So what exactly is the difference between wax, shatter, and crumble when it comes to concentrates?

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Concentrated cannabis is as old as recorded history; in fact, it’s highly probable all of our ancestors were soaking hemp in alcohol or oil and anointing each other like the prehistoric stoners they were. Just like in biblical times, many recreational enthusiasts and medicinal users alike prefer concentrated products over flower. But in 2019, we’ve moved beyond the oil vs. alcohol dichotomy. Today, it’s the post-extraction processing that differentiates most concentrated cannabis products. Post-extraction processing is what gives budder its rich, fatty consistency, sugar its delicate, honey-colored grains, and crumble its sticky, cakey morsels. If you’ve ever been unsure of the differences between these concentrates, you’ve come to the right place.

All cannabis extracts are created either with or without solvents. Solvents like butane and ethanol, as well as the solventless CO2 and heat/pressure extraction methods, have led to significant breakthroughs in how we concentrate cannabis. But it’s what happens after all this processing that significantly affects the texture and how easily we consume the product as a result. Classic stoner vernacular can make keeping track of what’s what a pain to say the least. So allow me to break down the common dab types and what sets each of them apart from their shelf-mates.

ALL CONCENTRATES ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL.

Think of a concentrate like an egg. There are a variety of ways to cook it, but the end result is still an egg whether you fry it, poach it, or scramble it. Cannabis concentrates work in much the same way. There are structural similarities between wax, shatter, and crumble, but how it’s made is what makes all the difference. The first question a lot of users have is, “Which one is the most potent?”

Potency will always be determined by THC, CBD, and additional cannabinoid percentages. The terpene profile of the strain doesn’t matter because refinement methods actually separate the terpenes from the THC. If you want the benefits of terpenes, make sure the manufacturer has put the strains’ natural terpenes back into the final shatter or wax product.

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Shatter

Alternatively known as “pull and snap” or “taffy,” this butane-extracted concentrate has the glossy, stiff texture of quickly cooled molten glass, hence the clever moniker. While other concentrates are defined by the agitation they sustain during extraction, shatter is distinguished not by agitation, but rather how it’s cooled. It involves a lengthy purge, heat, cool, repeat process (of at least 48 hours) that transforms the sticky resinous oil into the brittle dab we know and love.

Pro: BHO extractions can produce CBD or Delta-8 THC percentages of up to 99%. Can you believe?!

Con: The looming possibility of residual solvent plus shatter’s brittle nature can make dosing a bit more complicated than it would be if it had a more forgiving texture. With especially brittle shatter, dosing can feel like a cross between a math problem and a jigsaw puzzle, so approach this type of dab with caution.

Wax/Budder

Alternatively referred to as badder, batter or crumble, the creamy, moldable textures of wax and budder are the result of a whipping process that incorporates air while evaporating residual solvent. An aggressive whipping will result in a drier, more crumbly wax, while an abbreviated, less intensive whip will result in a creamy budder. Waxes and budders can have percentages, perfumes, and flavor profiles identical to shatter or oil, meaning the only significant difference is their malleable texture.

Pro: Waxes and budders are easily manipulated onto a dab tool, making dosing simple, straightforward, and perfect for novice dabbers building up their dab clout.

Con: This pliable dab type is quick to melt, so make sure your dab tool is at a low room temperature before you attempt to pick up wax or budder with it.

Crumble a.k.a. Honeycomb

cannabis extract identified by its malleable texture that falls apart, or “crumbles,” when handled. Unlike other forms of concentrates, crumble — sometimes called “honeycomb wax” — is quite versatile, and not limited to dabbing. Some sprinkle the extract over the top of cannabis buds in a bowl, blunt, or joint. The fragmented texture results from elevated temperatures used during the solvent removal process, or by whipping the extract under the presence of heat.

Crumble is an extract, a form of cannabis concentrate that’s produced using a solvent. But unlike other concentrates, which are generally fluid in their consistency, crumble is defined by its unique, crumbly texture. In fact, when made correctly, the final product is the driest type of extract on the market. Crumble can be made with processes that include either trimmed, cured nugs or a freshly harvested plant. It can be consumed on its own, or combined with flower in a variety of ways. This versatility, combined with its potency, makes this increasingly popular among cannabis consumers.

Pro: It looks like an actual chunk of a beehive and that is very cool.

 Con: Crumble can either be tight and brittle-like shatter or soft and pliable like actual beeswax. There is no established cornerstone of viscosity, which means there can be a lot of variability product to product.

Live Resin a.k.a. Rosin

Alternatively referred to as “live resin,” nothing but pressure and heat create this solventless extract, giving rosins a rich golden oil and the texture of cold honey. This texture happens to be perfect for both dabbing and vaping. Rosin has no post-extraction processing, so the product is the literal result of squeezing the essential oils from dried flowers, typically via a hydraulic press. Rosin is mostly indistinguishable from butane extractions but without the possibility of lingering solvent.

Pro: Rosin’s gluey texture makes it easy to manipulate with a dab tool.

Con: Rosin can be marginally more expensive than solvent-based extractions.

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Takeaway

It’s important to remember that regardless of the post-extraction processes, each of these final products will retain the same potency they had after they were initially extracted. The same batch of freshly expressed cannabis oil could make shatter, budder, honeycomb, and sugar. Though each would be singular in its own way, they would retain the same percentages of cannabinoids, as well as the same essential flavors and perfumes established during extraction.

What truly differentiates each of these dabs, then? Aesthetics and ease of use. So, whether you’re all about honeycomb or strictly a sugar baby, accurate dosing is far more critical than what your concentrate looks like. My advice is to start with the equivalent of a single grain of rice or less if you’re unsure how your body will respond to a new concentrate. Start small and slow and you can’t go wrong no matter which dab you choose.

Come on into one of our two locations in either, Indianapolis or Geist and let one of our knowledgeable guide you through your buying process. We are the best CBD dispensary in the state offering the best delta 8 products including our wonderful concentrates, wax, and crumble.

Is CBD Legal? Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws. Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level, but are legal under some state laws. Check your state’s laws and those of anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved, and may be inaccurately labeled.

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