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May 15, 2023
9 min to read

What Is the Best Voltage (or Wattage) for THC Carts?

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Hayley Heidelbaugh

Most disposable weed vapes and simple reusable vape pens have a fixed voltage setting. But nowadays, cannabis vapers also have a wide range of device choices, including 510 batteries, weed pens, and vape mods that offer adjustable voltage or wattage settings. These allow you to customize your experience.

By adjusting the voltage or wattage of your vape, you can tweak the flavor and intensity of your hit, or make your weed cart last longer. By the way, the advice in this guide applies to both prefilled THC carts and refillable cannabis oil carts.

Pre-filled oil cartridge wattage and voltage: an overview

Voltage (or wattage) adjustment is a fantastic way to fine-tune your vaping experience—but you need to know how. In other words, don’t just pick random voltage numbers.

The difference between voltage and wattage for weed vapes

Although voltage and wattage both refer to weed vape battery output, these aren’t identical adjustments. But while voltage and wattage are not supposed to be used interchangeably, adjusting them on a weed vape will produce the same results; by modifying the wattage or voltage of your vape, you’re controlling the power supplied to the cart, and in turn, the heat at which the oil is being vaporized.

Where it gets a little bit complicated is when accounting for different weed carts. When you modify the voltage of your vape, you alter the wattage and current. Different carts have varying levels of electrical resistance (measured in ohms).—meaning that the same voltage setting doesn't produce the same power output (wattage) in two carts with different resistances.

If you use a vape mod with weed carts, you’ll likely have to figure out wattage settings. On a wattage-based mod, the computer in the device reads the resistance of the cart, then adjusts the voltage automatically to reach the wattage setting you choose. The benefit of using wattage is that you can achieve the same power output even when you switch between different carts with differing amounts of resistance.

However, for most people who just want a couple of hits on a cart, that may be too much to deal with. Don’t worry. Most adjustable weed vapes only offer voltage adjustments anyway, so you don’t need to learn Ohm’s law to use your vape. Just keep this in mind: higher voltage equals warmer vapor (but there are limits).

What happens when you change your vape’s voltage?

Changing your THC or CBD vape voltage can have a strong impact on flavor, vapor output, the life of the cart, and even the high it provides.

In general, vaping at a lower voltage setting will offer cleaner flavor, but smaller clouds and lower cannabinoid output per puff. This means that you probably won’t inhale as much THC or CBD on a single hit. The lower the voltage, the more puffs you’ll need to get high—and the more puffs you’ll get from the cart in its lifetime.

Because cannabis oil and terpenes are sensitive to heat, vaping at a higher voltage can have a negative impact on flavor. Many people consider this a sacrifice worth making, seeing as high voltage means denser clouds and a faster high. The more THC you’re consuming, the sooner you’ll notice the psychoactive effects.

Vaping THC, or delta 8 carts at a high voltage is also more likely to induce coughing fits. So, if you’re prone to these, you may prefer to keep this setting on the lower side. Lighter plumes are going to feel gentler on the lungs. You just have to take more of them to get the same effect.

What is the best voltage for THC carts?

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There’s no “perfect” voltage for a THC vape cart. There are too many variables that need to be considered. After all, no cart, battery, or vaper is exactly the same.

The optimal voltage to vape THC oil usually falls between 2.5 and 3.3 volts. Thicker oils and distillates may need more voltage to vaporize. Even so, these denser oils tend to perform best at a setting under 4.0 volts.

Please note that these ranges refer to oil, not wax, which can also be vaporized. Wax and other semi-solid concentrates require more heat, so an even higher voltage setting.

When in doubt, start on the lower end of your 510 thread battery or weed pen’s voltage range and adjust as needed. Using a setting that’s too high can damage or burn your cart. Plus, no one enjoys a coughing fit after a hit that was bigger than expected.

Most simple weed vapes have low fixed voltage settings, because that’s what most people seem to prefer. Low voltages also extend the life of the cart by limiting oxidation, which is sped up by heat.

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Best voltage for live resin cartridges

Live resin has become an increasingly popular option for weed vape users. One of the biggest reasons for this is live resin’s delicious aromatic terpenes. Of course, live resin isn’t short on cannabinoids, either.

Live resin carts are known for their potency and true flavors, and high voltage settings may damage these qualities. Live resin usually only contains the natural terpenes from the weed it was extracted from, so they may be more subtle and prone to heat damage.

For the best live resin hit and the lowest risk to your cart, try a low-voltage setting. You may even want to start around 2.2 or 2.3 volts as a precaution, before working your way up.

Best voltage for delta 8 carts

With its increased popularity, interest in vaping delta 8 THC carts is huge. Delta 8 is one of the hemp-derived cannabinoids.

In terms of effect, delta 8 THC is similar to delta 9, which is the compound most associated with the term “THC.” It’s a psychoactive cannabis compound that leads to the consumer becoming high. Due to its different chemical structure, however, it is actually a bit less potent than delta 9. This makes delta 8 a fantastic alternative for those interested in a milder high. It’s also legal in many states where delta 9 isn’t legal.

There is debate in online spaces regarding the best voltage for delta 8. In most cases, stay within the general range between 2.5 to 3.3 volts. The voltage you choose comes down to personal preference, but 2.5 to 3.0 volts is a popular sweet spot for delta 8.

Start low and adjust up as needed, or refer to the manufacturer’s website for specific recommendations.

Best voltage for vaping distillate

Distillate is thicker than some of the other THC oil choices. Unlike live resin, distillate may need higher voltage.

The previous suggestion to start low and work your way up still holds, though. Consider starting around 3.0 volts and getting a feel for the clouds, flavor, and high this produces, then increasing in 0.1 or 0.2-volt increments if needed.

A comfortable voltage for vaping distillate often sits around 4.0 volts. Depending on personal preference, you may opt to adjust for an even higher voltage. Just remember not to push it too far, as this could damage the cart or the oil’s compounds. Once you pass 4.0 volts, you're in risky territory.

Best voltage for vaping CBD oil

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Note that these suggestions refer to actual CBD oil extracted from hemp flowers—not CBD e-liquid, which is sometimes labeled as “CBD oil.”

Compared to delta 9 THC, pure CBD has a slightly higher boiling point and may require higher voltage for maximum potency.

We recommend a voltage range between 3.3 and 3.8 volts—but, as always, start at the lower end and work up as needed. You can even test out a new CBD cart by starting beneath this range, or around 3.0 volts. Adjust the setting to suit your taste and the manufacturer’s suggestions.

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Some weed carts need a higher voltage setting

Where you set your voltage isn’t dependent on just the THC or CBD oil you’re vaping. Every cart is constructed a bit differently, and some types will require more voltage to produce the best flavor and overall hit.

Remember, the atomizer coil’s electrical resistance determines the voltage setting that makes it work best—along with the consistency of the oil and the preferences of the user. A vape cart with a higher resistance will require more voltage to achieve the same output as a cart with a lower resistance.

Typical modern prefilled THC carts have a ceramic coil and a resistance between 1.25 and 2.0 ohms. The lower the resistance, the less voltage is needed to get the same result. You can adjust the voltage up or down, but stay within the general range of 2-4 volts.

What happens if my voltage is too high?

There’s a reason we suggest starting low and adjusting the voltage up, rather than the other way around. A voltage setting that’s too low won’t provide the best hits, but it also doesn't cause permanent damage to your cart or oil. Using a voltage setting that’s too high, on the other hand, can permanently damage the oil or the cart itself.

Too much heat can cause cannabis oil to degrade, which makes it lose flavor and potency. And the tiny wires in a vape cart’s coil can actually break if you accidentally jolt it with too much power. That's a short, and if it happens, the cart is finished.

Everyone (and every cart) has a voltage sweet spot

Even if determining voltage seems like a hassle now, it becomes easier as you grow familiar with your vaping preferences. Just keep your priorities in mind, as well as the type of cart you’re using. If you want to sit back and enjoy the rich flavor of your weed oil, stick to a lower voltage setting. Alternatively, if achieving a powerful high as quickly as possible is what you’re striving for, a higher voltage is the best bet.

But no matter where your preference lies, start low and work your way up. With a bit of patience and attention to detail, it will be no problem finding the best voltage setting for your THC or CBD carts.

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Hayley Heidelbaugh

Vaping since: 3 years

Favorite products:

Favorite flavors: White Wedding, Northern Lights, Platinum Valley, OG Kush

Expertise in: Oil carts, cannabis concentrates, cannabis flower

Hayley Heidelbaugh

I'm a Pennsylvania-based cannabis enthusiast and writer. As a part of the Vaping360 team, I'm eager to help cannabis consumers explore vaping and get the most out of their experience. You can also find me @faeberrystudios on Instagram.

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