Ever stumbled upon an old vape cartridge tucked away in a drawer and wondered, “What Happens if You Smoke an Expired Cart?” It’s a query that might seem simple on the surface, but like many things in life, the answer is layered with complexities.
The world of vaping and the science behind the longevity of its components is vast and ever-evolving. While the idea of ‘expiration’ might conjure images of sour milk or stale bread, the implications for vape cartridges are a different ball game altogether.
But worry not, intrepid explorer of the vaping realm! We’re here to guide you through the misty corridors of this topic, offering insights and answers to your burning questions. Join us as we delve deep into the intricacies of expired vape cartridges and their effects.
- Vape carts can go bad when kept beyond their shelf life, which hovers around 6-24 months.
- It’s unclear what happens if you smoke an expired cart. However, it’s almost certain you won’t enjoy the experience.
- Store your vape carts in a cool, dry, dark place to keep them fresh and potent for longer.
Can Carts Go Bad?
Yes, carts do go bad. The cannabis compounds in a cart are suspended in a base, usually oil or alcohol. Oils/alcohols are organic, which means they contain complex chains of lipid molecules bonded together by chemical bonds.
These bonds aren’t strong and eventually weaken, leading to degradation. The same process happens to the bioactive ingredients contained within the cart.
In the case of THC, it breaks down into another cannabinoid called cannabinol (CBN). This compound is not as psychotropic as THC, which is why reduced potency is one of the signs of a stale cart.
The rate at which carts go bad varies, depending chiefly on storage. If poorly stored, the rate is, of course, higher. This is because natural elements like air, heat, and moisture speed up the degradation process. Ever wondered why most consumer goods should be stored in cool, dry places? Now you know.
The material often used to make vape carts can conduct heat. So, when stored in a warm environment, the heat eventually transfers into the oil, thus speeding up decomposition.
Light is another significant contributor to degradation. It works more or less like heat by aiding the breakdown of the bonds holding the molecules together. So, you can imagine how fast your vape cart goes bad if exposed to both light and heat!
Can Dab Pen Carts Expire?
Dab pens are just like vape pens and operate pretty much the same way. The only difference between the two is that the latter is designed for consuming a variety of concentrates. On the other hand, vape pens are more suited for flowers and oils.
In effect, dab pen carts can expire because, just like vape carts, the materials used to make the cart conduct heat, eventually leading to the breakdown of the concentrate.
Typical Vape Cartridge Shelf Life
A standard cartridge’s shelf-life ranges from six to 12 months from the date of manufacture. However, as explained earlier, this depends on storage practices.
When buying a vape cart, go for those manufactured within the month. This gives you the maximum possible shelf life. And here’s a little-known secret; you’ll likely get these from online vendors. Why?
Because they’re well-established, trusted, and reliable, which translates into higher stock turnover. This means they restock more frequently than other vendors (e.g., gas stations and convenience stores), so their products are fresher.
Nonetheless, how long a vape cart lasts depends on how well you store it. If you do this well enough, you can get the most out of your cart.
What Happens if You Smoke an Expired Cart?
Now to the million-dollar question — what happens if you smoke an expired cart? Well, this depends on the degree to which it’s expired.
Generally, you will immediately recognize the low quality and reduced potency. You may even experience a change in flavor and taste. Overall, you likely won’t like the experience.
Let’s look at the most common scenarios involving expiration.
For the most part, a partially expired vape cart is usable. Be that as it may, it may exhibit certain changes. For example, the color could adopt a more amber tint. Still, the ingredients are bioactive, so there could be only a marginal change in potency and flavor.
But as the degradation continues, the molecules break apart, increasingly losing their potency. The process is time-intensive, and a 5-6–month-old cart should still have many bioactive cannabinoids.
A slightly expired cart can remain in that state for an extended period of time (one year or more). Of course, this is if it’s stored properly and heat and light are kept to a minimum. Indeed, some users claim they have used vape carts left in a fridge for up to 20 months without incident.
A spoiled vape cart is relatively easy to identify. It adopts a dark brown to reddish color and may even congeal. It likely emits a different smell that’s often rancid or bitter. So, if the color of your vape cart seems off, just take a whiff with your nose.
The appearance of crystal-like substances on the surface may also signal expiration.
For a completely expired vape cartridge, the cannabinoids are almost entirely degraded. Essentially, it has no effect. Even if you try vaping it, the flavor and taste will likely put you off.
Of course, there are inherent dangers to consuming expired products. It’s still unclear what the effects of expired cannabinoids are for now, but we’re certain it’s not worth risking.
Generally, vape carts are quite affordable. So, there’s no point in consuming an expired cart to save a few bucks. Your health is supremely important; don’t take it for granted.
How to Improve Your Vape Cartridge Shelf Life
So, what do you need to do to improve the shelf life of a vape cartridge?
Luckily, prolonging your vape cart’s shelf life is not more complicated than what you’ve probably been doing. Of course, you should also remember that the ingredients in the cart influence how long it stays fresh. The more additives in a cart, the faster it goes stale.
But with these easy-to-follow steps, you could soon use your carts for 6-12 months or even longer!
While sunlight is undoubtedly good for health, cannabis products may not feel the same way (if they could speak!). Sunlight is responsible for two major contributors to the breakdown of a cart’s contents: light and heat.
Light works more or less like heat, weakening the bonds that hold molecules together. It’s particularly dangerous to THC and transforms it into CBN.
So, one way to prolong a vape cart’s shelf life is by storing it in a dark place. This can be lockable pantry shelves, chest cabinets, glove boxes (not in summer!), or bedside tables. The options are virtually unlimited.
Keep it Cool
Heat is undoubtedly the biggest offender when it comes to degrading vape cartridges. The chemical bonds that hold the oil and cannabinoid molecules together cannot withstand heat for long. These bonds break down at higher temperatures, leading to a loss of potency and taste.
So, keeping your vape cart cool goes a long way toward prolonging its shelf life. At home, store your vape carts in places that are typically cooler. Generally, the kitchen is marginally warmer than other rooms, so avoid kitchen-area storage places.
Keep it Upright
This is particularly important when storing vape cartridges. Keeping vape carts upright prevents them from clogging up and becoming less efficient.
If you buy vape carts in bulk, a vape cartridge container is a worthwhile investment. With this, you can store all the carts in an upright position. Remember to keep the mouthpiece facing upward.
Best Way to Store a Vape
You invest a significant amount of your hard-earned cash on vape carts, so it’s only fair that you get the most out of them. This means using them while they are fresh, potent, and tasty.
The best way to store a vape cart is in a cool, dry, dark place. Doing this reduces exposure to heat, light, and moisture. Some vape carts are enclosed at both ends and are unlikely to be affected by moisture. Still, better play it safe than be sorry.
Also, keep in mind that vape carts are often made of glass. This means they are fragile and could break when handled carelessly. Glass doesn’t go well with pressure and heat, so exposing your cart to these elements increases the risk of damage.
A damaged vape cart could lead to leaks. It could also mean moisture enters the cart, thereby adulterating the contents. Or, it could render your cart completely unusable. Either way, it can ruin your vaping experience.
Where to Buy Fresh Delta-8 Disposables Online
Not so sure about that vape cart in your pantry? Don’t risk it; just get a fresh one from LIT Farms. The good thing is that you can purchase our products online and don’t have to leave the comfort of your home.
Our products are manufactured under the highest standards and are subjected to rigorous third-party tests. We simply offer nothing but the best!
Get started with this Lollipopz Liquid Diamonds Delta-8 Disposable Vape. It comes in a 1-gram disposable, sleek, and discrete vape pen for increased convenience. It’s portable, so you can go everywhere with it while enjoying the mouthwatering flavor and sugar rush of Lollipopz.
If you’re down for a burst of juicy sweetness, our Melon Tree Liquid Diamonds Delta-8 Vape is an excellent choice! Every puff gives the succulent flavors of ripe honeydew and watermelons, combined with the extra smooth and satisfying sensation of premium Liquid Diamond extracts.
Our sleek and portable vape pens allow you to enjoy a high-quality vaping experience practically anywhere. Whether on the beach, on the road, or in the places your adventures take you, we ensure you can still enjoy the delicious flavors of summer.
Protect your vape cartridge from heat and light to get the most out of it. Moisture also plays a role, but since carts are often closed, it has little to no effect. But carts are made of fragile glass, meaning they can break and compromise the quality of your vape cart.
Overall, the shelf life of a vape cart ranges from 6 to 24 months and depends mainly on storage practices. The better you are at these, the longer your vapes will stay fresh.
Just remember the biggest enemies of freshness — heat, light, and moisture. Once you keep these at bay, your carts will definitely last longer.
Expired Carts: Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Bad to Smoke Expired Carts?
While there aren’t any clear links between smoking expired vape cartridges and health problems, we don’t recommend doing so. If anything, the cannabinoids are almost entirely degraded, so you gain nothing in terms of effects.
Can a Cart Expire?
Yes, a cart can expire. Time changes everything, and in the case of vape carts, it makes them go bad. However, good storage can help them stay fresher and potent for much longer.
What Happens if You Vape an Expired Cartridge?
This depends on the extent to which it’s expired. For partial expiries, there’s little cause for concern. However, when fully expired, the flavor and taste will be off. Also, you will feel no effects because the cannabinoids have degraded.
Can You Still Hit a Dead Cart?
Technically, you can still hit a dead cart. However, it would be similar to flogging a dead horse; it won’t go anywhere!