Materials & Use

Cannabis Cartridge: A Guide to Pre-Filled Oil Vape Cartridges

Gabi Antunes

Sep 15, 2019

Cannabis-derived concentrates are a rapidly-growing sector of the legal cannabis industry. Concentrated extracts are used in a variety of ways and among the most common methods of consumption is vaping. However, concentrates tend to be sticky and messy, sometimes posing a challenge for vapers who must manually load their device. Luckily, pre-filled cannabis oil cartridges offer a quick, clean, and easy alternative for vaporizing concentrated extracts.

What is a Cannabis Oil Cartridge?

A cannabis oil cartridge is a small container of cannabis oil that includes a mouthpiece and all the components necessary to vaporize the concentrate stored within. Typically, these cartridges feature a 510 thread connector, an industry standard, that screws into a compatible battery. Pre-filled cannabis oil vape cartridges can be made from several materials, most commonly constructed out of a combination of metal, glass, or plastic.

Pre-filled cannabis oil vape cartridges emerged as a solution to challenges around vaporizing cannabis-derived concentrates. These challenges include portability, cleanliness, discretion, and ease of use. For one small cartridge to solve all those problems, you might think they are complex, but the truth is they are relatively simple devices.

How do Cannabis Oil Cartridges Work?

Pre-filled cannabis oil vape cartridges contain every component needed to vaporize concentrated extracts, excluding a power supply. A cannabis oil cartridge typically consists of a mouthpiece, a chamber where the cannabis oil is stored, a wick or inline pipe vapor path, and a heating element. On the bottom of the cartridge, there is generally a 510 thread and a contact, which is designed to screw into a battery with a compatible thread.

To use a pre-filled cannabis oil cartridge, screw it into a fully charged battery until it fits snugly. Turn your battery on and, if applicable, select your desired temperature. The battery will supply electricity at the selected voltage setting to the heating element in the cartridge. As the heating element warms up, it will heat the material that has been absorbed by the wick. When the material reaches its boiling point, it will vaporize and can be inhaled through the mouthpiece attached to the cartridge.

As simple as pre-filled cannabis oil vape cartridges are both in terms of design and usage, they are a relatively new and groundbreaking innovation in the cannabis industry. Their popularity is due mainly to their simplicity and the advantages they provide over manually loading concentrated extracts into a portable vaporizer.

Why Choose Pre-filled Oil Vape Cartridges?

Why might you choose a pre-filled cannabis oil vape cartridge over a traditional portable vaporizer? After all, portable vaporizers tend to offer more features and a wider range of functionality when compared to 510 thread vape pens.

Still, pre-filled cartridges offer several advantages that portable vaporizers simply aren’t designed to compete with. Here’s a look at some of the reasons cannabis oil cartridges have become so popular:

  • Cannabis oil cartridges are easy to use: One of the main reasons pre-filled cannabis oil cartridges have become so popular is their incredible ease of use. Using a cartridge is as simple as screwing it into a compatible battery, turning it on, and vaping. They do not require any manual loading or complicated maintenance or cleaning processes at all.
  • Cartridges are mess-free: Cartridges offer an easy, mess-free way to consume. In particular, oils are prone to spills or leaks. Cartridges, however, are easy to store in a small container and are unlikely to leak.
  • Vape cartridges are discreet: Pre-filled cartridges are among the most discreet methods of vaping, producing very little vapor or aroma. When combined with a variable voltage battery, vapor production can be reduced even further, making it a highly discreet way to enjoy concentrated extracts.
  • Cartridges make it easy to control your session: Pre-filled cannabis cartridges are not only transparent containers, so you can see how much material you are using, they offer an easy way to take small puffs. Most 510 batteries are built with one-button functionality, allowing you to press down on the button to heat your material and release it when you are done. If you want to take your session slow and steady, it’s easy to do so with a cartridge vape pen.

There are also drawbacks, of course. Vaporizing pre-filled cannabis oil cartridges frequently can be expensive, rather than buying your material in bulk and manually loading it into a portable vaporizer. The devices these cartridges connect to also tend to be more simplistic, though there are some more advanced ones available on the market. Moreover, pre-filled cartridges limit you to concentrated oils, while many portable vaporizers support the use of a wider range of materials, such as wax. Finally, some pre-filled cartridges are prone to clogging, which can quickly ruin a session. For a truly advanced vape experience, though, a more comprehensive portable vaporizer is likely the superior option.

Pre-filled Pods as an Alternative to Cartridges

There is an alternative to cannabis oil cartridges that blends the feature-rich design of portable vaporizers with the simplicity and no-maintenance benefits of a cannabis oil cartridge. These devices are known as pod vapes. They are compatible with a proprietary pod specifically made for use with a certain model of pod vape. Generally, pods are available in many different cultivars from a wide range of extractors. Best of all, pod vapes offer some of the great features that portable vaporizers are known for.

Take the PAX Era for example. Designed to work with PAX SimpleClick™ pods from more than 50 extract partners and include concentrated extracts from more than 250 cultivars of cannabis, the PAX Era also offers advanced features like Bluetooth® connectivity and haptic feedback notifications. The device is extremely compact and features four temperature settings, as well as an instant heat-up time. When connected to the PAX mobile app, the PAX Era offers precise temperature setting down to the degree. The app also allows consumers to lock their device. Its pods use a dual-wick design to ensure all the concentrated extract material is utilized. Much like pre-filled cartridges, though, the PAX Era and its pods require little to no maintenance and no post-session clean-up.

Pre-filled Cartridges and Pods Make Vaping Cannabis Oil Easy

Whether you prefer a 510-thread cannabis oil cartridge or a pod vape, pre-filled pods and cartridges make vaping concentrated extracts a clean, easy, and quick process. Cartridges and pods alike are generally available with a wide range of different cultivar extracts, so no matter what type of cannabis you like best you should be able to find a pre-filled container that suits your desired session in legal markets. If you’re looking for mobility, discretion, and a no-fuss session, it’s a good bet that pre-filled cartridges or pods will suit you well.