Cannabis Science

Do Weed Carts Expire?

man blowing out smoke

You’ve just found an old weed cart between your couch cushions that you totally forgot about. What do you do? You’re probably searching the cart for an expiry date and maybe you don’t see one. So, do weed carts expire? Here’s what we know. 

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Do Carts Go Bad After a While?

If you found an old weed cart somewhere, it’s probably better to toss it. Weed carts do expire! You should see an expiry date or a use-by date but it’s not always included. However, that doesn’t mean they’re good forever. 

Carts can grow mold or loss potency. Interestingly, even if the date on your vape hasn’t come yet, you might realize that your vape isn’t as good as you remember it. You’re not going crazy, they just lose their potency over time. Botany Farms say, “Even when a cart hasn’t reached expiration, its potency will gradually wane over time. Therefore, your best bet is always to consume your carts when they’re still fresh.”

So, why do carts go bad after a while? The first reason is time. Substances typically lose potency over time and are not as effective as providing their intended outcome. However, there are other factors that may speed up the “expiration” of your cart. 

Open Vape Shop says that exposure to air can degrade THC. They said, “Oils have fatty acids that interact with oxygen and break down. When this happens, potency diminishes.” In addition to air, the temperature is another reason why your cart may lose potency. Open Vape Shop says that if your weed oil gets warm it won’t last long and the warmth can promote the growth of molds. 

Besides air and temperature, exposure to light can cause your weed cart to lose potency. If you store your weed carts in bright light or sunlight, don’t be surprised if your high isn’t as intense anymore. While you could have an increase in tolerance, your vape might have just lost its potency. 

This is all proven by science. A 1976 study reveals light and temperature can cause the degradation of cannabinoids. 

How Long Do Weed Carts Take to Expire?

It depends. You can usually check and follow the expiry date already on the product. Typically you have up to a year put it can lose potency before that.

Botany Farms says, “carts should not exhibit any significant loss in cannabinoids if they’re 6 months old or less. While small differences in potency will already be apparent at this stage, it is very unlikely that you’ll be able to feel the difference.”

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However, if at any time you notice mold at any time, get rid of the product. 

What Happens If You Use an Expired Weed Cart?

If you use an expired weed cart, chances are you’ll be fine unless it’s moldy. Moldy weed can pose health risks and so it’s best that you avoid using them. According to Open Vape Shop, “Inhaling moldy vapor could lead to a lung infection. That could cause some serious breathing problems.” 

The other side effects of using expired weed carts are that you won’t get as high as you want, it won’t taste as good and you’re generally unsatisfied. 

Botany Farms say that if your carts are over 18 months it’s best to replace them. If you’re not sure if your cart is over 18 months, Botany Farms says, “the oil within the cartridge will shift in color very strongly, often turning dark brown or even black. At the same time, you might notice the taste and smell growing foul and unappetizing.”

Why Does My Weed Cart Taste Bad?

If your weed card tastes bad, it could be for a variety of reasons. If you vaped and it tasted burned, you’re not alone. Chances are your vape ran out of oil and that’s why you’re experiencing a burnt taste. Open Vape Shop says, “instead of tasting the precious oil that’s inside the vape cart, you’ll taste the turning of the wick or heating apparatus.”

Other reasons why your weed cart tastes bad are because it’s moldy or just old. In these cases, toss it and get a new one. 

How to Preserve Your Weed Cart

Your weed carts will eventually expire and so there is nothing you can do to prevent that. However, you can preserve it so it lasts longer. 

One thing you can do is store your cart at room temperature. According to Sweet Dirt, “Cartridges should never be stored in hot or cold temperatures – temperatures of under 50 degrees and over 80 degrees should be avoided as these can lead to malfunction of the cartridge.” That also means not storing them in your car.

Another way to preserve your weed cart is by storing your weed cart in a dark place. Light, including sunlight, can cause the degradation of cannabinoids which can lead to a loss of potency. 

Finally, Botany Farms suggest that you store your cartridges upright. They said, “it’s a good practice to always store your carts upright. This way, nothing will leak from the coil, the wick won’t get dry, and nothing will get clogged.”


Do weed carts expire? Yes, they can. In other words, after some time, you may find that they’re not as potent or don’t taste as good. In addition to that, they may get moldy which can pose a risk to your health. While there is nothing you can do to stop them from eventually expiring, there are things you can do to extend their lives such as proper storage in the right conditions.


About Trevann

Trevann is Stoner Rotation’s Jamaica-based lead writer for the Science section of our cannabis blog. She graduated with honors receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of West Indies, Mona. For the last three years, she has covered some of the biggest questions around cannabis and health underpinned with research from supporting studies, medical journals and scholarly articles. Got something on your mind? You can reach her at [email protected].