How long does oil in vape carts last?

Posted by Cody on Dec 12th 2021


Let’s face it: there’s plenty of advantages to vaping a cannabis cartridge - it’s discrete, it’s quick and easy to consume, and you can control what dosage you are consuming.

For many people who aren’t so familiar with cannabis or vaping in this way, you might be wondering how long your cartridges will last and how many uses you can get from it before replacing. The answer depends on the brand and the frequency of use, but we hope this article helps serve as a helpful guide.

The Increasing Influence of Vaping in the CBD & THC Markets

It’s undeniable that the popularity of cannabis and vaping together is booming. The sales figures of the cannabis concentrates (as an oil) are tracking to be higher than the cannabis plant itself. We believe that the trend will persist for the following reasons:

  • The cannabinoid levels in concentrated oils are much higher than in the cannabis plant
  • Smoking cannabis in the typical way can be bad for the lungs and often harmful for the throat, whereas vaping cannabis carts is far less harmful in this context
  • The discretion levels are much higher with vaping cannabis. The exhaled smell isn’t so strong and you’re not clearly lighting up a joint out in public!

The cartridges (carts) for the marijuana vape are reusable and they work by screwing them into a lithium battery that you can recharge. The battery warms and heats the element that creates the vapor that you’re so familiar with.

The more complex and often more expensive vape pens may also have a control which allows the user to tweak the temperature for the heating element - and some even have an adapter which allows you to vape the flower and the oil too.

Generally though, it’s more common to find people with your standard vape equipment. 

How Is Concentrated Cannabis Extracted?

The manufacturers will normally extract cannabis oil from the materials found on a cannabis leaf. The next steps will depend on the individual manufacturer.

After a process that involves steam or a vacuum and often performed many times before the desired effect, the cannabinoids are isolated and extracted - these cannabinoids are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).

The result is an oil that is completely flavorless and lacks a smell. Because of this, many companies might decide to mix in more things into the oil to enhance the smell and taste.

What Exactly Is In My Vape Cartridge?

After the extraction of the oil, manufacturers have further tasks to do.

A cartridge must have a viscous oil (effectively, this is sticky and appears thick) which will allow it to heat up through the element and create the vapor. Along with the cannabinoids, the oil will also include what you’d expect from a vape - things like vegetable glycerin, coconut oil and propylene glycol.

How Long Will My Cannabis Oil Last And How Much Is In It?

A cartridge will be of two usual prefill sizes. These are 500mg for half a gram and 1000mg for a full gram. There’s no way to quantify exactly how many puffs it will take until the cartridge runs out but many people agree that you’d expect to have at least 75-100 puffs before the cartridge depletes.

Having said that, there are plenty of variables to consider, such as:

  • The battery’s temperature (particularly if that’s been changed by the user)
  • The duration of time you inhale and vape for
  • If you’re using a non-disposable or disposable battery
  • The size of the cartridge
  • The strength of the THC in the cartridge

The Lighter The Use - The Longer The Life

It might seem obvious, but the lighter the usage of your cartridge, the longer it will last. Many people opt to vape just before bed to relax themselves and help them sleep, particularly if they’re suffering from a chronic pain or sleeping disorder.

In this instance, a cartridge might last up to three months! For other people though, the heavier vaper can expect their cartridge to last a few weeks. This could become a costly affair for oils, so it may be in their interests to invest in the higher end gear we mentioned earlier.

How Will I Know If The Cart Is Empty?

Hopefully you will have a see through choice, which means you’d be able to tell instantly if it is running low or empty. The newer kits have a light indicator which generally blinks a few times to let you know that you’re on the low side or completely out.

Perhaps the best way to know though (or worst!) is the intake of a very unpleasant vape. Some people call it a dry hit and it’s very harsh on your throat.

Get The Most Out Of It

You can extend the life of your carts by:

  • Storing them in a cool, dry and dark location
  • Always hold the pen vertically
  • Remember to clean your pen out with alcohol and water
  • Unscrew your carts if they’re not being used
  • Prevent leakage by using the rubber tips that come with the pen

The Key Takeaway 

Carts will have different lasting time depending on use - but typically expect a cart to last from a few weeks to a month with moderate, average use.