Are “Dank Vapes” Legit? And What Do Fake Carts Look Like?
Dank Vapes are black market cannabis products, but now there are knock-offs of the unlicensed cartridges. How can you tell the difference when all of them are illegal?
Published on August 20, 2019

If you’re into vaping, you’ve likely figured out that there are many fake vape carts out there. It’s becoming an increasingly prevalent problem with scammers on Instagram and elsewhere hawking counterfeit, unlicensed products at a dime a dozen. 

But things are extra-complicated when it comes to vape cartridges because there are multiple kinds of black market companies and products: some illegitimate and unlicensed companies may be making carts of a certain, potentially high (but not guaranteed) quality, while other black market companies are making lower quality knock-offs of those illegal and popular carts. This is the case when it comes to anything labeled “Dank Vapes."

Most believe that the original Dank Vapes carts were sold by a company DankWoods — known for their luscious (and also illegal) pre-rolled blunts. You can check out their website to see their logo, their email address, and a link to their disconnected Instagram. That’s it.

It should go without saying, DankWoods is not a legit (meaning “licensed”) business, so there is no guarantee of quality or safety from anything they’re pushing. Their products are not tested, and could contain nasty ingredients including pesticides. In other words, there’s a reason DankWoods and Dank Vapes are not carried at legal dispensaries. As a result, we highly recommend not buying any Dank Vapes carts.

Still, some people (including your dealer, probably) claim that the original Dank Vape carts are reputable and worth smoking. But again, now there are a number of other black market dealers selling copycats of the original Dank Vape carts. So if you want to know the difference between original Dank Vape carts (which are illegal) and their imitators (which are also illegal) here’s the deal. 


For the sake of this article, we’ll describe the OG Dank Vapes carts as the “original” and the knock-offs as “fakes” — but let’s be clear: they are all unlicensed and “fake” products that are sold illegally. 

Why You Should Care If Your Vapes Are Fake

The issue with unlicensed vape companies is that they aren’t adhering to the same standards for purity, quality, and (most importantly) safety. The people selling these products can fill them with whatever they want. This means you could encounter pesticides and heavy-metal contamination, in addition to unknown THC percentages.

Best case scenario, you don’t get as buzzed as you should. Worst case scenario, you suffer some pretty nasty — and potentially dangerous — side-effects from ingesting those contaminates. Recently, a Wisconsin man was hospitalized with lung damage after using a Dank Vapes cart. So we highly recommend avoiding any and all black market products. That said, some people still want to know the difference between the original Dank Vapes and the increasingly widespread knock-offs. 


How to Tell If Your Dank Vapes Are Original or Knock-Offs

The Packaging

The first sign that you might have a knock-off Dank Vapes cart can be found on the box. If it looks like an older design, it’s pretty safe to assume it’s fake at this point. Dank Vapes' newer design features a black background for all flavors (previous boxes featured an array of different colors.) There’s also a holographic logo and raised features that give texture to the box.


New Dank Vapes packaging, image via


Old Dank Vapes packaging, image via


Old, knock-off Dank Vapes packaging, image via

Instagram Handle on the Box

Since Dank Vapes relied heavily on their Instagram account to make sales, the pushers decided to put their handle on their packaging. Even though it’s currently disconnected, the original Dank Vapes should have @DANKVAPESOFFICIALACCOUNT on the box. Some knock-offs may have a variation, like @DANKSVAPESOFFICIAL, while others might not have one at all.

Is Your CCELL Legit?

It may come as a no-brainer, but if part of the hardware is counterfeit, it’s safe to assume you’ve got a fake Dank Vape cart on your hands. Check the bottom of your cartridge for the CCELL stamp, along with a logo and serial number. If the print isn’t precise (or if it’s tilted) or it isn’t small print (and instead looks elongated), you’ve got a bootleg of a bootleg on your hands. Additionally, the ring in the center should be clear if it’s an original Dank Vape cart. The knock-offs usually have white rings. 


Image via

Test the Mouthpiece

Screw-on tops are not original Dank Vape carts. Neither are ceramic mouthpieces. The original Dank Vape carts only have one, standard mouthpiece — a clear, round, press-on mouthpiece, like this:


Image via

Core Width

In the center of the cartridge, there’s a core used for airflow. Although it may appear subtle, fake Dank Vapes have a wider core. When compared to an original one, you can see the phony core looks wider than it should.


Image via

The Oil’s Appearance

If the oil looks like a light yellow or seems too thin, it’s a knock-off of the original Dank Vape cart. The original has darker yellow oil that's thick, such as the below:



When you’re going to get your vape on, be smart about it. At the end of the day, even the original Dank Vapes carts could be low-quality or pose a health risk. The only way to guarantee your safety, and confirm what’s actually in the cart, is to buy brands — whether Kandy Pens or Select or 710 — that are regulated and sold at legal dispensaries. Be safe out there!


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MERRY JANE is based in Los Angeles, California and is dedicated to elevating the discussion around cannabis culture.
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