Vape cartridges have become a cornerstone of cannabis consumption, prized for their convenience and variety. However, many users find themselves with a collection of partially used carts, unsure what to do with the remaining oil. This isn’t just a matter of reducing clutter, but about environmental responsibility. 

Vape carts, in general, are not biodegradable, presenting a problem that extends beyond personal storage spaces to global landfills. Our goal is to provide actionable advice for cannabis consumers looking to manage their vape cart waste in a responsible manner. If you’re wondering what to do with unused vape carts, read on.


unused vape carts

Vape Carts 101: What They Are and What’s Inside

Sure, they’re discreet and convenient, but what’s actually going on inside the vape carts that so many people have grown to love?

From Throwaways to Keepers

Vape cartridges, or ‘vape carts,’ are the detachable units of vape pens where the cannabis oil is stored. There are primarily two types: disposable, meant for one-time use, and refillable, designed to be reused with new oil. 

Identifying which type you have is the first step in determining their fate after use. Disposables need to be disposed of properly, while refillables offer a chance for further use.

What Makes a Vape Cart Tick

The anatomy of a vape cart includes a battery, a heating element, and a chamber for the cannabis oil. The battery powers the heating element, which then warms the oil to produce vapor. This straightforward mechanism is the core of what makes vape carts so popular: simplicity and efficiency in delivering cannabis.

Vape Oil Vibes

The ‘juice’ in vape carts is a concentrated cannabis oil, rich in cannabinoids like THC or CBD, and terpenes that define its flavor and effects. This oil is the heart of the vape experience, offering a potent and clean way to consume cannabis

But when a cart is discarded with oil still inside, it’s not just the physical cart that’s wasted; it’s also these valuable cannabis compounds.

The key here is recognizing the potential to repurpose the remaining oil, a move that aligns with both economic and environmental sensibilities. Whether it’s through careful extraction for use in another device or finding alternative methods to utilize the oil, there are ways to ensure that this ‘liquid gold’ doesn’t go to waste.

Why Tossing Unused Vape Carts Isn’t Cool for the Planet or You

The convenience of vape carts comes with a hidden cost to the environment. Vape carts, even disposable ones, are not biodegradable and can take hundreds of years to decompose in landfills. 

When thrown away, they contribute to the growing problem of electronic waste, which is a significant environmental issue. Electronic components like batteries can leak harmful chemicals into the soil and water, posing risks to wildlife and human health

Moreover, the cannabis oil left inside these carts represents a waste of resources. Extracting cannabis oil requires energy and resources, and when it’s not fully utilized, it diminishes the sustainability of cannabis consumption. By simply discarding unused vape carts, we’re not just filling up landfills; we’re also disregarding the effort and resources that went into producing the cannabis oil.

Mindful consumption and disposal are key. By considering the environmental impact of our choices, we can take steps toward a more sustainable relationship with cannabis. Whether it’s recycling, repurposing, or properly disposing of vape carts, there are several ways to mitigate their environmental footprint.

Our role as responsible consumers is to be aware of these impacts and make informed decisions that support both our love for cannabis and our commitment to the planet.

The Great Debate: To Reuse or Not to Reuse?

The dilemma of what to do with the remaining oil in unused vape carts brings us to a crossroads: Is it safe and practical to reuse this oil, and if so, how can it be done responsibly?

What to Do With Unused Vape Carts Oil

Extracting and reusing vape oil is a subject of much discussion within the cannabis community. 

The primary concern revolves around safety—both in terms of the extraction process and the use of the oil afterward. It’s crucial to understand that not all vape oils are created equal, and the composition can vary significantly between products, affecting how they can be reused.

Firstly, if considering the reuse of vape oil, ensure that it comes from a reliable source and contains no harmful additives or contaminants. The quality and purity of the oil are paramount to determining whether it’s suitable for further use.

Secondly, the method of extraction must be considered. Extracting oil from a vape cart requires specific tools and a careful approach to avoid damaging the oil’s integrity or introducing contaminants. This process might not be suitable for everyone, especially those without the necessary equipment or knowledge.

Clever and Safe Ways to Reuse That Liquid Gold

If you’ve determined that your vape oil is of high quality and you’re equipped to extract it safely, here are a few responsible ways to repurpose that remaining oil:

  • Refill a Reusable Vape Cart – If you have a refillable vape pen, you can transfer the oil into it. This method requires a syringe and a steady hand to ensure the transfer is clean and effective.
  • Dabbing – For those who enjoy dabbing, the extracted vape oil can potentially be used on a dab rig. However, this should only be done if you’re sure the oil is suitable for dabbing, as not all vape oils are made for this consumption method.
  • Homemade Edibles – Another option is to incorporate the oil into homemade edibles. This requires knowledge of the oil’s potency to dose properly and ensure a safe, enjoyable experience.
  • Topical Application – Depending on the oil’s composition, it might be suitable for use in homemade topical applications for those who benefit from cannabinoid-based skin products.

The biggest takeaway here? Proper disposal of your unused vape carts is critical. If you can extract and repurpose any remaining oil, that’s great. In either case, the intent remains: mitigating waste while honoring the value of the cannabis plant and its derivatives.

To all the vapers out there making a difference by choosing sustainability over convenience, your efforts contribute to a healthier planet and a more conscious cannabis culture. Let’s share this knowledge, inspire others, and continue our collective journey toward cleaner, greener cannabis consumption practices.