Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on January 13, 2023

As you might’ve already seen, local dispensaries offer a wide variety of cannabis products starting from cannabis flowers, dab rigs, bongs, CBD products, distillates, and even vaporizers.

And if you’re into vaporizers, you know that vape pens are not only easy to use, but they’re also portable and functional. For the sake of introducing these cannabis products and how they work to both newbies and experienced cannabis users, we’ll go into what vape pens are, why they’re so popular, as well as how long do cannabis oil cartridges last.

Vaping and Vape Pens

Vaping is inhaling vapor from battery-operated smoking devices, and it’s slowly becoming the most popular way to consume cannabis. It provides a very discreet way of consuming cannabis for both medical marijuana users as well as recreational users.

Vape pens are becoming even more popular than joints or spliffs, as they are a safer option compared to the hot combustion of a marijuana cigarette since they vaporize cannabinoids at a lower temperature. Moreover, higher levels of cannabinoids are present in the vape cart’s cannabis oil compared to the flower. Another difference is that the vapor has almost no scent at all compared to a joint or a blunt, which is good news to those who want to consume this plant more discreetly.

Types of Vape Pens

There are two types of marijuana vape cartridges, the ones that are inserted into a rechargeable lithium battery with a heating element and disposable vape pens which are single-use devices. The latter is a very budget-friendly option for those wanting to try vaping cannabis, while the former is a bit of an investment as quality vape pens can cost around $150.

The Anatomy of a Vape Pen

Vape pens are discreet, small, and light, and they consist of the following parts:

  • Power button (switches the vape pen on and off and allows users to control the temperature).
  • Battery (a lithium-ion rechargeable battery).
  • Atomizer (the heating element that causes the vaporization of cannabis concentrates).
  • Chamber (where cannabis is placed).
  • Mouthpiece (the part from where the vapor is inhaled).

Different manufacturers produce different kinds of vape carts or cannabis oil vape cartridges, so it’s important to take your time while deciding which one to buy from your local dispensary as some might even be fake THC carts.

Cannabis Concentrates

Cannabis concentrates come in different shapes and sizes like shatter, oil, crumbles, distillates, and others. Its viscosity, consistency, and clarity, all depend on the extraction method that’s used to get the weed wax or concentrate.

The cannabis cartridge is filled with cannabis concentrates that are turned into vapor once the power button of the vape pen is switched on. During the extraction process, the cannabinoids are vaporized at a lower temperature compared to the one when smoking weed in a joint or blunt. Because terpenes will experience degradation as a result of smoking, a lot of people turn to vaping cannabis concentrates.

For users who want to preserve the most terpene content, they should try edibles, topicals, tinctures, and maybe even dabbing.

THC vs CBD Oil Cartridges

While we previously mentioned that you can get rechargeable or disposable vape pens, you could also choose the type of cartridge that goes in your pen. Whether you decide to go for a THC or a CBD vape cartridge depends on what you’re using cannabis for.

THC vape pens and cartridges are generally used recreationally or medicinally for conditions like poor appetite, nausea, pain, glaucoma, and other conditions, while CBD vape pens are used for seizures, inflammation, mental disorders, anxiety, and other conditions.

How Long Does a Vape Cartridge Last?

How long your vape cartridge lasts varies from person to person, though prefilled cannabis cartridges generally come as ½ gram or 1 gram cartridges. 

When it comes to defining how long your vape cart will last, you should take into consideration how often and how long you use it, whether it has a disposable or rechargeable battery, as well as the temperature of the vape pen.

One 500 gram cartridge can have between 75 and 150 puffs, and how many puffs per day you inhale will determine how long it will last.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Cannabis Vape Cartridge?

The lifespan of your cartridge can depend on whether:

  • You leave it in hot places;
  • You use the right battery;
  • Your doses are high or low;
  • You inhale correctly.

To make sure you get the most out of your marijuana vape pens, make sure to prevent your vape pen from leaking by storing it vertically in a cool, dry place, clean it regularly, unscrew used carts, replace leaky vape carts, and hold it vertically while smoking.

Scientific Research on Vaping

While vaping has greatly replaced smoking both tobacco and marijuana, there are some scientific findings that it may be harmful.

A 2020 research by Peter Laucks of the Department of Internal Medicine in Kansas City, made a conclusion from various studies that vaping may increase respiratory obstruction, cause vaping-associated lipoid pneumonia, cause THC and nicotine toxicity, and other health problems.

Moreover, a 2019 study by the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania, showed that cigarette use was declining until e-cigarettes entered the market in the United States.

And finally, a 2020 study by the School of Healthcare Science at Manchester Metropolitan University, compared vaping to smoking in relation to cardiorespiratory health and muscle function. The study showed that vaping can cause respiratory disorders, decreases in muscle function, as well as other long-term effects that are largely unknown, and it may even be as harmful to the respiratory system as smoking. (Rehan et al (2018), Tashkin (2015)) 

Summary on Cannabis Oil Cartridges

While a lot of cannabis users turn to vaping as their preferred method of cannabis consumption, the dangers of vaping need to be researched further in order for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow wholesalers and dispensaries to market cannabis oil cartridges as intended (to cure, treat, or prevent a disease). Until then, every legal cannabis seller in the US is obligated to provide a disclaimer on their product.

Nonetheless, cannabis carts and vape pens are used (and continue to be used) around the world. And if you do decide to give vaping a go, make sure you read all about the potential health implications that come with it. Also, please discuss with your healthcare provider whether vaping is the best method to get your dose of medical marijuana.

Additional Sources

Rehan, H. S., Maini, J., & Hungin, A. (2018). Vaping versus Smoking: A Quest for Efficacy and Safety of E-cigarette. Current drug safety, 13(2), 92–101. https://doi.org/10.2174/1574886313666180227110556

Tashkin D. P. (2015). How beneficial is vaping cannabis to respiratory health compared to smoking?. Addiction (Abingdon, England), 110(11), 1706–1707. https://doi.org/10.1111/add.13075

A passionate advocate for the benefits of cannabis. Fraser Horton, who has a background in botany and a strong love of nature, has spent years researching how cannabis affects the body and mind. He established Leaf Nation in 2020, where he has devoted himself to educating people about the legalisation of marijuana and its safe and responsible use. Fraser is committed to highlighting cannabis’ potential for improving wellness and working to dispel the stigma associated with its use.


The information presented on this page is provided as a public service to aid in education and is derived from sources believed to be reliable. Readers are responsible for making their own assessment of the topics discussed here. In no event shall Leaf Nation be held reliable for any injury, loss or damage that could happen if using or abusing drugs.