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August 19, 2022 5 min read

Cannabis concentrates have considerable grown in popularity over the last few years, making them a staple in all dispensaries. Concentrates are not only more potent than flower, but they have a very discreet smell, which has made them a very popular choice for a wide variety of users. Now with concentrate cartridges we can enjoy them without the hassle of complicated blow torches and dab rigs. Cartridges are able to be used anywhere discreetly and conveniently.

The majority of cannabis cartridges on the market are known as 510 thread cartridges. 510 threading refers to the thread count on the connections attaching the cartridge and battery. It is the industry standard so that cannabis consumers have the opportunity to use different cartridge strains and brands on a single battery.

This newfound convenience of concentrate vapes has impacted not only the cannabis market, but the environment, and as we continue to enjoy all the new and easy ways to smoke, we must remember that convenience can be a very delicate balancing act.

There are quite a few different cartridge options that have emerged in the last few years, and each has its own pro’s and con’s for users and for the environment. All cartridges have a tank/chamber that holds the cannabis concentrate. Disposable cartridges come prefilled with cannabis concentrates, while other devices like dab pens and refillable cartridges are filled by yourself.

Disposable cartridges.

While some cartridges bought at the dispensary can be refilled, the majority are meant as single-use products. Disposable cartridges the most readily available and convenient option, they have only gained popularity over the years, and have become even more popular than traditional concentrates in some places.

Disposable vapes are straightforward to operate, require no maintenance and once the cartridge runs out, it is simply thrown in the garbage and replaced with a new one.

The disposable nature means that they, unfortunately, end up sitting in landfills and contributing to pollution. Some disposable cannabis vaporizers even contain built-in lithium-ion batteries which are hazardous waste. But, there are ways that we can still enjoy the convenience of cannabis concentrates without contributing to this.

Refillable cartridges and dab pens give you the same convenience and discreetness as disposable cartridges without waste. Cartridges are typically made for thin oil, while dab pens can handle concentrates of any viscosity. Both of these options can benefit you and the environment.


Refillable cartridges.

Refillable cartridges are typically made with the same transparent exterior as other cartridges to monitor the amount of oil left inside and can typically hold either 0.5g or 1.0g of oil. You also have the option to fill these with just as much oil as you need for the day.  You can typically refill these as often as you would like, but they do require frequent cleaning to maintain the heating element.

Filling the oil yourself may seem like a difficult task, but it is actually quite simple. “Syringes” of distillate oil are available at plenty of dispensaries and usually will not require any other equipment to fill. Syringes typically cost a bit less than disposable cartridges, as the cost of the hardware with every disposable vape will add up, especially over time.

Though the process of filling the cartridge is pretty straightforward, but this can get messy. Some products, like nectar needles, make refilling the cartridge hassle-free.

It is also worth noting that refillable cartridges aren't a permanent solution to cartridge pollution. Some cartridges are made with metal coils and cotton wicks that tend to fail quickly and decline in performance and taste. Refillable cartridges made with sturdy ceramic last significantly longer, but no cartridge can last forever.

Dab Pens

Dab pens are an alternative to cartridges and are meant to provide the experience of a portable dab rig, even though there is typically no water filtration like an electronic dab rig.

Dab pen ceramic

The heating element or atomizer of dabs pens are commonly made of quartz or ceramic. These materials are known for producing flavorful and great-tasting clouds. The atomizer is usually a bowl or dish that you place the wax directly on.

Dab pens mean that you can use different types of concentrate that you cannot have in a cartridge. This means people who use dab pens have the convenience of choosing between sugar, shatter, and all the other forms of wax.

When you use a dab pen you have full control of exactly how much wax you want to use, and some atomizers are 510 threaded, meaning you can use it just as conveniently as a cartridge. The outside of the atomizers is usually made from the same material as the battery. A metallic-looking pen is discreet compared to a cartridge filled with oil, so smaller dab pens may turn fewer heads than a cartridge.

Dab pen atomizers require regular cleaning, but can have a significant lifespan with proper maintenance. Some portable dab pens can last years, and save you a significant amount of money compared to years of buying prefilled cartridges.


Which one is right for you?

Each option comes with its unique differences and in the end, it all depends on your personal preference.

Disposable cartridges do offer a level of convenience that the others may not when it comes to maintenance, but their long-term cost and environmental impacts of them may make a few of us think twice about the longevity of easily disposable cannabis consumption. Though they may not fade out of popularity anytime soon, the alternatives can provide you with the same, if not better experience.

Dab pens and refillable cartridges not only provide you with convenient and portable options, but they are the superior option for longevity. When using these you can be sure that you’re not only saving money but helping the environment.

As their popularity grows there are now plenty of options to choose from. When choosing a vape it is important to consider the materials it is made from, not only for the lifespan of the vape but for your health. Atomizers and refillable cartridges made from ceramic and quartz are safe to use, but make sure it has been tested for heavy metals and does not contain any plastics or harmful toxins.

Choosing the perfect vaporizer can seem like a daunting task, but all of Linx Vapors’ vaporizers, have one thing in common, they are crafted with only the highest quality materials & made to deliver the cleanest, purest vapor you can get. Our refillable cartridge, the Hermes3 is a ceramic cartridge with great flavor that can handle oil of any viscosity and is simple to use for those venturing away from disposable cartridges for the first time. Linx Vapor’s line of award-winning dab pens has a device for everyone. From the simple and sleek Linx Ember to the powerful yet ultra-portable Linx Blaze, every pen is simple enough to use for the first-time vape user, but their performance will impress even the most seasoned connoisseur.

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