More and more people are experimenting with cannabis vape cartridges. For vape enthusiasts, using a cartridge provides a level of convenience along with a way to control the dosage. And it makes consuming the plant more discreet than smoking a joint or pipe is.
For first-time or infrequent cannabis consumers, the care and use of cartridges can be a bit confusing. And many people wonder how long a cartridge will—or should—last them.
Let’s break down the basics of marijuana vaporizer cartridges to understand how long a vape cartridge may last for you.
Many people are discovering cannabis concentrates. The sales numbers for these golden-colored oils are racing ahead of that of cannabis flowers for several reasons:
Reusable marijuana vape cartridges screw into a rechargeable, lithium ion battery that powers a heating element, resulting in vaporization and not smoke. High-end reusable vaporizers can come with temperature controls and even adapters to be able to vaporize marijuana flower as well as oil.
Disposable vape pens are another widely available option. The cartridge and pen are a single unit, and you don’t recharge them when they’re empty. You simply recycle them.
Most folks who are new to vaping cannabis start out with the least expensive option, which is usually a disposable pen. Once folks appreciate the benefits and convenience of vaping, many opt to buy higher-end pens, and there are virtually no limits on the type and design of vape pens available to consumers.
To produce concentrates, manufacturers extract cannabis oils from the leaf material and, depending on what the manufacturer desires as their end product, there are a number of extraction techniques they use to create the oils.
Distillates are cannabis oils that have been taken through a vacuum or steam process, usually several times, in order to isolate particular cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabidiol (CBD).
The end-product has very little flavor or smell, which allows concentrate manufacturers to modify the original solution so that they can create unique products. Companies sometimes add terpenes and flavors to distillates to enhance both their aroma and effects.
Once they extract the oil, cannabis concentrate manufacturers use a variety of techniques to create their final product.
For cartridges, the oil must remain viscous (have a thick and sticky consistency) in order for it to turn into vapor when properly heated and so that the concentrates don’t gum up. This can involve mixing raw cannabis oil with other additives, including:
Some cannabis concentrate connoisseurs avoid carts containing additives, but you’ll have to decide what kind of vape cart is right for you.
Generally, prefilled carts come in two sizes:
Unfortunately, there’s no standard formula for how many puffs your cartridge will contain. But according to a few dispensary employees, it’s comfortable to assume that the average person will reliably yield no less than 75 and probably no more than 150 puffs from a 1/2-gram cartridge. This is based on a 3-to-5-milligram puff, which varies widely from person to person.
That said, these are just a few of the variables when it comes to how long a vape cart lasts:
Using the 3-to-5 milligram formula, it’s fairly simple to make an educated guess as to how long a cart may last for you. If you’re a light inhaler and you’re using your vape pen throughout the day, taking around 30 puffs, your cartridge will probably last somewhere between three to five days.
A HelloMD interview with Jeff Nagel, co-founder of W Vapes breaks down how his company has determined how long its cartridges lasts.
Meanwhile, just remember: The percentage of THC in a cart doesn’t necessarily translate to the best cartridge for you. Effects from terpenes are often as important as the overall potency of the product is.
Here are a few tips to help maximize your cannabis cartridge experience:
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