Fake Vapes, Dank Danger, and the Dope Solutions of 420Stock
If the vaping epidemic has taught us anything, it's that not all weed products are created equal. That's why it's important to know and trust your source.
Published on October 26, 2019

As weed prohibition continues to crumble and tech wizards keep upping the impact and innovations of the tools used to imbibe, time is at hand to be on the lookout for scam packaging and pirated products. It’s just one inevitable downside of marijuana hitting the free market. 

Beyond the rip-off factor, fake vape cartridges and counterfeit components can pose real dangers to those who simply want to get high on the fly. That’s why it’s smart to conduct due diligence first. Safety is of primary importance, but it’s also an act of respect for your reefer! 

It’s understandable to simply opt for whatever’s available, especially if you live in an area where pot remains outlawed. You take what you can get. But are you even sure about what you’re getting?

The issue of fake vapes has become so dangerous that the government is now involved. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention have launched investigations into the recently reported illnesses and products thought to be associated with the outbreak.

In legal weed areas, legitimate vape cartridges are tested and approved by licensed laboratories to ensure the cannabis oil contained therein is devoid of synthetics, pesticides, cutting agents, heavy metals, and other toxic elements. But checking out the lab testing results isn’t always an option. When was the last time a friend or acquaintance or a person at a concert handed you a vape (or a joint, for that matter!) and was able to recite the products lab results? Probably never. That’s why we devised this list of strategies to stay safe when you’re smoking weed. 


Fake Stiiizy vape carts come with a black insert. Legit ones come with a white insert.

Finding Fakes: Visual Clues 

You may think that sticking to well-known brand names is a sure way to avoid these pot pitfalls. Unfortunately, like anything else you shop for online, international counterfeiters run sharper games than ever, and they’ve been flooding the weed world with imitation products that are indistinguishable from the real deal. 

Visual clues that indicate a product is a knock off can include missing panels that showcase the manufacturer or batch number. Also, watch out for unbranded products and packages that aren’t childproof.  And beware of any of these “branded” companies: Dank Vapes, Exotic Carts, and Mario Carts. Also, it's probably smart to make note of the fact that most illicit brands sell products with THC-counts above 100mgs — they usually range between 200-1000. 

Lastly, avoid cartridges that have oil with a low viscosity. You can check this by flipping the vape pen upside down. If the oil moves quickly that means it’s thin, and you can safely infer that it’s been diluted with a cutting agent of some kind. In other words, the oil is sketchy! Abort mission!

Ideally, when you flip your pen upside down, you want the oil to move like molasses: very, very slow.


Finding Fakes: Taste Clues

Still, in many cases, black market products will taste and smoke like legit products. So be on the lookout for vape cartridges that give off a harsh taste. One appropriately gross term for the nastiness of what’s in these cartridges is “hot dog water.” You do not want this. Also, if the oil tastes like you’re huffing straight Pine-Sol, throw it away. The same goes for if the oil you’re puffing tastes burned.


Shopping Smart: Online

Doing research is essential, but it can be a pain-in-the-ass. That’s why 420Stock did all the research before building their platform: they want people to be educated and use the safest materials possible to enjoy their best highs (and life). They’ve conducted queries and selected only the best and most reliable items to sell. That’s why they’ve become such a trusted source.

420Stock’s clean, simple website also provides easy and immediate access to each of its departments. These include top of the line packaging materials; pre-roll supplies such as tubes, cases, machines, and cones; and an astounding selection of every imaginable item related to getting high — from solvents to scales to sifter boxes to smell-proof travel bags.

Gallery — Friends Don't Let Friends Smoke Fake Vapes

Shopping online for weed is an absolute miracle of our modern age, but it’s also fraught with odious fakery and foul operators. 

Just like 420Stock, then, we confidently endorse Eaze. They are a trusted source when buying bud on the Internet. Eaze makes good on its claims of safety, security, and reliability by dealing exclusively with licensed, compliant partners and working only with background-checked retail partner employees. 

With 4.6 million legal deliveries verified so far and more than 100 licensed, guaranteed legitimate brands listed in their online shop, Eaze makes the whole process a breeze. 

In contrast, there are plenty of other sites still taking money from black market businesses and listing them online. This seemingly small action is essentially fueling the war between the unregulated and regulated weed industries. So, proceed with caution if you use website listings — the last thing you want is to unknowlingly end up in an illegal dispensary full of dangerous products.


Shopping Smart: In Person

There’s only one way to ensure you’re not getting poison products: shopping at legal dispensaries and buying legal brands. Checking credentials and separating the bona fides from the bogus is necessary to make sure you get exactly what you pay for and then — even more importantly — put inside your body. Plus, if you’ve got a smartphone, you’re just a few clicks away from those crucial facts.  

We also find researching reefer businesses fascinating and a killer way to discover and keep up with the latest developments in commercial cannabis and consumption.  


Look for Lab Testing Certification

Before you pack any product into your pipe or pen, do a quick visual check. Look for stickers you can verify online. Many companies now include QR codes you can type in like any other package tracking service. 

Also, Google the names of any labs listed on the product. Legitimate labs will be easy to find and most likely can be contacted to answer any questions you might have. If you come up against anything that looks shady or leads to spam or other dead ends, don’t use the product. Consider it a lesson learned and a successful dodge of real potential danger.  

This story was sponsored by 420Stock. For more information, please visit their website here.

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