Do THC carts go bad? Does thc oil lose potency?

Do THC Carts Go Bad?

Much like with marijuana flowers, THC carts don’t last forever. Many pot smokers may be under the misconception that their vape cartridges last forever, regardless of whether they’re made from live resin, honey oil or d9 distillate. 

If you’ve ever found an old, iffy looking vape pen at the back of your drawer and wondered whether you should give it a shot or not, you should read this article. We’ll provide you with some information on what happens to the cannabinoids that are inside the vape pen.

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Why Some Potheads Think that Vape Pens Last Forever

If you’ve ever been told that you should load up on vape pens because they last forever, you should really dissect the science behind this misconception. The theory behind why even some of the most seasoned marijuana smokers think that vape pens last forever makes sense. 

You can smoke old weed, and you’ll usually be in the clear (as long as there’s no mold or mildew), so technically, you can smoke old vape pens. If you think about it, cannabis becomes old and unsmokable because it’s exposed to light and air. The bud gradually loses its flavour and potency.

Unlike marijuana, vape oil or thc oil suspends cannabinoids and even terpenes in the hash oil. It also doesn’t “dry out” like weed, and trichomes cannot fall off the leaves or the bud. Terpenes are also trapped within the oil and cannot evaporate. It’s protected from the open air.

Due to these reasons, many smokers think that vape pens are immortal. Vape pens do have a longer shelf-life than cannabis flowers; however, they don’t last forever. They too can “go bad”, and you should consider throwing them out. 

THC in Vape Cartridges Degrade with Time

The thc in cannabis cartridges can actually degrade over time. The cannabis oil is made of complex lipid chains. The bonds connecting these lipid chains are not the strongest, and while the cannabis vape oil can retain the potency of the THC and cannabinoids for a longer time compared to a gram of bud, the components will still degrade with time.

The molecular bonds will eventually break, especially if the oi is heated regularly by the plate that’s in the battery. Heat will speed up degradation, and the act of vaping cannabis will expose the weed oil to air. 

The THC molecules are going to eventually break down into CBN. There’s nothing that you can do to stop this from happening although you can prevent this from happening prematurely. There are several factors that will cause THC to break down into CBN. The main factor, however, when it comes to dank vapes is heat. 

The heat isn’t just from using the black market THC cartridges. It’s also from something like heat from being left on the dashboard of a car on a hot, summer day or from body heat if you tend to carry these cannabis carts in your pockets. 

Other than heat, light that penetrates the cartridges will also cause premature degradation. Vape carts have glass exteriors that allow ultraviolet light to easily penetrate in and turn psychoactive THC into CBN.

The Difference Between CBN and CBD

CBN is not the same thing as CBD. In fact, it’s quite different. CBN stands for cannabinol while CBD stands for cannabidiol. 

These are two different types of cannabinoids that are found in cannabis plants. They are pretty similar to each other and share some medicinal properties, but they also vary in their effects, how they’re produced and how they interact with the human body.

CBN is a naturally occurring cannabinoid that is produced when THC or CBD is oxidized. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBN does not produce any intoxicating effects at all. CBN, combined with THC, produces more of a sedated couch lock high, and strains with a lot of CBN are recommended for those who are looking to relax. CBN also has anti-inflammatory and anti-convulsant properties. 

CBD, on the other hand, is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid that is made in hemp plants. The amount of CBD that’s found in plants will depend on genetics, not environmental factors. 

CBD can tone down the effects of THC, like paranoia or anxiety, while CBN is more of a gentle sedative. They’re not the same thing at all. CBN does not tone down the effects of THC. 

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How to Tell if a Vape Cartridge Has Gone Bad

If you’ve found a really old vape cartridge behind a drawer or lying around on your shelf, should you still use it? How do you know if it’s gone bad or not?

The good news is that vaping an old weed cartridge will not likely cause any serious health risk, as long as you’ve purchased the vape pen from a reputable company. It’s usually not recommended because the product might be a bit more harsh or the taste may be a bit off. Depending on how long the THC has been exposed to heat and air, it may also not be as potent.

If there’s a lot of CBN in the vape cart, some smokers will find that they can get really sleepy from vaping, without experiencing any psychoactive effects. 

The first sign that a cartridge has gone bad is if you notice that it doesn’t look the same as before. The viscosity may have changed, or even the clarity. You might notice that the product is not as clear as before. Or, that the color of the oil inside has changed to a darker color. 

In general, you should stay away from any THC carts that are dark brown. These pre-filled THC carts are way past their prime and should be tossed out. You should also avoid any thc oil that looks sludgy or really cloudy.  

The second sign that you should look for is the taste. If everything looks okay, but the vapor tastes bitter or sour, it may be a sign that the oil is breaking down.

How to Properly Store Cannabis THC Carts

If you’re recently purchased a weed cartridge from us, you’ll want to read up on how to properly store and care for your new carts. If you put some thought and care into it, your carts can last for a really long time without losing any potency or flavour. 

You’ll get the most bang for your buck, and even if you find an old cart at the back of your drawer, you’ll likely be able to enjoy it instead of having to toss it out! 

What is weed distillate and how is it made from cannabis?

Increase the shelf life and longevity of the THC carts by storing them in a case rather than out in the open. By storing the carts in a case, you’ll be able to prevent the THC inside from getting exposed to ultraviolet light. 

You should find a case that has a bit of padding in it. The padding will protect the carts from shattering or breaking even if they’re dropped from some height. Another tip is to look for a case with a zipper closure that’ll prevent the THC carts from rolling out. 


If you’re not using the pen, unscrew the cartridge from the battery. You don’t want the metal plates of the cart to come in contact with the battery, as this will always allow for some power to enter the cart. This will slowly heat up the cart and damage the thc oils or cannabinoids that are inside. 

Unscrewing the vape cart from the battery will also help to prevent breakage and leakage. Make sure that you store the vape carts upright when you’ve unscrewed them. Leakages is another common issue that many cannabis smokers run into. If the oil leaks, it can also damage your battery. 

How Vape Cartridges Work

To better understand why you should unscrew the cartridges from the battery if you’re not using it, you’re going to need to first understand how vape cartridges work. 

When you get your vape cartridge, you’ll notice that it’s made of glass and has about a gram of cannabis extract inside. The extract is basically the plant in oil form. You’ll either have delta-9 distillate, which is a cannabinoid, or honey oil or live resin, which are both full spectrum extracts (FSE). 

In general, d9 distillate contains a higher percentage of THC, but since it is only THC, it offers a very one dimensional high. Live resin and honey oil contain terpenes and other cannabinoids, so you’ll get more of a well-rounded high. Most smokers will experience entourage effects. 

At the bottom of the cartridge, you’ll see that there’s a metal plate there. This metal plate comes in contact with the battery to vaporize and heat up the thc oil. This vapor then gets inhaled through the mouthpiece at the top. 


Be very mindful of where you decide to store your vape carts. Try to store the cartridges in a cool, dry place that’s out of the heat. In general, any temperature that’s above 21 degrees Celsius will degrade the THC and cause the oil to denature. 

The best place to keep your carts is in a drawer. One of the absolute worst places that you can leave your marijuana carts is on a windowsill where it will come into contact with sunlight on a daily basis. The more sunlight that the carts receive, the quicker the cannabis oils will degrade. Excess light can turn the thc oil brown quite quickly.


You can even purchase d9 distillate from us in jars or containers and fill the cartridges yourself. This will allow you to store the oil in a cool, dry place until you need it, so it lasts even longer. This is also a great idea for those who want to reduce the amount of plastic and vapes that they go through.

How Long Does a Vape THC Cart Last?

The main question is how long can vape carts last? In general, we recommend that you keep vape carts for 6 months to a year. After that, you can expect the cannabis carts to lose some potency. 

How long the carts last will also depend on how you’re storing them. If you make sure that you keep the thc carts out of sunlight and away from heat, they’ll retain their flavour and potency for a longer time. You’ll be able to vape it even a year after buying it and still find that it’s just as flavourful and potent as the day that you got it. 

Find Amazing THC Cart Deals at CannabudPost

CannabudPost has several amazing THC cart deals. You can find some great distillate carts at $110 for 3 cartridges. You can mix and match different strains and flavors, and can even choose a honey oil cart to go with your mix and match. 

Our pre-filled vape cartridges are made with the highest quality cannabis concentrates and marijuana extracts. Some of our carts contain delta-9 distillate that’s tested to have 95% THC! These carts will knock you out! 

You can learn more about the THC carts that we have by contacting us. Some of our cannabis products have lab tests that come with them. You’ll get a better idea of what’s in the delta-9 distillate that’s in the cart and can rest assured that you won’t get any lung injury from vaping. 

Black market THC carts can be just as high in quality as legal cannabis carts. They can be used in the same way as medical cannabis. You do have to shop responsibly and make sure that you purchase your products from a reputable company. 

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