Marijuana concentrates are growing in popularity because of their heightened potency. Whether you’re looking for a way to relax after work or rapidly treat chronic pain, concentrates like wax can be an excellent option.
In fact, cannabis wax is one of the most desired concentrates, due to its insane THC content, which is often equivalent to 15-20 joints if high-quality. While there are plants available with a THC content of 30%, many wax concentrates have over 90% THC.
“Weed wax” goes by several names, including Butane Hash Oil (BHO), honey oil, and ‘710’ (which spells ‘oil’ when you turn the number upside down). It is made by essentially blasting the plant’s material with butane (or another solvent) and extracting the THC into a gooey, highly-concentrated resin.
The finished product has a sticky wax consistency (hence the name) that can be used in various ways. And trust us, it is the most powerful weed you’ll ever use.
In this article, we look at what cannabis wax is, how you can make it, what some of the various methods for using it are, and what the most common benefits (and possible dangers) are.
What Is Weed Wax?
A form of hash oil concentrate that is created when a solvent is washed over cannabis plant matter, cannabis wax resembles ear wax, and though it may look aesthetically unappealing to some, it boasts some of the highest THC concentrations.
Why? Because cannabis wax can contain up to 90% THC and provide you with a truly one-of-a-kind high. Wax can also be ideal if you suffer from a serious medical condition and are desperate for fast relief from your symptoms. Of course, cannabis wax can also be prohibitively expensive – it can cost as much $50 for a single gram from some dispensaries.
How Is Cannabis Wax Made?
Cannabis wax has a DIY feel to it because it is entirely possible to make it at home using solvent-based extraction techniques. However, we don’t recommend attempting the process because if you don’t know what you’re doing, there can be serious consequences (some of which we outline in the ‘Dangers’ section below).
If you do wish to proceed in making cannabis wax however, the first step is to take your marijuana buds and pack them into a tube or pipe. Then, you force your butane (or another solvent) over the plant material. This fluid bonds with the psychoactive THC in the buds and pulls the compound from the plant.
Next, you allow the butane to evaporate until there is nothing left but an oily, potent substance – your richly concentrated cannabis wax.
As the butane leaves most of the plant’s compounds behind, what you’re left with is an immensely powerful, heavy-hitting concentrate. It provides a high unlike any joint or bowl you’ve ever hit in your life. Also, depending on the specific conditions (temperature, humidity, etc) of the extraction process, you can create a variety of cannabis wax textures, including things like shatter, budder, and crumble.
There is also a lesser-known method of making cannabis wax by using isopropyl alcohol. With this “quick wash” method, you submerge the weed in alcohol for a short period before draining it through a micron sieve.
Then, you strain/filter the liquid several times and allow the alcohol to evaporate, thus leaving behind a sticky, super-concentrated THC extract. You can either let the alcohol evaporate on its own, which takes about 24 hours, or you can heat the solution to speed up evaporation.
What Are the Benefits of Cannabis Wax?
Enhanced potency is probably the most obvious benefit of choosing cannabis wax. High-quality wax will possess little to no butane, and an immense quantity of THC. Additionally, because dabbing with a rig turns the substance into a vapor, this method may potentially reduce smoking-linked lung damage. The onset of the high from a dab is almost immediate, which makes it an ideal candidate for chronic pain relief and more.
And if you’re concerned about potential hallucinogenic effects or other adverse side effects of marijuana wax, you can try something called CBD wax. This substance is made from cannabidiol extract, which is a non-intoxicating cannabis compound that’s shown to be very effective in tackling things like chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and a host of other ailments.
How To Make Marijuana Wax At Home
Ice Water Extraction
Ice water extraction is ideal for those who don’t want to worry about explosions or fires but still want the satisfaction of making their own marijuana wax from scratch.
The marijuana wax you make with ice water extraction is also called bubble wax (or sometimes bubble hash) because of the bubble bags (fancy names for the sieve-like screens) you use to separate the trichomes from the plant matter.
Ice water extraction is extremely safe (‘cause, as far as we know, ice water has yet to explode or catch fire), but the process does require a bit more time, patience, and elbow grease than other extraction methods.
Be patient and keep at it! The results are well worth the effort.
- Your favorite high-quality high-CBD or high-THC strain
- 10-15 pounds of ice
- 5-gallon buckets (at least one for mixing and one for wet screens)
- Purified water
- Stir sticks
- Bubble bags (check online for this item)
- Layer your bubble bag or screen (three or four of them) in the bucket from smallest to largest. The smaller the number, the smaller the screen.
- Add 3-4 ounces of high-quality cannabis.
- Pour half a bag of ice on top of the cannabis.
- Add enough purified water (about eight cups) to cover the cannabis under the ice.
- Mix the ice, water, and buds together.
- Continue to agitate the mixture for 15 or 20 minutes.
- Let the mix settle for another 20 or 30 minutes.
- Lift the first bubble bag part-way out and let it drain back into the bucket. You can even shake and squeeze the bag to get all the water out.
- Set that bag aside.
- Remove the next bubble bag and scrape out the material at the bottom of the screen (a spoon works great here). This is marijuana wax!
- Deposit the wax onto your cheesecloth. This is the least pure form of marijuana wax (but it’s still good) so keep going.
- Remove the next bubble bag and let it drain into the bucket. Don’t squeeze this bag to remove the water. Just let it drain.
- Scrape out the goo at the bottom of the bag and deposit it onto your cheesecloth. There should be more material in this bag compared to the first one. And it will be lighter in color and contain less plant matter.
- Continue removing bubble bags from the bucket and scraping out the marijuana wax material until you’ve reached the last one.
- Fold the cheesecloth on top of the goo and press gently to remove the leftover water.
- You’re left with three or four different grades of marijuana wax depending on how many screens you used. Keep in mind that you can mix all the concentrate together. You don’t have to keep it separate. We just wanted to highlight the different qualities so you understand what you’re getting.
- Repeat this process one or two more times to get as many of the trichomes off the bud as possible.
That’s it! You’ve learned how to make marijuana wax. Congratulations!
So now that you’ve made your own DIY wax, you’d probably like to get it in your body. Here’s how to do that.
Rosin-Tech “our choice”
There are two basic ways to make weed wax. We recommend users carefully educate themselves on these methods and make sure they are legal in your area before using them. Rosin-Tech is a simple, solvent-less means of producing weed wax. We recommend this method because it is simple and does not involve solvents. It can also be done by non-professionals. And you only need some materials.
- Parchment paper
- Razor blade
- Weed, dried bud, hash
- Flat iron, hair straightener with digital temperature display
- Oven mitten
How to make dab wax: Rosin Technique steps:
- Begin by trying 2 grams broken into 4 pieces
- Heat flat iron to 330
- Fold your unsticky parchment paper in half, place your half gram nugget in the middle
- Use your mitten, and press the nugget for 3 seconds.
- Carefully remove. There will be a small resin stain made from the bud. Now move the bud to another spot and press again for 3 seconds to make another stain.
- Your bud should be rather thin and you should have two good stains of resin with a good yield.
- Use your razor blade to scrape away the stains of rosin and they are ready to smoke!
This method is incredibly simple and can be used by the casual user at home; however, professionals also use large presses with the same method to produce large quantities of quality resin which is solvent-free and just as strong as butane-extracted weed wax.
Method #2: Solvent Methods: Butane Hash Oil (BH0)
The most popular solvent method is done using butane as a solvent. It produces excellent yields but is more complicated and a bit less safe for beginners than Rosin-Tech. We will give a general overview of how this is done, but doing it will require outside research on this site and elsewhere and general knowledge of chemistry. The use of flammable butane can cause burns, fires, and explosions. This should be tried only by well-supplied professionals with the use of butane done only outside, as the flammable gas can settle and ignite in enclosed spaces.
- razor blade
- 1 oz. of weed
- Extraction tube, from a headshop
- Parchment paper
- Butane canister
- Dish, Pyrex
- Electric range
- Double boiler
- single-stage vacuum pump, 3cfm
Step1. Pack your weed in the extractor
The extractor should have a large hole at one end, and several holes and a filter at the other end. You can purchase this from a head shop or online. Grind your weed and pack it tight into the extractor as in the picture above.
Step 2. Spray your butane into the packed extractor.
Go outside and spray the whole 8 to 12 oz. can of butane into the large hole of your weed packed extractor, with the other end aimed down at your pyrex dish. This will catch the dripping shatter, BHO, or solvent-made weed wax. It will pass through the filter and out the holes into the dish. The butane is flammable and any spark can ignite an explosion so complete this step far away from any building or material which may catch fire.
Step 3. Fully evaporate the butane with your double boiler till it’s only weed wax
Place your Pyrex dish atop the filled double boiler on the range, preferably outside or in a fire-safe location. The butane is still flammable and should meet no flames so don’t use a gas stove or any type of ignition. Rather, the electric range placed outside or warm water brought from the kitchen and outside into the boiler can be used. The butane evaporates at room temperature. The boiler should be outside on a safe surface to flamelessly heat the Pyrex dish with warm water and cause the butane to evaporate out of the weed wax. When the wax stops bubbling, the butane is evaporated. Make sure all the butane is evaporated to make your weed wax pure and safe. Now you should have a semi-solid waxy resin which is essentially a finished product, but to be on the safe side, proceed to the next step.
Step 4. Use your vacuum pump to clear away the rest of the butane
To be certain your weed wax is butane free, use your single-stage vacuum pump to suck out the remaining air and butane from your now perfectly pure weed wax. The last step is to enjoy your powerful weed wax!
This is the traditional way of extracting the weed wax, yet it is somewhat dangerous and explosions and other mishaps have occurred and been reported to authorities. This method should only be tried by professionals in places where it is legal. The Rosin-Tech method is equally or more effective and carries no risk of contamination with solvents or explosions. We recommend the new and exciting aforementioned Rosin-Tech method for most casual medical and legal users.
Cannabis Wax: Final
The main disadvantages of cannabis wax relate to the dangers of making it, and also to its super-powerful effects. It is easy enough to get around the first issue, though — just don’t make it at home! In terms of the deleterious effects associated with overuse of marijuana wax – negative side effects can include hallucinations, unconsciousness, and extreme paranoia.
That said, cannabis wax can be an outstanding way to combat a wide range of medical problems, and is also a great choice if you wish to get super-duper high in states where recreational weed is legal. However, enjoy cannabis wax responsibly, because its effects are seriously next level!