Marijuana wax has become a rising star among other marijuana extracts – oil and amber colored glass shards aka “shatter”. Marijuana wax is not your average marijuana extract mainly because of the way it’s made, and also – its potency. It’s so strong that some people claim they’ve had hallucinations. But before you decide to get high with this extract, let’s have a closer look at it.
The Chemistry behind Marijuana Wax
Marijuana wax aka “ear wax” or “wax” refers to the softer, opaque oils that are left after extraction. It’s quite thick and resembles honey a little bit. Unlike, shatter or oil, wax loses its transparency during the extraction process.
As there are several factors that affect the result, wax varies in color, texture, and consistency. If a base oil has a higher moisture content, the wax will be stickier. If the base oil is solid, the outcome will be more brittle.
Another name for this extract is BHO, short for “butane hash oil” or “butane honey oil”. This name is more common among industry professionals and media. As you might have already guessed, the extraction process involves butane.
Extraction of wax is a rather dangerous activity. Compared to making Rick Simpson’s oil or cooking up canna butter, it’s a chemistry class. The underground production of wax has caused many to suffer in explosions. The slightest mistake can land you in a hospital with severe burns and other serious injuries.
The process consists of packing marijuana leaves and buds into a tube. Then, butane is forced into the tube to extract THC throughout the filter at the bottom of it. The liquid has to be captured in a separate container and the exposed to heat to burn off the excess butane. A griddle or a double boiler can be used. But commercial producers of marijuana wax use vacuum ovens to purify the wax from the butane.
It has to be done in an enclosed space where the butane can evaporate as it fills the room. However, even in an enclosed room, an unexpected explosion can happen.
Thus, don’t try this for your own safety, unless you’re 100% sure of how to extract wax the right way.
The Use and Effects of Marijuana Wax
The process of smoking wax and other marijuana extracts is called “dabbing” which means vaping concentrated marijuana. Most commonly dabbing is done by placing wax on an extremely hot metal object and inhaling the vapors. The metal object is usually heated using a blowtorch.
Some stoners burn their dabs in the bong, but there are many who use vaporizers to get all the THC. Many people also roll their wax in joints.
It has been stated that marijuana wax contains somewhere between 82% and 99.7% pure THC. At this point, it’s as potent as one or two joints, except the high hits quicker and is stronger. Also, the physical effects are more intense.
However, as good as it sounds potency-wise, it can have side effects such as hallucinations and panic attacks. That’s something everyone expects the least from a marijuana-derived product, if not at all.
Dabbing marijuana concentrates such as wax and shatter is getting more and more popular, owing to their extremely high potency and smaller dosing. However, the price of marijuana wax and the price of buds is incomparable.
According to GrowLife Inc. CEO Kyle Tracey, wax costs 70-100$ per gram, while marijuana costs 15-20$ per gram in dispensaries of Southern California.
Concerning the cost, it seems fairly adequate for a commercially made product. However, there are discussions about how dangerous vaporizing wax really is, and if it’s worth paying the price.
If the butane hasn’t been properly burnt off, it stays in the product. The remaining traces of butane can cause irritation to the lungs and throat when vaporized.
Even though this might not be the case when purchasing good quality, pure marijuana wax from a dispensary, the risks are higher when buying from dealers. There’s even fake wax going around.
There is no doubt that wax might get you higher than your first smoke ever. However, be aware of suspiciously cheap deals and don’t try to turn your house into a dab lab.