What is Cannabis Wax and How It’s Made?

what is cannabis wax

Table of Contents

More and more cannabis products are available in the market allowing users to freely select the ideal cannabis method of consumption that fits their needs. One of the most popular cannabis products is cannabis wax. What is cannabis wax and how this product is made will be discussed in this guide. 

What is cannabis wax?

Cannabis wax or simply wax is a cannabis concentrate created by using butane, a flammable gas. It is also known as budder, crumble, honeycomb, and sugar to name a few. Extracts like wax are very popular among concentrate users because these are very potent, convenient, and easy to use.

What made concentrates like wax trendy is how these are consumed. Users need a vaporizer that will melt the wax so that the fumes may be inhaled. Vaporizers used to be huge, as big as a book, but now, you can carry one in your pocket without anyone noticing. This has made wax a more convenient way to make you high. But using a vaporizer is not the only way to consume wax. We’ll discuss these later.   

How do you make cannabis wax?

Cannabis wax is a kind of BHO or butane hash oil and is made by using a liquefied gas called butane. Butane acts as a solvent to remove THC and terpenes from weed. The result of this process is a concentrate that looks similar to beeswax.

This manner of creating wax may vary depending on the raw material and the method used. This led to the creation of different types of cannabis products that have different colors and textures. 

Just like shatter, another cannabis concentrate, wax can have up to 80% purity. But unlike cannabis shatter, the wax is not translucent simply because these were created in a way that disturbs the different molecules in the extract. Agitating the mixture can create a cloudy, waxy, or sometimes creamy end product.

Wax is sold in names like crumble, honeycomb, budder, and many more. Although most of these products look alike, their consistency and overall texture may vary depending on how they were made. Those that have a brittle or very sticky texture are marketed as honeycomb or sometimes crumble. Meanwhile, waxes that come with a slightly creamy appearance and texture may be called budder.  

VERY IMPORTANT

This article is only for informational use. We do not recommend making cannabis concentrates like wax, crumble, budder, honeycomb, and others at home. Butane is highly flammable and can cause accidents and fires. You should never make concentrates and just leave this to experts.

Things to make cannabis wax

  • Cannabis buds and/or plant material
  • Butane cans (a dozen or more depending on the amount of weed you will use)
  • Glass column with a small end to fit the butane can tip
  • Cheesecloth
  • Grinder
  • Glass dishes (Pyrex brand) for baking
  • Parchment paper
  • Spatula
  • Heating pad/mat 
  • Safety gear (gloves, mask, safety goggles, fire extinguisher)

Instructions 

1. Arrange your materials to work outdoors.

We recommend that you work outdoors so you can avoid dangerous gas fumes. If you can’t work outdoors, do so inside a room with an open window, adequate ventilation, and with a fire extinguisher nearby. 

Make sure you’re wearing correct safety equipment/clothing and your equipment and tools should be handy. No need to leave your spot or leave the concentrate purging just to get stuff. 

2. Pack the buds and plant material loosely in the glass column

Grind the buds (you may add some plant material to the mix too) using a grinder. If you don’t have one, use a trimming scissor to cut the buds into small bits. Collect the small bits in a small clean dish.

Now take the glass column and place the buds in. Pack the trim inside without making the buds too tight. If you packed these too tight, you won’t be able to pour the butane inside the column. When you’re done, the column must be almost full. Leave at least an inch of space near the rim of the column.

3. Secure a piece of cheesecloth at the end of the glass column

Place a piece of cheesecloth over the mouth of the column and secure this with a rubber band. This will keep the plant material inside the column and allow only the concentrate to pass through. Make sure that the cheesecloth is installed securely.

4. Let butane flow inside the column

At the opposite end of the column is a small spout where you can place the tip of a butane can. When you’re ready, place the butane tip in and place the column upside down so that the concentrate pours out of the column through the cheesecloth sieve. 

Press the butane downwards towards the glass column to let the gas pour through the column. You need to ready all the cans because this happens very fast. 

As the gas moves through, the column, THC is removed from the plant parts and sticks to the butane gas. A honey-colored, thick liquid is created and this liquid pours out of the column through the sieve. Just let the liquid pour through and collect it in a Pyrex dish with parchment paper.

5. Collect the concentrate on a dish with parchment paper

Soon all the THC is extracted from the buds. You can tell that you’re done when the concentrate has stopped pouring from the buds. You’ll notice that the concentrate is semi-solid and smells like butane. This is because it is full of butane and needs to be purged. 

6. Heat this over a heating pad

Now it’s time to purge the butane from the concentrate. Power on the heating pad and let this remain on a low setting. Place a large glass Pyrex baking dish, larger than the dish where you collected the concentrate. Fill this with water and let the water become warm. 

Place the smaller dish in the larger dish. This is the most crucial and most dangerous part of the extraction because the butane is exposed to heat and this can instantly set it off. Maintain a low temperature and never leave your eyes from the purging concentrate. 

You will notice bubbles forming along the surface of the concentrate. This is butane escaping from the concentrate. 

7. Agitate the concentrate with a spatula

Slowly move the concentrate using a spatula. You can scrape it off from the pan and place it back and scrape it again. Do whatever it takes to help the butane gas evaporate from the concentrate. 

When you no longer see any bubbles forming on the surface of the concentrate, this means that all the butane has been purged from the concentrate.  Power off the heating pad. 

8. Remove the concentrate from the dish and store 

Place the finished product in a clean and sterile container. Keep the finished product in a clean, dry area. 

Is cannabis wax safe?

Consuming cannabis wax may or may not be safe depending on the wax’s quality. Some wax makers may not be as tedious with their process and thus, there may still be dangerous butane gas in the wax. This can poison the user.  Also, dirty, poorly-made cannabis wax can be dangerous to a user’s health. It can cause terrible lung problems plus in the long run.

Manufacturing cannabis wax using butane is a very dangerous process. You should never do this at home. Leave wax making to experts.  

Other ways to manufacture wax

  • Propane Hash Oil – propane may be used to extract THC from cannabis buds instead of butane. It is non-toxic, odorless, and colorless which is why it’s popular than butane. The only problem with propane is that it’s more expensive than butane. The end product is also cleaner and not harmful when swallowed or consumed.  
  • CO2 Extracts – CO2 is possibly the safest way to extract THC from cannabis buds and plant parts and is also the safest as you are using natural gas. The problem with using CO2 is you need highly-sophisticated laboratory equipment to do so. This is very expensive and only a few concentrate users can afford to purchase this kind of equipment. 
  • Rosin press 

A rosin press is a machine that works like a hair-straightener iron. It uses temperature and pressure to make concentrates without the use of solvents. The finished product is rosin, a clean concentrate with no solvents and additives.

  • Using sieves

One of the easiest and the simplest way to extract concentrates is to pass plant material through a sieve. By doing this, only the trichomes remain. The materials you use to make sieves should be durable and must be available in different gauges. 

How do you use cannabis wax?

Wax is one of the most versatile cannabis products in a way that it can be used to make different products. Also, wax helps you enjoy cannabis and give you the best way to consume weed that’s right for your needs. Here are some ways to use cannabis wax:

  • Adding waxes to flowers – waxes that easily crumble or are too dry can be sprinkled on joints, bongs, or buds. However, you should understand that adding concentrates will affect the overall flavor, taste, aroma, and effects of the actual flower or bud.
  • Using pipes – instead of using old and dirty pipes, choose updated, high-quality cannabis pipes that will help you enjoy cannabis wax. Most of these pipes are very affordable and are ideal for solvent-based products and not just solid products like kief or hash.
  • About dabbing – when waxes are consumed using dabbing rigs, these will be called dabs. Dabbing is the most common way to consume cannabis and you only need special equipment called a nail. 

The dabbing nail is first heated using a blowtorch. When it is hot enough, a bit of the concentrate is placed on the top of the nail. The vapor that’s produced will be inhaled using a pipe. 

  • Using vaporizers – using vaporizers is the most popular way to consume wax as this is safe and effective. Vaporizers reduce health risks due to smoking weed as well. The very first vaporizer models cannot use extracts but newer models can make this possible. Almost all vaporizer models are portable but be careful because there are many poor-quality vaporizers sold at cheap prices.  Using poor quality vaporizers will only give you poor hits because these cannot reach high temperatures to turn concentrates to vapor.

Therefore if you are planning to vape your concentrates, select a good model. Research on the best vaporizer which will work with the type of concentrate you want to consume. Check updated online reviews from Leafly and other cannabis review sites.

Some tips to make cannabis wax at home

At some point in time, you would think that you’re careful and skillful enough to make concentrates at home. Remember the following tips:

  • Always place safety as your number one priority

Safety should always be your priority. Make sure your working area is clean and safe. Always have a good working ventilation system (fans, open windows, open doors, and air vents) to easily remove fumes

  • Use clean and sterile materials

Use only clean and sterile equipment, containers, and other tools that you will need for the procedure. Don’t forget to use clean protective equipment too. This is most especially true if you are making homemade medicinal cannabis concentrates.

  • Place your finish product inside clean containers

Only clean containers that you wish to use to keep your concentrates like mason jars and bottles with resealable caps. Always maintain the highest quality of manufacturing especially when you want to keep your finished products for good. 

  • Label your finish product

Use a labeler sticker to keep your products. Include on the label the date when the concentrate was made, the type or strain you used to make it, and the process you used to make the concentrate.

At this point, you may be wondering how long will concentrate like wax last right after you make them? If correct manufacturing and storage are followed closely and you used only good quality materials then expect a batch of waxes to last for six months, even longer. 

Some tips to consume cannabis wax

Now we go to some very important tips when consuming cannabis wax. Remember the following for all cannabis products that you consume.

  • Consume only quality wax

Never overlook quality. If you are using cannabis wax to help you with a medical condition then it’s important to use only quality products. To find good products online, read reviews of different dispensaries, and look for reliable cannabis brands to get the best products. 

  • Consume wax moderately

Be mindful of your dose. Always consume waxes moderately. Remember that waxes are concentrates and usually these products are very potent even when you take a small dose. Consider taking half of your usual dose when consuming cannabis and you won’t have to worry about dealing with unwanted side effects.

  • Use only good quality equipment

As we said before, use only quality equipment when consuming/vaping your concentrates. If you use low-quality vaporizers, these may not reach the right temperature to melt your wax. As there are different cannabis concentrate products, there are also different types of equipment for each.

Other cannabis products similar to cannabis wax

The following are cannabis extracts that are still being sold in the market today. Learn the difference between each kind of extract and how these are manufactured.

  • Kief – this is the simplest form of cannabis concentrates. It is made from trichomes that have broken from the dried plant. This is usually done by using filters or screens and even by hand.  Because of how kief is manufactured and harvested, it is considered to have the lowest quality. THC of kief products may be from 20% to 60%.
  • Dry Sift – this is one of the most popular forms of concentrates made using a solvent-less method is dry sift. It is a better and refined kief that has been placed through screens once, twice or several times. Because of this, only the trichome heads are found in the concentrate. The process to make dry sift is one of the simplest as you just let kief run through screens to remove the plant matter. It can take time to make dry sift but many say that it’s worth it. 

The quantity of dry sift produced depends on how much plant matter you use. You will know that you’re using high-quality dry sift when the product melts completely when the heat is applied. The product is named as full-melt sleeve hash. This type of hash is very expensive.

  • Hash – this type of extract is one of the oldest known forms of cannabis. Hash is extracted in a variety of ways, among these is ice water extraction. This method isolates the trichome heads where essential cannabinoids are found. The trichome heads are separated from the rest of the plant material which possesses minimal therapeutic value.  

The quality of the finished product is determined through the size of the harvested trichome heads and how long it melts when the material is heated. According to expert hash users, a full-melt is the best type. 

The ice water extraction method may look easy but drying the product may need time and patience. Because when the hash is not properly dried, the product may develop molds as well as other microorganisms that can cause disease.

You can also collect kief from dried flowers when these are ground inside a grinder. Kief can be pressed together to create small bits of the hash. Aside from ice water, ethanol may also be used to remove trichomes. And although hash is not as strong as BHO and other concentrates, this is a very popular product because it’s clean and easy to make.   

  • BHO

Butane hash oil is a kind of cannabis concentrate that’s manufactured using butane. As we mentioned before, BHO is available in different consistencies such as budder, crumble, honeycomb, and sap.

BHO has one of the highest THC content at 80% to 90% making it the best choice for patients who need help with chronic pain, insomnia, and other chronic symptoms. As much as possible, buy only concentrates that have been tested for quality and purity. This is very important as impure BHO may have butane traces, contaminants, and pesticides.   

  • Supercritical CO2 Oil

CO2 in super-critical liquid form as this was converted from gas to liquid under extreme pressure. CO3 is a pure substance as it is naturally found in the body and thus is safe and does not leave any kind of residue compared to solvents. 

CO2 is also used in different industries from food manufacturing, herbal supplement products, and in dry cleaning products. Supercritical CO2 is pumped to the plant material and this separates the trichomes from the plant material.                   

  • Rick Simpson Oil

RSO is also known as hemp oil, cannabis oil, and Phoenix Tears. This is a cannabis concentrate oil that is topically applied. Some people administer RSO under the tongue and is popular among cancer patients. This oil is convenient and effective. It has been used by patients with cancer as it can help reduce waiting time and various side effects associated with using this product.  

Also, whole-plant weed oil is not similar to hemp seed oil. The latter is cold-pressed created from hemp plant seeds and is mostly used for its nutritional value. Meanwhile, true whole-plant oils come from the actual cannabis plant from the plant’s flower. this oil contains almost all cannabinoids such as CBD, CBN, THC, and THCA. Today, there are RSO products available with high amounts of terpene and many other cannabis compounds. 

And if you think that RSO is perfect for you, don’t be too in a hurry to buy the first product you see. Do your research and read reviews of different RSO products online before you make your purchase. 

  • Rosin

Rosin is made by adding heat and pressure on the plant material to make pure concentrates. Heat presses are used to apply heat and temperature. You can further tweak this by using home products like a hair straightener.

What makes the rosin press better is that it simplifies the process of making rosin. This machine is affordable, available anywhere, and is easy to use.  

Now that you know what is cannabis wax, and how this cannabis product is made, you may now be able to identify different concentrate products and understand how these came to be. By having a clear idea of these products, you can now find a quality, reliable and affordable concentrates for recreational or medicinal use.    

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