THC vape cartridges – often referred to as “THC carts” – are the usually disposable reservoir which stores the THC extract in your vape pen.
As most THC oil cartridges are disposable though, the question naturally arises: how long do THC carts last?
The answer depends on quite a few different factors. In this article, you will find all of the information you need to know about distillate carts.
What is THC?
Let’s start with the absolute basics. The THC you will find inside your cartridge is tetrahydrocannabinol, one of 113 different cannabinoids – a type of organic compound – found in the cannabis plant.
When taken into your body, cannabinoids like THC interact with your endocannabinoid system to “unlock” a range of different effects. This can have an effect on everything from your mood to your appetite to your ability to sense pain.
THC is used by many people in the US and around the world as a form of pain relief and often as an appetite enhancer too. This has made it famous for its potential for use in addressing the unpleasant side-effects of certain cancer treatments.
But tetrahydrocannabinol is also used by people from suffering from a wide range of other conditions, including relief from stress and as a sleep aid.
What is a THC cart?
A THC cart is a disposable cartridge loaded with tetrahydrocannabinol which is designed to fit into a vape pen. For this reason, these devices are usually referred to as disposable THC vape pens.
The THC itself is usually suspended in an oil. The vape contains a battery and a heating element. When activated, the heating element – sometimes called an atomizer or cartomizer – will heat the THC in the oil until it becomes vapor. You can then inhale that vapor.
How are THC carts made?
The THC in cartridges designed for use in vapes is extracted from the cannabis plant. The extraction method used plays a major role in the quality of the final product. For instance, CO2 extraction uses carbon dioxide whereas butane extraction uses butane as a solvent.
The important thing to know is, firstly, how pure the THC in your cart is. This should be a factor given as a percentage. It’s common these days for higher quality products to be 80% purity or more.
The alternative is a full-spectrum product. “Full-spectrum” or “full plant” products contain all of the original components of the cannabis plant. This is something which is very desirable, as all of the components of the cannabis plant create something called the “entourage effect” when taken together. This greatly enhances the overall potency of the final product.
A cart which is full spectrum will also retain the flavorful terpenes, phytonutrients and other parts of the original plant. This improves the flavors, aromas and potency of your vaping experience.
Are THC carts better than smoking?
There are several reasons why almost anyone will tell you that vaping is better than smoking even if they themselves do not do it:
1) Comparatively healthier
Smoking is bad for you. It’s as simple as that. Vaping, while not completely harmless, is considerably better for you than smoking.
Many people have made the switch to getting the THC relief they need from vaporizers for this very reason.
2) More discreet
As far as the people around you are concerned, you could have anything in your vape. It could simply be nicotine.
Although a full spectrum product may retain some of the original aromas of cannabis when exhaled, many others types of cart are available – including K.I.N.D.’s Sweet Karts, for instance – in which other flavors have been mixed in to create not only an interesting and pleasant vaping experience, but one which is subtle and discreet too.
No matter whether you are in a part of America which has legalized the use of marijuana and marijuana products or not – or whether you have a valid medical card permitting you to use cannabis legally – no one really wants to make it unpleasant for people around them who don’t vape.
Again, vaping is far better in these instances than having tobacco smoke blown into your face as a bystander.
3) Provides precise dosing ability
For people who need to take THC to manage chronic pain they experience – as well as for people who simply want to use their vape responsibly – the ability to regulate and measure the dose they take every day is a vital one.
Vaping makes it easy to set the quantity of THC you want to take every time.
4) Easier to use
Any disposable weed pen is light, portable, highly functional and easy to use. There’s no messing about with additional equipment or need to have any real knowledge other than the sensible advice to “start small and work up” when it comes to finding the right dose for you.
How long do carts last?
Let’s get back to the main topic. The answer to the question of how long carts last depends on a number of factors:
- What size of cartridge you have
- The potency of the THC inside the cartridge
- How long you inhale for each time you use your vape
- How many times you use your vape on a daily basis
Two of the most common sizes of cart are 500 mg and 1000 mg vape cartridges. A 1000 mg cartridge is usually rated to last for around 300 seconds – or five minutes – of inhalation time. That’s a lot of time. But these are big cartridges.
Working out how long 300 seconds of inhalation will last isn’t too hard. An average inhalation time might be around 3 seconds. Conveniently, a little easy mathematics tells us that if that’s the case, you will get around 100 inhalations from your vape. If you were to use it three times a day, it would last for just over 30 days.
Lighter usage means longer lasting
But those numbers above are for a sizable cartridge and a user that is inhaling pretty heavily. Especially if the THC extract inside the cart in question is a high-purity or full-spectrum variety, you’re very unlikely to need to use your vape so much unless you are suffering from a great deal of pain.
If you were using the same cartridge but only once per day before bed – huge numbers of people use THC to get a better night’s sleep – then it would, in theory, last for a hundred days (or around three months). That’s for very light use and a potent product.
On the other hand, if you had a chronic condition, even three times per day might not be enough. You might also take longer inhales – perhaps five or six seconds in duration or even longer. In this case, the length of time your cart lasts might be in days.
This all goes to show that how long a THC cart lasts depends heavily on your usage levels as well as the potency of the THC itself.
How long does a cart last for most people?
For most people, you can expect your vape to last for anywhere from:
- A few days – if you inhale heavily, regularly, perhaps share your vape with friends, and have a less potent THC cart loaded or perhaps a personally high tolerance to THC.
- A few weeks to a month or longer – if you use sparingly, have shorter inhales, don’t regularly share your vape and have a high potency or full-spectrum THC cart loaded.
Most people who are new to using a THC disposable vape pen will quickly come to realize that vaping a potent THC extract is very different from smoking the whole cannabis plant.
There is an initial effect which can be much more powerful than you are used to. That’s why the best advice is always to start small and work up to the dosage level which is right for you. You should also give yourself plenty of time to really acclimatize to the strength of the THC between inhales.
How to know when your oil cartridge is empty
Talking about the possibility of THC carts lasting for days or weeks is one thing. But how do you actually know when your oil cartridge is empty? There are a few simple ways to tell:
- Visible tank – many vapes these days come with see-through tanks or reservoirs so you can actually see how much oil is remaining in your vape.
- Light indicators – some high-quality vapes come fitted with LED indicators which tell you when your oil is running out.
- The unpleasant final inhale – sometimes incorrectly referred to as a “dry hit” (incorrectly because the construction of most vapes ensures they will never be completely “dry”), the final inhale of an empty vape cart can be harsh and unpleasant and will likely produce no vapor when you exhale. Ideally, you want some method of discovering you are near the end of your cart well before you reach this stage.
Overall, how long THC carts will last depend on several factors. The quality of the THC extract inside, for one. How much and how often you vape. Your own tolerance to THC and how much you share your vape with friends.
Aim to buy a higher quality product like something from the world of K.I.N.D. and carefully build up to your dose until you establish a level which is right for you. You will soon get a sense for how long your vape cartridge will last for.