Believe it or not, counterfeit products are a huge problem in the vape space! This time on the HED Carts blog we want to give you the tools and tips you need to protect yourself from potentially dangerous vape cartridges.
How to Spot and Avoid Counterfeit Vapes
First, let’s say this - there is no 100% fool-proof way to ensure something is safe and correct. Even totally legitimate and safe industries and markets have recalls due to all sorts of things. BUT that said, we can all do our part to reduce the risk of potentially using a contaminated vape.
Avoid Illicit Markets
The number one, biggest thing you can do right now to avoid buying and using counterfeit and potentially dangerous vapes is to avoid illicit markets entirely! Only buy from licensed dispensaries and companies.
Make Sure The Store is Licensed
It can be difficult to know if the store is licensed. Depending on the state you're in there could be different protocols in place. For instance, in California stores are required to clearly post their license number in a visible place, to give confidence to any customer that they’re in good hands. Liquor stores have similar licenses that you’ve likely seen and just not realized. Any potential location you’re considering buying from look for their license number or ask for it. If they don’t have a license posted they may either not be licensed or potentially aren’t following the protocols as decided by your state – neither of which is a good sign!
Know the Product
Another way to avoid counterfeit vapes is to stick to products and brands that you know. Look for brands that have been around for awhile. These will have established reputations, have a good presence online on social media. These brands have been around and they have a reputation to keep in tip top shape so they’ll be hustling to keep things as safe, secure, and standardized as possible.
The little known brands that pop up in the illicit markets can pump tanks with dangerous substances, or cartridges made with sub-optimal metals, then cut and run disappearing to pop up as a new brand elsewhere.
Some brands offer unique QR codes on their product that can be scanned and easily verified online. If your brand of choice uses these, take advantage of that safety feature! Other brands that are popular may have a custom stamp to set them apart from their pretenders.
Look for State Mandated Regulations
Of course, those disreputable companies who are willing to churn out dangerous products also have no scruples when it comes to adopting the identity of a more popular brand to sell their wares. So knowing the brand is critical!
Another tip? Look for state mandated regulation stamps and info. Again, using California as an example, vape cartridges and packaging labels need to have:
A manufacturing date
A packaging date
A batch number
A lot number
There’s also THC warning signs that are state mandated by CA, all of these pieces allow for regulation, having the batch and lot numbers, and manufacturing and packaging dates allow for a traceable history of the product and it can be readily looked up to verify.
If any of this information is obscured, looks off, or just straight up isn’t there when it should be (again, each state’s regulations are different) then that should tip you off that there’s something amiss about this product.
Vaping gets enough bad vibes from people who don’t know any better, we want to make sure we do our part to encourage a safer industry!
That’s why we have a seriousHeavy Metal Policy and other safety precautions we stick to. We do our part, now you do yours! Avoid counterfeit vapes, only support licensed products and companies and vape safe!