Product Refinement

Why is My Cannabis Oil Darkening?

Written by Jason Sander

If you witness the oil in your vaporizer cartridges turning brown or black, you might wonder about the cause. Have no fear. Most of the time, this is a perfectly natural occurrence, if you purchase your carts from a reputable, legal source. As is the case with most preservative-free food, the darkening of vape carts is due to two main reasons: heat and oxygen. Each time you take a draw of your vape, you expose your cartridge to these factors, which will eventually turn the oil a darker color.

This natural occurrence in your vaporizer cartridge is known as oxidation, which is defined exactly as it sounds: when a substance gains oxygen. A darkening vaporizer cartridge means you are exposing your carts to the basic laws of chemistry.

Just as all food has a shelf life, so do your vaporizer cartridges. The viscosity and potency of the oil in even the highest quality vaporizer cartridges will begin to decline with time. Additionally, the medicated effects you feel will be less predictable, and your inhalation will be less pleasant the older your cartridges.

Tips for an Optimal Vape Cart Experience

  • Only purchase legal vape carts that are free of additives or cutting agents.
  • Everything expires. It is best to consume your vaporizer cartridges within the first months following purchase. Avoid cartridges that are a year or older.
  • Keep your vaporizer cartridges out of unnecessary heat. Remember, heat will degrade the quality of your oil, so never leave them in environments with high heat, such as your car on a hot day.
  • Don’t leave your vape carts in direct sunlight. The vitamin D from sunlight is great for humans, but light degrades the quality and potency of the oil inside vape carts.
  • Store your vaporizer cartridges in an area that is dark and relatively cool. This will maximize shelf life.

Oxidation, or browning, as well as the slow degradation of the oil in your vaporizer cartridges, is natural. However, if you follow the tips above, you should have no issues safely and responsibly enjoying your cartridges.

Image by Lindsay Fox, CC By 2.0

About the author

Jason Sander