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Do Vape Cartridges Expire?

Posted by CANNASaver on Wednesday, 06 July 2022 in Canna Blog

Okay, scenario time, folks:

You’ve decided after smoking a particularly strong sativa that you are going to clean and organize your room. As you dig through various piles of stored away nostalgia, you come across many different marijuana vape cartridges you didn’t fully finish. Some of them are even about full. You feel like a pirate. You have, like Jack Sparrow, found lost treasure.

As you look at your current cartridge, you only have maybe one or two hits left before you’ll need to go to the dispensary. As beautiful as that sounds, the cleaning was about all you were wanting to do before chowing down on some snacks and maybe taking a nap.

You vote to might as well finish off the cartridges you have with the newly-rediscovered cannabis. After all, some of them are almost full! Nothing beats the glorious taste of a puff on some golden nectar found within vape cartridges. Absolute treasures.

But then you begin thinking, "I don’t remember the last time I bought that brand. How old are these cartridges? Can marijuana go bad? Do vape cartridges expire?"

As they say, “Nothing good lasts forever” and unfortunately, marijuana vape cartridges are no exception.

The Vape Cartridge

To give you a simple definition of a vape cartridge itself; it’s the device (plastic or glass tank with a mouthpiece) that carries cannabis oils and their properties (the fun part) into your body.

You should be aware that any little piece of this marijuana contraption, from the cannabis concentrate to the battery, is very much at risk of wearing out, failing, or “being bad”. Vape cartridges should not be looked at as a device built for longevity like pipes or bongs. Though this doesn’t mean you have to throw a cartridge away after a few uses.

Vape cartridges contain THC concentrate rather than actual marijuana buds/plant material. This means the vape cartridge will keep terpenes from evaporating and will not lose potency because of drying like with buds.

How Long Are Vape Cartridges Supposed To Last?

The best answer I can give you is that it depends on a few different factors: the size of the cartridge (half or full gram of oil), how often you are puffing on it, how well the cartridge stays together, etc.

How many puffs does a cartridge last? 

A full gram vape cartridge is supposed to last around 300 seconds of total inhale time.

So, if you are on the lighter side of smoking, for example, you take 3-second puffs. This would grant you about 100 puffs from the cartridge. 

If you proceed to use the cartridge but only once per day, the potential for you holding onto a cartridge for a much longer amount of time is very possible.

As opposed to those who use marijuana products more often, let’s say these individuals hit the device for 6 seconds, five times a day. Suddenly, that gram cartridge only lasts roughly ten days.

So, Can Vape Cartridges Expire?

If you haven’t guessed it by now, the simple and short answer is yes. 

Much like many prescription medications/foods/drinks, vape cartridges (and wax concentrates) do expire. 

However, unlike the meds/foods/drinks, vape cartridges don’t necessarily have an expiration tag or sell-by date, per se. 

Expired vape cartridges will give indications of age and overall product degradation.

When cannabis oils found in the cartridge degrade, the potency of the oil lessens. The longer you take to finish a cartridge; the weaker the effects become when using an old vape cartridge. No “high” feeling being produced when you are wanting to get high is a bit of a bummer to say the least.

Signs that your vape pen may have expired are:

  • The oil has changed color and has become sludgy in appearance. Either a dark brown or black. No longer a beautiful golden color.
  • The oil has a funky taste and is incredibly harsh. A baking-soda-left-in-the-back-of-your-fridge kind of taste.
  • The oil has no smell and, with a lack of smell, likely comes a lack of potency.

What Happens if I Smoke an Expired Vape Cartridge?

The only real consequence of smoking an expired cartridge is a lack of taste, smell, and potency of the THC. 

But, depending on how your cartridge was stored, the most disgusting thing that can happen to your vape cartridge is potentially growing mold. 

Moldy weed doesn’t exactly taste great and furthermore, inhaling mold can lead to various lung-related diseases.

The silver lining is that vape cartridges do not go bad very quickly. 

Most vape cartridges have a shelf life of about 1-2 years.  

If the cartridge’s oil is still close to the same color and there are no signs of the oil becoming a sludgy substance, you are good to go. Proper storage of the cartridge will ensure it stays better for longer.

How To Prolong the Life of Your Vape Cartridge

Here are some tips to keep those vape cartridges fresh:

Avoid Sunlight

The absolute, most important way to store a vape cartridge is to keep the device completely away from direct sunlight. Sunlight destroys cannabinoids at a chemical level.The color changes from gold to brown, leading to reduced potencies and changes the way terpenes taste or smell (not in a good way).

Keep The Temp Down, But Not Too Low

The ideal temperature for storing cannabis vape cartridges is around 70F. 

If vape cartridges are left in higher temperatures, much like with flower, it loses what makes them shine to begin with. 

You can store your carts either in a drawer or you can store them in the fridge, but do not freeze your carts. It causes a laundry list of problems to the cartridge.

An Upright Cartridge is the Happiest

One thing that many miss while attempting to expand the life of their vape cartridges is to keep the mouthpiece part facing up, vertically, when not in use. This keeps your cartridge from leaking and creating clogs in the mouthpiece.

Now, armed with knowledge, you can now decide whether that old cartridge is worth having a puff on or not. 

I'd still stay away from that cart you found under the couch cushion, though.

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DaVinci IQ2: Mostly Love at First Hit

DaVinci IQ2: Mostly Love at First Hit

Posted by CANNASaver on Tuesday, 13 July 2021 in Wacky Racky

I am always looking for products that 1. are so easy a squirrel can do it,  and 2. make getting high easier on the ol' lungs. I had been hearing good things about the DaVinci IQ2 so picked one up at my local smoke shop. This unit retails for $295.00, but there is always some sort of special going on, reducing the price by 10-20% on the company's website.

Pros

  • Sturdy brushed metal
  • App- has great potential
  • Different customizable heat paths
  • Lots of accessories
  • Great points/loyalty program
  • Fast Shipping
  • 10 yr Warranty

Cons

  • App - while it's also a pro, this baby has some serious bugs (and it's only available for Android).
  • Can get hot *duh!*
  • Boxing/packaging: Frustrating and injurious
  • Accessories: No package/kits for the IQ2 like their Miqro

Unboxing: You apparently need to be Leonardo himself to completely unbox this unit. I was utterly frustrated by the lack of detailed instructions or charging cable. That frustration was quickly replaced by sheer horror when I found the hidden compartment behind the vaporizer, not the drawer under the unit.

Ease of Use: I like products that are so easy even a Squirrel can do it. This is not one of them, well not at first. Even after finding the detailed instruction manual I was extremely confused. Thank gawd for Youtube! However this only partially alleviated my fevered brain as my frustration grew. Many videos later several of my questions still went unanswered. How do you know when to hit it? How do you know when to stop hitting it? How often do you hit it or does that even matter? Let me give you a mental picture of the first time I used this device. Visualize: At the bottom of a milkshake is a thick layer of hot fudge oreo crumble. Now imagine really, and I mean really, wanting to get to the bottom of that milkshake right now, brain-freeze be damned! Needless to say, I got blasted as a result!

The Vape: This unit produces mind blowing flavor! Even though the company makes a HydroTube *which was out of stock when I ordered my unit and still is as of 5-14-21* the smoke was pretty darn cool and easy on the throat and lungs. The strain I tried in it usually sends me on coughing fits. It's usually really rough on the throat as well. Well not with the IQ2! No coughing at all. No sore throat following smoking either. It was just flavor and vape.

The App: The app does bring this device closer to being "so easy even a Squirrel can do it" but it has a lot of pesky bugs running about it's software. But rest easy there are "easish" workarounds.

Bluetooth Glitch: I always disconnect my IQ2 from the Bluetooth after use to conserve battery of phone and IQ2. If you don't do a "hard close" of the app after use, it will have a brain fart and refuse to connect to your device when you try to use it again. However after about every 4th or 5th session, the app fails to connect to the device period. It's a real PITA when this happens but the fix is "simplish". Pop the battery door open and close it again. Now I hate this battery door because it isn't easy to close and keep closed. So once you finally get it closed you dread popping it open to reset the units brain. *With use, the battery door over time does seem to close easier.*

Heat Paths: I LOVE the app because you can set heat paths. This allows you to start at a lower heat to really appreciate the flavor of the flower and slowly build to a higher temp during the 8 minute session. These paths are all completely customizable too. Just make sure you preselect which heat path you wish to use before hitting "setup". To access this, hit dashboard then in the right hand corner is a lightbulb. This is where your heat paths are located. I would appreciate it if the saved strain data would record and save the heat paths you use. Sadly you have to select your desired heat path before hitting "set up" otherwise it will use an "auto path".

Setup: After selecting your heat path click "setup". Here you add strain name, type, THC and CBD %, target amount of both THC and CBD *this can be left blank*, amount loaded and whether it's a new bowl.

Target THC: Setting a target THC dose you can consume a more precise *estimated* dose per session. Sadly this feature currently works with a new bowl. So if you don't use the dosage pod or spacers and need 2 other sessions to consume your flower, you will not have this THC dosage tracking available. The manual claims this should work with each session but it doesn't. A work around for a second session is to stir your flower *this is what I do* and repack it. Then you have to trick the app by slightly changing the THC percentage. I usually just add a .1 or .2 to the app data for THC amount. For example if I have GMO Cookies loaded and the app has 28% as saved THC amount, I will change it to 28.1% and select new bowl.

Estimated THC Dose Glitch: While I love the estimated THC dosing *different than "Target THC/CBD dose"*, there is a bug with this too. To calculate the THC amount you enter in the name of the strain, what kind it is, THC and CBD percentage and how much you are putting in the oven. This information gets saved for you but the third time you select that same strain, even as a new bowl, it cannot/will not, record your THC dose. Your only work around it, is to create a new entry like "Pound Cake 2" or change the THC % which of course will throw off your estimated dosage a tad. Yep, I love the app that much. I am willing to deal with its erratic, frustrating nature. See why it was on both my pros and cons list? Hopefully the developers will whip out some Raid and get those damn bugs out soon. 

Packaging: Packaging while cool looking still has me a little pissy. I wish companies would box their products in cool branded reusable cases instead of useless cardboard boxes, no matter how cool and confusing those boxes are. Products like the IQ2 come with a lot of extras so having a nice hemp case/holster to carry everything would be really nice. I would also suggest package deals for the IQ2 like offered with the Miqro. I hate nickel and dime shit. Have package deals and à la carte too. I would also suggest buying spacers when you order your unit. The spacers packaging was extremely bad. It took off half my thumb nail *I do not jest either* trying to open the damn thing. I had to even cancel dinner because we were going to have crab legs that night. Crab legs with Old Bay and a new flesh wound aka container battle-scar, would not have been pleasant!

Tip: Is Your Load Spent? When I first started using this vape I did notice that while the app would think my THC load was spent, when dumping it out it didn't look like it was. So I emailed customer service asking how do you know when a load is spent? Their tech support staff have been wonderfully fast and knowledgeable, as this was not the first time I contacted them. Their reply:"when it starts to taste like burnt popcorn." Honestly, I found during the last three weeks this is a great and accurate way to tell. This unit fails every so slightly from earning the WR Seal Of Approval. Only because it does have a bit of a learning curve and the app is buggy.

Check out their website here.

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