Do an online search for “Buddha Bear Carts,” and you’ll see results from hundreds of sketchy online vendors selling these weed cartridges. In fact, you’ll even see some fairly-reputable ones offering Buddha Bear carts for sale.
The packaging certainly looks enticing. Professional design, splashy colors, and a cuddly little bear mascot. The strain names aren’t familiar ones, but they sound enticing as well: Apple Pie, Honolulu Punch, Mimosa, Forbidden Fruit.
The website write-ups sound great. Sourced from small batches of single-source organic flower. Live resin oil was created by “multi-generational farmers, scientists, and cannabis geeks.” Potency levels up to 85% THC. And quite a few dispensaries have attractive displays offering Buddha Bear carts for sale.
Click here to order now? Not so fast.
Buddha Bear carts appear to be an enormous, convincing, and profitable scam.
Keep reading — before you’re taken in.
What Is Buddha Bear?
That’s a good question.
Most of the packaging on Buddha Bear products indicates that they’re manufactured in California. Some say they’re medical products licensed in California. And there appears to be a California phone number on a supposed Buddha Bear Facebook page.
However, if you do a corporate search for Buddha Bear in the state, the only result you find is for the Buddha-Uttayan Wat Padhammachart Medication Center of Big Bear.
Well, what does the company’s website say? Funny about that. buddhabear.com is currently for sale ($3,495 if you’re interested). And while buddhabearbrand.com has been registered for years, it’s never had a functioning website and the service provider has now blocked access to the page.
There’s no indication anywhere that Buddha Bear is a legitimate cannabis company.
That’s not a good sign.
Digging a Little Deeper on Buddha Bear
We’ve mentioned the authentic-looking packaging of the Buddha Bear carts you can find for sale in California, Texas, many other states, and online.
When you look at it closely, though, more questions arise.
First of all, the packages don’t look the same. The “trademark” bear always looks cute, but it can have a different appearance on Buddha Bear carts sold by different outlets. Different colors, different facial features, and expressions — any marketing student will tell you that consistency in branding is a key to success. Buddha Bear products don’t have it.
When you pick up a box of these carts, you’ll often see THC content information printed right on the package. However, that’s not the way that legitimate California marijuana products are labeled.
The state requires that a sticker be attached to every legal weed product, specifying the THC content and a number of third-party lab test results. Printing a THC content number on the package itself isn’t good enough; that makes the product illegal to sell.
Third-party lab results are a subject that requires elaboration. California products must be issued a state compliance certification before they can be sold in dispensaries. That certificate doesn’t accompany Buddha Bear carts.
Some do have a QR code that lets you view “a” certificate online. But when you pull it up, it clearly states that it’s not an official compliance certificate and that it’s just provided for “quality assurance purposes.” That’s exactly what any third-party lab’s certificate would say if you walked in off the street and paid them $100 to analyze a random sample.
What does all of that mean? To us, it means that Buddha Bear carts are a well-executed scam.
Buddha Bear and Scam Vape Carts
It’s not unusual to find black-market weed carts being sold on the Internet.
Perhaps the best-known scam of all time was “Dank,” a brand that popped up in the late 2010s and was widely available online. It turned out that there was no such company, and the carts and packaging were manufactured in China. Anyone who bought the carts at wholesale could fill them with anything they desired, and many were found to contain pesticides.
Vape carts labeled with the names of well-known various cereal brands, the so-called “Mario Carts” brand, and our personal favorites “Cart Toons,” all fall into the same category. They were scams designed to take advantage of consumers who live in a non-legal state or who want to save money on what appears to be a legitimate product.
Buddha Bear carts have all of the same earmarks. Cute and colorful packaging, tempting strain names, widespread distribution through non-legal channels, lots of promises that aren’t fulfilled by the actual weed oil they’re filled with.
We’ll close this section with one interesting claim published on a website selling Buddha Bear products. The vendor says, “Most Buddha Bear carts out there are fake, and it’s hard to tell the difference between the fake carts from the legit ones.” That might be reassuring if the write-up didn’t go on to say “All Buy Buddha Bear Cartridges lab tasted.” (Their wording and spelling, not ours.)
We’re not lawyers, so we wouldn’t be able to make a case in court that these products are nothing more than scams. What we can do, though, is warn our readers: Buddha Bear carts aren’t produced by a reputable, licensed cannabis company, and you purchase these products at your own risk.
That leaves one final question.
What’s Wrong with Buying “Scam” Weed Carts?
If you’re lucky, nothing. Most people aren’t lucky, though.
The best-case scenario is that someone with substandard THC juice purchases the packaging and empty cartridges, and uses them to sell their product to unsuspecting customers. The user experience may not be great — but you get what you pay for.
Many black-market sellers aren’t that “reputable.” They’re not required by law to submit their products for independent testing, so there are no real safeguards ensuring quality or safety. They can claim whatever they want, and put whatever they want into their carts, with no repercussions.
Some of the scam cartridges that have hit the market in recent years have been tested by purchasers, and they’ve been found to contain toxic materials like pesticides and heavy metals.
Others have included a product called Honey Cut, which was a supposed “cutting agent and thickening additive” that was sold in huge volumes to non-licensed cart manufacturers. One problem: the liquid was Vitamin E acetate, which has been blamed for widespread, serious lung injuries suffered by customers who inhaled it.
Whether you’re thinking of buying Dank, Buddha Bear, or another black-market weed vape cart, the risk isn’t worth the apparent financial savings.
Buddha Bear Carts: FAQ
Q: Are there any legitimate Buddha Bear carts?
A: Some vendors claim that there are, but we haven’t found any that can be sourced to a reputable California cannabis company.
Q: If Buddha Bear black-market carts aren’t a rip-off of a legitimate product, where do the packaging and carts come from, and why do they all look so similar?
A: There’s no firm evidence yet, but if Buddha Bear is like the other scam weed products that have appeared over the last few years, would-be weed entrepreneurs can simply buy the packaging and empty cartridges from China, fill and sell them.