HHC is among the new-age psychoactive CBD products making waves in the cannabis market. Besides psychoactivity, HHC products like HHC vapes are popular for having a significantly longer shelf life of up to two years if stored properly.
Like most cannabinoids, HHC gets degraded due to age, but its unique production process extends its shelf life. However, how quickly it expires depends on storage practices.
Therefore, proper storage practices like keeping HHC cartridges and vape pens away from direct sunlight or storing them in a dark place preserve their integrity. So, keep reading to learn hacks on storing HHC vapes to preserve color, texture, or aroma.
What are HHC Vape pens?
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Vape pens are pen-like devices used to consume compounds like cannabinoids via inhalation. Inhalation has the highest bioavailability of all cannabinoid consumption methods. The vape pens feature a mouthpiece, a vape cartridge containing an e-liquid infused with a specified cannabinoid, and a battery to power the device and convert the e-liquid into vapor.
HHC cartridges and vape pens are inhalation devices containing HHC-infused e-liquid. They are available as reusable cartridges and disposable rechargeable vapes.
What is HHC?
HHC (hexahydrocannabinol) is a hydrogenated form of THC. THC is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis and exists as multiple isomers, with the most popular being delta-9 and delta-8 THC.
The primary difference between HHC and THC isomers is that hydrogen atoms replace the double rings on THC’s active site. According to one study, hydrogenation, the chemical process utilized in converting THC into HHC, begins with unsaturated hydrocarbons and ends with fully saturated carbons. Saturated hydrocarbons feature all possible bonds and constitute significantly more stable molecules than unsaturated hydrocarbons, which have the potential to form other bonds.
Therefore, the primary difference between HHC and delta-9 THC is that HHC is a more stable molecule. HHC vape pens have a longer shelf life than other cannabinoid-infused vapes. Nonetheless, you should always be cautious when storing HHC vapes or other vapes to prevent them from losing potency.
However, while HHC’s hydrogen atoms improve its stability and longevity, they interfere with its endocannabinoid system receptor affinity. Although HHC vapes induce the same effects as delta-9 THC vapes, the HHC’s psychoactivity is mild.
Do HHC vape pens expire?
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HHC is an organic compound that disintegrates into other significantly milder cannabinoids with time. Therefore, it is unlikely to induce psychoactive effects after its two-year expiration date.
An HHC vape pen’s shelf life depends on its HHC content’s quality. Essentially, HHC isolate has a projected two-year shelf life, approximately three times longer than delta-9 THC’s lifespan and more or less similar to delta-8’s.
However, how you keep your HHC vape pen stored while not in use affects its shelf life and potency. Consequently, an HHC disposable rechargeable vape pen with a projected two-year shelf life may lose potency within six months if users don’t take extra precautionary measures while storing the vape pen. The same precautions apply when storing a vape cartridge and other products, including HHC edibles.
Besides light, extreme temperatures also cause HHC molecule disintegration. Although cool is the way to go while storing HHC vape pens, cold fridge-like temperatures are not ideal.
The first step when extending your vape pen’s life span is buying fresh HHC vape pens from a company with a solid reputation for high-quality products. The cannabis industry is highly unregulated, and some manufacturers and retailers sell low-quality HHC vape pens, including expired products. You can learn more tips and hacks for storing a vape cartridge or pen later in this article.
For how long can an HHC vape pen be used?
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How long an HHC vape pen lasts depends primarily on the pen’s cartridge size. The standard vape cartridge capacity for a vape pen, in general, is either 0.5ml or 1m. A 1.0ml vape cartridge is likely to outlast a 0.5ml vape pen cartridge.
Second, besides the HHC vape cart’s volume, the frequency of use also affects how long the vape cart lasts. Heavy HHC vape users take more puffs, causing the cartridge to run out of HHC e-liquid equally fast. Therefore, an HHC cartridge should last such users approximately three days. However, the HHC vape pen lasts significantly longer (roughly two weeks) for light vapers who use it less frequently.
Also, it’s worth noting that HHC vape pens can either be disposable or reusable. Disposable HHC vape pen manufacturers specify how long it should last in puffs, although they also factor in the vape pen’s battery life.
Tips to Properly Store HHC Vape Pens to Keep them Fresh for Long
As earlier stated, an HHC vape pen’s shelf life depends largely on how you store it. Therefore, below are must-know HHC storage tips to ensure the product maintains optimum potency.
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Storing HHC vapes in a dark, dry, and cool place
According to one study, exposure to direct light (not direct sunlight) is the single most significant cause of cannabinoid loss, especially in cannabinoid preparation solutions. HHC vape pens contain HHC-infused e-liquid, a preparation solution containing HHC and FDA-approved additives like vegetable glycerin (VG) and propyl glycol (PG).The researchers in the study referenced above stored various pure cannabis forms in varying conditions for up to two years to achieve this result.
While the above study did not include direct sunlight cannabinoid exposure, a second study based on a direct sunlight simulation exercise yielded similar results. During this study, the researchers exposed various cannabis forms to irradiation from a UV ray simulator for 40 days.
The THC content in all the samples, except hashish concentrate, dropped by 20%, translating to a 0.5% cannabinoid loss per hour of exposure to UV rays. According to the researchers, the probable reason for an insignificant THC degradation in the hashish sample was that it features an opaque appearance, and less of its surface got exposed to the radiation. Therefore, always store your HHC vape pens in a dark space to retain potency.
Detach battery from cartridge when not in use
Disposable vapes often feature an integrated design where the liquid-containing cartridge is undetachable from the battery. These types of vape units are less prone to leakage and/or defection due to there being less “moving parts”.
On the other hand, reusable HHC vape pens are prone to leakages due to maintenance routines like replacing the vape coil and cartridges. While a leak may not affect the vape pen’s potency, it induces an acrid flavor into the vapor produced, affecting your vaping experience.
Do not keep it outdoors
HHC vape pens retain their potency in a controlled environment with regulated temperature and light exposure. However, it’s challenging to regulate such elements in an outdoor setting. Therefore, leaving your vape pen outdoors increases HHC degradation chances.
Also, most HHC vape pens feature delicate parts made using fragile material like pyrex glass, increasing their risk of damage from falling on hard surfaces.
Keep replacing vape cartridge frequently
Many HHC liquids and/or oils contain additives that facilitate residue build-up in vape cartridges over time. The gunk build-up in a vape cartridge affects the vape pen’s quality, including potency. Alternatively, consider purchasing vape pens compatible with pre-filled vape cartridges.
Avoid buying more than you require
Stockpiling vape pens, even the ones made using exceptional methods and ingredients, increases their chances of overstaying their shelf life and expiring. Therefore, only purchase the amount you can consume, even if you encounter enticing bulk purchase deals.
Store the vape in an airtight bag
The study referenced above on cannabinoids and light exposure highlighted oxidation as the second most significant cannabinoid degradation cause. Therefore, an airtight seal is critical in preserving your vape pen’s potency.
Never put them in the refrigerator
The ideal temperature for storing cannabinoids is 70°F, yet average fridge temperatures are 37°F. Also, the low temperature can damage delicate vape pen parts.
Things to Consider Before Buying HHC Vape Pens
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- Vape pen type: You can purchase disposable or reusable HHC vape pens; each has its advantages and disadvantages.
- Consider purchasing a vape pen with a large battery capacity to last you all day, depending on your frequency of use.
- Different HHC vape pen materials affect their performance and durability; avoid cheap plastic vape pens that are fragile and affect vape flavor.
- Consider the brand reputation and only buy HHC vape pens from brands that submit their products for third-party lab testing and have accompanying certificates of analysis (COAs).
HHC vape pens are not overly complicated, and you can preserve their potency by following the simple tips above. Also, consider the buyers’ guide to help you purchase high-quality HHC vape pens that retain potency according to their projected shelf life.