The Ins-and-Outs of CBD Wax
Even for those who’ve been in the CBD community for some time, one product in particular, may cause confusion: CBD wax. Is CBD wax an edible? A cooking ingredient? A topical? Given its relative obscurity, it’s unsurprising that we’ve heard so many questions about this mysterious CBD concentrate and how to use it.
In this article, we’ll shine the spotlight on one of the unsung standouts in the world of CBD. Wax may not be for everyone, but for those looking for a pure, fast-acting, inhalable form of CBD, wax might just be king.
What is CBD Wax?
CBD wax is a type of CBD concentrate that is intended to be smoked or vaporized.
Like any CBD concentrate, wax is a highly concentrated form of CBD that contains very few supporting additives. Unlike CBD oil, CBD wax typically contains no MCT oil or other additives aside from CBD-rich hemp extracts.
For instance, the CBDfx CBD Wax for sale at CBD Choice (technically a CBD “dab” wax — more on “dabs” below) contains only full spectrum hemp oil and a pure CBD extract.
These ingredients are carefully processed into a thick, often creamy, and (you guessed it) “waxy” concentrate. At room temperature, CBD wax will hold this thick consistency but transforms into a rich CBD vapor when exposed to high heat.
How is CBD Wax Made?
Making CBD wax is a complex process requiring special equipment, large amounts of time, and an exacting attention to detail. As such, users absolutely should not attempt to make CBD wax at home.
As we discuss below, there are a variety of different types of CBD wax. Each requires its own special processes and materials, but all CBD concentrate wax begins with the same process: CBD extraction.
CBD extraction can be done through a variety of different methods. When it comes to CBD concentrate wax, however, the two most common are “Supercritical CO2 Extraction” and “Butane Hash Oil Extraction” (BHO).
Both methods involve using a solvent (either CO2 or Butane) and carefully controlled pressure and temperature. Through the extraction process, the CBD and other desirable components (typically select cannabinoids and terpenes) are separated from raw hemp biomass.
From there, each type of CBD concentrate wax requires a different set of procedures to complete. More on that in “The Different Types of CBD Concentrate Wax”, below.
A note on extraction methods and CBD Choice safety standards: Between the two most popular forms of CBD wax extraction, Supercritical CO2 Extraction is typically regarded as the safer of the two. For that reason, it has been widely adopted as the standard method throughout the industry. Both methods can leave trace amounts of the solvent in the CO2 extract. If consumed, these could be harmful to the user’s health. CO2 naturally evaporates out of the extract, while butane requires exacting procedures to eliminate it. As part of the CBD Choice selection criteria, we only stock products made with CO2 or other proven-safe extraction methods.
The Different Types of CBD Concentrate Wax
CBD wax comes in a variety of forms, and most manufacturers will advertise their concentrates as something a bit more exotic than “wax”.
If you do come across a product advertised simply as “CBD wax”, odds are that it’s actually a CBD “budder”, the creamiest and waxiest of the standard wax varieties.
Here are some of the most common CBD wax varieties you’re likely to find on the market:
- CBD Budder: A light, very fluffy, and creamy wax with a consistency similar to that of traditional butter. CBD budder is made using air pressure and very high temperatures to froth and fluff the extracted hemp oil and CBD isolate.
- CBD Crumble: A fluffy, moist, and clustered CBD concentrate with a consistency much like that of feta cheese. CBD crumble is produced very similarly to budder but uses slightly more viscous extract and slightly different extraction conditions.
- CBD Shatter: Comparatively stiff and hard, with a consistency more like broken glass or rock candy than wax. CBD shatter is more exacting to produce than budder or crumble and requires additional chemical treatments in the finishing phase. Once heated, CBD shatter melts and takes on a consistency more like that of heated budder.
How to Use CBD Wax and CBD Dabs?
CBD wax is a relatively versatile CBD product with a number of ways to use it. However, all CBD wax is intended to be either smoked, vaporized, or “dabbed” (a form of vaporizing that requires special equipment).
Here are the most common ways of consuming CBD wax:
Smoking CBD Wax
Wax is often enjoyed as an additive for other smokables. It is almost always used in a hookah, bong, or other water pipe
When smoked, CBD wax is rarely taken on its own. Instead, users tend to sprinkle a small-to-moderate amount of CBD concentrate wax on their tobacco, sheesha, or traditional cannabis flower.
When used in this way, CBD wax adds a concentrated dose of CBD to users’ favorite smokables. This is typically done to enjoy the subtle psychological and anti-anxiety benefits of CBD, which can help balance some of the effects of the other substance being used.
Dabbing CBD Wax
By far the most popular way to enjoy CBD wax, dabbing is a form of “flash vaporization” that involves special equipment, very high heat, and an incredibly smooth, clean CBD vapor.
Dabbing CBD wax requires a specialized set of equipment known as a “dab rig”. The up-front cost for a dab rig can be somewhat significant, but most regular CBD wax users swear by CBD dab wax as the only way to achieve the cleanest, most satisfying CBD wax experience.
Vaporizing CBD Wax
If you hear of someone “vaporizing” instead of “dabbing” CBD wax, don’t be confused. Yes, dabbing is a form of vaporization, but the two terms reference very different equipment and methods.
Although dabbing CBD wax is the most popular way of vaporizing it, it’s not the only option. Many users report great results using a traditional hand-held vaporizer or “vape pen” with CBD wax! This offers a far more convenient (and portable!) way of enjoying CBD wax wherever and whenever it pleases you.
If you choose to vape CBD wax, know that you may need to invest in some specialized equipment. Most importantly, you’ll want to make sure that your tank is specifically designed for concentrates, as traditional nicotine vaporizers typically are not equipped to handle the relative viscosity and vaporization temperatures that CBD wax requires.
Is CBD Wax Right for You?
There’s no doubt about it: in the world of CBD vapes and smokables, CBD wax is prized above all by connoisseurs. And it’s easy to see why: it offers an incredibly concentrated, clean, and fast-acting experience like nothing you’ll get from traditional CBD products.
However, CBD wax isn’t for everyone. Even if you’re smoking CBD wax (the simplest and least equipment-intensive method), you’ll still need to invest in a quality, durable water pipe. At higher levels, the up-front cost of a dab rig or hand-held vaporizer designed for concentrates can be significant. That’s to say nothing of the need for safety precautions that come with using any sort of heated element in your home (which all methods of using CBD wax require).
But, for those looking for the cleanest, fastest-acting inhalable CBD experience, CBD wax is absolutely worth your consideration. Once you’ve invested in your equipment and spent a bit of time getting used to the mechanics of using CBD wax, you’ll likely join the legions of devotees who swear by CBD wax as their method nonpareil for CBD satisfaction!