S10 Blog

How and Why Does Heavy Metal Leaching Occur?

Published Date:
December 13, 2022

Cannabis metal 510 thread cartridges are a popular way to consume cannabis. However, there have been some concerns about the safety of these cartridges due to reports that California cannabis labs are finding toxic metals in their vape carts. In this article, we will explore what causes metal leaching in cannabis metal 510 thread cartridges and how you can avoid it.

What is Metal Leaching?

vape pens for oil

In order to understand why metal leaching occurs in cannabis cartridges, it is important to know how thc cartridges are made. Cannabis metal 510 thread cartridges typically consist of a steel or aluminum centerpost and a vaporizer heating element, such as a quartz or ceramic coil. While these parts are generally safe, it is possible for impurities from the metals used in the cartridge to leach into the cannabis extract inside. Once the metal particles seep into the cannabis oil there is no way to remove them and users are now at risk of inhaling the metal into their lungs.

When metal leaches from a cartridge, it can cause an unpleasant flavor and could be potentially harmful to your health. To prevent metal leaching, manufacturers should use high quality metals that are free of impurities and contaminants. Additionally, cartridges should be tested for metal content before they are put on the market.

Vapes and the Process of Heavy Metal Leaching

pro vape pen carts

The high temperatures generated by metal heating coils to turn oils into vapor also make the ideal environment for metal leaching. In essence, the heat produced by the coils creates a convection system that can extract toxins from alloys and deliver them to the mouthpiece through the vaporization process.

Metals such as nickel, manganese, and chromium, have all been recorded in the vapor content of poorly manufactured or cheaper 510 thread cartridges. Therefore, presented with this issue, some companies have decided to dedicate research to solving this problem to make their products as safe as possible.

New Materials for Vaporizing Cannabis

After a report released in 2021 about heavy metals found in cannabis vape carts, vape device manufacturers began to study new materials. This led to the exploration of other materials and the introduction of ceramics. However, though the ceramic cartridge offers some advantages in terms of limiting metal leaching, they are not the perfect vape solution as not all ceramic cartridges are of the same grade.

Poorly manufactured or standard ceramic cartridges are susceptible to microfractures over time, as repeated heating and cooling can cause the material to disintegrate. This has led to the concern that particles from ceramic cartridges could contaminate the vapors just like their metal alloy counterparts and cause harm to users lungs.

S10 Labs Introduces the Zirconia Ceramic Cartridge

510 thread weed cartridge

Last year, S10 Labs took on the challenge of metal leaching as well as the inferiority of ceramic cartridges that were hitting the market. Recognizing the current selection of ceramic cartridges did not entirely solve leaching issues, and caused problems with flavor and efficacy, the engineers and researchers at S10 Labs focused on creating a new advancement in ceramic 510 thread cartridge vaping. The result of their efforts is the Zirco™.

The Zirco™ is made from patented zirconia ceramics and is the first and only one of its kind on the market. Its revolutionary materials and design eliminate toxic metal leaching completely, stop leaking and clogging, and allow for better heat distribution to the concentrate. It also resists breakdown, while still maintaining the porous qualities of ceramics to ensure that the flavor and efficacy of the cannabis product will be richer and fuller.

How to Avoid Metal Leaching

If you are concerned about metal leaching from your cannabis cartridge, there are a few things that you can do to minimize the risk. First, be sure to purchase cartridge hardware from a reputable source, like a licensed dispensary if you are an end-consumer or a reputable manufacturer if you are a cannabis operator. Second, avoid unbranded fake carts and generic cheap vape pens, as these are more likely to contain impurities. Finally, if possible, try to avoid vapes for sale that contain steel or aluminum components. With these tips in mind, you can enjoy the convenience of cannabis metal 510 thread cartridges without having to worry about potential health risks.

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