Wax is a cannabis concentrate created through dissolving plant matter into solvent. In its final form, wax is opaque, orange and much more potent than dried cannabis flower. It is sticky, malleable and easily dabbed using a rig.

What Is Wax?

In recent years, the consumption of extracts has increased significantly. Now the classic joint no longer satisfies the most demanding smokers, and thanks to new technologies, the equipment for producing cannabis extracts has become increasingly accessible and easy to use. 

It is not surprising that, consequently, the consumption of concentrates has spread like wildfire. With their remarkable potency and purity, there are many new cannabis extraction  products that satisfy the demands of even the most experienced smokers. 

One of these powerful products is wax, also known as crumble, shatter, or budder. Wax is a BHO, which stands for butane hash oil. This name derives from the extraction technique, in fact, it is butane, a gas found in lighters, that triggers the process of separation of active compounds from trichomes. Trichomes are small growths present on the plant where most of the active ingredient resides. 

Essential oils and other soluble substances dissolve in butane, which serves as a solvent. BHO separates the oil from the trichomes, leaving behind cell membranes and other organic glands, in contrast to tougher hashish, which is essentially trichomes still connected to membranes and glands.
As a result, a concentrate that is among the “purest” forms of concentrate is produced.

How Wax Is Made?

The same extraction process as any other BHO is used to make wax. Remember that this technique involves the use of butane, an extremely flammable gas, and it is not advisable to try to produce your own BHO at home. Now we will see how the extraction of trichomes is achieved without going into too much detail. 

A key element for this type of extraction is the low temperature, in this state, the trichomes separate more effectively from the plant, so usually previously frozen buds are used for this type of extraction. It is not necessary, but it helps the separation. 

Once frozen and chopped, the bud is inserted into a special container that allows the butane to enter from one side and exit from the other, with enough pressure to fill the container and cover the entire surface of the plant. 

In this way, the solvent crystallizes and absorbs all the trichomes, separating them from the plant in a very effective way. From this operation, a dark green liquid is obtained. Once the liquid has been collected, it is necessary to purify it, thus eliminating any trace of gas inside it. Once purified, you obtain a cream, and here the technique differs slightly from that for other BHO. 

In fact, depending on how you whip the cream, you get a different consistency and, therefore, a different product. Some associate a clearer color with a purer product and a darker color with a dirtier product, this is not the case at all. 

If a concentrate is excessively transparent, it has most likely not been purified correctly. A very effective method for purifying wax is with a vacuum chamber. The absence of pressure inside the chamber allows even the last and smallest residues of solvent to evaporate. As with any product, it may happen that you get a batch that doesn’t come out very well, while others may come out better. 

How to recognize good and pure wax from a bad one? The first aspect to take into consideration is the color. Usually, wax is soft and opaque, with a light, almost amber color. Generally, if the result of the extraction is dark, the product is not very pure, but be careful, although this is generally an aspect to take into consideration, it is not always an exact rule. 

It could happen that a batch of dark-colored wax is very pure, it always depends on the initial product from which the extraction is made. We remind you that this extraction technique requires a considerable quantity of butane, an extremely flammable and sometimes odorless gas. In any case, it is not recommended to produce this type of concentrate yourself at home. Even the smallest spark could trigger an explosion.

Wax, crumble or budder, which is better?

As we said, these three products are obtained with the same separation process, so what differentiates them? The substantial difference lies in the consistency of the final product and, therefore, in the processing of the product obtained after the separation of the trichomes. For example, the budder has a creamy consistency, similar to butter, the wax is slightly denser and solid, while the crumble is crystalline, similar to glass. The difference simply lies in personal taste, there is no better product than the other, it depends mainly on the quality of the cannabis we extract from.

How to smoke wax?

Wax, like all BHOs, can be consumed in various ways, but since its consistency is creamy and quite sticky, some methods are more effective than others. With the driest extracts, it is possible to make a classic joint, and with wax, it is also possible, but may be slightly more complicated, there is also the risk of losing all the typical aromas of the concentrate. 

The dry leaves or tobacco used for the blend risk covering the flavor of the terpenes (the main responsible for the aromas and flavor of the plant), which we have struggled to extract, in short, it is counterproductive.

Vaporizers are recommended, the absence of combustion allows you to fully savor all the flavors of the concentrate, but not all vaporizers are suitable. Older ones risk being ruined and may not reach the ideal temperatures to adequately vaporize the concentrate. It is recommended to purchase a vaporizer that suits your needs, the latest ones released on the market are also suitable for concentrates. 

Dabbing is also recommended. For those who don’t know, dabbing is a technique in which an instrument similar to a bong, called a nail, is used. The process is similar to that of the bong: the concentrate is placed in a previously heated brazier, either with a lighter or electronically, and it is immediately ready to be enjoyed.

Risks and benefits of wax

BHOs have enjoyed a good reputation over the years. The main risks are linked to the use of butane, a highly volatile and flammable gas that, if not handled with caution, can cause very serious damage to us and to those around us. 

There have been many cases of explosions caused by household chemists who, with poor equipment and little attention, have caused explosions and injuries. Furthermore, if the concentrate is not purified correctly, there is a high risk of inadvertently inhaling chemical substances that are potentially harmful to our bodies. 

For this reason, it is always better to purchase our concentrates from authorized retailers, who must by law obey very strict safety standards and subject their products to numerous analyses before they can be placed on the market.

Once we have purchased the wax from our trusted retailer, however, we only have to be careful about the dosage, in fact, the power of these concentrates cannot be underestimated at all considering that some can even reach 90% concentration of the active ingredient. Therefore, they are not products to be taken lightly, especially for novice smokers.

It is always advisable to start with a small dose and then increase if necessary, it doesn’t take long to make a fun experience one to forget. Having taken all these precautions, we can fully enjoy the flavor of the wax. The main advantage of these products is that the experienced smoker can be completely satisfied with the power of the concentrates, and for refined palates, there is a variety of flavors to be explored, especially if a vaporizer is used. With the absence of plant material, the terpenes of the concentrate can be fully enjoyed.


Related Terms

AJAX progress indicator
  • A
  • Alcohol Extraction
    The process of extracting terpenes and trichomes from a cannabis plant using alcohol is called Alcohol Extraction. This interaction is achieved using ethyl or isopropyl alcohol. The cannabis plant is soaked in(...) Read More
  • ASTM D8441/8441M
    ASTM D8441/8441M is a standard test method by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) that provides guidelines for analyzing cannabis and cannabis-infused products. It defines the sign that the(...) Read More
  • B
  • Blasting
    Blasting is a process that creates hash oil by passing a solvent through cannabis flowers or other plant fibres. Read More