How Long Does a Vape Cartridge Last?

Oct 3, 2022 | Cannabis Blog

Vaping is a great way to take in your cannabis. Vape pens are discreet, portable, and practical. With a couple of inhalations, you get the full potency of marijuana.

How long does a vape cart last, though?

Perhaps surprisingly, there is no single answer. It all depends on your consumption frequency, the cart size, your lifestyle preferences, and even the temperature you heat the cannabis oil.

For example, people who like to microdose their marijuana throughout the day may take smaller puffs more frequently. Others who prefer to take their cannabis in one big go may take large puffs early in the morning or in the evening.

Likewise, people with chronic pain may benefit from larger and more frequent puffs. Those who like the relaxing effect of cannabis may prefer irregular consumption whenever they feel the need.

Here are some variables that will help you estimate how long your vape cartridge will last.

Vape Cartridges: the Basics

Vape cartridges are powered by a battery. You turn it on and the heat produced heats up the cannabis concentrate or oil, thus producing vapor. When you inhale this vapor, your lungs absorb the THC and all the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and botanical compounds found in marijuana.

  • Vape carts come in two forms: rechargeable or disposable. In the case of a rechargeable pen, as the name suggests, you can recharge the battery and remove and replace the cart with a new one.
  • Disposable vape pens, on the other hand, can’t be reused once the cartridge has emptied. You will need to recycle it at a designated spot and buy a new one.

The choice of vape pen depends on nothing more than your personal preference!

How Can I Calculate How Long My Cartridge Will Last?

Cartridge life depends on several factors. Here are the main ones.

Size of the Cartridge

Cartridges usually come in 500mg and 1000mg sizes. You may also find 250mg cartridges but they are less common. Obviously, a larger cartridge will last longer than a smaller one.

How Many Times You Puff Per Day or Per Week

Some people need their cannabis on a daily basis. People with chronic pain, depression, or anxiety often feel that marijuana helps them face the day. It makes sense they will puff more through the day and use their cartridges faster than someone who likes the occasional puff to relax when things get too stressful in life.

The Purpose of Your Marijuana Consumption

This leads to the next factor; the lifestyle of people’s marijuana consumption.

People who like their cannabis to relax or unwind after a difficult and demanding day may not consume their cartridge fast. They may take puffs every other day or in the company of friends to take their mind off things. In short, they consume their cannabis in a recreational way.

Others, though, may use cannabis to fend off chronic pain or other conditions. Their use is more medicinal than recreational, and they may even feel they can’t function properly without it. Naturally, heavy use of a vape pen will empty the vape cart faster.

The Potency of the Cannabis Oil

More potent cannabis will deliver greater quantities of THC in a single puff. The effects will be more intense and last longer than a less potent strain.

As a result, users may need fewer puffs, resulting in a longer-lasting vape cart.

How Many Seconds a Puff Lasts

There are deep inhalations, shallow ones, short ones… Depending on how much and how long you inhale, you will empty your cart faster or slower.

An average inhalation generally lasts for 2 to 3 seconds. Longer inhalations can last for up to 6 seconds, while shorter and shallower ones will only last 1 to 2 seconds each. The cartridge’s life will reflect this.

How High You Heat the Cannabis

When you heat your marijuana at a higher temperature than usual, you are using—and inhaling—more of it.

Let’s Do the Math

A 500mg cartridge will last for about 150 seconds of inhalation. If you take 1-second puffs, your cartridge will last for 150 sessions. If you puff five times a day, that means your cart will last you for a month.

In the same example, if you take longer puffs of 3 seconds each, you will then have 50 sessions. For your cartridge to last for almost a month, as above, you need to only use it twice a day.

As a final example, if you have the same 500mg cartridge but only vape 3 times a week and take 1-second puffs, then you can vape for 50 weeks—or almost a year.

How Can I Keep My Cartridge Fresh?

With such infrequent use, a new problem emerges: THC will degrade into CBN with time. While CBN is a great cannabinoid on its own, it doesn’t have the potency or properties of THC.

Vape cartridges are more resilient than marijuana flowers, so they last much longer than dried flowers. But they, too, have a shelf-life.

To prolong it, store your vape pen away from sunlight and heat. Heat degrades THC faster, and that includes heat produced from your pocket. For the same reason, avoid placing your vape pen on anything that gives off heat.

If you use your cartridge infrequently or forget about puffing for some time, your THC won’t degrade, as long as it’s not exposed to heat. You can also remove the battery when not using your vape pen to minimize the heat the battery radiates.

If you use your vape pen on a daily basis, repetitive heating will break down the remaining THC faster in the cartridge. This, however, is unlikely to be a problem, as you will also finish it faster.

Vape cartridges remain fresh and brimming with cannabinoids for 6 to 12 months. Beyond this time span, you should consider discarding your cartridge and buying a new one.

Hillside Natural Wellness

Here at Hillside, we have plenty of vape pens and cartridges for various marijuana strains. Talk to our budtenders about your needs and lifestyle and they will match them to the perfect cartridge strain for you.

Hillside Natural Wellness, your marijuana dispensary in Anchorage, is always open for your marijuana purchases. Order your Vape Pens online or visit our shop at 8639 Toloff St. Anchorage, AK 99507. We regularly enrich our collection of marijuana products to give you more choices and new THC strains.