Whether you’re looking to budget or simply keep track of when to replace your vape cartridges, knowing how long they last is useful. Here’s how you can best estimate the lifespan of your cart, based on usage, what you are vaping, and cart specifications.
The answer to this question is… it depends. There are a few factors that you’ll need to account for.
First, consider the size of your cart. The most common pre-filled oil cart sizes are one gram and half a gram, or 1000 mg and 500 mg. But while most 1-gram carts will last longer than most 0.5-gram carts, not every cart is going to have an identical lifespan to another cart of the same size.
From THC to CBD, vapers can find a range of extract types, including oils extracted with butane and CO2, distillates, and more. Consistency and potency will often impact how many puffs you can get out of your cart. For instance, substances like live resins are often more potent than processed oils. The user doesn’t need to consume much to get high, when compared to butane hash oil (BHO).
On the topic of potency, this plays a strong role in how long a THC, CBD, or delta 8 cart can last. More potent oils often necessitate shorter draws (and therefore less oil consumed) in each typical puff.
As we’ll discuss in more depth, how frequently you take a hit of your weed cart helps determine its lifespan. The size of those hits and the length of your draws is also worth paying attention to.
However, it’s not always best to pick the larger cart size, especially if your vaping habits are inconsistent. Carts that sit around untouched are far more likely to become clogged. Unused THC or CBD oil carts can even experience heat damage, bacteria growth, and a decrease in potency. Just because the cart lasts longer, doesn’t mean it’s always the best bet.
Although there’s no way to perfectly estimate how long a cart lasts based on its size, there’s a range to keep in mind.
If you’re sticking to puffs under three seconds, most 0.5-gram carts will last between 80 and 160 puffs. A typical 1-gram oil cart should keep going twice as long—for 160 to 320 puffs.
Based on these numbers, a weed cart can last for as little as a week or two with frequent use. Individuals taking several puffs a day may find 0.5-gram carts inconvenient, due to the regular need to replace them. A 1-gram alternative could be the preferable option for dedicated cannabis vapers.
Someone who casually hits their vape once a day may make a half-gram cart last for a couple of months or more. To decrease the risk of your vape leaking or losing potency, avoid larger carts if you aren’t regularly using them.
As we mentioned, this is based on draws under three seconds. It’s not recommended that you take draws that are longer than this, and doing so will deplete your liquid even faster. There’s also an increased risk of burning the oil or cart, leading to damage and lower potency.
Cart size and oil type aren’t all that matter. How you prefer to use your weed cart can also cause it to last longer or shorter.
Draw time is one of the main variables here. If you’re regularly spending three or more seconds inhaling on your weed pen, each puff is going to consume more liquid than a one or two-second draw.
How frequently you take a hit of your vape is important. The combination of regular use and hearty draws will deplete a cart quickly, regardless of its contents. The same cart that lasts a couple of days in the hands of a chain vaper may last months for someone who occasionally takes a short hit during the weekends.
Finally, if your vape pen or 510 battery allows you to adjust the voltage, high settings can lead to a shorter lifespan. Of course, high voltage settings also result in greater cannabinoid intake and a quicker high. It’s a tradeoff, but an excessive voltage setting could deplete a cart faster than expected.
Generally speaking, when you hear someone refer to a “THC cart,” they’re referring to delta 9 carts. This is the type of cart most commonly used to get high in states with legal marijuana, due to the powerful psychoactive effects of delta 9 THC.
Delta 8 is another form of THC—made from federally legal hemp-derived CBD—that has seen increased popularity in recent years. While delta 8 also gets you high, it’s less potent and has a milder impact on the user.
Technically, whether a cart contains delta 8 or delta 9 THC doesn’t have a direct effect on how long a cart of the same size lasts. The cart user’s intentions should be accounted for, however. If the individual is looking to achieve a powerful, sustained high with delta 8, they’ll need to consume more oil than if they opt for delta 9.
So, if getting high is your goal, a delta 9 cart is going to last much longer than the same-sized delta 8 cart. The puff estimates we provided above generally apply to both of these cannabinoids.
Tolerance is a well-known phenomenon among weed users. Consuming THC on a regular basis can lead to increased tolerance, meaning your body needs more of the drug to achieve the same high. (There is much debate over CBD tolerance. Some research indicates a reverse tolerance, where less CBD is needed over time to achieve the same effects. But that’s not proven.)
Not only do heavy, frequent puffs lead to more oil consumption, but they can also increase the user’s threshold for becoming high. This can turn into an unfortunate cycle where more and more oil is consumed for the same effects, leading carts to empty after just a few days of use.
Pace yourself, and try not to consume more oil than needed to reach your goal. This is especially important if you’d rather not invest in a new cart every few days. That kind of use can quickly develop into an expensive habit.
Before making your next vape cart purchase, consider your usage habits and what you’re looking to get out of your cart—including how long you’d like it to last. How long carts last varies from person to person, as well as from cart to cart. Using the information provided, we’re hoping you have a solid starting point when determining optimal cart size and type, depending on how many sessions you’re looking to get out of it.