There’s no denying that the CBD market is booming. Each and every day more and more people are discovering the wide range of benefits the wildly popular non-psychoactive cannabinoid contains. CBD has become a household name. From aging seniors to ill patients, fitness enthusiasts and basically everyone in between, CBD Wax vs Oil- It’s one of the great debates in vaping culture and we resolve it definitively! Or not. Understand the differences, types, and benefits of each.
The Ultimate Guide to CBD Wax
There’s no denying that the CBD market is booming. Each and every day more and more people are discovering the wide range of benefits the wildly popular non-psychoactive cannabinoid contains.
CBD has become a household name. From aging seniors to ill patients, fitness enthusiasts and basically everyone in between, CBD seems to be beneficial in one way or another for pretty much everyone (and everything). The plethora of CBD products available on the market reflect the needs of the countless individuals who find benefit from the non-psychoactive cannabinoid.
Different forms of CBD can be beneficial for different types of people. One form that is increasing in popularity is CBD wax. What exactly is it? In this guide to CBD wax we’ll take a look at just what it is, how it’s made, and how it could be beneficial for you.
What Is CBD Wax?
For those of you new to the modern world of cannabis, CBD wax is a type of cannabis concentrate. CBD wax is growing in popularity due to the heightened potency it contains. Because it’s so highly concentrated, CBD wax allows you to take high levels of CBD while ingesting less volume in the process. Put simply, you need less CBD to achieve the results you’re looking for.
How Is Wax Made?
CBD wax can be made using several different extraction processes. It’s basically made by blasting the plant material with a solvent in what’s called a “closed-loop extraction system.” The most common methods used to produce CBD wax include:
- Butane Hash Oil Extraction (BHO) — As the name suggests, BHO extraction uses butane to “pull out” all the essential oils contained in the cannabis plant, including cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. The butane is then left to evaporate, with the result being a highly concentrated substance. Although BHO is a popular extraction method, it does have its downfalls. Aside from the risk of explosion during production, any residual butane left in the concentrate should be removed. This is important because butane is toxic to humans. Despite these factors, BHO extraction has been a popular extraction method for years.
- CO2 Extraction — CO2 extraction has become one of the most preferred methods of producing CBD wax. It uses pressurized carbon dioxide to pull out cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. High pressure and heat are used to turn the CO2 supercritical, which means it is simultaneously like a liquid and a gas, which is why it is often referred to as “supercritical CO2 extraction.”
Unlike butane, any CO2 that remains in the concentrate after extraction simply evaporates. This offers a “cleaner” CBD wax than those produced with butane, where consumers can be confident they aren’t ingesting any residual solvents along with their CBD.
While these methods of extraction were virtually unheard of less than a decade ago, they are now commonplace in the modern world of cannabis. There is a high level of knowledge and expertise that goes into producing CBD wax. Each part of the process is a blend of creativity, science and skill, offering a final product that is far more potent than anything else available on the market.
Different Types of Wax
There are actually a few different kinds of CBD wax and knowing the differences between each can help you make a more informed choice if you decide CBD wax might be beneficial for you.
Manufacturers won’t typically list their products as “CBD wax.” Instead, you’re likely to find products labeled as things like “CBD shatter,” “CBD budder,” “CBD crumble” or “CBD live resin.”
Let’s take a look at what makes each unique:
- CBD Shatter — The structure of CBD shatter is different than “wax,” and just as the name implies, shatter appears to look like broken glass. Some might liken it to rock candy. Shatter is produced by using chemicals or heat to extract the oil, then when it cools and begins to harden, it takes on the appearance of amber-hued glass. When shatter is heated to consume, it turns into a gooey, thick liquid that looks very similar to honey.
- CBD Budder — CBD budder is made by air pressure and purging hemp at extremely high temperatures. The result is a fluffy wax that is very similar to the consistency of butter, which is where this particular CBD wax gets its name.
- CBD Crumble — CBD crumble is produced using a similar extraction process to that of budder, but uses a pre-purged CBD oil that is higher in moisture and viscosity. This results in a product that’s more crumbly than CBD budder with a consistency that’s a lot like feta cheese.
- CBD Live Resin — To produce CBD live resin, hemp is first freeze-dried while it is fresh before the extraction process takes place. All other extraction methods used to make CBD wax use hemp that has been air dried and cured. When hemp is frozen first, there is increased preservation of cannabinoids and terpenes, resulting in what many consider to be the “crème de la crème” when it comes to different types of CBD wax, which is why it’s typically the costliest option.
How to Use CBD Wax
There are a few different ways to consume CBD wax. By far the most popular is dabbing. The word “dabbing” is so associated with CBD wax that you’ll sometimes hear wax referred to as a “dab.”
Let’s look at the different ways you can use CBD wax, so you can make an informed decision on what might work best for you.
As we mentioned, dabbing is the most popular way to consume CBD wax. While the whole process of dabbing might seem completely foreign at first, it’s really easy to dab once you know what you’re doing.
Technically, dabbing is “the flash vaporization” of CBD wax when applied to a (very) hot surface and inhaled.
To dab, you’ll need what’s known as a “dab rig.” There is a huge array of dab rigs available in all different shapes and sizes. One of the major components of the dab rig is the nail, which is the part of the rig where the wax is vaporized. The nail is usually made of ceramic, glass or titanium, and is heated up using a blowtorch.
All you do is add a bit of the CBD wax to the hot nail surface, where it immediately turns to vapor, which is then inhaled like a traditional bong. Never taken a traditional bong hit? Click here to watch a video about how to properly take a dab with a dab rig.
For those of you familiar with using a bong, CBD wax can also be taken with a bong. You just place your CBD wax in the bowl of your bong, light and inhale like you normally would when taking a bong hit.
Vaporizing CBD is one of the most popular methods of ingestion. One of the best parts about vaping is that your vape pen can be taken with you anywhere you go. There are plenty of vaporizers on the market made specifically for concentrates and investing your hard-earned cash in a quality model is vital if you’re looking for the best experience possible. Vaporizers on the lower end of the quality spectrum won’t heat up enough to vaporize your CBD wax. Your best bet is a vaporizer with a quartz crystal or ceramic heating chamber with titanium coils.
What Are the Benefits of CBD Wax?
The biggest benefit of CBD wax is undoubtedly the high potency it contains. When CBD wax is made right, it contains little to no residual solvents and an extremely high concentration of CBD.
Take note. CBD wax is a concentrated form of CBD that doesn’t take much to get the job done. This highly concentrated form of CBD could be what it takes for you to experience a noticeable effect.
While not everyone benefits from CBD the same, there are countless people that have experienced better results by using CBD wax over traditional methods like CBD tinctures or CBD capsules.
Have questions that this guide to CBD wax didn’t answer? We’re always here to help.
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Hannah Smith is Joy Organics Director of Communications. She is driven by her passion for providing clear and accessible wellness and CBD education. In 2015, she received her BA in Media, Culture and the Arts from The King’s College in New York City and before Joy Organics, worked as writer and photographer in the Middle East and North Africa. Her work has been featured on Forbes, Vice, Vox, Denver Post, and the Coloradoan.
Cannabis Oil vs Wax: What’s the Difference?
Extract vaping can either be one of the more accessible types of vaping or one of the most intense depending on the type of extract that you choose. Both oil and wax extracts are called oleoresins. Oil is less intense and typically comes in pre-filled cartridges. Wax is the more intense of the two and can be either a brittle or semi-solid substance. Both wax and oil are extracted from the marijuana plant but wax is far more potent. There are other differences between wax and oil, so keep reading to find out what they are and which one suits you better.
Wax vs Oil
What’s The Difference?
The names alone should tell you at least one of the big differences between wax and oil extracts, but there are greater differences besides those.
WAX Wax can come in a soft, semi-solid form as the name suggests, but it can also come in solid forms as well. The types of wax that go by names like shatter, crumble, or honeycomb are brittle solids that will nonetheless melt and vaporize when exposed to high enough temperatures. Wax extracts that have names like sap, live resin, or budder are softer, more pliable substances, exactly what you would expect from a substance called wax.
Oil Oil is, of course, a liquid that comes in various viscosity levels, some oils are thin and others are denser, but they are all ultimately liquids.
WAX Wax is easily the more intense of the two substances because of the extraction method used to create it. When wax is extracted from the cannabis plant, the substance created has a very high concentration of cannabinoids and terpenes, in other words, it is highly potent and very intense and can have THC concentrations of up to 90%.
Oil By contrast, the production methods used to create oil end up diluting it somewhat so that the concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes are not quite as high. That is because cannabis oil is usually cut with other oils during the production process in order to attain its fluidic consistency.
WAX As stated earlier, the type of wax depends on a lot of different factors, from the strain of marijuana used to the way that it is harvested to any special tweaks made during the manufacturing process. Here are some of the most common types of wax extracts.
- Live Resin
Oil There are different types of oil as well and they vary based on the type of extraction method used in the process.
- CBD Oil
- THC Oil
Wax Pens vs Oil Cartridges
These are the main ways to use the respective extracts, though wax has other options as well. Each method has its own set of strengths and weaknesses, so let’s take a closer look.
As you can tell by the name, vape pens are pen-shaped and pen-sized devices used to vape wax extracts. They are very simple devices that typically consist of a battery, an atomizer, and a mouthpiece. The battery is the main body of the vape pen and provides the power to heat the atomizer. The atomizer—aka the coil—is where the wax is placed and where it gets heated and vaporized. The battery and mouthpiece are pretty straightforward and easy to understand, but the atomizer may need some more explanation.
There are three different types of atomizers; quartz coil atomizers, ceramic bowl atomizers, and quartz bowl atomizers. Quartz coils heat up quickly and produce a lot of vapor, but the vapor is hot and intense. Ceramic and quartz bowls are, as their name suggests, bowls that are made from the respective substance. They are both better when it comes to flavor but not so much when it comes to vapor production. Some of the better dab pens will include two different types of atomizers in their kits, but most will have just one.
PROS Very easy to use | Provide a good mix of intensity and flavor | Wax & Dabs are Pure & potent
CONS Wax has to be reloaded into the coil often | Stronger smell
Oil cartridges are 510 threaded cartridges filled with THC or CBD oil. They have a mouthpiece on one end and 510 threading on the other, and they need to be attached to compatible batteries before they can be used. Once they have been connected to a battery, the user simply turns on the battery and inhales from the mouthpiece of the cartridge.
It is an extremely simple process, which is one of the reasons why oil cartridges are so appealing to many.
Another is that oil cartridges are less intense than wax extracts, so they are great for beginners or casual users. They are also one of the best ways of using CBD as well. Since they are disposable, there is no need to ever worry about clean up.
Unline Dab Pens that need constant refilling, Oil cartridges contain enough oil that will last most users a couple of weeks. So you buy the cart, screw it in, and you’re all set.
Here are this year’s top-rated 510 carts and 510 batteries.
PROS They are the easiest vaporizers to use | Their disposable nature means that no cleanup is necessary
CONS Lack of intensity might be a turn off for some people | Oil is less concentrated than Wax.
Basically, extracts are made by placing the marijuana plant matter into a specialized extraction machine and then using a hydrocarbon solvent like butane or ethanol to separate the cannabinoids from the plant matter. The solvent saturates the plant matter and bonds to its various compounds, which consist of cannabinoids, terpenes, and lipids. The solvent is then cooled down to subzero temperatures; this solidifies the lipids which get separated from the part of the solvent that has the THC, other cannabinoids, and terpenes.
A filter then traps the lipids as the rest of the solvent gets transferred to a heating chamber. In that chamber, the butane—or whichever type of hydrocarbon was used—gets boiled off, leaving behind a potent, sticky substance that is extremely high in cannabinoids and terpenes. That substance is then purified by going through a final step called degasification. The extract is placed in a vacuum chamber where the last of the hydrocarbons are sucked out as they boil off.
The properties of the resulting extract vary depending on a few different factors, but the main one is the type of marijuana that was used at the beginning of the process. Some strains produce a solid extract while others produce an extract that is more like a thick, viscous liquid. The nature of the marijuana plant also plays a part in how the extract will turn out; some manufacturers use plants that have been dried and cured, others use plants that have been freshly harvested. Some manufacturers also freeze the plants before putting them in the extractor.
Certain tweaks during the extraction process can also yield varying results. For example, pouring the extract into a pyrex container and whipping it as it heats creates a gooey substance that goes by the name budder.
Extraction is a very complex and advanced process that requires expensive lab equipment and trained professionals to operate that equipment. In other words, it requires a lot of resources and is not something that you can do by yourself. There is also the fact that whatever solvent is used in the extraction process needs to be completely removed from the final product.
An amateur would not be able to guarantee that their final product is completely pure and an impure extract can have dire consequences. Furthermore, there is the fact that most solvents used in the extraction process are alcohols, which means that they are flammable, so safety is also a concern. For all of these reasons, it is best if extract making is left to the professionals.
510 threading is the type of threading on the screws used on all batteries, and some vape pens, in the vaping industry. They are also the standard for oil cartridges. What this means is that any oil cartridge can be connected to any device that is 510 threaded. Some of the best 510 batteries will have some way of adjusting the voltage so that the user can calibrate the vaping experience to their liking.
Both wax and oil extracts come in a variety of different types, which shouldn’t be much of a surprise since the marijuana plant comes in a lot of different strains as well. Here are some of the types of wax and oils that you can expect.
Types Of Wax
Shatter – As you can probably tell by the name, this is a brittle, glass-like substance. It is one of the most popular types of extracts because it is very easy to use.
Budder – This has a softer, more gooey consistency than other kinds of wax extracts. It can be a little harder to handle than the other types of extracts but it is terpene-rich and many vapers enjoy the flavor it produces.
Live Resin – This is extracted from live plants rather than plants that have already been dried and cured. The extraction process is more complex, which means that the resulting extract is also more expensive. However, many vapers consider the extra cost to be worth it.
Crumble – This is another case where the name matches the product. In this case, crumble consists of sticky crumbs of wax that form clumps. It is pretty easy to use, though storing it can be tricky.
Wax – The originator of the name, and, as you would expect, it has a form that is similar to wax. That means that it is pretty sticky and needs to be handled using dab tools.
Rosin – This is different from the other concentrates because it is made without the use of solvents. Instead, heat and pressure are applied to the marijuana plant to create this extract. That makes it the most natural of the extract types, which makes it the choice for the planet-friendly types.
Pull-and-Snap – This has a consistency similar to that of taffy and is one of the easier extracts to handle. That is because it is soft and pliable enough that you can pull on it and snap of the amount you need, just as the name says. You then roll that piece into a little ball and place it into your vaporizer of choice.
Honeycomb – This extract type is a brittle sheet with many small holes interspersed throughout it. It is one of the more common types of wax and is very easy to use.
Types of Oil
CBD Oil – As the name says, this is made using the hemp plant, so this oil contains little to no THC and is rich in CBD. That means it can be safely sold in all fifty states. CBD oil can be purely CBD but it can also be full spectrum, which means that it contains other cannabinoids besides just CBD.
THC Oil – This is a popular type of oil because the supercritical extraction method creates an extract that is low in toxicity. That is because CO2 is a pure substance that does not leave any residue behind once it has been removed from the oil after the extraction process is complete.