How Do You Know When Your Vape Cartridge Is Empty? A Simple Guide

How Do You Know When Your Vape Cartridge Is Empty? A Simple Guide

One of the most disappointing vaping experiences you can have is when you take a big puff, and nothing comes out. If you can't answer the question "how do you know when your vape cartridge is empty," it only means you’re unable to determine if it's the cart, the battery, or some other factor that’s causing it. 

One of the most disappointing vaping experiences you can have is when you take a big puff, and nothing comes out. If you can't answer the question "how do you know when your vape cartridge is empty," it only means you’re unable to determine if it's the cart, the battery, or some other factor that’s causing it. 

Let's take a close look at how to tell when your vape cart is empty, and what you can do about it!

What Exactly is a Vape Cartridge?

Vaping is when you use a vape battery to heat an oil cartridge to produce inhalable vapor. So, a vape cartridge is the component on a vape that connects to the battery and holds your vape oil. 

An O.pen THC cart next to an O.pen vape battery.

How Vape Cartridges Work

A vape cartridge works by using heat to create the vapor that the user inhales. First, the cart needs to be connected to a vape battery (usually a vape pen or box mod). Then, when the battery is turned on, it delivers power to the cart (specifically to the heating element). The heating element touches a wick, which soaks up the oil, and vapor is produced.  

From there, the vapor flows through the cartridge, down the vapor path and to the mouthpiece, from where it is inhaled by the user. 

Benefits of Using a Vape Cartridge

Using a vape cartridge to enjoy cannabis products does have advantages over other forms that many customers may use. 

Ease of Use

Vape cartridges are very easy to use. Most are made with a 510 threaded connection, which means they'll connect to almost any vape battery. If you're new to cannabis products, a THC oil cartridge is a great thing to start. 

Discreet

Compared to smoking cannabis, vape carts are very discreet. They don't produce a huge amount of vapor, and most people won't be able to smell the vapor (as long as you're outdoors). Since most vape pens are small and discreet, vape cartridges are great to use to avoid drawing attention to yourself. 

How Long Does a Vape Cartridge Last?

The longevity of a vape cartridge depends on how often you use it (and how much vapor you create in each session). Generally, a vape cart should continue creating vapor until nearly all of the oil has been consumed, though as the quantity of oil goes down, it becomes more challenging to create vapor. 

O.pen carts, O.pen batteries, and O.pen product boxes.

In general, vape pens last longer than vape carts. In this context, it’s also worth exploring: how long does a vape last

How Do You Know When Your Vape Cartridge Is Empty?

If you take a puff and very little vapor comes out, it's possible that your vape cart is empty. Here are the indications that it's time to refill your vape cart (or buy a new one if you don't have a refillable vape cartridge). Understanding the following indications is essential to answering the question - how do you know when your vape cartridge is empty?

Sign #1 - You Can See There’s No Oil Left

If you look at your cart and there's no oil left, then it’s clear that your vape cart is empty! Most carts visibly show the oil inside, so it's easy to tell if there's oil left or not. 

Sign #2 - No Vapor Comes Out

If the vaping device is turned on, but only very thin wisps of vapor come out of it, then it's likely out of oil. When this happens, check if you can see there’s oil left in the cart. It’s likely that it’s simply run out of oil. 

Sign #3 - Vapor Tastes Burnt or Bad

If the vapor suddenly tastes burnt or bad, it usually means the heating element is burning your wick, which shouldn’t be happening. It happens because there's no oil left for the wick to soak up, so the heating element burns the wick instead of vaporizing oil. 

An empty cart connected to an O.pen battery.

How to Fix an Empty Vape Cartridge

If you have a refillable vape cartridge, it's pretty simple to refill it. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Remove the cart from the vape battery.
  • Open the cart.
  • Use an eyedropper or other loading tool to carefully fill the cart with oil.
  • Put the mouthpiece back on and allow a few minutes for the wick to soak.

An important point - you should never attempt to refill a cart that is disposable. If you want to ensure you create less waste, a refillable cart is a great option. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How can I know when my vape is empty?

You'll know your vape is empty when you can see there is no more oil in it, you struggle to produce vapor, and the taste of the vapor deteriorates. 

2. What happens when you vape an empty cart?

The heating element will burn the wick, since there is no oil to vaporize. It will ruin a refillable vape cart, so we do not recommend vaping an empty cartridge. 

3. Do cartridges smell?

While they won't smell as strongly as smoking cannabis or using a dry herb vape, carts will still have some kind of detectable odor. 

4. Will vaping an empty cart generate smoke?

Yes, because you'll end up burning the wick inside the cart. This is not smoke you want to inhale. It will taste awful and ruin your refillable cart. 

The Bottom Line: Here’s What You Need!

Now you have an answer to the question "How do you know when your vape cartridge is empty?” If you use a refillable cart, you should stop vaping immediately, since vaping an empty cart will ruin it. 

If you're looking for tasty and unique vape cartridges, then take a look at O.pen carts! You'll find indica, sativa, and hybrid varieties, and you can find our products in various dispensaries. If you're thinking about choosing a cart, we'd love to help you find a product that you'll love using.