Everything You Could Ever Want to Know About Wax

marijuana wax pieces

Four to five years ago, if somebody said cannabis concentrates would take over the cannabis industry, many people would have thought they were crazy. Fast forward to today, and cannabis concentrates are in high demand and quickly becoming the go-to product for a majority of cannabis consumers. The marijuana community has welcomed concentrates into the market with open arms, and it even has its own cannabis holiday known as 710, which reads “oil” if flipped upside down.

Of the cannabis concentrates available, wax is one of the more well-known forms of concentrate on the market. Not only is it a cheaper product to produce, but it is widely accessible on the market today without breaking the consumer’s bank. Let’s take an in-depth look at marijuana wax; how it’s made, why it’s becoming so popular, and the price of wax on the marijuana marketplace.

What is Wax and Why is it a Popular Consumer Product?

marijuana wax on display

Wax is a common and straightforward form of cannabis concentrate; it is the cheapest to produce, which makes it the most affordable concentrate to consumers. Marijuana wax is as potent as any other concentrate but usually hangs around 60% to 80% THC. Before diving in any further to what wax is, it is best to understand what concentrates are as a whole.

How is Wax Different Than Flower?

Cannabis concentrates are a form of marijuana which are made of extracts of cannabinoids, like THC and CBD, from the cannabis plant using a multitude of extraction methods. By properly utilizing these extraction methods, it produces a highly potent concentrate ideal for consumers and patients who desire large dosages of cannabinoids that cannot otherwise be obtained by smoking a joint.

While the average THC content of a cannabis flower is around 10% to 30%, a cannabis concentrate can test as high as 60% to 99%. The potency of a cannabis concentrate depends on the plant material used in the extraction, the method of extraction, and the quality of the solvent used in the extraction. When it comes to producing marijuana wax, the most common extraction methods are BHO (Butane Hash Oil) or PHO (Propane Hash Oil).

Why Do Some People Prefer Marijuana Wax?

It is relatively easy to see why wax is extremely popular amongst cannabis consumers on the market today. Not only is it an insanely potent product, but it is discreet to use, thought to be less harmful to inhale than a joint, and more of a bang for the consumer’s buck. Plus, it doesn’t leave that classic Kush aroma in the air or on clothes like smoking a joint would. Instead of combusting the plant material, it vaporizes the cannabinoids without combusting the excess fatty lipids found in concentrates. Dabbing or vaping wax is something that needs more research but is the favorite method of consumption for many different consumers at this time.

How is Wax Made and What Makes it Different from Other Concentrates?

blobs of wax

When it comes to extracting THC or CBD into a wax, there are two primary methods of extraction: butane and propane. Each technique produces similar products, but the consistency, potency, and purity may vary.

Butane Extraction

Butane extraction is the most common method of extraction for cannabis concentrates for a variety of reasons. In a gist, a butane extraction is done by combining the cannabis plant material (trim, buds, shake, etc.) with butane to separate the desired oils (cannabinoids) from the plant material. Butane is an ideal solvent for cannabis extraction because it doesn’t extract water-soluble compounds like chlorophyll, which in large amounts can cause a weak flavor and may add additional risk to the consumer.

Once the separation occurs, the butane hash oil is then blasted or whipped to remove as much of the solvent as possible. While the oil is blasted in a controlled oven to produce shatter-like consistencies, it must be whipped or purged using other techniques to create a wax concentrate. Once the concentrate is at a safe level of solvent to consume, it is packaged in grams and shipped to the dispensaries!

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Perks:

  • Less Plant Material and Chlorophyll
  • Easy to Use Consistencies
  • Generally Low Level of Residual Solvents

Propane Extraction

A propane extraction is very similar to a butane extraction but uses propane as the solvent instead. Propane is a bit more expensive than butane but produces a better tasting product and is excellent for extracting unique cannabinoid profiles. Propane is commonly used for creating marijuana wax and is known for producing some of the best tasting wax on the market. However, it is costly compared to butane, which forces many cannabis extractors to side with butane over propane. Many extractors will use a blend of butane and propane to get the best of both worlds. Due to propane’s low boiling point, it is far easier to purge the concentrates without losing cannabinoid or terpene content.

Perks:

  • Easy to Purge
  • Higher Terpene Contents
  • Better for Ratio Cannabinoid Concentrates
  • Generally Low Residual Solvents

Where Does Marijuana Wax Get Its Name?

marijuana wax next to pipe
Wax is merely a specific type of concentrate that gets its name from the waxy consistency in its final form. Marijuana wax often looks like ear wax and tends to be sticky like ear wax; however, it may also come in a variety of other consistencies. Wax often goes by many names like budder, batter, crumble, and even ear wax. All of these concentrates are forms of wax with a slightly different consistency. Regardless, they all range in the same potency, residual solvent, and terpene content. What makes wax different from other forms of concentrates is its extraction method, purging process, potency, and overall consistency.

The Price of Wax Compared to Other Concentrates

Concentrates, in general, tend to be a more expensive product. Nevertheless, marijuana wax is the most affordable form of concentrate due to its cheaper and quicker extraction process. Other types of concentrates take a long time to extract and require expensive equipment to do correctly. For this reason, many marijuana extraction companies focus on shatter and wax concentrates to keep costs low, but supply high. It also allows for consumers to obtain cannabis concentrates at a cheaper rate than concentrates like distillate, live resin, or an isolate.

Average Price of Marijuana Wax on the Market Today

The average price of a gram of wax can vary quite a bit. Typically, a gram of wax ranges from $20 to $45 in a well-established market. In a newly legalized market, the price of wax can get as high as $70 or more after taxes. There are individual shops that may offer daily concentrate deals or 3-gram jars of wax for a discounted price, but it’s up to the consumer to use platforms like Leafbuyer to find the best cannabis deals! It is also essential to follow the legal limit of concentrates a consumer may have at a time. States like Illinois only allow for possession of up to 5 grams of concentrates.

In a state with strict laws on concentrates like Illinois, the prices are likely to be higher than usual; especially, when the taxes on concentrates are drastically higher than any other product (another Illinois marijuana law). Regardless, it’s always a good idea to shop around for the best dispensary for concentrates and to find a shop located in a municipality that doesn’t add insane marijuana taxes to the cost. Oh, and always remember to trust the nose when shopping for wax and other concentrates!

For the best concentrate deals, head to the Leafbuyer deals page!


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Justice Council
Justice Council is a freelance writer, CBD specialist, and cannabis enthusiast located in Denver, Colorado. His wide range of experience as a budtender, delivery driver, and CBD sales rep has given him a unique look into this new world of cannabis. Throughout his career in the industry, Justice has written many pieces on culture, economics, product knowledge, and career opportunities within the cannabis space. He takes pride in being part of a truly pioneering industry.