In the good old days, the best weed you could hope for was the legendary brick weed, which probably contained no more than 3-4% THC. It was enough to get people high, but now that marijuana is legal in two-thirds of American states, growers have devised growing methods which yield crops with a THC content of 25%+.
If this isn’t strong enough for you, why not try a marijuana wax concentrate? The highest quality versions contain over 90% THC, a level of psychoactive cannabinoid that will blow the mind of even the most experienced users. When you walk into a dispensary, there are different concentrate types available. There is shatter, wax, crumble, budder, and many more. They vary in consistency, color, and character, depending on the extraction method.
In this guide, we talk you through the creation of marijuana crumble wax.
Creating Crumble Wax
At the last count, there were over 300,000 concentrate items available. Extraction labs and manufacturers of equipment have had to develop sophisticated tools to produce concentrate while ensuring the quality remains sky high. You might be surprised to learn that concentrates such as budder, crumble, and wax are created similarly.
In fact,the crumble wax creation procedure closely mimics that of budder and shatter. However, the pre-purged oils used to create crumble contain more moisture, a thicker consistency, and are created at a slightly different temperature. The result is the crumbling body that resembles cheese once the purging process is complete. You can turn wax into crumble by purging for a longer period at a lower heat. The result is a crumbly concentrate that contains lots of terpenes and tastes better than wax.
The name gives a lot away. Working with the material is hard. If you try to work it by hand, it will get beneath your fingernails and can only be removed by thorough washing. If you’re trying to dab crumble, we recommend using a dabber’s flat end to scoop the crumble into a bowl.
Manufacturing Wax Concentrate
Before the substance ever becomes crumble, it needs to be extracted from the plant. The first step is to take the buds from the crop after harvesting. Then the buds are weighed and transferred into vacuum-sealed bags.
If the weed is harvested from an indoor facility, upmarket manufacturers will store the bud in a freezer at approximately -40 degrees Fahrenheit. If it is harvested from an outdoor grow, the bud is placed in a cooler chilled with liquid nitrogen or dry ice. The key is to freeze the bud within two hours to lock in the chemical profile of the plant. It could also preserve the flavors and scent of cannabis that is normally cured and dried.
The other benefit of freezing marijuana is that a company can immediately supply the market with a strain if it is becoming scarce. Whether the bud is frozen or not, it is placed in a special extraction system where a solvent such as butane is used to separate the plant’s cannabinoids. Other companies prefer to use CO2 extraction instead, in the belief that it is cleaner. However, when butane is used, all traces are removed long before the extract is turned into wax.
Larger organizations have developed some astonishing extraction devices. In Michigan, Precision Extraction has a system called The Judge, which can process a remarkable 80 pounds of weed per day; that’s 1,280 ounces! If the weed is frozen, it is placed in a tall steel column where the butane or propane gas is added to the solvent chamber. A recirculating chiller first cools, then condenses, the vapor into liquid.
Next, the solvent goes to the material column and saturates the weed and bonds with marijuana’s lipid, terpene, and cannabinoid molecules. Then the solvent travels to another chamber which is cooled to a temperature as low as -120 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, the lipids become solid and are separated from the solvent that carries the pungent items and psychoactive material. The fatty solids are trapped by a filter and the liquid moves into a heated collection chamber.
At this stage, the majority of the solvent is boiled off. It is possible for the system to recover 99% of the evaporated butane which travels through the system all over again. Now, the collection chamber contains that wonderful sticky resin that we all adore. The resin is purified via degasification. It is poured into trays which are placed into a special vacuum oven. Hydrocarbons are removed as they are boiled off. This is tricky because some of the weed’s terpenes and cannabinoids have boiling points close to that of the solvent.
Did you know that the extract’s physical properties vary enormously depending on the strain? For example, weed with a high terpene content will resemble motor oil, while Blue Dream’s extract is hard and resembles glass in texture. It is at this stage that firms will tweak the extract to ensure it becomes shatter, wax, budder, or crumble.
If you can remember, crumble is created by purging at low heat and whipping it for a long time. Not only does this preserve more flavor, but it could also be healthier. According to cannabis extract producer Moxie, lower temperatures produce fewer carcinogens. In contrast to the relative safety of crumble, budder is created by pouring extract into a Pyrex container and whipping it while increasing the heat. You lose terpenes and increase the risk of carcinogens in the final product.
We’re assuming that you don’t have access to million-dollar equipment. Fortunately, it is possible to create your own crumble at home. You will need the following items to do it correctly:
- Fresh or dry marijuana buds
- Pyrex tray
- A roller tube such as the Xtractor
- A pot of hot water
- Refined gas such as Colibri or Clipper
- A dabber
- Infrared thermometer
- A large silicone mat
- A desiccator
- A vacuum pump
- Some blades for scraping
Here is a step-by-step guide:
Filler your roller tube with the marijuana buds and put it inside the Pyrex container. Pack it tightly and blow on the herb to ensure that no air gets through. Add the butane you plan to use and freeze for 24 hours.
Gas the roller tube and make sure you do so in an area with lots of ventilation. Wait for the gas to evaporate completely. You should be left with a paste. As you are using gas, it is a good idea to leave the room until the gas is gone.
Place the water on a ceramic or electric hob; a gas hob’s open flame is far too dangerous. Switch on the hob and set it to low heat. Once the water has heated up, put your Pyrex tray on top of the pot of water to ensure the vapor directly hits the tray.
Use your infrared thermometer to ensure the mixture’s temperature does not exceed 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Once you go above this point, you risk the evaporation of terpenes. If the temperature comes close to that level, take away the tray, wipe away moisture, wait for it to cool, and put it back on the pot.
Use your dabber to pop bubbles that appear. When the mixture is getting dry, and no bubbles appear, start scraping the bottom of the tray with the blades. Keep an eye on the temperature to ensure it remains below 104 degrees. After a few hours, you should have a paste with a cookie-like texture, as opposed to the transparent and gloopy mess you had earlier. Use the blades to remove everything from the tray and place it on the silicone may.
Stick the mixture in the desiccator and connect to the vacuum pump. Do not open the desiccator or stop the vacuum until the mixture is ready. If you must, program the pump with a 15-minute timer to allow you to check progress. Do not remove the mixture until it is completely dry. It is a good idea to take before and after pictures to help you decide if the mix is dry.
Finally, let the air into the vacuum slowly, and be patient when removing your crumble. When you make it successfully just once, it should be far easier to create subsequent crumbly masterpieces.
It is even easier to make crumble if you have extracted cannabis oil. After it has been purged of solvents, whip the oil and place it back under vacuum at the same temperature it was purged.
Final Thoughts on Crumble
Crumble has among the highest terpene levels of any concentrate. As a result, it is ideal for users who value flavor and aroma above all else. To retain terpenes, perform a lengthy vacuum purge for several days if possible, and keep the level of heat down. Crumble is also the driest concentrate and you can break it down easily to enjoy a tiny amount per session. You can dab it in a rig, add it to a bowl, or use a vaporizer pen. It is strong, so be careful with the amount you use!