Fake carts have been an issue in the Cannabis cartridge world for years.
Now that carts and vaping have exploded in popularity, fraudulent cartridges are more prevalent than ever. Bootleg THC cart dealers are bold enough to sell them on social media sites like Snapchat and Instagram.
Fake carts are dangerous because they might be full of anything. In best-case scenarios, you end up with a weak Cannabinoid content. In worst-case scenarios, you could inhale toxic chemicals and substances.
Most black market carts are full of heavy metals and pesticides. There’s no way to know what you’re consuming when you use fake carts.
Real and Fake Carts Color
Making the fake cart vs. real cart distinction involves a lot of different factors. It is sometimes easy to spot these fake cartridges by observing distillate colors closely. A real fake carts color won’t look like authentic carts.
If the cart is orange or brown, it is likely a fake. Quality Cannabis vape carts tend to have a golden, amber, or honey hue.
How To Tell If a Cart is Fake
Smart Cannabis enthusiasts will understand the risks of using fake carts and the importance of learning how to spot a fake cart.
So, how do you know if a cart is fake? Fake carts colors are just the tip of the iceberg. Many other factors can help you spot fraudulent carts and stay safe.
Check the Packaging
Genuine carts feature important information on the packaging that can prove whether or not the product is authentic.
Legitimate packaging includes pertinent facts like the packaging date, manufacturing date, lot number, and batch number. Many brands use QR codes on their packaging so consumers can authenticate products.
You can reference the serial number if the product has a legitimate website and compare it there.
If the numbers don’t match, it is probably a fake cart. If the brand of carts doesn’t have a legitimate website, the cart is likely fraudulent.
Unfortunately, some black market carts are very good at mimicking Cannabis cart brands. Fake cart vendors are skilled at copying legitimate packaging designs. So you may need to do some thorough research to be safe.
Another good rule for spotting fake carts is to look for cartoon characters or super colorful, playful designs. Most states have strict regulations on packaging to avoid enticing minors, so legit carts will not feature these elements.
Look at the License
Users should only use carts procured from trusted brands and licensed vendors. Anything else is dangerous.
Licensed products undergo rigorous testing for consumer safety. If you buy your carts illegally or from a disreputable vendor, then chances are those carts are untested.
By law, cartridges must have a license number visible on the packaging. License numbers prove the product has been tested and is safe for consumption. If you can’t find a license, you may have a fake cart on your hands.
Clarify Regulatory Compliance
When you look at legitimate Cannabis cart vendors, you will always find public records of lab results to prove the products are safe and tested for impurities.
If you cannot find lab results, that’s a good indication you have a fake cart. The lab tests screen for dangerous additives like heavy metals and pesticides, and most fake carts are chock-full of these horrible substances.
Sometimes you can find lab results, but they don’t have results for pesticide and heavy metal screenings. These carts are generally unsafe for consumption.
Legitimate products follow strict regulatory guidelines in the state where they are manufactured, and their lab results prove it.
Read the Ingredients
Fake oil carts tend to contain ingredients that are unsafe and unhealthy for human consumption.
For example, black market carts are notorious for containing a thickening agent called Vitamin E acetate. Vitamin E is cheaper to make and provides a similar consistency to legitimate carts.
Other dangerous ingredients include Vegetable glycerin, Polyethylene glycol, and Propylene glycol. On their own, the ingredients are safe enough, but they should not be inhaled.
If the ingredients claim the product has a low THC potency, it could be a red flag. This could indicate the product is laced with unsafe ingredients.
Alternatively, if the cartridge claims to have insanely high levels of THC, that could indicate a fraudulent cart.
What Do Fake Carts Taste Like?
Fake cart taste will vary from product to product.
You may experience a metallic taste or experience a slightly burnt flavor. This is caused by certain contaminants and additives that taste bad when they are heated up and not what carts are supposed to taste like.
If the fake carts are cut with propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin, they might taste overly sweet and syrupy.
Authentic carts might have a sweet flavor, but if the sweetness is overpowering, the cart might be cut with lots of terpenes. They might taste like gasoline or piney, but those flavors should never be overpowering.
What are the Effects of a Fake Cart?
Many people judge the authenticity of a cart based on the mental and physical effects it causes.
If you find yourself asking, “Why am I not getting high from carts?” it might indicate they are fake, therefore, dangerous.
Other than weaker effects, you can also suffer from lots of detrimental physical and mental effects.
You could experience shortness of breath, nausea, memory loss, lung pain, dizziness, blurred vision, headache, loss of appetite, muscle spasms, numbness, fatigue, and emotional distress.
Are Fake Carts Bad For You?
Fake carts are most certainly bad for you and can be extremely harmful if they are consumed.
Using fake carts can cause very serious health issues that can threaten your life. You can suffer from severe lung injuries and damage when you use illicit, unregulated cartridges.
Along with injuries and illness, fake carts can contain unsafe batteries that may overheat or combust.
The faulty materials in a fake cartridge might even release toxic fumes that could make you very sick.
Fake Cart Brands
The idea of using off-brand carts can be frightening, and for a good reason.
Fake THC carts are very risky, and users would benefit from a black market carts list to cross reference for fake products.
The following list is by no means an exhaustive fake cartridge list, but you can find examples of 25 vape cartridge brands to avoid. These have been proven to be fraudulent carts, so they should be avoided.
Fake Cart Brand List 2022
|23 THC cartridge brands to avoid|
|Off White Carts|
|Big Chief Extracts|
|Legion of Bloom|
|West Coast Cartridges|
|West Coast Cure|
Clear Chronic Carts Real vs Fake
There is very little information available online for this brand. There is no trace of lab results or an authentic business website.
Clear Chronic has an “official” Instagram account with images of flavor choices, but that is all the proof of legitimacy available.
There is no indication of a headquarters or manufacturing location, so there is no way of knowing what standards the company adheres to, if any.
Even if this is a real company, online vendors sell empty Clear Chronic cartridges that bad-faith actors can fill with whatever ingredients they see fit.
Bloom Cartridges Real vs Fake
Bloom One is a legitimate brand from California that sells THC vape cartridges. Unfortunately, black market vendors have been known to use fake Bloom packaging to sell their dangerous products.
Bloom offers some help for customers trying to find out how to tell fake Bloom carts from real ones. Their brands have ceramic mouthpieces, so Bloom carts with plastic tips are fraudulent.
Look out for an engraving on the bottom of the cartridge that reads CCELL. If the cart doesn’t have this engraving, it isn’t an authentic Bloom product.
You can only find real Bloom carts in legal, licensed stores. You can confirm the legitimacy of the products with Bloom One’s support team.
Cloud 9 Carts Fake
Cloud 9 Distribution is another legitimate company that sells licensed Cannabis products. If you purchase legitimate Cloud 9 carts, you should be just fine.
Some fake vendors are more than willing to use Cloud 9 packaging to sell their dangerous wares, so you need to ensure that your Cloud 9 cart is authentic before inhaling it.
Feel free to get in touch with Cloud 9 quality control if you have any concerns about fake carts.
Drip Carts Real or Fake
There is very little evidence that Drip is a legitimate Cannabis company. There is no official website, only an “official” Instagram account. There is a GetDrip.live website, but it may be a different brand.
That website provides a phone number with an area code from California. There is no California license for a company called Drip.
The official DripTHC Instagram has acknowledged fraudulent carts, so there is no real way of authenticating any sort of Drip product. There are also several different DripTHC Instagram accounts.
Fake Dank Carts vs Real
Dank Vapes is a supposed offshoot of DankWoods. The Dank Cape or Dank brand packaging is available for purchase by anyone, so Dank Carts are often fake carts filled with unsavory ingredients.
Dank Vapes was never a registered business name in the United States. Chances are that Dank Carts come from overseas and do not undergo rigorous health testing.
Juice Box Carts Fake
Juice Box seems to be a legitimate company, but they don’t sell traditional carts and cannabis products. Juice Box offers kits that let prospective entrepreneurs build their own cartridge companies.
These tools are easily used by unscrupulous actors to sell dangerous fake carts to unsuspecting consumers.
The company sells legitimate products, but you should be cautious when buying or using Juice Box products as they are easy to manipulate.
Liquid Gold Carts Real vs fake
There are real Liquid Gold carts out there filled with Delta 8 THC formulas. The company sells carts, vape pens, and edibles.
This is another example of a legitimate company that scammers have used to sell unregulated, fake carts without lab results. You can purchase empty Liquid Gold packaging online, and they could contain everything.
You could be inhaling synthetic Cannabinoids and other dangerous chemicals if you don’t have safe, licensed Liquid Gold products.
Fake Dab Carts
Dabs are waxy Cannabis concentrates, and Dab carts are smaller devices used to inhale them.
The waxy concentrate is vaporized by various devices with storage tanks, atomizers, and mouthpieces.
There are many fake dab cartridges as well. You can use the same principles as THC carts to figure out how to know if your dab cart is fake.
So dab carts are vaporizer cartridges filled with cannabis oil. The cartridge itself is made up of a storage tank, an atomizer coil, and a mouthpiece.
Fake Dab Pens
Dab pens are referred to as wax pens and wax vapes. They are not the same as vape pens because they heat Cannabis concentrate and vaporize it.
This method produces a somewhat cleaner effect because they use pure concentrates. They don’t need cartridges, but you can find lots of fake dab pens online as well.
If you have a dab pen that tastes burnt at all, it is probably fake. Dab pens have no combusted plant matter in them, so this is a big red flag.
Fake Disposable Carts
What are disposable carts, you ask? They are very easy to use, even for beginners. These all-in-one devices are pre-filled with distillate, oil, or juice.
There are no charging cables or intricate settings to figure out. They are usually cheaper as well.
It might seem like it’s harder to duplicate fake disposable carts, but they can fall victim to fraudulent products, just like dab pens and carts.
The best hcc disposables are very simple to use, and you simply dispose of them when you’re finished.
Your Fake Carts Color Takeaways
It is no surprise that vaping has continued to gain popularity globally. There are many benefits to choosing vapes instead, from lack of smell to choice of product to vape vs flower cost.
Since vapes are so popular, rest assured that there are lots of people willing to scam eager buyers with fake carts. These carts are usually terrible quality and bad for your health.
If you are keen and observant, you can feel safer, but unless you purchase the product from a reputable source, you are risking potential health effects.
You should check for marks of legitimacy and product integrity like color, smell, and taste. There is no failsafe strategy to avoid fake carts, so you should always be thorough and vigilant.
There is a lot of information to absorb when you’re trying to spot fake carts.
If you still find yourself with questions about fake vs real carts, check out the frequently asked questions below for the most commonly asked questions about fake carts.
Do dispensaries sell fake carts?
In most cases, dispensaries are much safer than any unregulated carts. People who live in legal states have access to a wider variety of generally safe-to-use products.
Unfortunately, even legitimate dispensaries have been known to carry black market and fake carts. Sometimes it is by accident, and sometimes they are trying to make a quick profit.
Is a clear cart fake?
A clear cart is not necessarily a fake cart. Some oils and distillates containing delta-8 THC might be clear or colorless, and they are not fraudulent products.
The Delta-8 distillate can even be a very light yellow that is almost translucent.
Can a fake CBD vape cartridge kill people?
There is a laundry list of negative side effects that fake carts can cause, some of which are serious enough to threaten lives.
Manufacturing processes for fake CBD vapes are sketchy at best, and if you don’t buy it from a reputable source, you could endanger yourself.
Potentially lethal toxic chemicals, like cyanide, might contaminate these carts.
In 2019 the CDC confirmed more than 2,000 lung-related injuries caused by vaping, with 47 deaths. Many of these injuries were caused by fake vape products.
What are the side effects of fake cartridges?
Even if you don’t die, there are serious side effects associated with fake carts that vary from substance to substance.
Since fake carts might be filled with anything, you could experience a bevy of symptoms.
You might feel dizzy or extremely fatigued. Maybe you will have headaches, diarrhea, weak limbs, soreness, or a loss of appetite.
There are potential mental health issues that can come from fake carts, like paranoia, anxiety, depression, mood swings, and even psychosis.
Is there a fake cartridges list?
There are several lists available online on several different websites, but there is no definitive list of every fake cart out there.
Even if there were, black market vendors develop new fake carts every day or find ways to mimic legitimate Cannabis brands to sell fake carts.