Weed vapes have been all the rage the past few years, especially as more US states have decided to legalize. But over the past several months, a vaping illness/injury crisis has rocked the nation, hospitalizing nearly 1,900 people and taking the lives of at least 37.
This edition of how to spot fake or knock-off vapes is about the legal weed brand known as Cookies and the potentially dangerous counterfeit Cookie carts currently floating around the streets. So, responsible toker: Here's what you need to know before puffing that "Biscotti" vape allegedly made by Cookies and how to spot if it's a fake.
This is real. Note the milligram number and the official weed symbol.
Cookies Carts Are Legit
While many of the popular vape cartridge brands we’ve covered at MERRY JANE are totally fake — meaning they’re unlicensed and not lab-tested for safety assurance — Cookies carts are licensed, real, and lab tested. They were originally conceived of by the rapper and weed entrepreneur Berner, and all real Cookies carts are produced through a partnership with the makers of G-Pen, Grenco Science — a totally legit, licensed weed vape company based in California.
But every success story is followed by copycats, and Berner’s Cookies line is no exception. Don’t let shady dealers dupe you. Here’s how to tell if your Cookies carts or vape pens are real.
These are fake. Note the milligram number and the difference in the weed symbol compared to above.
Real Cookies Carts Only Comes in Half Grams
All legit Cookies cartridges only come in half grams (which is also 500mg or 500mL, for the less-metrically inclined). If you see a Cookies cart or pod in a full gram (1000mg or 1000mL) offering, it’s fake AF. Do not smoke it. Period.
Real Cookies Carts Include Genuine CCELL Batteries
Most quality cannabis vapes utilize CCELL lithium-ion batteries to heat the vaporizer’s coil so fresh, steamy vape clouds roll directly into your lungs. Check the equipment to ensure the official CCELL stamp is included on the battery unit. And look out for phony CCELL batteries, which usually give themselves away by the incorrectly formatted or typefaced “CCELL” text. Check out the differences between knock-off CCELL batteries and real ones in the link.
Real Cookies Vapes Can Also Come With a G Pen Gio Battery
Some real Cookies vape models also come with a G Pen Gio Battery. The zinc-alloy casing and powerful 180 mAh battery comes with micro USB charger, too, as pictured above. Anything that looks like this but is missing features is a fake.
Real Cookies Carts and Pods Can Only Be Bought at Authorized Retailers
Here’s the deal: If you’re buying your weed vapes from some shady dude in the Walmart parking lot, chances are he’s selling you some bunk garbage. G-Pen and Cookies brand vapes are only sold through authorized retailers. You can check out the official sellers’ list on the G-Pen website.
As Always Check for the Basics: Lab Results, Company Info, and Website
There are three basic elements every legit, licensed, lab-tested weed vape product should have. First, somewhere on or in the packaging, there should be a sticker with lab data info, including the THC or CBD content, the date of harvest, and batch number. The lab info must always be on a sticker; it should never be printed directly onto the packaging.
Second, look for company info. In Cookies’ case, we know it comes from Berner and G-Pen/Grenco Science. So, that’s a solid check mark next to that criterion. Fake vape brands won’t list which licensed company produces or distributes them because, well, they’re fake.
Gallery — Don't Be Fooled by These Counterfeits:
Third, legit weed vape brands should have a strong web presence. In other words, there should be an official website online for the brand. The website should include company contact info and the company’s street or city address.
Furthermore, most legit vape brands will list all authorized stores that carry their products, especially in light of the vaping illness crisis, which has prompted many vape producers to take extra steps to ensure their customers are only buying and puffing on licensed products.
So Cookies does make legit carts, but only buy yours from licensed dispensaries — otherwise you might be puffing on something that's anything but a sweet treat.