Best and Worst Vape Cartridges of 2015 & 201662 Comments
You’ve probably noticed more and more “vape pens” popping up at your local dispensary, online telemedicine platforms like Nugg & NuggMD, but what about cannabis vape cartridges? Maybe you don’t know exactly what they are or how to use them, but you’ve seen your pal puffing on what looks to be an “armored pen” like its oxygen.
Here’s the deal—the vaporizers you see today are portable electronic sticks that heat marijuana oil to a temperature just shy of combustion, emitting a smokeless “mist” without the tars, toxins and carbon produced and ingested when setting your herb aflame.
Vaporizers make vaping and smoking easy, discreet, and honestly quite a lot of fun (just don’t confuse cannabis vaporizers with e-cigarette vaporizer pens that function the same but use nicotine instead of THC).
After seeing celebs like rapper/weed icon Snoop Dogg, comedian Sarah Silverman, fighter Nate Diaz and others publicly sport these magic healing wands, you’re probably tempted to try one for yourself. You’re not alone. Even a third of Leafly reviews are related to medical or adult vaporizer use.
But what you might not realize is that the vape pens themselves aren’t the key. Yes, each comes with its own design, price, quality, durability, and “wow factor”; but in reality it’s the THC and/or CBD vape oil (also commonly referred to as cannabis e-juice or liquid concentrate) inside the detachable cartridge that produces the relaxing, healing effects.
These weed cartridges are typically created using a CO2 extraction method and can be replaced time and time again with any THC and/or CBD infused liquid.
Which brings us to the point of this article…
What are the best (and worst) vape cartridges available today?
We wish someone warned us which ones to try first and which ones to stay away from, but there’s just not much information out there on what makes one cartridge better than another. Maybe a random reddit thread here and there, a post in High Times or The Cannabist, but for the most part the topic of personal cannabis vaporizers is still an emerging trend with a lot to be discovered.
Plus, when something so small is priced so high you can’t really afford trial and error. We’re writing this post in hopes that prospective wax pen vape cartridge buyers like you find it useful prior to purchase.
Our first piece of advice for medical marijuana users—don’t listen to what the budtenders tell you. They’re job is to push products. They’re not pharmacists. Most of them don’t care about your medical needs and the cannabis industry just doesn’t have standards to make sure the people behind the counter know what they’re talking about.
In fact, most of us are frequently shocked how little they actually know. “This one’s the best” usually means “this is the one nobody’s buying and we really need to get rid of it.”
And you often can’t trust pricing as an indicator of quality; you may think expensive carts trump the rest in quality and potency, but they’re most likely only pricey because of fancy packaging and branding.
In this 2015-2017 breakdown, we’ll try to refrain from talking about qualities that are mainly subjective like smell and taste. They all smell and taste differently, but we know what you care about most are the THC concentration, vapor production, and ultimately the effects of the high, so we’ll mainly address these issues.
We’ve also updated this piece to include vape cartridges that became available to consumers in 2017.
We’ll go from worst to best so, even if you don’t have time to read this whole thing, you can click on a brand above and find out which one(s) to try and which to stay away from. When you do find one you’re interested in, check out the last section of this post to learn how you can get it delivered to your home (if you’re in California, that is).
Don’t be fooled by the sleek packaging! You might be tempted to buy an O.pen pre-filled hash oil vape cartridge or O.Pen refill because they’re nice, colorful, and have a variety of vape cartridge strains in 250mg ($30-45) and 500mg ($50-65) sizes, but this is the least favorite brand we’ve tried.
And believe us, we wanted to think the first experience was a fluke, but then the second AND third marijuana oil cartridges ended in leakage too.
SEE ALSO: Full O-pen Vape Pen & Cartridges Review
Even when we followed the O.pen vape instructions and managed to get these things puffing, the burnt plastic taste was simply off-putting and unnatural. We imagine this product comes from a production line with little quality control and a company with little interest in the cannabis user. Still looking for O-pen vape cartridges for sale? Scroll or jump to the end of this article.
O-Pen vape cartridges = avoid, not worth the problems when better ones available.
This one will get you high, but not very quickly. We had to power-hit it rapidly for ten minutes and only then did the cerebral lift-up kick in. There’s not that much vapor produced, so you feel like every hit comes up short. For some reason this one is priced at $40 for 500mg of vape pen hash oil, but we have no idea what reason justifies that price.
Their packaging isn’t even aesthetically pleasing. See for yourself; it’s freaking atrocious. Looks like it’s straight out of the Kirkland Swiss army knife handbook.
American Flower cartridges = don’t bother, unless the O-pen is your only other option. Then prep the lungs, suck down the entire cart and hope for the best.
Pure Vape has the potential to be an amazing product. They kill it when it comes to taste, potency, and availability, but they’re not fooling anybody with their price point.
If you’re light on cash $40 for the 500mg cartridge and $50 for the 1200mg cartridge (a better deal) might not be worth it; you’re better off buying some wax or shatter to get more bang for your buck, unless you insist on vaping.
An average Pure Vape cartridge might last about four days, if you have the discipline of a Shaolin monk, but if you’re a regular toker this thing will give you two days of great tasting vapor, and two days of burnt hits. Instead, save those 40 or 50 bucks for one of the bad boys below.
Pure Vape cartridges = quality but short-lasting; not worth the price.
TetraLabs does not mess around when it comes to quality. These cannabis oil cartridges contain pure liquid THC will get you really high, make your mouth water, and will last longer than most others on the market.
While more expensive than the previous cartridges, their strength, smoothness and effectiveness makes them worth the heftier $70 (1000mg) and $40 (500mg) price tags.
While they come in a variety of flavors, Classic, Crème Brûlée, Earl Grey, Pineapple and Spearmint, unfortunately they don’t come in a variety of strains because you only have one option…Mystery Hybrid.
Although labeled a hybrid strain, we wouldn’t recommend this cartridge if you’re trying to get stuff done. They definitely lean more towards the indica-dominant side of the spectrum, so if you’re looking for that deep body couch-lock then this is the vape cartridge for you.
Tetra Labs Gold cartridges = pricey but dank, almost too dank if you’re tryna function.
Unlike the others on this list, Eureka oil vapor cartridges come in almost 20 popular indica, sativa and hybrid strains like Girl Scout Cookie, Super Silver Haze, and White Window for practically every condition or mood.
Not only is there something for everybody, each Eureka vapor cartridge tastes like what it’s supposed to as their extraction process produces only the purest and healthiest vapor.
SEE ALSO: Eureka Vape Cartridge Review
They’re fairly priced at $35 for 0.5g/500mg and $65 for 1g/1000mg, plus works like any standard 510-thread cartridge. Currently they’re only available in California and Colorado, so if you can legally buy medical marijuana and are lucky enough to find them, take advantage and enjoy! You won’t be sorry.
Eureka vape cartridges = great selection, effective, and affordable; a more balanced cartridge.
Super potent, super high-quality with a bunch of great tasting strains like Skywalker OG, Blackberry, and Tangerine Dream to choose from.
In our eyes, Honey Vape could’ve taken the cake, but we like to medicate on-the-go and this cartridge slowed us down. Why?
When we first tried the Honey Vape cartridge we were ready to put it at the top of this list (meaning the absolute worst) marijuana cartridge available. We could barely get this thing to hit at all. We were sucking on it like a baby on a pacifier, our lips hurt and we were doing way too much of the work.
But we found the trick—you have to heat this stuff up beforehand until the liquid THC starts to flow and then, believe us, it runs like gold. After giving up on the concentrate and accidentally leaving it to fry in the sun, we discovered that the THC vape juice was swimming around more freely.
We then plugged it into our vape pen, took one huge drag and, would you look at that, the thing absolutely RIPPED.
With up to 80% THC oil in each, we proceeded to get a mind-blowing creative high that lasted well over two hours (impressive for any THC cartridges our book).
SEE ALSO: In-Depth Honey Vape Cartridges Review
So if you don’t mind doing a little prep-work (like putting a blowdryer or flame to this thing) and paying $40 (0.5g), $75 (1g), or $110 (1.8g) for a CO2 oil cartridge, then Honey Vape is totally worth it. You won’t find this kind of quality and potency anywhere else.
Honey Vape cartridges = looks like honey, tastes like it too, and gets you very medicated so go try one of these cartridges now.
Kurvana (formerly Kure Botanicals)
There’s nothing more satisfying than a perfect tasting vapor hit. We’d probably buy these cannabis vape juices even if they didn’t contain active cannabinoids; they’re that good.
However, even though these cartridges taste better than any others we’ve tried, taste isn’t the determining factor for why we put Kurvana at numero uno.
They’re also extremely potent (67-70% THC), come in 11 delicious strains like Pineapple Express, Citron OG and Grapefruit Kush, and the presentation is pristine. Where other companies use fancy packaging to place a premium on price (a.k.a. rip you off), Kurvana uses its stylish packaging as the “wow factor.”
The only downside is they’re one of the most expensive 1g cartridges available, $75 each, but their .5g cartridges are a reasonable $40 a piece, putting them on-par with the Honey vape cartridge.
These embody everything you want in your weed oil cartridges: the intensely flavored strains taste awesome and hit smoothly while getting you high as a kite, and the beautifully crafted vial containers look attractive. Way to go Kurvana, you’ve done us right.
Kurvana vape cartridges = currently one of the best vape cartridge on the market, hands down.
Mostly known for their dried flower vapes, Pax has become a leading vape cartridge producer in 2017 due in part to their super sleek and stylish concentrates pen, the Pax Era. The pen’s thin, rectangular shape is unlike any other, making their cartridges, called “pods,” a high quality specialty item.
Surprisingly, Pax doesn’t make their own vape oil but partners with high quality cannabis companies, licensing their pod’s to different ones in each MMJ state.
Here in California, Bloom Farms produces the pods in a ton of organic strains, including ACDC, Silver Haze, Sour Diesel, White Kush and many more. Bloom Farm’s Pax Era Pods are on the expensive end, with 500mg (the only size available) cartridges costing around $60 a piece.
In addition to the pods’ lasting unexpectedly long, the pen itself heats to a perfect temperature so you’ll never have another harsh hit filled with burnt flavor. It not only looks futuristic, it also comes equipped with an app, allowing you to track your consumption and alter the temperature as needed.
Pax Era Pods = What these pods lack in affordability and diversity they make up for in quality, flavor and lasting ability. Worth the splurge.
The FlavRx takes pride in emphasizing the science behind the perfect dose, so it’s no surprise the company won “Best Vape Pen” at the 2016 HempCon in San Francisco. Now in 2017 they’ve become even popular. Every cartridge provides a quality high that’s full of natural flavor, tasting more like smoking flower than vaping concentrate.
Another amazing aspect of FlavRx cartridges? There are currently 24 strain-specific options to choose from, including favorites like Girl Scout Cookies, Green Crack, Blue Dream, Jack Herer and OG Kush, along with several more so you’ll never get bored.
Their cartridges come in two sizes: 500mg (0.5ml) and 1,000mg (1.0ml). The smaller will cost around $35 while the large will cost around $65, making these some of the more expensive options available.
If you’re more concerned with price than quality, these vape oil cartridges probably aren’t for you. But if you are willing to pay a bit more for better quality flavor and high, FlavRx might be your new favorite.
FlavRX = Rich, natural flavor of smoking flower with the potent high of concentrates.
Read on to learn how to order cannabis delivery online from top dispensaries in your area. We guarantee you they carry some (if not all) of these products.
How to Get Vape Products Delivered in Under an Hour
Where can you find THC vape oil for sale online? While you can’t buy it or other vape pen cartridges wholesale directly from the companies that make them, or buy them outside of your designated state, you can find a variety of vape refills, dab cartridges, wax cartridges, BHO cartridges, CBD vape pen cartridges, hash oil cartridges and more for sale just by using any device with an internet connection!
Keep in mind though, this service is only available in California for now.
Visit Nugg, the leading online cannabis marketplace, to find a competitive list of the vape cartridges you want, and have them delivered to your door! Put in your address or zip code and/or use the search bar to hunt for brands and vape products using key search words like “vaporizer” and “cartridges.”
See which medical marijuana dispensaries near you carry these awesome (or not so awesome) products, compare pricing, and order hassle-free without ever talking to a live person. Instant gratification here you come!
So there you have it. The best and worst vape cartridges of 2015 & 2016, and much more to come in 2017.
We’ll update this page regularly with new cartridge additions, so visit us again to learn about new cartridge brands & products.
As cannabis concentrates become ever more popular for consumers, one company has established a solid foothold in the medical marijuana market. O.pen Vape produces a personal vaporizer pen and cartridges that accompany it, which we recently got our hands on to review! The Nugg team is dedicated to finding and making public the most relevant, accurate, and up-to-date information on cannabis products, strains, and dispensaries throughout California (and ultimately beyond). Let’s dive in.
For New Patients & the Cost-Conscious
For many medical marijuana patients, two primary factors can cause concentrates to be somewhat inaccessible: they’re often costly, and can be difficult to use. An effective water pipe optimized for concentrates can run you upwards of 100$, meaning that vape pens are the only viable method of concentrate consumption for the cost-conscious. However, even vape pens start at the $30+ range (high-end vaporizer pens can be $200+). Unfortunately, many brands are finicky and prone to breaking.
Though they don’t solve all of issues associated with modern-day vape pens (it’s extremely rare to find a brand who does), O.pen Vape has designed their products to be easy to operate and accessible to a wide audience. Their flagship product, aptly called the O.pen Vape, is sold at a $20-$25 price point, and uses pre-filled cartridges (often priced $30 and above per cartridge) that can simply be screwed onto the battery and heating element — no more trying to delicately place wax onto a small and fragile coil.
As a company, O.pen Vape keeps communication with their retailers open. On their website they claim to train each of their distributors to be knowledgeable about their products, and even offer a warranty through distributors—though at least one customer has reported that their dispensary didn’t follow through on this. Regardless, open communication and collaboration with their retail partners is a huge plus in an industry that lacks diligence and consistency.
This dispensary-specific problem aside, the O.pen Vape is simple and accessible. While its simplicity is limiting in some ways (to be discussed shortly), medical marijuana patients looking for an easy entry point into concentrates without costly bells and whistles might be satisfied with the O.pen Vape.
How the O.pen Vape Pen Works
O.pen vape charging instructions
Out of the box, the O.pen Vape is nothing more than the main chassis and a USB charging tip that comes screwed onto the end of the pen. The battery contains no charge at the outset, so the first thing new users will want to do is charge the pen, which will take three or four hours. The battery will stay charged for about a week (which is extremely impressive by vape-pen standards), and the red light blinks green once it’s done charging.
Using the pen requires a cartridge that screws onto the threaded tip where the USB charger is initially located. For most, purchasing a separate pre-filled cartridge will be the easiest way to jump right into using the O.pen. The O.pen company sells their own cartridges, which are generally about 30$ for half a gram, or 50$ for a full gram, although we’ve heard prices in Colorado are much more friendly. Though this can cost more than the pen itself, some dispensaries will throw in the pen for free with purchase of one or more cartridges. The chassis uses a standard 510 thread size, so pre-filled cartridges from any other company also utilizing this size will work with the O.pen as well. That’s a huge plus for us.
The cartridge system
O.pen Vape also sells empty cartridges that will fit onto the pen. A five pack of the smallest, .3mL size, will run you about 35$. Though slightly more cost-effective, the actual action of filling the cartridges can be an involved process. A syringe full of hash oil can be purchased at dispensaries, which then has to be heated before it can successfully be loaded into the empty cartridge.
Non-liquid concentrates can be used with the O.pen as well, as long as they’re mixed with polyethylene glycol, in order to give them the proper consistency. But does anyone really have time for that? And you can’t load your herb into it either. All-in-all, the O.pen Vape’s cartridge system is pretty restrictive.
Once a cartridge full of the concentrate of your choice is attached to the O.pen, using it is as simple as inhaling. The heating element will stay activated for up to eight seconds (signifying the “Perfect puff”) at which point the LED indicator on the bottom of the pen will blink.
HINT: the O.pen Vape also acts as a stylus for your smartphone or tablet, clever huh?
Since it’s not much bigger than an actual pen, transporting the O.pen is easy. If carrying the whole, assembled object is too difficult, it’s easy to unscrew the cartridge portion and carry each one separately.
Additionally, a significant advantage of O.pen Vape’s pre-loaded vape cartridges is that they contain no carrier liquid, which means that the amount of THC contained in the cartridge is as-advertised. This makes it easier to both know the amount of THC being consumed, and allows you to create benchmarks for how much liquid-THC intake is ideal for you, if you don’t already know.
Another major plus is that O.pen Vape offers a lifetime warranty. The company has sometimes but not always followed through on providing replacement parts, so it may be a gamble. However the offer is well-advertised, and anyone who’s persistent enough should receive the replacement parts to which they’re entitled.
Since the O.pen is one of the most inexpensive entry points into concentrates, its downsides may be inconsequential to those looking for a basic, affordable product. However, users who may have more money to spend, seek pristine functionality, and value reliability above all else will probably find what they’re looking for in a more expensive product. Overall, the product is for a few specific demographics, within which it excels.
The cartridges themselves cannot be exposed to higher levels of heat or cold, as that can cause leaking. And if some of the concentrate leaks onto the pen itself, the pen can stop working. This means that, although the pen is portable, some diligence must be paid to preventing exposure to more extreme temperatures.
It’s also worth noting that at its core, the O.pen is essentially no different from a standard e-cigarette. The same product can essentially be purchased from e-cigarette retailers at a similar price point. Some users may be more comfortable purchasing their vape pen from a cannabis-specific retailer, or would just rather have a product intended for cannabis, so for them the O.pen remains a viable product. However, anyone savvy to e-cigarette mechanics may be able to find an overall more reliable alternative for the same price.
Finally, most smokers want to know which flavor/strain they’re vaporizing. And unfortunately, the O.pen Vape makes that task rather difficult. The flavors between indica, hybrid, and sativa strains are nearly indistinguishable (at least in California), and often come with a hint of chemicals. Plus, we’ve often found the cartridges to only be ⅔ or ¾ full. That being said (and to O.pen’s credit), we didn’t notice any difference in the high produced by various strains, meaning it’s rather consistent and reliable.
Other O.pen Products
Though their most basic model is rooted in simplicity, O.pen Vape offers a wide range of products for more advanced vape users. Their flagship pen as well as a smaller model called the Go.pen can both be customized with your name or desired message for an extra cost. They also sell a glass mouthpiece, called the Helix, that can be used with the Go.pen. The Go.pen itself is a more traditionally-styled vape pen, with a button that controls the heating element, and a small and portable design.
For either medical marijuana patients in search of a solid alternative to their favorite vape pen, or fans of the O.pen who are looking for an upgrade, these products do away with some of the simplicity of the regular O.pen in favor of a more complex design with increased functionality.
“I’ve been an o.Pen Vape pen user for just about a year now. At first I enjoyed using them – they’re quick, easy, convenient! However, after awhile you’ll start to cough a little. I also noticed that I built up a tolerance to their products very quickly.” —Rod
“The easiest to use vape pen on the market.” —Kathy
“They are 510 threaded, you can use them on most any -ecig thing. I’ve had/used about 20 cart[ridges] from them. 2 of them leaked (early on in my usage, so it might have been my fault). dispensary replaced both carts. to make sure it wasn’t the problem, they replaced my battery unit too.” —aManPerson
Should I Buy the O.pen?
The biggest selling point of the O.pen has to be its simplicity, hands down. It can be transported, refilled, and charged all with minimal hassle. The biggest downside? Probably the restrictive cartridge system, which makes it very difficult load your own cannabis oils and concentrates. Considering your best bet is to use the vape pen with the vape cartridges made by O.pen, it further exacerbates the problem by forcing you to seek out said vape cartridges, which might not be readily found at dispensaries near you.
The O.pen is highly recommended for both users new to concentrates, the cost-conscious, and elderly patients who struggle with loading, activating, and cleaning a vape pen. It’s basically the most simple product you’ll find on the market.
However, small issues, like a leaking cartridge or an inability to find pre-loaded cartridges, may render the product unusable for some. All bars aside, for the accessible vaporizing product it aims to be, the O.pen is a big success.
Where to Buy O.pen Vape Pens & Cartridges
While we love sharing awesome content on our blog to help cannabis patients better understand the plant they love, we’re also pioneering the way for easy, quick, and professional cannabis delivery.
Nugg lets you find and order delivery online from local cannabis dispensaries in more than 60 California cities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Think of it like GrubHub for cannabis. It’s free to use, every order is backed by 24/7 Customer Service, and you can choose from thousands of marijuana products across hundreds of dispensary menus. Just click the button below to start shopping dispensaries in your area!