

The ASCND line by Kurvana consists of some highly potent cartridges that are as close to whole plant medicine as you can get. They come in a wide range of cultivar-inspired varieties and contain around 95% cannabinoids for a true full-spectrum smoking experience.

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Final Thoughts

As with any new cannabis accessory, make sure to thoroughly do your own research before investing your hard-earned dollars into a wax cartridge. Once you decide what is right for you, you can be sure to enjoy a smoking experience that is discreet, effective, and bursting with flavor.

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