Cannabis wax — also known as weed wax, Butane Hash Oil (BHO), and honey oil — is one of the most popular (and potent) forms of marijuana concentrates today. Used for both recreational and medicinal purposes, cannabis wax is made by heating the plant’s materials with butane (or another solvent) and extracting the THC. The finished product has a gooey wax consistency that contains a THC content of 30%, but many wax concentrates have over 90% THC. That’s the equivalent to 15 to 20 joints!
With the use of marijuana increasing, more people are learning about wax or dabs, which is a term that depicts marijuana that has been concentrated to be vaporized. People are smoking wax dabs because of its high percentage of THC and additional cannabinoids. Whether it’s the newbie pot smoker curious about all the buzz or the long-time pot smoker who simply wants a stronger hit of marijuana, dabs are simply another form of marijuana that’s raising some questions among the medical community. Wax dabs are made by extracting the THC and additional cannabinoids in marijuana using a solvent such as carbon dioxide or butane.
How can I make cannabis wax at home?
Making cannabis wax at home can be very dangerous, so it’s recommended that you purchase it already made. However if you still want to proceed with the DIY approach, following are the steps you’d take:
- Take your marijuana buds and pack them into a tube or pipe.
- Place your butane (or other solvent) over the plant material. The fluid will bond with the psychoactive THC in the buds and extract the compound from the plant.
- Allow the butane to evaporate until there’s nothing left except an oily and extremely potent substance. That’s your cannabis wax.
Depending on specific conditions (i.e. temperature and humidity) of the extraction process, you can create a variety of cannabis wax textures such as shatter, budder and crumble.
“Wax” is a type of cannabis concentrate named primarily for its appearance and texture. Somewhere between gooey, liquid concentrates like hash oil and solid, brittle concentrates like shatter, wax has an opaque appearance and a thick but malleable, wax-like texture.
Depending on variables such as extraction technique, moisture, and temperature, wax can take on a number of different forms ranging from more liquid, runny wax to more solid, brittle wax. The runny end of the wax spectrum includes products like “budder,” which is known for being very malleable and squishy, almost to the point of being a very thick oil. The solid end of the wax spectrum includes things like “crumble” and “honeycomb,” which are starting to approach the texture and consistency of something like shatter.
Regardless of these differences, all wax concentrates fall somewhere in between oil and shatter. For many consumers, this middle ground makes wax especially easy to work with—not so fragile that you run the risk of breaking it into tons of small and hard to use pieces while also not being so runny that it’s difficult to scoop up and maneuver onto a dab nail.
Is dabbing dangerous?
Yes, dabbing can be quite dangerous. The extraction process is not for amateurs. The worst thing that could happen is an explosion due to the various flammable gases. If you’re familiar with how people make meth, think about extracting dabs in a similar fashion; using chemicals and solvents at high temperatures. Because the temperatures used for the extraction process can exceed 400 degrees Celsius, burns can occur easily, as well as the potential to inhale dangerous gasses.
Dabbing is also dangerous because of the high levels of THC that you get from the extraction process. Some extracts are testing as much as 80 to 90 percent THC, which can result in a very intense high that can be very uncomfortable or dangerous.
Typical marijuana that is smoked is about 12 percent THC. The butane hash oil (BPO) or wax, can be smoked through an oil pipe, glass bong, or water pipe. Some people also vape the dabs using a vape or e-cigarette. The wax can also be put into edibles but is even more dangerous due to the intense way edibles affect people.
How do you smoke cannabis wax?
Although there are several ways to smoke cannabis wax, you won’t be able to use the extract in a joint or vaporizer if the substance is too sticky and hard to handle. With that in mind, following are the three most common ways to use it:
- Dabbing. Dabbing is the most popular way to consume wax. Dabbing involves the use of a piece of equipment called a dab rig, which is a specific type of pipe or bong. You’ll also need a dab “nail” that fits your pipe or bong’s gauge. Some dab nails are made of ceramic and quartz, but titanium is most common. In addition, you’ll need a dome, which is the glass hood placed around the nail to trap the vapor before it’s inhaled. Finally, you’ll need a mini-blow torch, the kind that’s used for crème brulee, and a dabber, which is the glass, metal or ceramic tool used to apply a dab.Assuming you’re new to dabbing, it’s recommended that you start out with a small dose of wax no larger than a crumb. Although it may not look like much, it’s still going to pack a punch that’s much stronger than you’re used to.The process of dabbing begins by turning on your torch and aiming the flame directly at the nail. Note: nails and glass domes become extremely hot during the process. So, take caution when handling them – and always wait for all pieces to cool down before touching.Once the nail is hot, turn off your torch and place the glass dome over the nail. After you let it cool for about 45 seconds, take your dabber, apply the dab directly on the nail inside the dome, and inhale slowly. Then exhale and enjoy!
- Vaping. Vaping is another popular way to use marijuana wax. For optimum effect, choose a vaporizer with a ceramic or quartz crystal heating chamber, and preferably one that has titanium coils to prevent accidental combustion. As with vaping weed, vaping wax allows you to enjoy the experience without the smoke.
- Sprinkling the wax on a joint. The third most common way to smoke wax is to sprinkle it over flower when you’re rolling a joint or packing a bowl. This is most easily achieved when using crumble wax. Using something like buddy or resin will create a nasty and sticky mess – and you’ll end up getting more on your fingers than inside the joint!