Consumers are discovering the versatility and benefits of cannabis shatter, oil and extracts compared to consuming traditional cannabis. CBD oil is a solution for some, but for others, it simply doesn't work. Find out why people are dabbing CBD for ultimate potency. 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.
What Are Cannabis Shatter, Oil and Wax Extracts?
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July 12, 2021 by Pure Oasis
Cannabis extracts are a growing segment of the cannabis market. Consumers have begun to discover the versatility and health benefits of extracts compared to consuming traditional flowers. While the effects are basically the same (due to the fact the active ingredient is unchanged), extracts offer a unique experience to the cannabis experience.
In this article, we will take a look at all of the different forms of extracts, including oil, shatter, and wax—but first, let’s learn a bit more about what cannabis extracts are and how they are made.
What are Cannabis Extracts?
Cannabis extracts entail a wide category of products that includes an extract of the cannabis plant, including extracts from marijuana and hemp. These extracts contain high levels of the main cannabinoids everyone knows, THC and CBD. Hemp extracts will contain higher levels of CBD, while marijuana extracts have higher levels of THC.
Cannabis extracts are created by passing a solvent through finely ground cannabis material, including the flower, leaves, and stems. When made with fresh flowers, extracts are sometimes called live resin.
Common solvents include safe choices like CO2 or solvents like butane, hexane, and more that can be toxic if not properly purged from the extract. These solvents act by pulling the THC away from the plant and concentrating it. This is a complex process, so don’t sweat it too much.
Marijuana extracts can also be made by hot pressing fresh or dry marijuana buds and allowing the flower’s oil to squeeze out. This form of extract is called rosin.
What is Shatter?
Shatter is perhaps the most popular and highly regarded form of cannabis concentrate. This is most likely due to its golden-amber sheen and its clean and pure flavor. Shatter is able to hold this near-perfect form due to the process by which the material is cured.
Unlike its less solidified cousins, which are left undisturbed while solidifying, the oil is shaken and stirred as it’s left to cool. This results in a solid cannabis concentrate with an entirely different appearance, one that’s translucent and glasslike. Despite these differences, though, the effects of dabs and shatter are more or less identical, as they’re both derived from cannabis oil.
What is Wax?
Dabs are a form of butane hash oil (BHO), a term that refers to the solvent that is used to separate the THC from the flower and is poured over the cannabis buds. The soaked buds are then placed into an oven or vacuum at room temperature to remove the butane.
The subsequent temperatures, handling, and pressure levels will determine whether the oil solidifies into malleable wax or more solidified shatter, as we mentioned earlier. Oils that contain moisture tend to form gooey waxes often called “budder,” while the dryer, harder varieties will form a more crumbly and butter-like substance. The term “wax” can be used to describe all of these softer, more solid textures.
What is THC Oil?
Unlike wax and shatter, THC oil is a liquid cannabis concentrate and is created through a unique process. Wax and shatter are extracted using butane, while THC oil is usually derived using CO2. Put simply, a unique form of CO2 is used to strip the psychoactive compounds from the trichomes of the original plant matter.
The resulting liquid THC oil is rich in cannabinoids and terpenes and commonly used to create vaporizer cartridges to attach to battery-operated vape pens. This method is used because the consistency of the product is much better for use in pre-filled cartridges for vape pens and more.
As you can tell, the world of cannabis extracts can get rather deep and convoluted very quickly. Whether you prefer the sheen of shatter or the ease of dabbing some crumble, the results will be the same a very potent and psychoactive experience!
The only way to find out which method works best for you is to try them for yourself and see what works. Now that you have a better idea of the different types of cannabis extracts, visit your local budtender and start trying them for yourself!
Pure Oasis is Boston’s first recreational cannabis dispensary. Their team of knowledgeable experts always strives to help customers find the cannabis products that are best for them from their inventory of high-end products.
Should You Dab CBD for Ultimate Potency? [ANSWERED]
The process of dabbing marijuana concentrates is now relatively popular. It involves vaporizing tiny pieces of a product containing extremely high levels of THC. In some cases, the THC content exceeds 90%.
However, cannabis concentrates are too intense for some users. Indeed, there is a growing trend towards the use of CBD in place of THC in general.
It is a non-intoxicating compound found in marijuana and hemp. People use it to help with chronic pain and inflammation and manage the symptoms of conditions like diabetes, anxiety, depression, chronic stress, and insomnia.
When trying this cannabinoid, people usually opt for CBD oil to see if it helps. However, it isn’t always effective. Rather than giving up on cannabidiol, some individuals see if things will change when they dab CBD. It provides a high concentration of cannabidiol and terpenes and doesn’t cause a high.
This article looks at CBD dabbing, outlines what you can expect, and analyses whether it is potentially more effective than other forms of CBD consumption.
What Is Dabbing?
Dabbing is a fairly new method of marijuana consumption that involves the vaporization (or sublimation) of highly-concentrated, highly-potent cannabis waxes and resins.
A marijuana plant’s flower buds may only contain cannabinoid levels of 20-30%. In contrast, concentrates such as live resin, BHO wax, shatter, etc., routinely have cannabinoid concentrations of over 90%. This means they are MUCH more potent than traditional smoking or even vaporization methods.
Typically, the act of dabbing is performed with ultra-high THC concentrates. The raw marijuana flower is processed via various methods to extract the plant’s active compounds (either THC or CBD) into their pure, concentrated form.
CBD dabs are almost the same as their THC counterparts in terms of appearance and texture.
However, CBD does not directly act on receptors in the brain as THC does, so it does not get you high. Rather, it works by influencing receptors and neurotransmitters throughout the body’s immune system, cell tissues, and organ systems. This process promotes general homeostasis and a wide range of health benefits.
CBD dabs are almost the same as their THC counterparts in terms of appearance and texture. Barring isolate versions, both normally include terpenes and a high amount of the chosen cannabinoids. You also ‘dab’ the substance in the same fashion. However, if dabbing is traditionally associated with getting extremely high, why would someone choose to dab CBD when there’s no possibility of intoxication?
Dabbing CBD Concentrates: Is It the Most Effective Consumption Method?
One often overlooked consideration when choosing a CBD product and consumption method is bioavailability. This term refers to the amount of a drug that enters the circulation when introduced to the body; so that it can have an active effect.
Oral consumption has among the lowest absorption rates. A study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology in 2019 analyzed the bioavailability of CBD from different forms of consumption. It outlined that the rate was 13-19% when consumed orally and approximately 31% when smoked. There is a suggestion that as little as 6% of the cannabinoids in edibles reach the bloodstream.
The most popular method of using CBD involves placing drops beneath your tongue and holding them there for up to 60 seconds before swallowing. This is known as sublingual absorption. It is believed to have a higher bioavailability rate than oral consumption, though there is little research to confirm this theory.
Moreover, only a little of the CBD in the drops will get into the body via the sublingual gland. You still end up consuming the rest orally. However, the above study also noted that co-administration of lipids with oral CBD almost tripled systemic availability in rats. This is why CBD companies add MCT oil or another carrier to their products.
The researchers recommended consuming CBD orally with food or in a fed state to increase the absorption rate of the compound. A growing number of CBD oil manufacturers also use nanotechnology in a bid to increase bioavailability. The jury remains out on whether nano-enhanced hemp oil is as effective as claimed.
What About Vaporization’s Bioavailability?
In contrast, the vaporization of CBD leads to a significantly higher bioavailability level. A study published in PLoS One in 2016 looked at the bioavailability of THC and CBD when consumed via a vaporizer. The researchers looked at five well-known desktop vaporizers and found that the absorption rate varied from 50% to 80%. Even at the lower end, this is a significant improvement on other forms of consumption.
When you inhale CBD dab vapor, the cannabinoid enters your lungs and diffuses directly into the bloodstream. It avoids going through your digestive system and liver, thus avoiding the first-pass effect. You also feel the effects of CBD vapor quicker than other forms of consumption.
Doing the Math
The following are just rough estimates of how much CBD you would consume and ultimately absorb. Say you consume 50mg of CBD via oil, and the sublingual absorption rate is 20%. This means approximately 10mg of CBD would affect the body. Similarly, a 50mg CBD gummy with an absorption rate of 15% would provide 7.5mg of ‘useful’ cannabidiol.
Suppose you purchase CBD dab with 90% cannabidiol and the bioavailability of vaporization is 50%. A 50mg piece would contain 45mg of CBD, and you would absorb 22.5mg in total. Indeed, you would only require a 25mg piece (0.025 grams) to absorb 11.125mg of CBD. Therefore, in a purely mathematical sense, dabbing CBD concentrates provides you with more cannabidiol.
Can You Dab CBD Oil?
No, you cannot dab CBD oil. A dab rig only works with a solid CBD concentrate. There are vape pens that enable you to vaporize CBD liquid.
However, such liquids contain thinning agents. If you try to vaporize regular CBD oil in a vape pen, you will find that it is too viscous and will clog the device. The act of dabbing must involve a specifically-produced concentrate such as shatter, wax, or resin.
The majority of CBD concentrates are produced from the hemp plant. Unlike THC, which primarily exists in the flower buds of the marijuana plant, CBD is found throughout hemp – including in its leaves, flowers, and even stems. As such, manufacturers must grind and process raw hemp material to extract the pure CBD resin required for a cannabidiol concentrate.
Which brand is superior?…
Manufacturers must then process the resin further to remove residual solvents like butane or ethanol if they use such substances in the extraction process. Many companies prefer using CO2 extraction as it produces a cleaner final product with no unwanted residual solvent.
A properly-produced CBD concentrate has a thick, sticky, gooey, ultra-potent CBD waxy texture. It is possible to make slight changes to the process to change the consistency of the substance, and create wax, budder, shatter, etc. Regardless of the substance, it is ready for dabbing on a rig.
It is also possible to produce CBD concentrates from high-CBD, low-THC cannabis strains rather than hemp. Such strains include Charlotte’s Web, ACDC, and Cannatonic. However, CBD concentrates from marijuana are only legal in places that permit adult-use cannabis or in states with medical marijuana programs to patients with MMJ cards.
How to Dab CBD
Dab rigs come in a massive variety of sizes and styles. You can also choose from a range of different nails to suit your particular habits and specific tastes. The nail is the part of the rig where the concentrate gets vaporized.
You should only take one hit, or “dab,” at first and then go from there when you dab CBD. Dabbing is incredibly potent and very different from regular smoking. As such, its effects may surprise you if you’re not prepared. Bear in mind that at a 90% concentration, 0.1 grams of a dab provides 90mg of CBD, at least 45mg of which likely reaches your bloodstream.
Heat the nail for approximately 20 seconds. Then, stop heating the nail and wait 60 seconds before adding the CBD concentrate to it using a dabbing tool. Inhale the vapor via the rig’s mouthpiece. Newcomers should take a smaller hit and cover the nail with the dome to stop the vapor from escaping. Give it a little time before returning to finish the rest of the vapor.
There are also vape pens that are less complicated to operate than a dab rig. Certain devices enable you to use concentrate or hemp flower. You may also find pens that allow you to vaporize CBD liquid.
The Dangers of Dabbing CBD
Much depends on the quality of the CBD concentrate you use. Ideally, manufacturers will use CO2 extraction as it leaves a clean product. Companies that use ethanol should remove the residual solvent before making their products available to the public. We advise you to stay away from any brand that uses butane or hexane extraction.
Dozens of people have been hospitalized after vaping CBD in the last few years with lung illnesses. To be fair, these cases primarily relate to products containing additives such as vitamin E acetate in vape juice. Many concerns about vaping refer to excessive THC consumption or the release of carcinogenic substances when the thinning agents in vape juice are heated beyond a certain temperature.
The comprehensive guide…
CBD dabs should contain minimal THC, so there is no concern about excessive intoxication. No thinning agents are involved either.
Even so, one must question whether inhaling any substance heated to over 350 degrees Fahrenheit is anything but harmful to the lungs and throat. Inhaling vapor from even the cleanest CBD dab product isn’t necessarily harmless. At present, though, there is little research to guide us on this point.
As an aside, when dabbing CBD, try to keep the temperature between 320- and 350-degrees Fahrenheit. It is at this range that you vaporize cannabidiol but retain its terpenes and flavor profile. Once you go above 400 degrees, you could fully combust the dab, which may create unwanted chemicals.
What CBD Products Can You Dab?
The list of CBD products you can dab is growing rapidly. These days, you can choose between the following:
- Pure CBD Isolate: This usually comes in a powdered slab form. It is often up to 99% CBD but will contain no other cannabinoids. Dabbing CBD isolate is straightforward, though it offers no flavor.
- CBD Dab Wax: This is another solid form of pure CBD oil concentrate with a sticky, waxy texture. However, unlike an isolate, it may contain additional cannabinoids as it comes in broad-spectrum (no THC) or full-spectrum (maximum of 0.3% THC) forms.
- CBD Shatter: Products in this niche are also called CBD Sauce or CBD Terpsolate. They consist of CBD isolate with added terpenes to ensure you benefit from a great flavor while you dab.
- CBD Crumble: This product has a malleable texture that breaks apart when you handle it. Companies create crumble by purging the oils after extraction.
- CBD Extract: This oily extract is another full-spectrum offering. If you plan to dab it, make sure it was winterized first to remove the plant material and fats. Otherwise, you’ll end up inhaling these components.
There are options for dabbers, whether you want cannabinoids from CBD dab waxes, flavor from shatter, or a basic infusion of cannabidiol from an isolate.
Do CBD Dabs Get You High?
Unless you add THC or another intoxicating substance to the mix, the answer is ‘no.’ CBD dabs contain little or no THC, so you should not feel high. However, you could experience intoxication if the product in question contains an excessive level of THC.
Imagine you bought a CBD dab with 5% THC and consumed 100mg of the substance. You would inhale 5mg of THC, potentially enough to cause a high in someone unused to the cannabinoid’s effect. Granted, the high CBD content of the dab should help counteract the intoxicating effects of THC.
Even so, you should only purchase CBD from companies that provide third-party lab reports to highlight the product’s cannabinoid content.
What Do CBD Dabs Feel Like?
A lot of people want to know: “what do CBD dabs feel like?” It is very much a case of “try it and find out for yourself.” We can tell you that the effects will likely feel very different from CBD oil or edibles. This is due to the general CBD concentration of dabs and the intensity of inhaling the vapor.
If you find that CBD oil helps manage pain symptoms, a CBD dab could also assist you. However, its effect will almost certainly manifest itself faster. Vaporized cannabidiol gets to the bloodstream far more quickly than orally or sublingually consumed CBD.
As you consume more of the cannabinoid at once, the effects are potentially more intense than CBD oil or edibles.
You may also discover that the effects of CBD dabs don’t last as long as ingested cannabidiol. According to anecdotal reports, CBD edibles can affect for up to seven hours. Vaporized CBD, on the other hand, may only have a beneficial impact for three hours.
Yet, as you consume more of the cannabinoid at once, the effects are potentially more intense and perhaps suitable for individuals with severe pain. It is also a useful method of consumption at night if you find that CBD helps you enjoy a healthier sleep cycle.
Final Thoughts on Dabbing CBD
It certainly seems as if dabbing CBD has many advantages over other consumption methods. Vaporized CBD provides a higher rate of bioavailability than ingesting it or going down the sublingual route. It also takes effect faster and ensures you can consume a higher concentration of CBD.
There isn’t yet enough data on whether vaping CBD has a negative impact on the lungs, although it may do. Also, it is not guaranteed to provide better overall effects than other methods of administering CBD. You must also ensure you purchase products from reputable companies. Otherwise, you could be inhaling toxins and carcinogenic substances.
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.