Fake vape cartridges continue to plague the legal cannabis industry, especially since the space is largely unregulated. Fraudulent marijuana products have become so rampant that even products from popular brands like Brass Knuckles, King Pen, etc.are being counterfeited.
Funny enough, the business of selling fake vape cartridges is a money-making machine in the black market, and that has bolstered the number of fake carts in the marijuana community.
What are Vape Cartridges?
Every vape pen consists of two major elements: the battery and the vape cartridge. The battery is the powerhouse of the vaping unit. It generates the power required by the heating element to vaporize the cannabis extract that is inside the vape cartridge.
Vape pens usually come with a range of voltage settings to give users a flexible vaping experience. While some units have a button(s) used for controlling the voltage and heating element, others are buttonless, requiring a draw from the mouthpiece to activate the heating mechanism.
Vape cartridges, on the other hand, is the part that holds the heating system (atomizer), chamber, and the mouthpiece. While the chamber houses the concentrated oil, the atomizer draws power from the battery to heat up the chamber and then vaporizes the cannabinoid which can then be inhaled from the mouthpiece.
Why are They Fake?
The oils inside vape cartridges are produced through distillation. This process strips the cannabis oil of its flavors and aroma, forcing the oil to become tasteless and flavorless. Some manufacturers then move on to re-introduce the extracted terpene to make the cartridge to strain-specific while others just mix the oil with some additives and substances like Polyethylene glycol (PEG), Propylene glycol (PG), and Vegetable glycerin (VG).
Threats They Pose?
Fake vape cartridges contain chemicals and substances which can be harmful to our health. For instance, studies have shown that herbicides and pesticides like Acrolein and Myclobutanil are quite harmful when inhaled and can lead to medical conditions such as nosebleeds and respiratory issues. Some fake cartridges have also been found to contain deadly metals like Lead, which is unsafe for human consumption.
How Can Blockchain Combat Against Fake Vape Cartridge?
The problem of fake vape cartridge is only going to get worse if a lasting solution is not provided, and laws are not enough to combat the rise in fake carts, especially since there are always consumers readily available to buy cheaper carts while being aware that the sellers are dodgy.
The best way to prevent fake vape cartridges from getting into the supply chain is to provide a system that can assist regulators in tracing the origin of these products, and at the same time, help manufacturers to keep their brands and supply chain safe while giving customers the opportunity to be able to verify the authenticity of the products they want to buy.
The good news is that such a system already exists – blockchain technology.
Blockchain is a secure, digital, and an immutable ledger that is used for storing and recording transactions. Although the technology is mostly associated with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether, many businesses from all industries are actively exploring how they can refine their supply chain and improve data and identity management through the help of the blockchain.
Track from Beginning of Manufacturing
The blockchain, as explained, is a digital ledger for record-keeping, which makes it perfect for tracking the activities done at each manufacturing stage. Cannabis companies like Security Matters has reportedly filed a blockchain patent in the United States to securely manage and control cannabis supply chain through a blockchain system.
Blockchain, according to the firm, can help in tracing the origin of cannabis as well as monitoring the entire production process.
The marking solution can be applied to the seed or plant via a coating, irrigation, and fertilization method and is used for product authentication, supervision and supply chain management of the plant and plant by-products.
Protect Against Fake Inferior Products
By storing manufacturing and supply chain information on the blockchain, customers will be able to verify if the authenticity of a product before making a purchase. This, in turn, will protect the entire supply chain and the customers against buying counterfeit and inferior products, and they ultimately will not have to worry about fake vape carts anymore.
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