What is a Weed Cart? A Quick Guide to Cannabis Cartridges

There are a lot of ways to use cannabis, from the traditional way of smoking flower to newer products like edibles and topicals. One of the most convenient ways to enjoy cannabis in a potent, discreet way is with a cartridge, or “weed cart.” 

These compact, pre-filled containers offer a quick way to use cannabis concentrates without the hassle of expensive glassware. In this guide, we’ll go over what weed carts are, how they are made, and how they can be used. We’ll also talk about some of their varieties and options. Keep reading to learn more!

What is a Weed Cart?

A cannabis cartridge, or weed cart, is a small, pre-filled container typically made of glass or durable plastic that holds cannabis oil or concentrate. The oil inside the cart contains a potent distillate of cannabinoids. The cartridge works by heating the concentrate to an optimal temperature for vaporization. This creates a vapor that you can inhale to enjoy your cannabis. 

Cartridges come in a variety of forms, but the most common one by far is the 510-thread cart. These carts fit in most battery devices, making them extremely easy to use. Cartridges that are not 510 thread are usually specialty cartridges for a certain brand’s device.

How are Weed Carts Made?

The process of making cannabis cartridges involves a few steps that yield quality concentrate. Here is a brief overview of how carts are made:

  1. Extraction: The first step is creating the concentrate that will go into the cartridge. There are a variety of processes that can be used to create various types of concentrates. Most of these processes involve some sort of heat, chemicals, or pressure that separate the cannabinoids from the cannabis plants used in the process. Cartridges can contain a variety of concentrate types of varying potencies. 
  2. Purification: Once the concentrate is extracted, it goes through a purification process to remove any remaining plant matter, waxes, or lipids that made it through the extraction process. This step is crucial to making sure your cartridge works well and your concentrate is as potent as possible.
  3. Terpene infusion: Some extraction methods do not keep the plant’s original terpenes and flavors intact throughout the process. In these cases, the concentrate will sometimes be infused with different terpenes to recreate the original flavor of the cannabis cultivar it was made with.
  4. Cartridge Filling: Once the concentrate has been made, the cartridges are filled, sealed, and packaged.

How to Use Weed Carts

If you’ve smoked flower or used any kind of vape device in the past, you’ll likely find using carts to be easy. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Choose a compatible battery: the battery or device you choose limits what kind of carts you can use. 510 threaded batteries that are compatible with 510 threaded carts are the most popular, as they give you a lot of options for what brand and types of carts you can use. Some of them are draw-activated, while others use a button to heat up the device. Some even have voltage settings to control the temperature of your device.
  2. Attach your cartridge: If you’ve got a 510 cart, screw the cart into the battery device. Make sure it’s sung but not too tight as that can damage the threads on your battery or cartridge.
  3. Preheat (optional): Some batteries come with a preheat function, which can help loosen up cold or thicker concentrates. Use this feature if the concentrate in your cart looks a little stiff or cold.
  4. Inhale and enjoy: With the button held down (if you have one) take a slow, steady draw from the mouthpiece. The battery will heat the concentrate into a vapor that you will inhale. Start with small puffs to gauge your tolerance and get a feel for your new device and cart. Take it slow!

Different Types of weed Carts

Cartridges come in an impressive variety of cultivars, flavors, and cannabinoid profiles. Extraction methods have gotten so advanced that there are tons of different varieties available for you to try. There are a few different things you can look out for when choosing your cart!

Cultivar-Specific Carts

Some cartridges are cultivar-specific, named after the cannabis cultivar the concentrate was created from. If you’re familiar with using cannabis flower, you’ll likely find some of your favorite cultivars in cartridge form, too. 

Carts with Different Concentrate Types

Different kinds of concentrates can be put into cartridges, and they all have different qualities. The most common type of concentrate in carts is distillate. Distillate is a refined type of cannabis oil that is extremely concentrated and filtered to remove unwanted compounds such as chlorophyll and lipids. 

You can also find carts containing CO2 concentrate, which is a concentrate made with the non-toxic solvent CO2. CO2 concentrates are typically less refined than distillates, so they contain more material from the original plant matter.

Live resin carts are beloved for their terpene-rich aromas and flavors. The cannabis is kept frozen throughout the whole extraction process, which preserves the terpenes and cannabinoids better than heat-based processes. This lets live resin hold on to the flavors and aromas of the original cultivar while still being potent.

Full-spectrum cartridges are usually some of the highest-quality carts available. During their extraction process, nearly all the original molecules from the cannabis plant are kept intact. This creates an extremely potent yet flavorful and aromatic experience. They have a very natural taste and feel.

Other kinds of carts can be terpene-infused or may include additives that enhance the texture of the oil. These carts tend to be on the lower-quality side.

Cannabinoid-Specific Carts

Some cartridges are primarily marketed toward the specific cannabinoids they contain. Cannabinoids like Delta 8, Delta 9, HHC, CBD, and more can all be extracted into concentrates and included in cartridges. Some cannabinoids are more common than others. If you know you like a specific cannabinoid ratio or blend from other cannabis products you use, you may prefer cartridges like these.

Weed Cart Terminology

There are a few terms you might see tossed around online or on the packaging of a cartridge. Here are a few and what they mean!

  1. Cart: Short for cartridges, a cart is a pre-filled container that attaches to a battery and vaporizes cannabis concentrate.
  2. Terpenes: Terpenes are aromatic and flavorful compounds found in cannabis plants and other kinds of plants. They give various plants their smells and tastes, but they also have natural biological and ecological effects on plants for things like pest resistance and pollination.
  3. Dab Pen: A dab pen is a common term for a cannabis cartridge battery. In reality, dab pens are technically portable versions of traditional dab rigs designed to let you use concentrates on the go without a cartridge and battery setup.
  4. Cannabis Oil: Cannabis oil is another term for concentrates, usually referring to the liquid inside a cartridge. “Cannabis oil” is actually not a very accurate way to describe the concentrate in a cart, as a variety of concentrate types can be used in cartridges.
  5. Cultivar: Commonly known as a “strain,” a cultivar is a variety of the cannabis plant that has been selectively bred to exhibit specific traits. We shy away from the term “strain,” as it is not an accurate way to describe cannabis varieties (read more about cultivars here!).


Cannabis cartridges, or weed carts, are extremely popular today for their convenience. They offer an easy and discreet way to use concentrates without the need for expensive glass or gear. Cartridges come in a variety of forms with different types of concentrates available in them to suit a wide range of preferences. If you’re just getting started with carts or concentrates in general, we always recommend starting slow with small doses and taking your time!

If you’re looking for high-quality cartridges in New Mexico, look no further than Dreamz Dispensary. We have 10+ locations across the state with more on the way. See our inventory and shop online, and learn more about the products we carry. Read our blog to learn more about cannabis, and feel free to reach out if you have any questions!