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​How Do You Know If Your Vape Cartridge Is Empty?


How Do You Know If Your Vape Cartridge Is Empty?

 Vape Cartridge Is Empty

While simple and discreet in appearance, vape cartridges can be tricky devices in practice, especially when the concentrate starts to dwindle. As you approach the end of your vape cartridge, it's hard to tell if your cart is empty, clogged, or if there's some other problem preventing it from working.

This article will explain how to tell if your vape cart is empty and what to do if it isn't. We will also answer the common empty vape cartridge question at the end.


My cart doesn't produce any vapor. What's going on?

My cart doesn't produce any vapor. What's going on?

If your Vape cartridge doesn't produce vapor, it could be one of several issues. Some examples include:

  • Your battery is dead 
  • Your cartridge is blocked 
  • Your cartridge is empty 
  • Your cartridge is defective

First, replace or recharge the battery connected to your vape cartridge. If this does not solve the problem, ensure the airway from the atomizer to the mouthpiece is not clogged. 

A clogged airway is easy to diagnose because air does not flow through a blocked vape cartridge. 

Check that the cartridge is connected correctly. With some vape pens like the Lookah Snail, the device will produce a warning light, such as the LED flashing yellow five times if the cartridge isn't correctly connected. You can clean around the vape battery and cart thread to ensure they are clean of any residue and make a good connection. 

If your battery is charged, the cartridge is connected correctly, and is not clogged; then you may be forced to admit that your cart is empty if it still won't generate vapor. This is very rare, but some vape cartridges may be defective. Sometimes, these defects do not appear until halfway through the cartridge's expected life.


How long do vape cartridges usually last?

How long do vape cartridges usually last?

Vape cartridges should last until every drop of cannabis distillate inside has been vaporized. How long a vape cartridge continues to generate vapor depends on the cartridge's capacity, the battery's voltage, and the strength and duration of your hits.


How many hits does a 1g cartridge produce?

A 1g cart of cannabis extract may last 100-300 hits. 

Your cart's exact number of hits depends on how big your hits are and the voltage supply. 

A 1g cart can last from two days or as long as a month. It just depends on the frequency of use. 

Some users may choose to maximize their battery voltage to enjoy more substantial hits, even though doing so reduces the total number of hits you will get from the cartridge.


How do you know when a vape is empty?

There are some ways to tell that a vape cartridge is empty, not just clogged or needing a new battery. 

Some examples include:

  • The vapor from your cartridge is now hot and smoking 
  • After activating the battery, your cartridge will become very hot 
  • There is no sign of cannabis distillate on the glass wall of the cartridge


How can I visibly determine if my vape cartridge is empty?

Most disposable cannabis vape carts have glass walls that make it easy to visually verify the level of cannabis distillate remaining. 

If the cannabis distillate still fully covers the small circular hole at the bottom of its internal steel tube/straw, then the vape

cart is still usable. 

These holes are visible through the glass wall of the cart. Once it has been exposed to the open air, you should stop using your cart.


How to tell if a disposable vape pen is empty?

How to tell if a disposable vape pen is empty?

Depending on the design, it may be difficult to see whether a disposable vape pen is empty. 

But disposable vape pens can't be recharged, so even if there's a bit of distillate at the bottom of the cartridge -- you can't charge the battery anyway. So if your disposable vape pen stops hitting, there's little you can do.


3 Ways to unclog a cart: 

Throwing away clogged vape cartridges rather than empty ones is tragically common for ill-informed vape users. 

If it turns out your vape cartridge is clogged, there are three easy methods to get vaping again:


Use air pressure

Sometimes all it takes to clear a blockage from your vape cartridge is a little negative air pressure.

As long as you're not averse to getting a little distillate in your mouth, you can try to suck on the vape pen to clear the clog. 


Apply mild heat 

If you overheat the cartridge, all the distillate will run out of the bottom. However, gentle heating with a hair dryer or space heater can melt clogs without popping your cheeks trying to blow or suck the clog out.  


Poke it out 

For the stickiest and most wasteful option, you can also try to scoop the plug of clogged distillate out with a needle or paper clip. In practice, this method can get messy and may even perpetuate your clogging problems. Of the three, heat is usually the best way to remove blockages from cannabis vape pens.


Empty Vape cartridges FAQ

Do vape carts smell? 

Yes, some cannabis vape carts do have a relatively pronounced aroma. While vape carts won't be as pungent as marijuana smoke, they can still attract the wrong attention if improperly stored. 

Thankfully, most vape pens come with a cover to help prevent any leakage. 

So don't throw the cap cover away and replace it at the end of every session to help prevent the aroma from spreading or spillage of distillate. It can also create an airtight seal and helps prevent clogging. 


How do you know if a cartridge is broken? 

There are several different ways for cartridges to "go bad." It may be empty, blocked, or defective. The best way to start the testing process is to try to draw from the cartridge. If there is no airflow, it will be blocked. 

If the cartridge does not produce vapor even after the battery is replaced, and even if the distillate is visible inside, there could be a problem with the atomizer or some other component. On the other hand, cartridges that produce unpleasant tasting and smoky vapor should be considered empty and no longer usable. 


How many times should I hit the cart? 

You should feel free to continue hitting your vape cartridge until the cannabis distillate no longer covers the mesh holes visible through the glass at the bottom of the cartridge's central "straw." 

These holes allow the distillate to move from the cartridge's tank to its atomizer if they are still covered. This means the atomizer is immersed in the cannabis distillate and can produce optimal vapor.


Does vaping on an empty cartridge produce smoke? 

Yes, even if it's empty, it can overheat any remaining oils to the point where they burn rather than evaporate. That's why many experienced marijuana users on Reddit, Quora, and similar platforms have complained of inhaling "smoky" vapor when they hit empty vape cartridges. 

The components inside the disposable cartridges are not meant to be heated beyond a specific temperature. If you try to get the last small amount of distillate from a vape, you may accidentally melt or burn the coating or other ingredients in your vape. This can contaminate the semi-combustion vapor you inhale.

If you're desperate to get the last fraction out of the cartridge, we have another option:

  • Find something heatproof to keep your cart standing upright.
  • Preheat the oven to 200-250°F 
  • Put the cart on a baking sheet
  • Place the sheet and cart in the oven for about 30 minutes 
  • Remove and leave to cool

After removing the cart and the device used to hold them, you will find that the remaining distillate from the cartridge has accumulated on the baking paper. Then you can use this as you would any other reclaim. 

What is a dry hit? 

A dry hit is when you try vaping, but nothing is left in the cart. 


Will dry hits damage the coils? 

When using refillable vape cartridges like those used for nicotine, the high-end coil is probably one of the most expensive components of a mod kit.

Disposable marijuana vape users don't need to worry about coil maintenance. But they should be concerned about toxic metals released when the coil is damaged due to dry hits. So regardless of your vape device, you should try to avoid dry hits.