Marijuana concentrates are growing in popularity because of their heightened potency. Whether you’re looking for a way to relax after work or rapidly treat chronic pain, concentrates are an excellent option. Cannabis wax is one of the most sought-after concentrates because the highest quality versions are the equivalent of 15-20 joints! While there are plants available with a THC content of 30%, most wax samples have over 90% THC!
Weed wax goes by several names, including Butane Hash Oil (BHO) and ‘710’ which spells ‘oil’ when you turn the number upside down. It is made by blasting the plant’s material with butane (or another solvent) in what is known as a ‘closed loop extraction system.’ The finished product has a wax consistency that can be used in various ways, and it is the most powerful weed you’ll ever use! In this article, we look at how you make cannabis wax, methods of using it, the benefits and possible dangers.
What is Cannabis Wax?
It is a form of hash oil concentrate created via butane hash oil extraction. It looks a lot like ear wax, but once you get past the occasionally unappealing aesthetics, you will surely enjoy using it. Why? Because it can contain up to 90% THC and provide you with an exceptional ‘high.’ It is also ideal if you suffer from a serious medical condition and are desperate for fast relief from your symptoms. Of course, though, cannabis wax is also relatively expensive – it can cost $40+ a gram from some dispensaries.
How is Cannabis Wax Made?
Cannabis wax has a DIY feel because it is entirely possible to make it at home using butane extraction. However, we don’t recommend even attempting the process because if you don’t know what the hell you’re doing, there are serious consequences (which we outline in the ‘Dangers’ section below).
First, you take marijuana buds and pack them into a tube or pipe. Then, you force butane through the contents. This fluid bonds with the psychoactive THC in the buds and pulls the compound from the plant. Next, you allow the butane to evaporate until there is nothing left but an oily, potent substance we call cannabis wax. As the butane leaves most of the plant’s compounds behind, you’re left with an immensely powerful piece of wax. Finally, then, you can either harden it to create ‘shatter’ or cook it a little longer to end up with marijuana wax.
There is also a lesser-known method of making cannabis wax by using isopropyl alcohol. With this method, you submerse the weed in the alcohol for a set period before draining it in a container. Then you strain/filter the liquid several times and allow the alcohol to evaporate, thus leaving behind a sticky, super concentrated THC extract (you can either let the alcohol evaporate on its own, which takes about 24 hours, or you can heat the solution to speed up evaporation, but this is potentially dangerous and not recommended).
How to Use Cannabis Wax
While there are numerous ways to enjoy cannabis wax, you won’t be able to use it in a joint or a vaporizer if the substance is hard to handle. Some people like to sprinkle the wax on top of the weed in a joint for an extra kick, while others like to use gravity bongs or vaporizers. Here are the three most common ways to use cannabis wax:
All you have to do is place the wax on the bong and smoke it like regular weed. It is similar, but different, to dabbing.
This is the most popular way to consume wax. So much so in fact, that wax is sometimes referred to as ‘a dab.’ It involves the use of special equipment (a dab rig) which separates it from a bong.
The nail can be made of glass, ceramic, titanium or other materials, and is heated using a specialized blowtorch. You add a dab of the wax to the hot nail surface, and it vaporizes immediately. Then, you inhale the vapor as you would with a traditional bong. The dome is a spherical glass piece you place over the nail to contain the vaporized weed.
Most vaporizers are portable, and it is important to invest in a high-quality model. Otherwise, you receive weak hits because they can’t reach a high enough temperature to vaporize the concentrate. Choose a vaporizer with a ceramic or quartz crystal heating chamber with titanium coils to circumnavigate this issue. A vape pen allows you to enjoy marijuana wax without the smoke.
What Are the Benefits of Cannabis Wax?
The most obvious benefit is the enhanced potency. When made correctly, cannabis wax contains little or no butane and a high concentration of THC. Dabbing the wax reduces the risk of lung damage associated with smoking, and it works fast when it comes to relieving chronic pain and other symptoms of illness.
If you’re concerned about potential hallucinogenic effects, though, why not try CBD wax? This substance is made from the non-intoxicating compound cannabidiol, and it is a very effective way to tackle medical issues such as chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and a variety of other disorders.
What Are the Potential Dangers of Cannabis Wax?
First and foremost, attempting to make DIY wax is extremely dangerous – we recommend purchasing it from one of the reputable marijuana product sellers we review on the site. As you probably know, butane is an extremely flammable substance which can explode if mishandled. On November 22, 2014, Dustin Zablocki and Justin Pick attempted to create marijuana wax and set fire to Zablocki’s home in Minnesota. Two weeks later, Zablocki’s grandmother, Sally Douglas, died from smoke inhalation complications. The two men were charged with third-degree aiding and abetting murder.
The thing about butane is that its vapors can fill a room and they collect near the floor where you probably wouldn’t detect them until it is far too late. All it takes is a single spark to ignite. Back in 2013, a doctor in a Southern Californian hospital said there were almost 20 victims of wax explosions in the region in a matter of months. He went on to refer to it as an ‘epidemic.’ Even if you don’t start a fire, you could die from inhaling too much butane if you try to make marijuana wax in a poorly ventilated area.
If you decide to try cannabis wax, we urge you to be very careful because it is highly hallucinogenic due to the very high THC level. Hundreds of people have been hospitalized after consuming too much marijuana wax. However, there are a couple of things to note here. One, it is close to impossible to ‘overdose’ on weed. What happens, rather, is that you begin to hallucinate and may end up freaking yourself out or doing something foolish and dangerous.
Homemade cannabis wax is also hazardous for another reason; there is a possibility that a significant amount of butane residue is left over in the oil, and it will damage your lungs when combusted/vaporized. This is another compelling argument in favor of purchasing weed wax from a reputable company.
Final Thoughts on Cannabis Wax
The main critiques of cannabis wax relate to the dangers of making it and to its super powerful effects. It is easy enough to get around the first issue, though — just don’t make it at home! You need specialized equipment and a real knowledge to create marijuana wax safely. Also, while concentrate is expensive, you generally get what you pay for.
And lastly while it is virtually impossible to die from a weed overdose, there are deleterious effects associated with overuse of marijuana wax – negative side effects include hallucinations, unconsciousness, and extreme paranoia. Cannabis wax is an outstanding way to combat a wide range of medical problems and is also a great choice if you wish to relax in states where recreational weed is legal. However, we urge you to enjoy cannabis wax responsibly, because its effects are next level!