Do Delta 8 THC Vape Carts Expire? Shelf Life Of Cartridges Explained

Area 52
August 23, 2021 | Blog

Most delta 8 THC vape cartridges purchased from a licensed vendor will have an expiration date, usually one year from the date it was manufactured. 

When you buy from a dispensary, you can check the manufacture and expiration date on the packaging. If you’re ordering delta 8 THC vape cartridges online, make sure you buy from a trusted, well-established vendor. High sales volumes help assure the vape carts aren’t already nearing expiration when you get them. 

However, just how long a vape cart lasts — its shelf life —  depends on how well you take care of it, regardless of the expiration date on the packaging.

What is the Shelf Life of a Delta 8 THC Vape Cartridge?

The shelf life of a delta 8 THC vape cartridge is simply the amount of time it takes to “go bad” or lose potency. 

If stored correctly, delta 8 can last up to 24 months, though it can also go bad in a couple of months from the date of manufacture. 

It depends on how well you protect it from the elements that speed up the breakdown of delta 8 THC.

Is Expired or “Bad” Delta 8 THC Dangerous?

No, fortunately, delta 8 won’t make you sick or become toxic if it expires or is exposed to those elements. It only loses potency and might have a different taste.

Delta 8 THC tinctures or gummies may go rancid over time — but this is a result of the added oils and sugars rather than the THC itself. Carts don’t have these ingredients, so there’s nothing in them that can rot or go off. 

Major Contributors to Delta 8 THC Vape Cartridge Breakdown

There are four major contributors to the breakdown of the oil in your vape cartridge:

1. Heat

Heat is probably the biggest offender when it comes to damaging vape cartridges. It degrades the potency and taste and can cause the cartridge to leak, damaging the battery.

Don’t leave your vape carts sitting in your hot car or on a windowsill in the hot sun all day if you want them to last. 

2. Light (UV Radiation)

Light — particularly sunlight — is very harmful to vape cartridges. It breaks down THC molecules, resulting in the loss of potency and flavor.

This is why you should always keep your carts in a pocket, backpack, or purse, so it doesn’t come into contact with the suns rays any more than necessary. 

3. Oxygen

The word oxidation — derives from the fact that oxygen has a particular ability to break apart other compounds. The same is true for delta 8 THC. 

Over time, oxygen will break down the active ingredients in delta 8 THC oil. Full vape carts will have a longer shelf-life than half-used vape carts because there’s less room for oxygen inside the container to degrade the THC. 

4. Time 

Even under the best of conditions, time eventually takes its toll on your vape cartridge. Beyond proper care, its shelf life ultimately depends on the quality and potency of the delta 8 THC used.

If you’re looking for something with a much longer shelf-life, consider using HHC carts instead. 

How to Prolong the Shelf Life of Your Vape Carts

woman's hand holding a vape pen with a light background

When storing your vape cartridges, the ideal spot is somewhere that’s cool, dark, and dry. 

Please don’t keep your vape carts lying out in the open for too long, and definitely don’t keep them in your car. 

To maintain the potency and flavor of the vape cart you’re using, here are some suggestions to follow:

  1. Keep it out of direct sunlight: any light is bad, but ultraviolet light is a major contributing factor in potency loss in vape cartridges.
  2. Store your vape cartridge upright — even between hits: storing the vape cartridge on its side can cause it to leak and makes it easier for dust and dirt to get inside, which can clog the vape.
  3. Turn your vape’s battery lock on while not in use to avoid mistakenly heating it while it’s in your pocket. 

If you use your vape cartridge sparingly and take good care of it, it should last beyond its expiration date. 

If you use it frequently, you’ll probably use it up well before its expiration date — so proper storage isn’t as important for frequent users. 

Signs Your Delta 8 THC Vape Cartridge is Bad

Four visual clues tell you your Delta 8 THC vape cartridge is no longer good:

  1. The color has changed
  2. The oil has thickened
  3. Crystals are growing on the sides
  4. Specks are floating in it

The potency and taste of the delta 8 THC oil in your cartridge is also a good indicator of whether or not your vape cartridge has passed its shelf life.

Fake vs. Real Vape Cartridges

Make sure you start with high-quality products from trusted vendors to get the most out of your delta 8 THC vape cartridges. 

As delta 8 THC explodes onto the market, so do scammers and low-quality vendors, many selling cartridges that are not only a waste of money but also potentially dangerous.

Never buy delta 8 THC vape cartridges off the street, from a convenience store, or anywhere that doesn’t test its products. 

4 Warning Signs That a Vape Cart is Fake 

  1. Listed delta 8 content is exceptionally high for the price
  2. Packaging seems “off,” such as misspellings or lab tests printed on the package
  3. The cartridge appears cheap or different from most others
  4. Color or flavor is different; there shouldn’t be a burnt or metallic aftertaste, and the color shouldn’t be dark

If you suspect your vape cart is fake, discard it immediately. Fake vape cartridges send people to the hospital all the time and may lead to serious long-term lung damage. 

It’s not enough to know how to spot a fake; it’s just as important to know what an actual vape cart looks like. There are certain things to look for, and doing so will help ensure you’re buying a legitimate and potent Delta 8 THC cartridge.

Signs a Vape Cart is Real

There’s only one sure way to know a vape cart is real: third-party test results. Without this, a company can claim whatever it wants. Beyond that, look for the following:

  1. Packaging that lists the manufacturing date, batch number, expiration date, and lot number
  2. The company has a proven track record & lots of positive reviews
  3. The cart itself is high-quality; it shouldn’t be made of cheap materials, come apart easily, or have odd markings 

Proper Storage: The Key to Delta 8’s Shelf Life

Although your delta 8 THC vape cartridge may have an expiration date, it’s not carved in stone. 

You can extend the shelf life of your cart well beyond that date with proper care. Don’t just lay your vape cart on a desk or windowsill or keep it in your pocket or glove compartment; stand it upright away from heat and light. 

Remember, the best way to have a long-lasting delta 8 is to make sure it’s high-quality to begin with and avoid common sense errors like leaving your cart in the hot sun all day. 

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