July 12, 2022 9 min read

Vaping is an incredibly popular method for reaping the benefits of THC, and THC-O is quickly rising to the forefront of the hemp-THC market thanks to it’s potent psychoactive and therapeutic effects that closely mimic that of traditional THC. The question is–what happens when you combine the two? Are THC-O carts safe? And will they reliably provide the psychoactive experience you expect from your favorite hemp-derived THC products?

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about THC-O vape cart safety, including the precautions you need to take to ensure that you’re buying a safe, high-quality THC-O formula. Let’s go:

Looking for federally legal THC-O carts that ship to your state? Check out our our full Elev8 collection today.

Table of Contents
What is a THC-O Cart?
Benefits of Vaping THC-O
Are THC-O Vapes Safe?
Vape Cart Ingredients
Vape Cart Materials
Conclusion: Are THC-O Carts Safe?
How to Safely Use a THC-O Cart
Where to Buy Safe THC-O Carts Online
Frequently Asked Questions

Key Takeaways

  • Vape carts sometimes get a bad rap, but it’s the ingredients and materials used to make the vape cart that really determines the safety of THC-O carts.
  • Carts made with synthetic materials, dangerous additives, or plastic and low-quality metals should be avoided.
  • After you find a high-quality vape formula, you should still dose slowly to get a feel for the formula before taking large doses.
  • You can buy premium THC-O carts online and have them shipped to your door, but you should look for third-party test results and full ingredients list first.

What is a THC-O Cart?

THC-O, also called THC-O acetate, is a THC analog derived from hemp material. Molecularly, it looks and acts very similar to traditional THC products, but its much more accessible thanks to it’s federal legal status. Plus, it’s actually thought to be about 3 times more potent than Delta-9-THC, and many people believe that it also holds increased therapeutic potential.

A THC-O cart, or THC-O vape cartridge, refers to the pre-filled cartridge that fits on the end of a vape battery. These carts are usually filled with a specific amount of THC oil (usually around 1 gram) and are most frequently designed to fit on a standard 510 threaded vaporizer battery that can be recharged.

When the cartridge is empty, it can be thrown out and replaced.

Alternatively, you can find multiple other forms of THC-O vapes on the market, including disposable vape pens and THC-O vape oil that’s used to refill a vape tank. For the intents and purposes of this article, most vapes are the same since we are really looking at the quality of the THC oil itself. However, the quality of the actual vape device also matters regardless of what type of vape you use, but we will touch more on that below.

Benefits of Vaping THC-O

THC-O vape carts are one of the most popular ways to reap THC-O’s effectsbecause they hit hard and fast, are incredibly portable, and are moderately discreet. They also allow consumers to take small, manageable doses that will take effect quickly, so it’s easy to monitor your high as you puff along. This is the reason that THC-O vapes are a popular dosing method used for microdosing, or taking small therapeutic doses of THC-O.

There is also a wide variety of vape formulas available, adding to the versatility that comes along with vaping THC-O. For instance, THC-O vapes may use a strain profiling technique to create formulas with indica-leaning or sativa-dominant effects. These formulas contain added terpenes that may also add to the therapeutic value of the vape. Some even contain other cannabinoids, like Delta-8 or CBD, to help change to overall effects of the vape formula.

Now that you understand why THC-O vapes are so popular, let’s get to the point:

Are THC-O Vapes Safe?

In general, vape cart safety isn't black or white. There are multiple contributing factors that affect the safety of vape products, and especially hemp vape products. The safety of your THC-O vape pen has a lot to do with the way it's made. That includes the actual materials used to make the vape tank, and the ingredients used to make the vape oil formula.

We’ll talk about both:

Vape Cart Ingredients

The ingredients inside the vape oil directly impact the safety since, of course, you're inhaling that solution directly into your lungs.

Unfortunately, the THC-O cart market isn't very well regulated yet, so it's up to you as the consumer to weed out the good from the bad. Here's where to start:

THC-O Vape Ingredients That Are Potentially Unsafe

Some people speculate that vaping many not be all that safe in general, and its safe to say that overconsuming anything may have a negative impact on the body. However, vaping is often thought to be safer than smoking because the combustion required for smoking released carcinogens into the smoke that you inhale into your lungs.

Whether or not vaping releases similar toxins is still up for debate, but it really boils down to the ingredients used. Inhaling water vapor, for instance, will never be as toxic as inhaling, say, vaporized gasoline.

In the research that’s available to compare the effects of smoking and vaping, the two are often shown to have a similar impact on lung health. However, almost all of these studies use nicotine vapes, many of which contain potentially harmful ingredients that you won’t always find in hemp vape products.

In order to ensure a higher safety standard, you may want to avoid some of the following vape oil ingredients:

Synthetic Cannabinoids

There has also been some negative press surrounding cannabis vaporizers in the past, but these reports also often point towards the formula as the primary issue. For instance, cannabis vaporizers containing synthetic cannabinoids have been known to cause adverse reactions that in some cases led to hospitalization.

In almost all instances, synthetic cannabinoids are considered unsafe and illegal, except for some FDA approved pharmaceuticals.

A THC-O cart being machine filled during manufacturing

Propylene Glycol

The vape community also speculates that another ingredient commonly found in vape oil—propylene glycol (PG)—may make vaporizers unsafe.

Propylene glycol is widely considered safe as a food additive and is FDA approved for many uses, but is thought to turn into a noxious gas when heated to high temperatures. There's currently very little evidence available to confirm or deny the possible harms of inhaling heated propylene glycol, but many brands have moved away from the use of PG in vape products anyways.

Unsafe Preservatives

Manufacturers have been known to use additives under the guide of "natural preservatives" that may make THC carts dangerous. For instance, vitamin E oil is often used as a preservative and is FDA-approved as a safe substance for topical or oral use. However, research has found vitamin E acetate to be unsafe when inhaled, stating that it may interfere with healthy lung function.

Various Carrier Oils

You should also check out any additional carrier oils used to ensure they meet your needs. For instance, some manufacturers may use oils sourced from tree nuts or other plant-based sources that could cause an allergic reaction in some people. Generally speaking, hemp oil may be the most natural carrier oil for hemp-derived THC oil vapes.

THC-O Vape Oil Ingredients That May Be Safe

In order to choose a safe THC-O vape product, you need to understand how to evaluate the hemp quality and manufacturing process used to create each unique formula. A safe vape formula needs to be made by a trustworthy hemp manufacturer using safe terpenes, carrier oils, hemp extract, and sometimes even FDA approved flavors and sweeteners.

Vape Cart Materials

Aside from the ingredients used in your vape oil formula, the materials used to make the actual vape device also impact safety. You may have heard the rare horror story of a vape battery exploding in a hot car, and while this may have a lot more to do with proper storage, it drives an important point: Vapes get hot. Really hot.

With that said, you obviously need to ensure that the materials used to make your vape device can withstand the heat, and that they also won't leach any toxins into the vapor you're inhaling. Typically, this isn't something you need to worry about when buying a vape from a high quality manufacturer, but cheaper vapes may be made with cheap heating elements, coils, or plastics that can melt or degrade into your vape oil.

Here's a quick rundown on the types of materials that are and aren't acceptable in your vape mod build.

Avoid:

  • Plastic, which can off-gas, absorb terpenes and other elements from the hemp oil, and overall alter the vaping experience.
  • Vapes with loose gaskets that leak, which can be wasteful and costly
  • Vapes with pre-moistened wicks that may have been primed with a chemical like propylene glycol, which can cause allergic reactions or other adverse effects in some people.

Choose Instead:

  • Vapes made of premium, heat-resistance materials, such as glass, metal (like stainless steel), and ceramic.
  • Vape tanks that have properly fitted gaskets that don’t leak or allow air to contaminate the hemp oil inside.
  • Batteries that are 510 threaded, since that's the size of the most common and accessible vape battery.

Looking for potent, safe, federally-legal THC carts? OurElev8 Carts come in a 510 compatible ceramic core cartridge that's made from premium heat-safe materials and filled with high-quality hemp extract.

A THC-O vape cart that attaches to a reusable vape battery offers the benefits of variable temperature control and low cost

Conclusion: Are THC-O Carts Safe?

While it's true that vaping or smoking anything may carry some level of risk, it is also true that the most severe risk of vaping comes from the addition of dangerous additives or low quality vape cart materials. In other words, you can seriously reduce any risks associated with vaping by choosing a high-quality THC-O vape cart.

You should also thoroughly review the THC-O vape cart before you buy to ensure that it's made from legal, high-quality hemp. You want a vaporizer that does not contain synthetic cannabinoids or unnecessary additives. There are many hemp vaporizers on the market that contain only simple ingredients like natural hemp cannabinoids, terpenes, and safe carrier oils.

A high-quality hemp brand will always offer third-party test results with their products. They should also be willing to divulge the full ingredients list and the origin of their hemp material. Choosing a high-quality vaporizer that is free of risky additives and synthetic materials is the best way to ensure that your THC-O carts are safe.

How to Safely Use a THC-O Vape Cart

After you've done the footwork to choose a safe THC-O vape cart, you still need to understand how to dose appropriately to ensure a positive THC-O experience. Keep in mind that THC-O is around three times stronger than traditional THC products, so you may need to reconsider your dosage threshold and when you dose, even if you are experienced with traditional THC products or other hemp-THC products, like Delta-8.

Here’s how to get started with your new THC-O vape:

Start slow.

Because THC-O is so potent, its crucial to dose slowly and see how you feel before stacking on more doses. The great thing about vaporizer doses is that you can gently stack in one or two small puffs at a time while waiting the necessary 5-10 minutes to feel the effects before deciding to increase your dosage. In other words, vaporizers make it easy to fine tune your THC-O experience, even if you don't quite understand your THC-O dosing threshold yet.

Read “How Much THC-O Should I Take?” to learn more.

Stride slowly when you change products, too.

Use this slow-dosing technique every time you change formulas, too. Different formulas may be more or less potent or could contain different terpenes that change the dosing experience. In short, just dose slowly and with intention to help ensure a positive, safe THC-O experience.

Try THC-O with Delta-8

If you want a more balanced, therapeutic experience, consider using a product that combines THC-O with the milder Delta-8-THC. Our THC-O + Delta-8-THC vaporizer comes in three varieties (indica, sativa, and hybrid) and provides a more balanced lift that appeals to new consumers and those looking for a milder high.

Vida Optima Elev8 THC-O Vape

Where to Buy Safe THC-O Carts Online

Our Delta-8-THC + THC-O vaporizers are designed with your safety in mind. We use simple, hemp-derived ingredients to create our potent THC vape oil. Our vape carts contain 95% Delta-8-THC derived from legal hemp, and the other 5% is reserved for natural hemp-derived terpenes.

Our carts are made from high-quality glass with a ceramic core, and they won’t leak or burn the hemp oil material. Plus, all of our products are 100% Farm Bill compliant and backed by third-party lab testing that you can view before you buy.

Check out our entireDelta-8-THC collection to learn more.

Resources

  1. “Spiked vapes and emergency room visits reveal dark side of CBD craze” https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2019/09/16/vaping-lung-illness-cbd-cheap-synthetic-marijuana-used-sub/2339545001/
  2. “Formaldehyde Vapor Concentration in Electronic Cigarettes and Health Complaints of Electronic Cigarettes Smokers in Indonesia” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6076960/#:~:text=Formaldehyde%20is%20known%20as%20a%20result%20of%20the%20degradation%20products,of%20evaporation%20and%20incomplete%20combustion.&text=When%20propylene%20glycol%20is%20heated,known%20as%20carcinogen%20%5B11%5D.
  3. “An efficient new cannabinoid antiemetic in pediatric oncology” http://www.druglibrary.net/olsen/HEMP/IHA/iha02210.html

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