More and more people are turning to vape devices to consume marijuana. After all, it’s easier, cleaner and potentially safer. But as the industry grows, the sheer volume of options can start to become confusing. Here we’ll lay out some of the basics on THC e-Juice and concentrates.
Alternatives to smoking: What is vape juice?
Vape juice is a large category of liquids meant for use with vape devices. E-Liquid, e-Juice and similar terms all refer to this broad category (although you will run into people who reserve the words “vape juice” for nicotine e-Liquids only). All vape juice is made from vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, or a combination of the two. From there it can be infused with nicotine, CBD, THC or additional flavors. While nicotine remains the most popular kind of vape juice, other types are gaining momentum.
What is THC vape juice?
THC vape juice is exactly what it sounds like: vape juice that contains THC instead of nicotine. THC vape juice is typically packaged into pre-filled cartridges that can be inserted into a vape pen. The pen will heat the liquid into a THC vapor for consumption.
How much THC is in vape juice?
Your average manufactured THC cartridge is going to have about 10 percent THC. That may not sound like a lot, but considering how strong some THC concentrates are, you’ll probably still get a considerable high.
Benefits of THC vape juice
The biggest benefit of THC vape juice is the lack of combustion. With vaping, you’re safe from most of the carcinogenic effects of traditional smoking. Here are a few other noted benefits of THC vape juice:
- Discrete consumption
- Potentially lower cost
- No smoke
What are the effects of THC vape juice?
THC vape juice will get you high, just like smoking marijuana plant matter. However, there is less of an odor associated with THC vape juice, and the high is a bit purer. With THC vape juice, you’re consuming fewer ingredients, which eliminates the unwanted “taste” of marijuana.
Are there any side effects of THC vape juice?
You may experience irritation in your mouth or throat when vaping THC e-Juice. There are also several side effects associated with THC in general, whether you vape it, smoke it or ingest it. These include fatigue, paranoia, dry mouth or eyes, and headaches. If you experience any of these side effects, it may be a sign to cut back on the amount of THC you consume.
Is it legal to vape THC?
All THC products fall into the complicated category of being federally illegal but partially legal on a state-by-state basis. More than half of Americans live in a state where medical use of marijuana is legal, and the following eleven states and cities allow recreational use, as well.
- Washington, D.C.
Be aware that mailing THC products are still considered a federal crime, even in states where marijuana is completely legal.
Where to buy THC vape juice
You should only buy THC vape juice (or e-Liquid of any kind) from a trusted retailer. Any e-Liquid purchased via “black” markets runs the risk of contamination and serious health side effects.
Because mailing marijuana products is considered a federal crime, most official outlets will not participate in online orders. CBD products, however, can be purchased online from many retailers. You can find a lot of variety and some great deals if you know where to look.
Best THC cartridges
Every vaper has their favorite brand of THC oil cartridge. Consider the following points when selecting a THC cartridge for yourself:
The level of THC
You want to get a decent level of THC for your money, but don’t just grab the highest THC level you see, either. You want to find the level that’s right for you. A lower level of THC may be appropriate depending on how frequently you vape.
A good deal is great, but buying THC cartridges at crazy low prices can sometimes be a red flag for poor manufacturing quality. Remember that poorly made THC cartridges, especially those that are bootlegs, can be dangerous.
Again, make sure you’re buying from a trusted source. It’s not worth the discounts if you can’t be sure what’s in your vape juice.
How to make THC vape juice
Vape juice is most commonly purchased from retailers, but you can make it at home if you know what you’re doing. Please note that purchasing vape juice of any kind from a trusted retailer is recommended. Mistakes you make in the extraction process can lead to dangerous chemicals being present in your vape juice.
The basic steps of DIY cannabis vape juice
- Cut up your plant matter, the smaller the better
- Dry the plant matter (you can place it in an oven to speed this process along)
- Combine the plant matter with high-proof alcohol. Place it in a sealed container and shake to mix.
- Store in complete darkness at room temperature for several months, anywhere from thirty to 120 days.
- Strain the contents of your alcohol/concentrate mixture.
Advantages of DIY vape juice
The main advantage of making your own vape juice (other than the street cred) is that you get to know with certainty what goes into your e-Liquid. Regulation on e-Juice manufacturers is increasing, but many people are still more comfortable making their own products.
The other big advantage of DIY vape juice is cost. You can potentially save a significant amount of money by purchasing concentrates and turning them into e-Liquid.
Disadvantages of DIY vape juice
Unless you’re competent with rosin extraction, making your own vape juice will take 2-4 months. So it’s not something you can whip up in a weekend. Usually, it is much more convenient to simply go to the store.
Making your own THC e-Liquid requires you to handle several different chemicals. If you don’t keep a close watch on your temperatures (oil temperature should never go much above 220 degrees Fahrenheit) then you run the risk of creating a carcinogenic vape juice.
Liquid THC: conclusion
If you’re looking for a product with a high THC concentration and fewer carcinogens, then liquid THC is a great place to find it. Many people are now vaping their THC because the devices are more discreet and the hit is purer.
What is THC concentrate?
THC concentrate can be confusing at the best of times, so let’s take a moment to give a clear overview of THC concentrate options.
THC concentrate is another word for “dab”. With concentrates, you get the closest possible thing to pure THC. The result is a more intense high with a better flavor. Concentrates can be more complicated than e-Liquids, and take more time to get used to. There are four types of THC concentrates.
The term “wax” is sometimes used to refer to all concentrates, but there is also a specific type of concentrate called wax. Wax is the weakest of all concentrates (roughly 60 percent), which makes it a good starting point for those new to THC concentrates. It is also by far the cheapest option. Wax gets its name from its soft, wax-like texture.
Budder (wax budder)
Like wax, budder provides a lower potency than other concentrate options. Budder is a bit more flavorful and typically a touch more expensive than wax. It contains more terpenes than wax (terpenes are the compounds responsible for flavor).
Shatter (wax shatter)
Shatter is thin and breakable. It is pricier, but it provides the strongest hit of any concentrate. Shatter is typically about 80 percent pure THC.
Crumble (wax crumble)
Crumble is just one step below shatter in terms of potency. It is a bit easier to handle and a little less expensive.
It is also not uncommon to find wax crumble for CBD, the non-psychoactive cousin of THC.
How much THC is in concentrate?
THC concentrates contain a much higher level of THC than vape juice or even traditional smoking. Some forms of THC concentrate may be as high as 80 percent. This means one puff of concentrate may have the same effect as more than eight puffs of vape juice, so be prepared for a sudden, intense high, and don’t overdo it on your first try.
Benefits of THC concentrate
THC concentrate is a great option for those who don’t mind taking their time and getting a stronger hit. THC concentrate isn’t much of a portable or discreet option, but it can be a great rig to set up at home.
Side effects of THC concentrate
THC concentrates have all the same risks as any other form of THC consumption, such as lethargy, paranoia, and headaches. These side effects are actually more likely with THC concentrate because you are ingesting a much higher level of THC.
That high level of THC also puts you at risk of upping your overall THC tolerance. If you frequently consume THC concentrates, you may find that more traditional methods of consuming THC no longer have the same effect on you.
THC concentrate: conclusion
Consuming THC concentrate requires more knowledge and a different vape device than general THC juice. It is also a less discreet process, whereas THC vape juice can be easily taken on the go. The world of concentrates can be intimidating to a newcomer. That said, THC concentrates can be a wonderful experience for those who master them.
THC concentrate versus THC vape juice: which is better?
It all comes down to personal preference and what kind of high you’re looking for. Many people consume both THC vape juice and THC concentrate, although this lifestyle requires a larger investment in vaping devices and paraphernalia.
A good idea is to start with THC vape juice as it is more manageable and easier to get the hang of. Then move on to testing out concentrates a little later before deciding what devices you want to commit to. You should also consider how frequently you want to consume marijuana. THC vape juice is a better option for frequent consumption, while concentrates are typically used more sparingly.