How to Make Cannabis Wax

One of the best things about cannabis is how versatile it is. It’s one of those plants that you can use for just about anything, and that includes making wax.

Cannabis wax is one of the most popular cannabis products on the market today since it’s one of the most potent. It is highly concentrated and boasts extremely high THC levels, making it sought-after for experienced consumers or those with high tolerances.

While you can enter your local dispensary and buy some, you can also make it on your own. Since the process can be extremely dangerous if you don’t follow the appropriate safety precautions, it’s crucial to know how to make weed wax properly.

Green marijuana plant growing out of soil
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What is Cannabis Wax?

Weed wax is a concentrated form of cannabis known for its high potency and is often used for dabbing—among other methods of consumption. It’s produced by extracting the cannabinoids and terpenes from cannabis plants, typically using a solvent like butane or CO2. The result is a sticky, wax-like substance that contains a high concentration of THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis.

After the cannabinoids and other compounds have been isolated, professionals can further manipulate the cannabis concentrate to change its composition, impacting the type of wax it becomes. Untouched, fragile wax cures into shatter. Crumble, as its name suggests, is crumbly and often smoked, vaped, or used for edibles. 

Cannabis wax can get up to 99% THC content but usually ranges from 60%-80%. Shatter averages around 80%, and crumble can reach up to 90%.

Benefits and Risks of Making Cannabis Wax at Home

Again, making cannabis wax at home is very risky and should only be done by professionals in the right environments. However, at-home wax creation does have benefits, including choosing your cannabis strains and controlling the potency, cannabinoid profile, and flavor of the final product. You’ll also save money, as homemade cannabis wax can be more cost-effective than purchasing pre-made concentrates from dispensaries.

The most significant risk comes from using volatile solvents like butane or propane in the extraction process. These substances are highly flammable and can lead to explosions, fires, and severe injuries if you don’t handle them properly, especially at home. This is why we suggest leaving the process up to the pros in lab settings.

Also, improperly purged wax can retain traces of solvents, and these can be harmful when inhaled. Professional operations use specialized equipment to purge these solvents, a process often difficult to replicate safely at home.

Safety Precautions

If making cannabis wax at home, avoid solvent-based extractions, since these flammable solvents are highly dangerous and not recommended for home use. Instead, consider safer methods like rosin pressing.

If you’re using any method that might produce fumes or require the use of heat, ensure your workspace is well-ventilated to prevent the accumulation of harmful gases. Also, ensure you’re always using all of the proper safety gear, including goggles, gloves, and a face mask when working with cannabis concentrates.

Ingredients and Equipment

If you make weed wax, you need specific ingredients and equipment to do so safely. At the most basic level, you need cannabis flower and a solvent. The most common options are butane, CO2, and ethanol.

To extract the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant matter, you’re going to need an extraction tube, collection container, purging systems like a vacuum oven and vacuum pump, and a heat source to evaporate the solvent.

It’s also important to have a high-quality ventilation system in your set-up. This should include safety equipment like fire extinguishers and PPE.

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Learn important tips on how to make cannabis wax at home 
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Step-by-Step Guide for Making Cannabis Wax

Once you have everything gathered, it’s time to go through the steps you’ll need on how to make THC wax.

  1. Preparation: Ensure all your equipment is clean and properly set up in a well-ventilated area, ideally outdoors due to the high risk of flammable gas accumulation. Grind the cannabis plant material and pack it into the extraction tube, making sure to avoid overpacking.
  2. Extraction: Attach the solvent canister to the extraction tube and release the solvent. The solvent will strip cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant matter, exiting the tube into the collection dish. Do this with extreme caution away from any ignition sources, as most solvents are highly flammable.
  3. Evaporation: The collection dish will contain a mixture of solvent and cannabis oil. The residual solvent needs to be evaporated away.
  4. Purging: To safely remove residual solvents, place the cannabis oil in a vacuum oven. The vacuum oven lowers the boiling point of the solvent, allowing it to evaporate at lower temperatures.
  5. Collection and Storage: Once fully purged, the concentrate can be collected with a dabber tool and stored in a non-stick, airtight container.

These steps will vary depending on the manufacturer as well as different technique preferences but serve as a general overview.

Types of THC Dabs

Next, let’s cover the types of THC dabs you can make. Here are some of the main types of cannabis extracts:

  • Wax: Typically extracted by solvents, this is the primary type of THC dab you’ll find. The texture of wax is viscous and malleable.
  • Shatter: Opposite of wax, shatter’s composition is extremely fragile, nearly glass-like. This type of concentrate is known for being pure and producing extremely potent effects.
  • Rosin: This concentrate is similar to wax but is produced through a solventless extraction method, using heat and pressure to extract the concentrate from the cannabis flower or hash.
  • Crumble: As the name suggests, crumble wax is dry and, well, crumbly—less sticky than other concentrates. It’s easy to handle and works well for dabbing or adding to flower in a bowl.
  • BHO: Short for Butane Hash Oil, BHO can vary from liquid oil to a more solid form like wax or shatter, depending on the finishing process. As the name suggests, butane extraction is used for this method, so avoid this type at home.
  • Distillate: For the purest form, distillate is the way to go. This cannabis extract is a very refined oil, typically devoid of the original terpenes, flavonoids, and other plant compounds.

How to Dab Cannabis Wax

The most popular way to enjoy cannabis wax is by dabbing it, so let’s learn how to make dabs. You’ll need a dab rig, dab tool, torch or torch lighter, carb cap, and wax. Start by placing a very small, crumb-sized dab on the end of your dab tool before setting the tool aside. Take your torch and heat the nail (also called “banger”) of your rig; heat it until the quartz is red hot before letting it cool down for about 15-20 seconds.

Once it’s cooled down, take your dab tool and place the dab into the hot nail as you inhale from the mouthpiece of the rig. You should start hearing the water bubble in the rig similar to a bong. Swirl the dab tool around until all the wax has come off, and then cover the banger with the cap while you continue inhaling. When you can no longer inhale, take your mouth off the mouthpiece and exhale.

If you don’t want to use a dab rig, use a dab straw, pipe, bong, or rolling paper to smoke your wax.

Making Dabs Without Solvents

If you’re looking for a safer, easier way of making dabs, you can do so without solvents. Solvent-less concentrates are just as delectable and require significantly less work and equipment. You’ll need cannabis flower, parchment paper, a hair straightener, heat-resistant gloves, and a dab tool (or razor blade).

Here are some steps for making solvent-less dabs:

  1. Preparation: Start by heating your hair straightener to a low temperature, around 160-220°F, and then cut a piece of parchment paper into a square large enough to fold over your cannabis bud.
  2. Packing the Bud: Place the bud in the center of your parchment paper and fold the paper over it.
  3. Pressing: Put the folded parchment paper (with the bud inside) between the plates of the hair straightener. Using heat-resistant gloves, press down firmly on the hair straightener for about 5-10 seconds. You may hear a sizzle, indicating the oils are being extracted.
  4. Collection: Carefully remove the parchment paper from the hair straightener and open it. The bud will have a flattened appearance, and a sticky, resinous substance will be on the paper—that’s rosin! Use your dab tool or razor blade to scrape off the rosin from the parchment paper. (Collecting rosin can be a bit tricky as it’s very sticky.)
  5. Storage: Finally, store your collected rosin in a cool, dark place. A small glass jar or silicone container is ideal for maintaining your finished product’s potency and flavor.

Making Cannabis Wax Using a Rosin Press

Using a rosin press is one of the simplest ways to make wax since these presses are easy to use. You’ll need flower, heatproof gloves, parchment paper, a collection jar, and small rosin bags. 

First, condense the flower tightly, then place it in a rosin bag. Line the plates of the press with parchment paper, and heat your press to 250°F. Place the bag onto the plates with heatproof gloves on. Clamp the plates tightly for approximately 30 seconds and repeat this step 2-3 times. 

At this point, a waxy substance will emerge, so remove the parchment paper and bag, and use a collection tool to collect the wax. Store your material in a silicone jar.

How to Make Cannabis Wax Using Kief or Hash

When looking at how to make cannabis wax using kief or hash, you can use a rosin press and follow the same steps as you would with flower. Kief is simply leaf matter and loose trichomes that are unrefined. On the other hand, hash is kief that has been purified. Therefore, place the kief or hash in between the plates of the rosin press to achieve the same results.

How to Consume Cannabis Wax

While a dab rig is the most common way to consume cannabis wax, you can also mix it with flower and smoke it with a bong or pipe. You can even place the flower/wax combo in your favorite rolling papers and enjoy. Some consumers prefer using a vaporizer like a dab pen to completely vaporize the wax for smoother sessions.

A woman laying on a couch with a dab pen consuming cannabis concentrate
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Conclusion

At Growers Choice Seeds, we’re proud to supply you with the cannabis seeds you need to grow the flower for your concentrates. Our premium marijuana seeds come in feminized options, including our autoflowering strains.

Whether you’re looking to grow fruity, citrusy strains like Mango Haze and Purple Lemonade, or skunky, gassy strains like Super Skunk and Super Sour Diesel, our online seed bank has plenty of options. You can also find high-CBD strains like CBD Blueberry in case you’d prefer a more potentially therapeutic experience.

No matter what you’re looking for, Growers Choice Seeds is proud to supply you with the premium marijuana seed to grow the perfect plants. You’ll be making cannabis wax safely at home in no time!

FAQs

  • What are dabs?

Dabs are concentrated forms of cannabis produced through an extraction process, resulting in a sticky substance, renowned for its high THC levels.

  • What is dabbing?

Dabbing is the process by which marijuana users consume dabs by inhaling vapors through dab rigs, pens, and more. 

  • What are the different types of dabs?

The different types of dabs include wax, shatter, budder, rosin, BHO, distillate, and crumble.

  • How do I make dabs without solvents?

Instead of using solvents, you can use a rosin press or a hair straightener to transform flower to wax.

  • Are homemade dabs safe to consume?

Yes, homemade dabs are safe to consume as long as you purge the solvent by using a vacuum oven, allowing evaporation.

  • How potent are dabs compared to raw cannabis flowers?

Dabs are concentrated, and thus much more potent, where THC ranges from 60%-80%, up to 99%. For a bit of context, flower is considered extremely potent when it exceeds 25%.

  • What precautions should I take when consuming dabs?

Since dabs are so potent, take it slow and don’t exceed your tolerance level. Also, ensure your wax has been purged of solvent, which can be harmful. 

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