Why Don't Cannabis Vaping Cartridges Ever Appear Full? | High Times

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We have all had experience of unboxing a brand new shopping cart and thought "Hey, the shopping cart is not full! Is there really 0.5 mg of oil there? Did I get paid?" Well, guess what,

. In short, some oil has been absorbed by the wicking material of the coil. For a more detailed explanation of the mechanism behind this absorption, please continue reading.

Even if you have never heard of capillary action, it is still very important in our daily lives. Capillary action is important for moving liquids. It is defined as the movement of liquids in the voids (spaces) of porous materials due to adhesion, cohesion and surface tension.

Without capillary action, plants and trees cannot flourish. It helps to bring water into the roots.


How we are all right

The principle is: first fill the cartridge with cannabis oil, cap it, and then use the battery to heat it to heat that can turn the oil into an aerosol (inhaled "vapor"). Usually, when you buy an ink cartridge, some of the oil has been absorbed by the coil.

. Contrary to common belief, this happens only when the device is not in use until it reaches a "steady" state. Using the cartridge and pulling it will only accelerate the capillary action.

 Most wicking materials are made of porous ceramics, and in some cases, a thin layer of organic cotton is wrapped around the ceramics. The reason for some cotton is to optimize the absorption rate and moisture absorption experience of the wicking material. Remember, the oil must not come into contact with the heating element.

The wicking material of the coil is the main hardware component that affects the absorption rate, so it will affect the appearance when you buy the ink cartridge. In other words, other components and factors are involved, such as air intake holes.

The forces in capillary action are adhesion, cohesion and surface tension. These forces are not only affected by the wicking material (ceramic, cotton, carbon, etc.), but also by the size of the core.

. In short, the larger and more air intake holes, the easier it is for the coil to absorb oil. 

A simple experiment you can try at home here is to use two straws, one thick and thin made of the same material. Pour water into the glass and insert two straws into it. You will find that the water level in the thinner straw is higher than the thicker straw. The narrower the hole of the straw, the greater the degree of liquid rise or fall. 

In some cases, based on the porosity of the wicking material, we have observed up to 0.125 g absorbed. In a 0.5mg cartridge, this means that 25% of the oil is absorbed by the coil, so the cartridge appears to be 75% full. With the same situation in a 0.3mg cartridge, the same coil absorbs 0.125mg, which means that the cartridge will be about 58.3% full.

If you want to learn more about capillary action and a more detailed explanation of the intermolecular forces involved,

Have you ever tried to extract gas from a storage tank? If so, you know

. When we consider how to store the cartridge after filling, the siphon concept is the same. 

If they are placed vertically and the suction nozzle is placed on top, it is obvious that capillary action will occur faster, and due to gravity, the wicking material will absorb oil. The filling level seems to be low. 

On the other hand, if the ink cartridge is stored upside down, the oil may not come into contact with the wicking material, and gravity will prevent capillary action. In this case, when you start to use the filter element, you must turn it upright and wait a while for the oil to enter the coil. If you don't do this, you may find yourself "hit". This is a safety issue because you are actually heating a coil that does not absorb enough oil, thereby burning it and possibly inhaling toxic substances. You will immediately taste like burnt.

What should I do if the ink cartridge is stored horizontally? Well, the answer is simple, you will mix between the two results explained above.

In view of the different types of extracts, and even different batches of the same extract, there is still a lot to say here, but for our purposes, we are

. This is the main reason why no one size fits all ink cartridges. 

The capillary action of each extract is unique. For extremely low viscosity oils, you may experience faster absorption by the wicking material due to extremely high capillary action, just as for extremely low viscosity oils, you may experience slower absorption due to extremely low capillary action rate. When the processor fills the filter cartridge with distillate, it may reach a "steady" state within minutes or hours. For example, if the same processor now fills the same cartridge with active resin, it may reach a "stable" state in a few days. 

This is why it is important to measure the viscosity of the oil in order to have a perfect understanding of how the oil reacts to the hardware, while also helping to determine the "sweet spot" in terms of flavor and effect. This is also some of the reasons.

It is important to remember that everything we reviewed before is based on theory. In this theory, we "assume" that the external conditions are constant. In the real world, our ink cartridges have to withstand the same environmental conditions as ours. The two main ones are temperature and pressure, both of which affect the aforementioned capillary action. 

Now we all know that temperature affects viscosity. Who has not tried to heat the cartridge with a hair dryer (if clogging occurs)? This is why some button-type batteries have a warm-up function, which is very useful in cold weather, for example.

What we have determined is the main factor of capillary action. 

What does this mean for your ink cartridges, if for some reason the ink cartridge has been on the dashboard for a while in the weather in Florida or California, the coil will absorb more oil and the ink cartridge will look empty. After prolonged exposure to heat, due to changes in the cohesion and adhesion in the oil, the filter element may also begin to leak.

In some cases, depending on the extract, it is recommended to incubate for a period of time (to avoid degrading oil components such as terpenes) in order to reach a "stable" state before dispensing the cartridge. 

Another important force is pressure. If you often drink water bottles, you will often encounter this situation. The density of water increases with increasing pressure and decreases with increasing temperature. This is why your bottle appears empty (decreased in volume) when it is in the air (bottles can also wrinkle).

. Frequent changes in pressure can also have a negative effect on capillary action, in some cases it will accelerate capillary action, and in other cases it will slow down its speed. Pressure changes can also cause ink cartridges to leak.

In addition, if you later try to "fill up" the cartridge, once the cotton wick has absorbed a lot and you have not left any air in the cartridge, you will not be able to smoke because the surface tension will be affected. This will affect the capillary action, otherwise you will experience leakage (regardless of the brand of the cartridge).  

Finally, the last environmental factor is humidity,

, Because humidity also affects cohesion and adhesion.

Environmental factors such as temperature, pressure, and humidity affect capillary action. Going back to the example of capillary action in plants and trees, you now have a clear understanding of why the vegetation in the rainforest is richer than the vegetation in the desert.

The immediate response to an underfilled cartridge was "I was cheated." This is a natural reaction, but as you know now, it is completely normal and depends on many factors. However, the processor can take some steps to make sure that not too much happens. 

Whether it is manual or automatic filling of ink cartridges, an important aspect of the filling process is capping and sealing. Capping is the process of inserting the mouthpiece into the filled cartridge, while sealing is the process of inserting the silicone cap or plug into the mouthpiece and the base (510 thread) of the cartridge. 

You may have heard that it needs to be capped and sealed within a few minutes after filling. One of the main reasons for this is

. This is why we do not recommend that you use a refilling device to fill X number of ink cartridges and only close the lid when all the ink cartridges are full. You can see with your own eyes that when the filling machine dispenses the same amount of oil (provided it is properly calibrated), the level of the first filled ink cartridge seems to be lower than the level of the last one. 

In quality control, we use "critical control points" throughout the manufacturing process to ensure that all products are equal in volume. During the filling process, the processor can establish some control points to ensure that the weight of the weighed cartridge is the same before and after filling (randomly or systematically).

. In the cannabis regulations of the US states and Canada and other countries, the quantity and composition of the oil in the medicine box and the corresponding label are very strict. When brands sold on the legal market indicate 0.5mg of motor oil, you can be sure that there is 0.5mg of motor oil even if the ink cartridges seem to be insufficient. 

Evolving hardware suppliers should work with customers (MSOs, LPs, processors, and brands) to ensure that these critical control points are in place and help integrate them into standard operating procedures.

Over the years, various types of oils (reactive resins, distillates, etc.) have been tested many times, and in some cases, depending on all the above factors,

. In a 0.5g cartridge, this is 0.125g, which eventually enters the coil. All in all, this means you will get the best out of the box.

If you have gone through the entire description, now you will understand why the ink cartridges never seem to be full. Some manufacturers or brands will use silicone, or will make some design changes, such as the use of screen printing on the top of the cartridge to cover the oil-free area of ​​the cartridge. Please note that this is only for aesthetics. When buying on a legal market, the ink cartridges completely contain the content on the label. 

Is the cigarette holder facing down in the correct position for long-term storage of the vape cart?

You have a good point with high brightness. Thank you for sharing your informative comments.

the best,


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