Marijuana has come a long way in the last decade or so. Legalization in some states and a general increase of awareness gives innovation room to breath. Although vaping concentrates has been around for awhile, they’re finally starting to come into their own as an alternative to the traditional methods of smoking marijuana plants.
What is concentrate?
Let’s back up for a second. What exactly are concentrates? Herbal concentrates are the official name of “dabs,” small concentrations of the active ingredients found in cannabis. While the terminology and the sheer amount of options with vaping concentrates are enough to scare some people off, many people are coming around to them.
Why are people switching to concentrates?
So what’s the big deal with dabs, anyway? People are creatures of habit, and it usually takes something good for most people to expend the energy shaking up their routine. Vaping concentrates have a couple big draws.
- Stronger Hits. Concentrates are just that, concentrated. They contain all of the active ingredients and none of the fluff. Their potency is much higher than conventional smoking methods, with some wax concentrates being as much as 80%.
- Increased Flavor. Because there’s nothing else getting in the way, concentrates tend to deliver a much stronger flavor. The “taste” of marijuana is often people’s least favorite aspect, and with vaping concentrates it is no longer a problem.
- Discretion. Even in states where consuming marijuana products is legal, many people prefer not to draw attention to themselves. Vape pens are discreet and don’t leave nearly as much smell behind after you’re done using them.
What options do you have?
There are 4 basic kinds of concentrates. Which one you choose will depend on the delivery device you want to use and your specific preferences.
- Wax. This is the most common choice, especially for people new to vaping concentrates. It is the cheapest and most easily available option. Wax is usually somewhere in the 60% range when it comes to potency (it is the weakest of the four concentrates). It’s soft texture means it is difficult to handle without the proper dabbing tools.
- Budder. Budder is the other lower potency option. Like wax, it is soft enough to require dabbing tools to handle. Budder is the more flavorful option, though, as it contains more terpenes (the compounds responsible for flavor). If you’re looking for a lighter hit with stronger flavor, budder might be your ideal option.
- Shatter. At 80% purity, shatter is the strongest hit you’re going to find amongst the vaping concentrates. It is the consistency of thin glass and can easily break or shatter, hence its name. Shatter can be easily used by hand. Simply break off a small amount and pop it into your chamber.
- Crumble. Crumble is similar to shatter. It is also breakable, though not quite as fragile as shatter. It is probably the easiest form to handle and is the second most potent option, after shatter.
The Different Devices
There are currently 4 options for consuming vaping concentrates. By far the most common is the concentrate vape pen, though the other systems do have their fans.
- Concentrate Vape Pen. These are a smart buy for anyone new to the vape concentrate scene. You can buy one on an online vape shop. They are portable and easy to use. When you shop for a concentrate vape pen, you will need to make some decisions, such as whether to go with a wickless version or not.
- Non-Pens. These are an alternative to the concentrate vape pen. They are also portable but operate using a skillet system.
- E-Rigs. E-rigs are for those who prefer their vapor concentrates to be cooled. These portable devices heat the concentrate up on a nail and then deliver the vapor through a water attachment.
- Desktops. Desktop concentrate vapors are meant for groups. Since they are large and some need to be plugged in, you won’t be going anywhere with this sort of rig. The vapor is inhaled through a tube or balloon.
Most people who switch to vaping concentrates end up with a concentrate vape pen and some wax. This is a great starting point, but there is always room for experimentation. Find the combination that works best for you and vape away!