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Cannabis vape cartridges, also known as weed carts, offer users a convenient, discreet, and fast-acting delivery method compared to other cannabis products. Here, we will cover the similarities and differences between weed carts, flower, pre-rolls, and capsules.

What Is a Weed Cart?

weed cart (weed cartridge and bud)

A marijuana vape cartridge (weed cart) has a 510 thread for compatible vape batteries. It contains highly refined cannabis oil, usually in 0.5 or 1-gram options, and thinning agents, such as propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, or botanical terpenes, to create a consistency ideal for vaping.

Weed cartridges can contain cannabis oil with different concentrations of terpenes and cannabinoids. Distillate carts have a cannabis oil with 90%+ of a single cannabinoid, while live resin carts contain a broader range of cannabinoids and terpenes. Weed carts can be made using solventless or solvent-based extractions.

A cannabis or THC cartridge is referred to informally as a “weed cart”. These are tiny pre-filled cartridges that include concentrated cannabis or THC oil within. These cartridges are made to go with vaporizer pens, often known as vape pens.

The steps are as follows:

Cannabinoids, primarily THC or CBD, are concentrated from the cannabis plant using an extraction process.
After that, the concentrate is put into tiny cartridges that fit onto the vape pen.
When the vape pen is turned on, the concentrate in the cartridge is heated and turned into vapor.
The user inhales this vapor, which allows the THC or CBD to enter their system without the combustion byproducts that result from smoking the plant directly.

With no need for pipes or rolling papers, these vape pens and cartridges provide a discrete and handy way to ingest cannabis.

However, there have been worries and incidences relating to fake or tainted cartridges creating health problems, so consumers should use caution and make sure they are buying from reliable suppliers.

Weed Cart vs. Flower

Cannabis vape carts are made from cannabis flower through an extraction process that targets and isolates the cannabinoids and terpenes to create a high-potency extract. Cannabis flower is produced during the flowering stage of the female plant, which is ready for harvest when most of its trichome glands have turned an amber color.

Smoking flower and vaping weed carts deliver fast-acting effects within minutes, and effects can last two to three hours. However, weed carts have a higher potency than flower, which can contain anywhere from 15 to 30% THC. Cannabis vape cartridges can contain 60% to 99% THC, so tread carefully. Avoid the high with CBD flower or CBD vape carts.

Flower offers greater versatility because it can be smoked in a bong or pipe or vaped in a vaporizer as is, or be made into various infusions, including edibles, concentrates, tinctures, topicals, and cannabis oil for vapes. There’s also a more expansive selection of flower strains than types of cannabis cartridges. 

Cannabis weed carts are screwed into a suitable vape battery. Some vape batteries may offer temperature control, while others may only have one temperature.

Since the oil is vaporized and not burned, it can retain more of its aroma and flavor. Terpenes are responsible for the plant’s smell and can be destroyed when smoked because of the high temperatures.

Cannabis cartridges do not produce harsh smoke from burning the plant. Weed vapor is unlike pungent, thick, or large smoke clouds when smoking a bowl or joint.

Cartridges can be an alternative for those who don’t want to inhale thick smoke.

The terms “flower” and “weed cart” allude to two distinct ways of eating cannabis. Each has advantages and drawbacks of their own. An example of a comparison

Benefits of a weed cart (cannabis cartridge)

Discreet: In general, vaping is more discrete than smoking. The smell is less strong, and the mist goes away soon.
Convenient: Cartridges are portable and don't require extra equipment like lighters, grinders, or rolling sheets.
Dosage: With vape pens, some people find it simpler to regulate the dosage, especially if the cartridge is marked with the potency information.
Taste: Some users enjoy the many terpene profiles and flavors that are offered in cartridges.

Concerns about purity: There have been cases where tainted or fake cartridges led to health problems. Buy only from reliable sources.

Cost: Over time, purchasing cartridges may end up being more expensive than doing so with flowers.
Battery Life: Vape pens must be recharged, which could be a hassle if you run out of juice and don't have access to a charger.

Sustainability: Cartridges, particularly those that aren't recyclable, might produce additional trash.
Benefits of the flower

Natural Form: The raw, dried bud of the cannabis plant is the flower. The raw, unfiltered aspect of flower is preferred by many consumers.

Variety: A large number of strains are available, each with a unique flavor, scent, and impact.
Cost: Generally speaking, purchasing flowers might be less expensive over time than purchasing cartridges.

Experience: The ceremonial nature of grinding, rolling, and smoking cannabis is valued by many users.

Disadvantages of Flower:

Strong odors from flower smoking can cling to clothing and interior spaces.

Tar and other hazardous byproducts can be produced during the combustion and inhalation of any plant material.

Generally speaking, smoking is less discrete than vaping.

You may require rolling papers, grinders, or a smoking apparatus in order to ingest flower.

A person's tastes and priorities ultimately determine whether they choose a flower cart or a weed cart. Some people might favor the ease of a cartridge, while others might favor the unadulterated beauty of flowers.

Weed Cart vs. Preroll


Cannabis vape carts and pre-rolls offer convenience, quick-acting effects, and portability. Prerolls are made using ground flower and come in various sizes, from mini ones to king-size ones for large groups. Preroll papers can be made from organic hemp, rice, palm leaf, refined white, and unrefined brown paper.

Prerolls are designed to be smoked, delivering effects within minutes that can last for a few hours. Weed carts don’t have the smell or smoke and deliver a similar onset and duration of effects at a higher potency. An alternative to buying prerolls is making your own with affordable “shake” and some rolling papers.

Advantages of a pre-roll

Convenience: Prerolls make smoking flower easy by eliminating the need to crush or roll the herb yourself.

Natural High: Smoking flower in its natural state is a popular pastime among users.

Variety: Prerolls come in a range of strains, each with unique flavors and effects.

Social Aspect: Many cannabis users find enjoyment in sharing joints with others.

Disadvantages of a preroll:

Strong, lingering stench is produced when smoking a preroll.

Tar and other possibly hazardous byproducts of combustion are a source of health concerns.
Less Disrespectful: Comparing smoking to vaping, smoking is usually less discrete.

Prerolls have a short shelf life and should be used up in one sitting; otherwise, they may lose some of their freshness.

Preferences, desired outcomes, and particular circumstances all play a role in deciding between a preroll and a weed cart. In some situations, some users might prefer the discretion of a vape pen, while in others, the ritual and social aspects of a preroll may be more appealing.

Weed Cart vs. Capsules

cannabis capsules

Cannabis capsules are a type of edible product. Compared to weed carts, capsules take longer to take effect since they have to go through the digestive system. It can take 1-2 hours to feel the effects, but the effects can last up to 8 hours. Weed cart effects are nearly instantaneous and last 2-3 hours.

Cannabis capsules are a zero-calorie alternative to sugary edible treats. They also contain a precise amount of milligrams, making them easier to dose than and easy to dose than most weed carts. Cannabis cartridge dosages depend on how long you inhale and the vaping temperatures.

Capsules and weed carts are more discreet compared to flower or preroll products. However, capsules are even more inconspicuous than cartridges because they do not produce smoke or smell. Capsules are ideal for those that do not want to inhale smoke or vapor.

Marijuana capsules: benefits

Capsules provide a discrete way of intake with no associated odor while being consumed.

Consistent Dosing: For medical patients or those seeking predictable results, capsules offer a consistent and accurate dose.

Long-Lasting Effects: When cannabis is ingested orally, the liver processes it and creates 11-hydroxy-THC, which can provide effects that last longer and occasionally are stronger than when cannabis is smoked or vaped.

Avoids Inhalation: Capsules provide an alternative for people who want to refrain from inhaling cannabis.

Disadvantages of Weed Capsules:

Delayed Onset: Depending on a number of variables, such as metabolism, stomach contents, and individual variances, it may take anywhere from 30 minutes and 2 hours (or more) to feel the effects.

Intensity: The experience can be more intense and unpredictable for certain people, especially those who are not accustomed with edibles.

Digestive Variability: Depending on stomach content and individual digesting preferences, effects may change.

Depending on personal preferences, the desired onset time, duration of effects, and consuming technique, one should decide between a weed cart and cannabis capsules.

A vape cartridge might be favored for instant alleviation or effects. Capsules might be a preferable option for people looking for more long-lasting effects or who want to completely avoid inhaling.

Which Cannabis Product Is Right for Me?

It all depends on your specific needs and lifestyles. In many cases, most of these products provide utility, depending on the occasion. 

  • Weed cart: Cannabis vape carts are discreet, portable, high-potency products that can deliver fast-acting effects. However, they can contain harmful additives and contaminants, especially if purchased from an illicit source. 
  • Flower: You'll find more variety of strains with flower than in other products. Flowers offer a full-spectrum experience and fast onset of effects. However, you'll need some smoking or vaping paraphernalia, which are not as discreet as other methods and hard to dose.
  • Capsules: Capsules are a smokeless alternative that offers a precise dose and long-lasting effects. However, the effects can take longer to kick than other methods. Capsules have a higher risk of overconsumption if you take too many too soon. 
  • Preroll: Prerolls are a convenient way to try new strains and enjoy the whole-plant effects of cannabis. On the other hand, prerolls can burn unevenly, and the smoke can draw unwanted attention.

Weed Cart-Flower-Pre Rolls-Capsules FAQ's

What are weed carts?

Cannabis vape cartridges, or weed carts, are pre-filled cannabis oil canisters that link to a battery or vape pen. They are vaporized and inhaled and available in different strains, potencies, and flavors.

How long does a weed cart last?

Usage and cartridge size determine weed cart longevity. A 1ml cartridge can last 300-400 puffs, whereas a 0.5ml cartridge allows 150-200. Excessive users may go through a cartridge faster.

Are weed carts safe?

Source and quality determine weed cart safety. Trusted dispensaries sell lab-tested cartridges that are safe. However, black market carts may include dangerous substances or pollutants.

Can you refill weed carts?

You shouldn't replenish disposable weed carts. Fortunately, refilling cartridges exist. Refillable cartridges should be checked with the manufacturer.

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marijuana extraction course - Johanna Rose
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What is cannabis flower?

Cannabis flower is the harvested, dried, and cured bud of the cannabis plant. Terpenes and cannabinoids like THC and CBD give it its smell and effects.

How do you store cannabis flower to keep it fresh?

To maintain potency, flavor, and aroma, keep cannabis flower in an airtight container in a cool, dark environment. Humidity packs can also sustain 62% humidity.

Can you eat cannabis flower?

If you consume raw cannabis flower, it won't make you high because it's not decarboxylated. Heating cannabis activates THC, making it psychoactive.

What's the difference between indica, sativa, and hybrid cannabis flowers?

Indica strains soothe and sedate, sativa strains energize, and hybrid strains balance the two, depending on their parent strains.

What are pre-rolls?

Cannabis flower-filled pre-rolls are ready to burn. They are pre-rolled and sold at dispensaries for easy cannabis use without rolling papers or equipment.

Can pre-rolls go bad?

Air, light, and heat can damage pre-rolls, reducing potency and flavor. Poor storage can cause mold and mildew.

What are cannabis capsules?

Cannabis capsules are pills with oil-based cannabis extract. They make cannabis consumption discreet, accurate, and straightforward, especially for medicinal users seeking specified amounts.

How long does it take for cannabis capsules to work?

Depending on metabolism, capsule contents, and meal intake, cannabis capsules can take 30 minutes to 2 hours to work.

Are cannabis capsules stronger than smoking?

The effects vary in strength. Consuming capsules is safer and lasts longer than smoking. Smoking or vaping brings affects faster.

Learn How to Make and Use Cannabis Products at CTU

Want to learn more about safely and effectively using cannabis products? Enroll in Cannabis Training University’s Master of Cannabis certification program. We're here to help you become a better cannabis user, find a job in the industry, or start a business.

Fred Hernandez - Cannabis industry expert writer
Fred Hernandez

Fred Hernandez is a highly accomplished and versatile writer, boasting an extensive background in the cannabis industry. With an in-depth understanding of various sectors including cultivators, processors, retailers, and brands, Fred's expertise spans across the entire cannabis landscape. As a prominent contributor to CTU, he consistently delivers insightful articles exploring the latest developments, news, and regulations shaping the cannabis industry. Whether it's delving into the intricacies of cannabis products, cannabis strain reviews, or providing comprehensive analyses of cannabis laws, or sharing expert insights on cannabis cultivation techniques, Fred's wealth of knowledge positions him as an invaluable writer and educator for all cannabis-related subjects.

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