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What is Weed Wax?

Weed wax is a concentrated form of cannabis extract often produced using a process known as butane hash oil (BHO) extraction. The consistency and texture can range from gooey or creamy (known as budder) to hard and flaky (referred to as crumble or honeycomb).

As one of the most potent cannabis products on the market, THC concentrations for weed wax clock in at a whopping 60-90%. Compared to the average amount of THC in dried cannabis flower, this percentage is a colossal upgrade for herbal enthusiasts looking to hit every high note. Needless to say, a little wax goes a long way.

How is Wax Different from Other Concentrates?

Similar to the orange juice concentrate sitting in your freezer, marijuana concentrates are the product of distilling down the most desirable compounds of the cannabis plant (cannabinoids and terpenes). Only, instead of a shelf full of selections for the perfect pulp-to-juice ratio, the cannabis concentrate family includes wax, shatter, crumble, resin, budder, hash, and oil.

While all concentrates share many similarities, the main difference is the final consistency and appearance. Cannabis wax is opaque and malleable, whereas shatter is typically translucent and brittle. Variations in post-extraction processing create these different consistencies. For instance, wax is formed by whipping. Vigorous whipping leads to crumble, and short whip produces creamy budder.

Shatter is generally the most potent of the bunch, but it requires a high skill level to produce. Wax contains similar THC levels to shatter but has a soft and sticky consistency. Rosin is made just like shatter and wax, but the process is less sophisticated, resulting in lower potency.

What are the Benefits of Weed Wax?

The most obvious benefit of weed wax is the potent kick of concentrated cannabinoids and terpenes. When made correctly, high-quality wax will have a soft, honey-like texture with little to no butane residue, so all you’re left with is a sticky sweet substance that’s basically pure THC. These high concentration levels make wax an ideal candidate for supporting chronic pain relief.

Another perk of wax is the lowkey odor. Compared to smoking other cannabis products that could make Narnia light up on Google maps with a single hit, wax dissipates quickly into the air. In other words, weed wax has a subtle scent, so your herbal adventures aren’t highlighted to the world.

How to Make Weed Wax

The most common method of making weed wax is through butane extraction. Without getting too science-y, the butane (commonly known as lighter fluid) acts as the solvent to separate the cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis plant matter.

Once the butane evaporates, the result is an oily substance called butane hash oil. Using heat and pressure, the oil is cured until it turns into wax. The final product is then cooled and hardened before it’s scraped into storage containers.

For those who don’t want to play with fire, you can make cannabis wax by using isopropyl alcohol. The weed buds are submerged in a “quick wash” of alcohol for a short time before draining it several times through a micron sieve. You can either let the alcohol evaporate on its own or heat the solution to speed up evaporation. Both options end up in sticky, super-concentrated cannabis wax. 

Another method for making wax is ice water extraction. The wax made using this process comes with a fancy name—bubble wax—because of the bubble bags used to separate the cannabinoids from the plant matter. For this method, you will need:

  • Your favorite cannabis strain
  • 10-15 pounds of ice
  • 5-gallon buckets (one for mixing and one for wet screens)
  • Purified water
  • Cheesecloth
  • Stir sticks
  • Bubble bags (sieve-like screens)


  1. Layer three to four bubble bags in a bucket from smallest to largest.
  2. Add 3-4 ounces of dried cannabis buds.
  3. Pour half a bag of ice on top of the cannabis.
  4. Add purified water to cover the cannabis under the ice.
  5. Stir the ice, water, and buds for 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Let stand for 20 to 30 minutes.
  7. Lift the top bubble bag part-way out and let it drain back into the bucket, then set the bag aside.
  8. Remove the next bubble bag and scrape out the material at the bottom (this is the wax).
  9. Place wax onto the cheesecloth.
  10. Continue removing bubble bags and scraping out the wax until the bucket is empty.
  11. Fold the cheesecloth on top of the wax and press gently to remove any leftover water.

Depending on how many bubble bags or screens you use, you’re left with a few different grades of marijuana wax. You can keep them separate to play around with concentrations or mix them all up for a blended experience.

How to Smoke Cannabis Wax

Now that you’re up to your eyeballs in homemade wax, you probably want to know how marijuana wax is consumed. Like most concentrates, it’s no surprise that most people choose to smoke cannabis wax. Since wax is firmer than oil and easier to work with than shatter, dosing is less of a guessing game. The three most common ways to smoke cannabis wax are dabbing, vaping, or sprinkling a little magic on a joint.


Dabbing wax involves a specific type of bong or pipe, typically called a dab rig. The most important part of the dab rig is the nail. These specialized nails can be made from titanium, glass, ceramic, or another type of conductive material. The nail is heated using a blow torch before adding a dab of wax to the hot surface, where it instantly vaporizes (turns into smoke). You can inhale the smoke just like you would with a traditional bong. Some people add a glass dome on top of the nail to contain the vapor, so it doesn’t float off into space. Some of the best dab rigs (sometimes called gravity bongs) come with a built-in dome, like the Stündenglass Gravity Infuser.


For those who like a no-frills approach to consuming cannabis, wax vape pens (or dab pens) are the way to go. Some vape pens only work with pre-filled cartridges. While these options offer plug-and-play vaping, the best dab pens let you use your own wax, like the KandyPens Prism Plus Vaporizer. Choosing a wax vape pen made with a ceramic or quartz heating chamber and titanium coils will prevent combustion, so you’re inhaling nothing but silky-smooth clouds. To use a dab pen, load the wax into the chamber and press the button or inhale on the mouthpiece to switch on the heating system. When the wax is melted, hold the button and draw on the mouthpiece to inhale the vapor. If you’re not ready to shell out some cash on new equipment, another way to consume cannabis wax is sprinkling a little while you’re rolling a joint or packing a bowl. Avoid reaching for resin or budder as a substitute unless you want them all over your hands instead of your buds.

The Power of Concentration

The potency and mouth-watering flavor of weed wax have catapulted this cannabis product to the top of everyone’s to-do list. While making your own wax from scratch may sound simple, it’s challenging to control dosing and often uses potentially dangerous and harmful solvents. It’s best to let the pros play mad scientist while you concentrate on making the most of your trip (pun very much intended).