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Vape Cartridge Discoloration: What to Know

In the years since vape cartridges have become popular in both nicotine and THC vapers, many wary users have noticed a strange phenomenon: the e-juice has turned a different color inside the cartridge. Since the popularity of vape lung health, vape users have been especially wary of vape oils that appear to be problematic.

In our current research, we will provide you with a complete guide to the discoloration of vape oils in cannabis products. With this guide, you can hopefully know when and where not to worry.

Vape Cartridge Discoloration: What to Know

Bottom line: some discoloration is normal, more is a problem

Vape oil comes from the cannabis plant and other plants that are sometimes hemp, or plant terpenes. Like any organic compound, these various cannabinoids, terpenes, and other bioactive chemical agents are affected by many factors. Discoloration of vape oil is mainly due to any of the following reasons:

Time – Vape pods actually have an expiration date! Over time, the oil left in the cartridge changes itself due to oxidation

Temperature – Heat is the number one factor for most chemical changes

Sunlight – like any extract of plant matter, sunlight affects it

Moisture – plain old water vapor can also play a role in breaking down organic compounds

Contamination – other substances, such as mold, mildew, bacteria or invasive chemicals or additives, can affect the appearance of the oil

Therefore, to avoid discoloration of the cartridges and to protect the contents of the cartridges, you should store them in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. “Cool” means below 70°. Drawers in air-conditioned rooms are ideal. However, don’t freeze the cartridges! Not only will this cause moisture to form inside, but removing the cartridge from the refrigerator for evaporation may cause it to heat up too quickly and burst.

Seasoned coffee drinkers know the trick: Think of vape cartridges as coffee beans, and they’ll stay fresh longer.

Regular electric lights in your room should have no effect, since the light that can break down your ingredients is UV radiation from sunlight. However, if you use a tanning bed or sunlamp, or have a window nearby, you’re better off keeping the cartridge in the dark.

As for the time factor, this will vary. Properly stored extracts (for smearing) can last three to six months.

What does discoloration of electronic cigarette oil mean?

In most cases, discoloration of car oil indicates that the oil is losing its potency. THC and THCA may degrade to CBN or delta 8 THC. Delta 8 THC has reduced psychoactive effects, while CBN has almost no effect. The most common causes of this process are sunlight and oxidation.

In addition, terpenes can also be individually affected by the same environmental factors. For example, humulene has a boiling point of only 223°F (106°C) and also reacts quickly with ozone in direct sunlight. So even though THC is still effective, the terpenes are affected, resulting in less flavor and entourage effects.

So old cartridges showing discoloration won’t hurt you. However, it is likely to lose its potency.

Discoloration happens more often when you buy special ink cartridges!

Let’s reconsider: Your local pharmacy is selling the cartridge brand. More likely, it’s because the cart is about to expire. Like any retail business, pharmacies must manage inventory and take care not to overstock. When a brand isn’t selling as fast as they’d like, they’re left with more idle time, and they’re going to price the batch as it nears the end of its shelf life.

Some pharmacies may also be less aware of how cartridges are handled. As a result, they may accidentally leave boxes in the sun for too long, or transport them in hot wagons, among other accidents. Some pharmacies may have inexperienced staff that they don’t know very well. So, if you add these effects together, an ink cartridge that was improperly stored and handled six months ago is likely to deteriorate further than one that has been stored correctly for a year.

Cartridge discoloration affects all cannabis and cannabis by-products

Not only THC e-cigarettes, but CBD and delta 8 e-cigarettes also change color. In most cases, the best color for cartridge oil is a clear shade of pale yellow or amber, close to the shades of lemonade to honey. Some vape oils, especially delta 8 THC pods, are as clear and colorless as water.

Things to look out for in vape car oil:


strips or stripes

Gradient (darker on top, sharper on bottom)

cloud cover


specks or grit floating in it

bitter or sour taste

Throat is especially harsh when vaping

A rule of thumb is that if it looks terribly weird or tastes bad, then there is probably something wrong with it. Logically, any cannabis derivative should have some cannabis flavor. With experience, you can quickly tell when something is wrong.

Things you should never do with cartridges:

Leave it in the car on a hot summer day

on a sunny windowsill

Carry it in your pocket as it is also warmer than 70°

Keep it in the fridge (it’s not good for coffee either, that’s where this urban myth comes from)

Store it in damp or frequently damp places such as saunas, pool rooms, bathrooms or greenhouses

Let it sit for a whole year

leave it connected to the battery for weeks or more

Electronic cigarette temperature is too high

Post time: Mar-08-2022