Fake vs. Real Vape Carts: How to Spot the Difference

The convenience of weed vapes is unmatched. A discreet high is so sought after that companies are looking to the black market (illegal states) for profit. Friends don’t let friends smoke fake vape, so its in your best interest to know the biggest counterfeit giveaways!

We’re here to help you inhale good shit, and not the bullshit. By doing that, we’ll show you some sketchy tricks commonly used for selling fake carts. Something you should know for your own safety!

Here are the steps to tell if your vape cartridge is fake:


Step 1: Check if it’s scratched up, cracked, or leaking. 99% of the time, it’s fake.

It’s just not supposed to do that at all. Is it possible that it could still be real? Not likely, but not impossible. If you open a package to a cart that looks like shit, trust your instincts. If you’re still not convinced, move on to step 2.

Step 2: If you’re offered some hype looking brand, it’s probably too good to be true, and one of the biggest red flags.

That “boujie” box you wanna show off on the story is most likely coming from China. We wish we we’re joking, but we’re not. Their copyright laws allow a whole lot of shit to slide, so they’re able to mass produce lookalikes down to the logo. Do not make a decision based off names alone if you’re living in an illegal state.

Image via DHGate

Looks familiar? Then yikes… because these go for less than a dollar a pop. Who knows what your neighbor’s drug dealer is filling these with, because it’s not quality THC oil. These are the most obvious fakes, but others might not be as easy to spot.

A “good fake” has a lot of details that mimics the legit product, so looking up the actual package on WeedMaps, or their company’s website would give you the best point of reference.

Step 2: Look for state regulation symbols


If the source claims it comes from Cali, then this warning sign HAS to be on there. No question. So if it isn’t, take your money elsewhere. We’re sad to say that there still are plenty of fakes out there with this symbol on it to trick you, but its a great place to start when your making the assessment.

(Left) Real Cookies vape cart vs. (Right) Fake made in China.

The box on the left and the box on the right, what do they have in common? The fact that you’ll be overcharged, that’s what. You’ve got to admit they dangerously look alike.

If you’re going to spend extra on the branding, might as well buy the actual brand instead of letting some smug asshole get away with selling you nasty oil that you thought was primo quality.

Step 3: Check the CCELL markings & rubber ring underneath

Real vs. Fake CCELL Engravings

The CC-what? No worries about what it all means, what you should be concerned with is if the letters are large and distorted/wonky looking with a yellow tint. You’ll find these markings if you turn the cart over and look where you screw it into the battery. The real CCELL engravings are smaller with a white tint.

Also, the white ring you see on the fake product is a dead giveaway, since the real ones have a transparent rubber ring like you see on the left cartridge.

Step 4: Look for the strain info and make sure everything is spelled correctly

How embarassing would it be to get home and realize you’re smoking on some “hybird” ass cart? It would be a total letdown. Misspellings are always going to be a thing with counterfeit products, and we don’t know if it’s intentional or not but it’s helpful.

Step 5: Feel it out, literally. Shitty quality is hard to hide!

No, seriously…feel the packaging. Think about a 50 cent business card compared to one that you know costed some money. As soon as you hold that thicker cardstock you instantly understand that it’s high quality.

In the photo – check out how similar the fake is. That raised text and glossy box is way too costly to be reproduced by someone whose just looking to finesse most of the time, but even then, we’ve seen fake products in decent packaging before. Nothing like the real deal though.


“But it’s $25 a cart!” “But I’ve known the seller for years!”…Uh huh, Ok. Is it really worth your health? Not even a little.

Nope. No. Fuck no. No way in hell. That should be your reaction to buying a fake cart for yourself or anyone else. Some people see these things and just think to themselves “I’m young bitch, I could handle a chemically ass cart or two!” Well…those are the people who end up like this 18 year old in Long Island who got sent to the hospital for using bootleg TKO carts, or these 13 people in Wisconsin, or even these 21 people in Utah. We’re talking cases linked to WEED vapes people.

If you know someone who’s selling carts that may be fake and doesn’t know or just gives zero fucks about anyone else’s health, let them know they could end up like these two brothers from Wisconsin. The huge fake vape game they were running even got their own mom arrested, so instead of letting the temptation of a quick flip suck a person in, remind them that there’s major consequences from selling counterfeit carts.


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