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How to Remove Oil from a Prefilled CBD or THC Vape Cartridge

How to Remove Oil from a Prefilled CBD or THC Vape Cartridge

Vape cartridges filled with CBD or THC oil are a popular and convenient way to enjoy cannabis. However, sometimes these carts break or run out of battery, or you might just want to transfer the oil to another device or use it differently. This guide will show you how to safely and effectively extract the remaining oil from your prefilled vape cartridge.

What Are The Common Reasons That Make Vape Carts Break?

Finding out that a broken vape cart is holding your valuable oil can be really annoying. Before figuring out how to prevent this from happening, it's important to know why it occurs in the first place. Here are some common reasons why vape carts break:


Excess Pressure
510 vape cartridges can break when exposed to dramatic pressure changes, such as when traveling, which can cause the oil to contract and expand, potentially leading to leaks.

Excess Heat
Studies have found that most vaping cartridges can't handle high temperatures. If you leave your cartridge in a hot car, the heat can cause the oil to leak out, making a mess.

Manufacturing Issues
Despite most errors being human-made, sometimes you might not be the cause. When manufacturers create subpar carts with cheaper components, leakage may occur. Some carts may be duds and not fire. This can be if the coil was damaged or burned out by being heated at an inappropriate wattage. 

Old Age
Like other products, vape cartridges have a particular shelf life. Old age may result in repeated cooling and heating, compromising their integrity and increasing the risk of breakages.

Ways to Extract Remaining Oil

If you have broken carts, don't worry. You can get back the oil and find an alternative way to enjoy your marijuana. Here are the safest ways to help you extract the remaining oil:

 

What You'll Need

Before starting, gather the following items, most of which you probably already have at home:

  • Plastic Bowl
  • Ziplock Baggie
  • Microwave
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Empty cartridgeor other medium to transfer the oil into
  • Syringe(with a blunt tip for precise extraction)
  • Needle Nose Pliers and Vise Grip Pliers(for opening the cartridge)
  • Paper Towel or Napkin(to handle hot parts)
  • Hairdryer(optional, for warming the oil)

Step-by-Step Guide to Extract Oil from a Vape Cartridge

Prepare the Cartridge
Start by disconnecting the cartridge from any vape battery. This ensures safety and prevents any accidents while handling the cartridge.

  1. Place the Cartridge in a Ziplock Bag. Seal it tightly to keep water out when you heat it later.

Heat the Oil

Heating the oil helps it become less viscous and easier to extract.

  1. Fill a Plastic Bowl with Water: Microwave the bowl of water for about 2-3 minutes until it's hot but not boiling.
  2. Submerge the Cartridge: Place the cartridge (inside the Ziplock bag) into the heated water for about 2 minutes. This will warm the oil inside, making it easier to transfer. Make sure the ziplock bag is airtight so no water can get inside. An alternative way to heat the oil is with a hairdryer.

Set Up Your Work Area
To avoid a mess, lay out a large sheet of aluminum foil on a flat surface. This will be your workspace for transferring the oil.

Open the Cartridge
Depending on the type of cartridge you have, follow these steps:

  1. Try to Unscrew the Mouthpiece: If it's a refillable type, you can twist off the mouthpiece. Use gentle, counterclockwise motions—lefty loosey, righty tighty.
  2. Use Pliers if Necessary: If the cart is a compression fitting, you will need to use the vice grip and needle nose pliers to pull the mouthpiece off. Secure the base of the cartridge with a vise grip plier, and carefully twist the mouthpiece off with the needle nose pliers. Be gentle to avoid breaking the cartridge.

     

    Extract the Oil

    Now that the cartridge is open, you can extract the oil using one of these methods:

     Gravity Method

    1. Flip the Cartridge: Place the open end of the cartridge with oil on top of an empty cartridge or another container.
    2. Allow the Oil to Drip: The oil will slowly drip from one cartridge to the other. This method works best if the oil is still warm and fluid.
    3. Heat the Cartridge: You can use the hairdryer to help heat the oil a little if needed.

    Tip: Avoid getting any oil into the heating column in the center of the cartridge, as that is where your vapor will draw out from, and it could ruin the cartridge.

     Syringe Method

    1. Use a Syringe: Insert the syringe into the cartridge and slowly draw the oil out.
    2. Transfer the Oil: You can then use the syringe to transfer the oil into a new cartridge or any other container you prefer.

     Direct Application

    1. Apply Directly to Food or Dry Herb: If you don't want to store the oil, you can apply it directly to something edible like cookie dough or a dry herb for a different consumption method.

    Alternative Uses for the Extracted Oil

    There are several ways you can use the extracted oil:

    1. Refill an Empty Cartridge: Transfer the oil to another vape cartridge for future use.
    2. Enhance Bowls and Joints: Drip the oil onto your favorite dry herb for an enhanced smoking experience.
    3. Dab It: If you enjoy dabbing, you can use the oil directly in a dab rig or vaporizer designed for concentrates.
    4. Make Edibles: Add the oil to your food or drinks for a potent and tasty experience.
    5. Sublingual Use: Place a few drops under your tongue for quick effects, but be careful and check that the oil is suitable for ingestion.

    Essential Tips for Safe Extraction

    1. Avoid Shattered Cartridges: Do not attempt to extract the oil if your cartridge is shattered. Tiny glass pieces can contaminate the oil and pose a health risk.
    2. Handle with Care: Be gentle to avoid breaking the cartridge or spilling the oil. The oil can be sticky and challenging to clean up.
    3. Heat Carefully: When using heat, ensure it's moderate. Overheating can damage the oil or the cartridge.

     

    Preventing Future Breakages

    To minimize the risk of your vape cartridges breaking in the future, consider these tips:

    1. Handle with Care: Always be gentle when handling and attaching the cartridge to the battery.
    2. Store Properly: Keep your cartridges in a cool, shaded place, and store them upright to prevent leaks.
    3. Travel Safely: Use protective cases or the original packaging when transporting cartridges.
    4. Regular Maintenance: Inspect your cartridges regularly for cracks or leaks and clean the connections with a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl alcohol.
    5. Avoid over-tightening: When screwing the cartridge onto the battery, don't over-tighten, as this can cause cracks.

    FAQ:

    Q: Can you eat vape cart oil?

    A: The oil in the cart is designed explicitly for vaporization and inhalation, not oral consumption. The oil might contain harmful thinning agents, like propylene glycol (PG) or vegetable glycerin (VG), which are safe to inhale but not when ingested. Check the oil is safe to ingest before adding it to food or taking it orally.

    Q: Can I tape a cracked cart?

    A: No, it's generally not safe to tape your cracked vape cart.

    Tape may not fully seal the crack, leading to leaks which could damage your vaping device. The adhesive from the tape may also mix with the vape oil, leading to you inhaling some nasty, unwanted chemicals.

    Conclusion

    By following these steps, you can safely and effectively extract and reuse the oil from your prefilled vape cartridges, saving you money and making the most out of your cannabis products. Always remember to handle your cartridges with care to avoid future breakages and enjoy your vaping experience responsibly.


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