Most people get their Cannabis Vape cartridges from a dispensary or even from a dealer. No matter where you get it, those cartridges need to be filled before they are sold. A lot of the cost associated with these cartridges is the painstaking process of filling them up often times one by one. If you have been wondering what the ratios for filling a cannabis oil or CBD vape cartridge are, what is the process for filling a vape cartridge or just wanted to see a step by step guide to mixing and filling a vape cartridge, you’ve come to the right place. In this tutorial, we’ll teach the mixing ratios of terpenes, Cannabis oil/Hemp oil, and Viscosity Booster as well as exactly how to fill a dab pen. We’ll be mixing and filling our pens from scratch using a tried and true process that there isn’t a whole lot of info online about. So if you’re looking to start a vape pen company and need to know the first steps, read on as we break down the entire process for mixing and filling a vape cartridge at home.
You can buy all of the supplies needed for this process online. For this video, we used the PEAK Supply Co “Alchemy Starter Kit” which comes complete with terpenes(we used Purple Punch), Viscosity Booster, and all of the supplies you will need to create your own THC/CBD vape cartridges(Excluding THC/CBD Oil). If you would like to buy the complete kit, you can do so HERE.
- Viscosity Booster/Liquifier
- THC/CBD Oil or concentrate
- True Terpenes – Cannabis or Plant Derived
- Hot Water Bath or Pot, Bowl, and stove top
- 10ml Syringe with 14 Gauge Blunt tip
- Alcohol wipes for cleaning
- Metal Mixing Ramiken
- Digital Scale
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True Terpenes derived from Cannabis or other plants
Terpenes are all the rage right now with a wave of new terpene infused products that will both capture the cannabis audience as well as pique the interest of the health-conscious consumer. Terpenes are credited with giving Cannabis flower a uniquely broad spectrum of scents, tastes, an have even been proven to influence the effects of your high. Some terpenes like Limonene increase energy while some terpenes like myrcene promote relaxation so it is essential to choose a strain profile or terpene combination to support the type of feeling you would like to experience. Not only are there over 200 distinct terpenes that can be present in Cannabis but often times there are over 50 different terpenes in just one strain. These smells range from gassy, to citrusy, to earthy, and even fruity. Play around with different strain profiles until you find one that fits you perfectly.
Having a quality vape cartridge ready for stores often starts with picking quality vape cartridge hardware. Cartridges these days are often prone to leakage or damage during shipping. To save yourself a headache be sure to buy cartridges from a reputable supplier here in the USA. There are various styles to choose from but what it comes down to is your preference in design and the viscosity of your oil. For the design, there are options for wood, ceramic, plastic, and metal mouthpieces options as well as various shapes and sizes for tanks. Cartridges usually come standard with a 2mm diameter intake hole which can be seen inside the cartridge tank. This hole is where your oil will enter to meet the atomizer which will atomize or “vaporize” your oil into an inhalable vapor. High viscosity oils are typically a sign of pure oil indicating that only terpenes were mixed in. When high viscosity oil is put inside a cartridge, it produces an air bubble that does not easily move when the cartridge is flipped upside down. Low viscosity oils produce a faster moving bubble and are typically made by blending viscosity booster/liquefier and terpenes with the Cannabis or Hemp oil. Low viscosity oils may require a smaller intake hole to prevent leakage but using a quality cartridge should prevent dilutions of up to 30%, more on this later.
Viscosity booster is a great way to control your potency and stretch your dollar. Also, Viscosity Booster makes for a smoother smoke as it allows the concentrate to be turned into vapor with less heat than the oil alone. While some users prefer to have the strongest cartridge available in their arsenal, others prefer to have a cartridge that produces a comfortable micro dosing effect when used. There are many viscosity boosters on the market which all do pretty much the same thing. When choosing one, I would recommend using one that doesn’t Include Vegetable Glycerin(VG), Propylene Glycol(PG), Polyethylene glycol(PEG) or any of the others commonly used in e-cig “Vape Juice.” If you bought an Alchemy Starter kit like we did then you should be good to go, If you didn’t, you could buy viscosity booster HERE. Not only is viscosity booster for controlling your dosage, but you will also soon find out that by following this process you will be able to double if not triple the amount of product you have at the perfect dose instead of “Guess Smoking.” Remember, this is about creating the perfect product for you and your needs. While someone may need 100mgs of vapor to get to their happy place, it is not uncommon for some to need/want 10-20mgs to reach their peak.
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THC/CBD Oil or Concentrate
The most important ingredient on the list should be the concentrate or oil you want to use in your vape cartridge. While it is recommended to use Cannabis/Hemp Oil(Also called Distillate) for ease of use, it is also fairly simple to use another concentrate like Rosin, Shatter, Budder, Sugar, Sauce, etc… As mentioned before, high-quality oil should be highly viscous but what if all you have is Shatter or Sauce or Rosin? Not to worry. You can easily heat and mix your concentrate with liquefier and terpenes while blending until the liquid is fully emulsified and ready for use in a cartridge. I recommend not using VG, PEG, or PG when using a “Solid Concentrate” as some separation may occur.
This can get messy when you are a beginner. To make things easy and clean, I highly recommend you use gloves, alcohol wipes, and fresh syringes. You can buy all of these supplies on Amazon or by clicking HERE.
The filling is often the messiest and challenging part for a first-time filler. Not only will you need to watch for spillage and waste but you will need to be careful not to overfill your cartridges. You will want to be vigilant about not going all the way to the very top of the cartridge as you fill. There’s nothing worse than doing all the pre-filling set up just to waste your product at the end. Some cartridges have a fill line, so you know where to stop while others have no line which usually means you will fill them near to the top. In this process, you will learn to properly heat up your ingredients, mix Terpenes and Viscosity Booster with THC/CBD Oil then use a syringe to fill your cartridges. These instructions are for using 5mls(or Grams) of oil. It is recommended to use milliliters when measuring for accuracy but using a scale that reads Grams will be just fine.
Warm up your Oil or Concentrate to about 85-90 degrees Celsius
If you are using a concentrate other than oil you will need to mix the concentrate and the viscosity booster. A two to one ratio is a good place to start, but you can always add more concentrate to increase the potency and viscosity or more viscosity booster to lower the potency and viscosity.
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Take your liquified Oil or liquified concentrate mixture and add in your Terpenes and Viscosity Booster. If you already added Viscosity Booster because you are using a concentrate other than Oil you can choose to add more Viscosity booster or leave it out. The ratio for terpenes and oil can be to your preference, but I always recommend doing 5-10% Terpenes and 5-10%Viscosityy Booster for a total of 10-20%. For this video, we did 5ml (or 5 Grams) off full spectrum CBD Oil, 0.5mls of Terpenes, and 0.5mls of Viscosity Booster totaling 6mls(or 6 Grams) of finished product ready for use in a pen.
Blend/Mix all the ingredients very well. There should be no difference in color or viscosity throughout the entire mixture. The whole mix must be fully emulsified.
Once everything is blended, you will want to suck it up with a syringe.
After the oil mixture is inside the syringe, it is ready to be poured inside the cartridge.
The syringe should have volume marks reading in milliliters. You will put 1ml into a 1ml cartridge and 0.50mls into a half gram or .5 ml cartridge. Fill to the fill lines if the cartridge you re using has one, if not fill the cartridge until it is nearly full with some room for an air bubble at the top. This is the air bubble I mentioned earlier in the article which we some people use to gauge the potency of a cartridge. This technique works well for oil but does not apply to cartridges made with other concentrates.
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Once your cartridges are full, cap them tight and flip them over to “Rest.” Let them rest for 1 hour. During this period and air that was compressed and trapped during the cartridge filling and capping process will have the chance to escape out of the intake holes. Flipping your cartridge during the rest period will allow the air to escape without causing your cartridge to leak. This is a critical step!
Using alcohol wipe or an alcohol-soaked paper towel, clean off the outside of your cartridge of any excess oil that may have been spilled onto it from a drippy syringe or overfilled cartridge
Test your product!
After your product has rested, test it out! Start with small hits to make sure the ceramic coil or heating element is primed and ready for use. Priming your cartridge is a great way to ensure maximum flavor from start to finish without getting a burnt taste.
Tons! Let’s break down the math. 6 Quality – Full gram – 1,000mg – 1ml cartridges will run you anywhere from $65-$95 with tax. For the sake of math let’s say $70 out the door giving you a total of $420. If you were to buy just the oil or the Concentrate, you’re going to pay an average cost of $40 per gram, which is already near a 50% difference in price. Using this method and adding the cost of supplies ($40 if you bought the Alchemy Set we used) you’re cost is going to be $200 for concentrates and $40 for supplies. We won’t take into account anyone that used the process for making 8 cartridges instead of the 6 we did in the video. With that in mind, you stand to save $180 just by filling the cartridges yourself and customizing your dosage to fit your specific needs. This is so easy and fun to do I wouldn’t be surprised if you never bought a premade cartridge again! If you try this, shoot us an email or leave a comment, we would love to hear about your experience!