Types of CBD Wax
It’s important to clarify that CBD wax and CBD concentrate are basically the same thing. When the term wax is used, it’s referring to a CBD concentrate that has taken on a waxy form after processing compared to one that ends up more crystalline, etc.
Below, we’ll take a look at all the different types of CBD concentrates:
The waxy CBD concentrate commonly known as “budder”, is perhaps the most popular form of CBD wax available. As the name implies, the consistency is similar to that of the butter that is used in cooking. Like other CBD concentrates, budder is typically extracted with butane or CO2. A chemical solvent is used to blast through the raw cannabis in order to extract the cannabinoids in a pure form.
The solvent is then “purged” with heat and air pressure. Budder wax is made when the extracted cannabinoids start to crystalize after being stimulated during the extraction process. By purging at higher temperatures and whipping it like a batter during the purging process, a shatter-like concentrate can turn into the waxy substance that many people prefer to dab due to its sticky consistency. The main difference between budder and other concentrates is the process of delicately, but intently whipping the mixture to create beautiful, fluffy varieties of CBD.
The same basic process that is used to create budder is also used to create crumble wax, but the results are very different. The pre-purged oils used for crumble generally have more moisture, different temperatures and thicker consistencies. These differences help create the wax’s crumbly texture.
Although some consumers dislike the crumbling substance for the purposes of dabbing, it is still very popular. The reason being, that because the wax is purged at a lower temperature for a longer period of time, more terpenes are preserved so the concentrate is generally better tasting. Despite the fact that crumble isn’t the best suited concentrate for dabbing, it still works well with portable vaporizers and for topping bowls of flower.
For those who aren’t familiar with terpenes, they are organic compounds produced by a variety of plants, including cannabis. They often have a strong odor and are generally present in a wide variety of aromatic extracts. Terpenes are usually lost during the distillation process when concentrates are created because these processes separate cannabinoids from all other compounds present in the plant. For this reason, when CBD concentrates are made, they are generally odorless and tasteless.
However, the terpenes can still be extracted. Essentially, terp sauce is just distillate with extracted terpenes added in. The terpenes are usually from cannabis, but not always, so it’s important to inquire what kind of terpenes are used if you are looking for specific flavors and scents. As previously mentioned, distillates like terp sauce can be more expensive due to the extra processing steps and costly equipment involved in their creation.
CBD Crystals / Shatter
This concentrate gets its name from its glass-like, or crystalline, structure. Although not as hard as real glass or crystal, these concentrates do tend to shatter apart, hence the name. CBD crystals are one of the purest forms of CBD concentrate, and can be ground down into a powder known as CBD isolate.
Due to the purity, and natural beauty of this concentrate, shatter is one of the most popular forms of CBD on shelves today. CBD Crystals/Shatter can be extracted with butane or CO2, just like crumble and budder. However, generally CO2 is the preferred method because it results in a purer product.
When extracted with butane, the process is basically the same as the wax varieties, but chemists have to make sure the oil isn’t disturbed during the crystallization process. Otherwise it will change the structure and appearance, turning the translucent clear shatter into an opaque cloudy wax.
Shatter’s rigid composition makes it preferable for vaping and dabbing, but it can also be ground up and sprinkled on top of a bowl for a more potent experience.
CO2 oil is generally available in prefilled vaporizer cartridges for the ease of use of consumers. It is not to be confused with regular CBD oil that is generally taken orally. CO2 is a CBD concentrate and is meant specifically to be vaped only. CO2 is preferred by some because it carries no residual solvents and is nonflammable, offering some peace of mind.
However, it is sometimes expensive due to the high cost of the machinery needed to produce it. Due to the high costs, and a lack of popularity when compared to other CBD concentrates, there is not much variety in the CO2 oil market. Although some methods of super-critical CO2 extraction can retain a high level of terpenes, most CO2 oils don’t have much flavor. Despite this, some people still prefer CO2 oils for the ease of use, and the benefits they offer.
Live resin is unique among wax concentrates despite the fact that it’s made with the same extraction methods as those mentioned above. Generally speaking, it has more potent flavors and aromas when compared to traditional waxes, shatters and oils. The reason for this is because live resin is made using plants that are cryogenically frozen immediately after being harvested.
Freezing the plants preserves more natural oils, cannabinoids and terpenes that are generally lost in production otherwise. Due to the expensive process of freezing the buds, and the allure of stronger flavor profiles, live resin generally has a higher price tag than other concentrates.
It’s often saved for special occasions, but may become more common in the future, as many companies are beginning to see the potential profits of mass production and are considering long term investments in the technology required for its production.
Rosin is unique among concentrates in the sense that it can be produced without solvents during the extraction process. In fact, the process is so simple, it can be done at home using just cannabis, a hair straightener and parchment paper. Because of the simplicity of its production, rosin has quickly become one of the most popular concentrates, despite the fact that it is also one of the newest. The extraction process produces pools of cannabinoid oil that can be used for dabbing, and are actually quite potent.
However, some have claimed that the ratio of buds required to produce a sufficient amount of dabs isn’t worth it. Still, the results of hand squeezing buds with a hair straightener will not produce nearly as much rosin as the industrial presses that some companies use, which are much bigger, and can apply multiple tons of pressure. Essentially the process is the same though, the heat and pressure of the hair straightener pushes the resin out of the buds, which is then scraped off and placed onto parchment paper to cool.
Like with the other extraction methods we’ve mentioned, making bubble hash involves separating specific cannabinoids from raw cannabis. However, instead of using a solvent like butane or CO2, or another complicated extraction method, the process to make bubble hash simply uses ice water. Because it doesn’t require an explosive solvent and can be made with household items such as a bucket, bubble hash is commonly found through word of mouth, or simply made by the user.
One plus is that it’s generally not as expensive as other concentrates, but bubble hash is a rare find in dispensaries. This classic concentrate is a favorite among the older crowd, but is starting to wane in popularity as stronger concentrates become more popular using advanced technology. Bubble hash is typically made by putting raw cannabis in mesh bags and then filtering a mixture of the plant matter, ice and water through until a mud-like substance begins to form at the bottom or the receptacle. Once it dries the bubble hash can be smoked in a pipe, crumbled over a bowl or rolled into bars for use in joints.
Sift, or kief as it is more commonly known, is perhaps the most basic form of cannabis concentrate, but it can still provide a very intense experience for users. Hence the name, sift is made by sifting dried cannabis flower over mesh screens and collecting the tiny hair like protrusions, known as trichomes, as they begin to form a dust like substance underneath. Sift is easy to sprinkle over bowls, use in vaporizers or as a garnish for joints.
A concentrate known as live sift can sometimes be found among dispensaries. Like live resin, life sift is made with frozen plant matter, giving it a tastier, smoother hit than traditional kief. Sift is harder to find because of a lower profit margin and potency compared to solvent based extracts, so it’s a good idea to invest in your own filtered grinder or kief box if you are interested in using this concentrate regularly.
Alright, so while caviar is not technically a concentrate, we’ve decided to include it on the list because it still packs as much of a punch as any dab. Caviar goes by several names including moon rocks, but like other concentrates with multiple names, they are all basically descriptive, and really mean the same thing.
To create caviar, regular buds are infused with hash oil, then rolled once more in kief. Buyer beware, some shops omit the hash-oil step and still market their product as caviar, so make sure you are getting the real thing! True caviar can be hard to find, and is considered somewhat of a delicacy in the cannabis world. The kief can get a little messy once you start to break it up, so it’s best to do it over wax paper.
Distillate is considered to be a more complex concentrate due to the technology required and involved in its creation. The process itself is called molecular distillation. It involves taking winterized concentrates made with butane or CO2 hash oil refined with alcohol or ethanol, and then chilling them at extreme temperatures.
Finally, the mixture is distilled further to concentrate the cannabinoids even more. Generally speaking, this concentrate is only made commercially due to the expensive machinery required. One such extractor is called a wiped film evaporator. This device is capable of thermally separating specific cannabinoids by utilizing their different boiling points.
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NOTES FROM THE AUTHOR
Compliance Director at Cannabidiol Life
Slang and jargon aside ultimately CBD wax is a highly concentrated extract ment to be vaped or dabbed.
This in depth guide will serve you as you navigate the purchase and use of wax in your pursuit of health and wellness.