Oil is a scrumptious source of fat but possesses a volatile nature. Take a jar of natural peanut butter off a shelf and you can clearly see the oil has separated. Put oil in the refrigerator and it glunks up. These issues are one thing in the kitchen but quite another in a vape cartridges.
Vape cartridges are filled with cannabis oil, but this is a different type of oil from the ingestibles that are sold for swallowing. The oil in cartridges is a highly concentrated form of cannabis contained in a small vial. Unlike edible cannabis oils that use plant based oils like palm or coconut to infuse with the cannabis, vape cartridges shouldn’t contain a carrier or diluting oil.
Since vape oil is a concentrate, the thickness or viscosity is an important factor just like in a kitchen. If the oil is too thick, it won’t atomizer correctly and clog the vapor hole the user inhales ffrom. Like any oil, the thickness then is important. Too thick and you might as well call it butter.
To prevent butter-like cannabis, a producer must either use a method of oil creation that is thin enough on it’s own or add additives to thin it out. The former, oil creation, is a matter of expense outlays. CO2 or cold methods create a suitably thin oil that doesn’t require any additions, but is costly to set up. Another route is to add botanically derived terpenes into the oil that not only safely thins the oil but flavours it too.
Terpenes and CO2 /cold are the safe way, but there are other means that have hit the news and caused health concerns: Vitamin E, Propylene Glycol (PG or PGP), Polyethylene Glycol (PEG), Vegetable Glycerin (VG), and Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT). Scientific research is still in its infancy on the safety of PG, PEG, VG, and MCT in vapes, but preliminary data shows that PG could trigger allergies and asthma while PG and PEG can break down into formaldehyde and acetaldehyde especially at high temperatures.
As a consumer, investigate what companies actually put in so you can make the best choice for you and your health.