Do Carts Expire? Why Cannabis Oil Darkens Over Time
Whether you’re trying cannabis for the first time or you’re a seasoned consumer, you’ve likely heard about cannabis oil cartridges, or “carts” as they’re sometimes called. These are handheld electronic devices that allow users to enjoy their favorite strains without smoke, even on the go.
You may have noticed that the cannabis oil in your cartridges darkens over time. This occurs because cannabis oil is a natural product, and as such it will deteriorate over time.
It’s helpful to understand what causes cartridge expiry and how you can maximize the shelf life of your cannabis carts. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about dark oil cartridges.
Do Carts Expire?
If you’ve ever wondered, “Do carts go bad?” The answer is yes, and their shelf life depends in part on when you purchased your cannabis oil. Cannabis products, including oil, eventually expire, but if you use and care for your cart or vape pen properly, you should have no issues.
If you’ve held onto an oil cartridge for several months, you’ve likely noticed a change in the oil’s appearance. It has probably darkened in color, which will usually be a medium to dark brown.
Don’t panic if this is the case. Plant-derived oil of any kind experiences degradation over time because of the complex molecular structures present. It’s completely normal for natural products like cannabis oil to change colors.
How Long Does a Cart Last?
Given that many carts have expiration dates and provide the best experiences when used regularly, it’s natural to wonder, “How long does THC oil last?” and “How long does it take for THC wax to expire?”
The answer depends on how long you use your products and the conditions you store them in when not using them. That being said, there are two factors that determine the longevity of most cannabis carts.
If you’re using your cartridges at least once per day, it will typically last 90 to 100 days. If you’re using it multiple times per day, it may last fewer days simply because there will be less oil to draw from in the same time period.
If you only use your vape pen every so often, your cartridge may last anywhere from six months to one year. While Kurvana oil cartridges are designed to last, we recommend using your cartridge within six months of purchase.
If you purchased a cart and discover that it’s defective, we are happy to accept your cart for an exchange or return. We require proof of purchase as well as the original packaging in order for your product to be return-eligible. It’s best to start using your carts within 24 hours of buying them so you know if they’re working properly.
Do THC Carts Expire?
The main reason for cannabis cartridge expiry is the exposure of the oil to heat and light. This is true for any oil, but with cannabis oil this degradation happens slightly faster due to repetitive heat exposure from vaping. Still, heat exposure does take a considerable amount of time to break down the active ingredients, which is generally about a year.
So yes, THC carts do expire. That’s why it’s best to use them as soon as you buy them, or at least within about six months.
Do Dab Carts Expire?
Dab carts may be more susceptible to oxidation, typically lasting for two to three months before they expire. The main factors that contribute to cart expiration are heat, oxygen, and light exposure, improper handling, and rapid evaporation. If you enjoy dabbing on cartridges every day, consider buying two sets at once so that you always have a fresh one.
What Does an Expired Cart Look Like?
Eventually, vibrant clear oils become murky and dark in color, no matter the quality of the oil upon purchase. Your experience will also be less predictable in quality and effects the longer you wait to use your product.
Because our oils don’t contain additives or preservatives of any kind, they are vulnerable to the basic laws of chemistry. A change in color does not mean a compromise in oil quality, but a natural chemical reaction to time, heat, and oxygen exposure.
Each time you use your vape, you are exposing the oil to heat and oxygen: two elements that make oxidation happen, which is the prime contributor to the natural darkening process. In sum, a darkening of your oil does not indicate it is no longer effective.
That being said, oils do have a shelf life. After approximately six months, there is a slight decline in the quality of oil. After a year, the oil’s chemical structure continues to change, possibly altering the taste and viscosity of the oil.
Is It Bad to Smoke a Brown Cart?
In the event that your cart has turned brown, it’s natural to wonder if an expired THC cart or old vape cartridge is still safe. Unfortunately, the truth is more complex than a black-and-white answer.
If your cart has only become slightly brown, it’s often still usable. Note that brown carts will deliver less flavorful experiences, given the extent to which they’ve already biodegraded.
If your cart has become a thick or dark brown, it’s best to throw it out. Anything this old is likely unable to offer a pleasant vaping experience.
Is It Bad to Smoke an Oxidized Cart?
Oxidation happens naturally when substances are exposed to oxygen, light, or heat. In the case of cannabis oil, oxidation occurs due to the exposure of the oil to all three. Technically, cartridges begin to expire as soon as you begin to use them, because oxygen will enter the cartridge via the process of vaping.
If you use cartridges that have undergone oxidation (which generally takes six months or more) this may cause an unpleasant taste in your mouth, which many users describe as a burnt flavor, but this is not known to cause harm.
Does Wax Expire?
Cannabis wax, which is a type of butane hash oil (BHO), is one of the strongest products out of the thousands of cannabis industry goods. A grain-of-rice-sized piece of wax is all that most new users need to experience its effects and wax can be up to 80 to 90% pure THC.
Such a potent substance prompts many to ask, “do wax pen cartridges expire?” You may be wondering if your old wax pen is still useful, too.
Just like oil carts, wax carts can and do expire. While Kurvana wax products are made to endure, they’re best used within a year of purchase. Any consumable including cannabis oil will eventually lose its potency, freshness and flavor.
How Long Do THC Carts Last In Storage?
Many people purchase multiple cannabis carts so they have different options whenever they need them. This is a smart move because some days you want a boost of energy whereas other days, you just want to kick back and relax.
This begs the question, though: What is the shelf life of THC vape carts? The average vape or dab cart can last six to 12 months with proper storage techniques.
Want to keep your carts in usable condition that long? Here are the best strategies:
- Store your carts in a cool, dry place. Moisture and heat are two of the biggest threats to consumer goods. If any water or moisture makes its way into your cartridge, this can spell disaster. Dry locations tend to overlap with those that are lower in temperature.
- Keep your carts out of sunlight. Light is the other element that can prematurely spoil consumables, including your cannabis oils. Any time your pen isn’t in use, it should be kept somewhere that sunlight can’t reach.
- Clean the vaping end of your pen regularly. Moisture is one of the biggest threats to the longevity of your carts, and the best way to prevent this is keeping your pen dry. The incremental moisture from your tongue and lips can creep into your pen if you don’t wipe it down and keep it dry whenever you’re changing cartridges.
- Don’t overcharge your pen. Just like other battery-operated devices, vape pens should be charged sufficiently to work for years to come. Overcharging your vape pen can cause it to overheat. This may cause the oil to burn, which can lead to a poor experience.
Ready to put your latest cart(s) to use? For the best vape experience possible, use the following guidelines:
- Keep your cartridges and pens away from heat. This includes hot cars, the sauna, beaches, and anywhere else where temperatures are high. This strategy prevents your cartridge from experiencing accelerated darkening or leakage.
- Use a Kurvana-branded battery for optimal results. If you use a different battery, set it to a 3.2 voltage for Originals and Infusions, and 3.5-3.7 volts for ASCND.
- Use your Kurvana cartridge(s) within the first six months of purchase. The sooner you start using it, the better the flavor and results will be. The longer you wait to use your cart, the less likely it is to deliver as promised.
- Store your cartridges and pens whenever not in use. This is the best way to prolong their usability and prevent external elements from spoiling them.