Washingtonians had quite a scare with the fake cart epidemic in 2019. Fast forward to 2023 DC is ripe with a beautiful market of concentrates and disposable carts, void of any Vitamin E and heavy metals. When it comes to buying THC carts in DC, you want to stick with established brands, and with that being said you’ve got options. From the 7 licensed medical dispensaries to the dozens of I71 recreational storefronts, we’ve taken the time to ask locals and DC budtenders their thoughts on where to buy the best carts in DC.
Medical or I71 Gifting for carts in DC?
The seemingly obvious answer on where to buy the highest quality carts would be a medical dispensary. As a longtime DC resident, I’ve learned this isn’t always the case. The reality is buying carts or concentrates from any medical dispensary doesn’t always mean it’s safer. Even when it comes to quality control with medical dispensaries there is no custody tracing for where the terpenes come from and there is no lab testing for the heavy metals after the extract is filled in the cart.
In short, it’s not whether you should shop at a recreational or medical dispensary, but it’s more about finding reputable brands trusted by the thousands of DC residents. One of the easiest ways to do this is to check reviews on Google, specifically for their weed carts. Another popular option is to check Sub Reddits, as there are small communities of local DC residents who purchase THC carts and share their experience with specific brands.
The Gentleman has done the honor of searching through dozens of medical and recreational brands, subreddits, and Google reviews to find you the best THC carts in DC as of 2023.
DC’s most trusted dispensaries for carts
Finding decent carts or concentrates in Washington DC really comes down to brands and the reputation these brands have built within the DC community. According to local DC resident Blikatin, the only carts he recommends are house-brand carts from Gifted Curators and Legacy DC (see image above).
To expand your options and make things a whole lot easier we’ve compiled a list of all the most trusted brands selling the highest quality weed in DC and of course, Gifted Curators and Legacy happens to be in the top 3. These brands have thousands of positive reviews on Google, so picking any of these I71 brands on the list will be a safe place to start shopping for quality THC carts or weed pens as well. If you’re curious, we also found the best edibles in DC as of 2023 as well.
Now let’s take a look at the most recommended carts in Washington DC as of 2023.
Most recommended carts in DC 2023
Most reliable and popular - Ghost
Currently, both Legacy and Gifted Curators are offering 2G Live Resin Diamond carts by the infamous Los Angeles brand: Ghost Carts. These vapes last me a good two weeks of consistent smoking, never leak, and always pull delicious and smooth rips, and that’s primarily because of how the THC oil is extracted - let me explain.
Live resin diamonds aren’t often available on DC extract menus, but ever so often you get lucky enough to catch them. To make these carts the cannabis plant is cryogenically frozen at -80℃. to preserve flavor, terpenes, and flavonoids. Once frozen the plant goes into a hydrocarbon wash to crystallize creating “diamonds”. The result is an ultra-clean, rich, and smooth oil that delivers an extremely productive vaporization of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids.
Ghost Carts uses a rigorous application of data-driven science alongside a library of prized cannabis genetics. The result is an extraction unparalleled to anything you will find in DC. The slim design slides easily in my pocket, perfect for some incognito smoking when I’m walking around Dupont Circle or 14th Street for some public smoking (learn where to smoke weed in DC).
Most premium and exclusive - Friendly Farms
Friendly Farms is a cannabis brand focused on working with some of California’s most renowned farmers. These carts go through a proprietary extract process known as TruSpectrum which preserves the native terpenes and cannabinoid profiles by subjective award-winning plants at sub-zero temperatures. Currently, you can snag these carts at Green Kings DC with popular strains of RS11 and Hindenburg strain.
It’s a quality cart with no refinement, no auto flowers, no CRC, and never raw/uncut. With absolute no additives, and with the 510 thread battery at 3v the oil burns extremely smooth, giving a gradual vaporization to the cannabinoids that you can taste and feel within seconds.
If you’re looking for some flavorful resin housed in quality AVD hardware with a surgical steel post, Friendly Farms is the way to go. They’re one of the biggest vape oil processors in the United States and extract for big brands like Doja, TerpHogz, and Connected/Alien Labs.
Most affordable in DC - Sauce
Face it, living in DC is expensive. Whenever I’m on a budget I just order my THC carts through a curbside pick-up with the Gift Givers. The pick-up minimum is only $20 and they will meet you in the very public and safe district of Dupont Circle, particularly near the fountain.
Currently, Gift Givers is offering 5 unique flavors from Blueberry Kush (Indica) to Gushers strain (Sativa). While they aren’t as good as Gifted and Legacy’s Ghost carts they are still very reliable, and rechargeable. The extraction process is done through live resin which gives me a very clear and clean psychoactive high.
The cure for all your troubles, Cure Carts are sold by The Highway. They’re available as CAT 3 lab-tested distillate with cannabis-derived terpenes or a blend of distillate and live resin extract called “refined live resin.” Cure Carts are offered in a 510 thread in a surgical steel construction or glass unibody cell option. A disposable O2 bar hardware option is also available.
Can I get carts delivered to me in DC?
Yes, as of 2023 you only need a valid ID proving you are 21 years or older to get THC carts delivered right to your door. There usually is an order minimum and a delivery fee, and it’s customary to leave your driver a tip as well. Check out our DC weed delivery vendors for the current most trusted brands.
How to find quality THC cartridges in DC
When it comes to vaping, safety should always be your top priority. Unfortunately, fraudsters find more ways every day to scam unsuspecting customers into buying low-quality or unsafe products. One major problem with these counterfeit cartridges is the inclusion of harmful substances that were never meant for you to inhale, like Vitamin E acetate. Vitamin E acetate is safe for topical use but definitely not through ingestion. We created a helpful guide so you know what type of carts you should buy in DC and which ones to avoid.
Quality Hardware and oil
The best carts in DC usually come in ceramic or glass body designs, so it's good to start there. You should also take a look at the extract to make sure it has the right viscosity (thickness). Distillate really shouldn’t flow at all, while the live resin is a bit less viscous and should flow a bit more. We recommend always comparing what you find in the store to research you’ve done online to make sure the packaging, batch number, and hardware all match up.
There are several things to check for to see if your hardware might be unsafe. If the design seems out of date, the intake holes are in weird sizes, or the connection points seem flimsy or poorly fit, then it's probably no good. You should also be sure to check the center post. If it's too thick, too shiny, or isn’t silver-colored, it may have some unsafe alloys and poor design.
But we know not everybody can be an expert—that’s why we’ve done some of the legwork in spotting fake carts for you. Check out our full list so you’ll know which ones to avoid. While it behooves us to say that we can’t guarantee that what you’ll find will be 100% safe, we can at least steer you away from the stuff we know is no good.
Always purchase from a reputable brand. Having a medical or recreational license isn’t enough here, it’s more about checking real customer reviews on Google. If hundreds and thousands of people support a particular brick-and-mortar cannabis storefront in DC, then the odds are their carts are decent as well. The more established brands in DC (medical or I71) have a reputation to keep, so they can’t afford to have some knock-off carts. They bring the real deal from L.A. and that’s what I love about the gifting market.
Packaging and Labeling
We recommend comparing traditional market listings with listings of the brand online from legal sources. Compare pictures of the product and packaging that the brand displays online to what you see for sale in DC. If they don’t match, then run far, far away because you're dealing with fake dispensary labels. Bad grammar and incorrect spellings are also a dead giveaway. Some brands have started to make unique QR codes and serial numbers to help customers spot imitations.
Sadly, however, even that might not be enough. We wouldn’t put it past some retailers to buy their own tamper-proof tape and copy the serial number or QR code onto it. One good method I’ve discovered is to check to see if the THC test is printed on the box or a label. Since a legit, state-licensed brand will actually test each batch individually, they won’t be able to print their results on a whole run of boxes. Labels are always a good indicator. You can also usually spot a bad resin if it has a funny taste, irritates your throat, or isn’t viscous enough.
Whether you are a tourist visiting DC or a resident of DMV looking to try THC carts for the first time, this guide was meant to help you navigate through the ever-expanding and slightly confusing DC marijuana market.
Finding a quality cart in DC doesn’t matter whether it’s a medical, recreational (I71) dispensary, it matters more so on that given the brand's reputation. When I shop for edibles or carts in Washington DC, I’m a bit more skeptical so I always check the store’s reputation through Google and Reddit. Our recommendation is Gifted Curators and Legacy DC’s live resin diamond carts. If they are not available we also went over a few quality control factors to consider if you do your own shopping for carts. Focus on brand reputation, device quality, oil consistency, and packaging and labels.