Cannabis Oil vs Marijuana Wax: What’s the Difference?

If you’re visiting the Vape Guide then you like to get high but what if you need marijuana for other reasons besides just getting high? Or perhaps, you’d like to branch out from dry herb to the wax or oil that’s becoming popular lately? You’re in the right place! Since the intensity of wax or oil can be altered during manufacturing, it’s great for all marijuana users regardless of experience level.

THC/CBD wax and oil are made by an extraction method that creates either a viscous liquid or a semi-solid that liquefies at high temperatures. The liquid is called oil while the semi-solid goes by the umbrella term butane hash oil (BHO). BHO can come in many forms, speaking of which…

The Different Types of THC Extracts

The more solid consistencies of BHO include:

  • Honeycomb
  • Crumble
  • Shatter
  • Rosin
  • Budder

Softer, waxier, or liquid-like types include:

  • Wax (of course)
  • Live resin
  • Sap
  • Snap and pull
  • Distillate

If you want to get deeper into the science-y stuff then you can check out the Vaping THC Extracts page for a closer look at the different kinds of extracts, how they’re made, and everything you need to know about concentrates.

The creation of wax or oil allows the maker to control the level of THC or CBD in the extract. They can both have positive effects for users, though THC is the cannabinoid that provides the psychotropic high associated with marijuana use. Thus, wax or oil with a low THC/high CBD ratio has been shown to induce therapeutic effects without the high feeling.

Some research shows that marijuana with a high CBD content can help patients with a variety of ailments from schizophrenia treatment to pain relief to the treatment of anxiety disorders and more. Some studies have supported the fact that CBD provides certain relief for children suffering from epilepsy and otherwise.

The History of Concentrate Vaping

Back in the stone age, or what seems like it, vaping concentrate was a very low-tech affair. This was right after fire was discovered and before electricity was invented. Yes, I’m kidding but old-school dabbing involved the use of heavy duty dab rigs, primitive dab tools, and a blowtorch to heat up the nail that holds the wax.

It wasn’t exactly sanitary, safe, discreet, or portable, so we’re pretty lucky that we have so many options, from the ultra-portable and stealthy vape pens to the hardcore, but safe, e-nails. These options mean that concentrate vaping is something that everyone can safely enjoy, without having to invent excuses as to why they have a blowtorch.

CBD/THC Wax v Oil: Differences at a Glance

OilWax
User Experience LevelGreat for beginners and upIntermediate to advanced users (a learning curve is involved)
Device AttributesThey use pre-filled or refillable tanksThey use ceramic coils (a gentler experience) or quartz coils (more intense
Effect of UseConstant when using pre-filled tanks, the dosage is always the sameVaries based on wax amount, wax strain, and vaping temperature
Physical ConsistenceVegetable oil-like liquidCan be solid, waxy, or a thick, viscous liquid
Ease of Use-510 threaded Oil vapes are plug and play. -Refillable cartridges are easy to load and useQuartz and Ceramic coils = Relatively easy (Involve slight learning curve)
Intensity LevelTHC oil results in mild, manageable sensationTHC wax results in a strong, noticeable high quickly

BHO Production

Producing THC wax is an expensive process that uses a lot of advanced equipment, so it’s not something you should, or probably can, do at home. Marijuana wax is made primarily using three different methods;

  • butane extraction
  • ethanol extraction
  • water extraction

Ethanol and water extraction are the purest methods, though butane extraction is safe as long as the maker is careful to remove all the butane from the concentrate mixture.

Professional manufacturers are very thorough in their butane extraction processes so there’s no need to worry. You should be careful about wax made using homemade processes because amateurs don’t have the same quality standards as professionals.

Cannabis Wax Vaping

Vape pens are a good introduction to wax vaping since learning how to use them is easy, and you don’t have to vape all the wax at once. Vape pens use atomizers to heat up the BHO to vaping temperature, some atomizers use a metal coil wrapped around a quartz or ceramic rod to heat up the wax. Other atomizers consist of a ceramic basin, here are the differences.

Coil Atomizers

Stok 1 atomizer coil Review
  • Quartz coils heat up fast and deliver a more intense hit.
  • The more rods, the higher the maximum temperature, the more intense the experience.
  • Quartz delivers the best flavor because it is a neutral material that better preserves the flavor of the wax
  • You use them by dabbing a small amount of wax onto the coil(s), closing up the vape pen, turning it on, and inhaling the vapor.

Ceramic Atomizers

Honeystick Stinger ceramic chamber
  • Ceramic heats up more slowly, provides a smoother experience, and is better for beginning concentrate vapers
  • Ceramic can have a slight effect on the flavor of the wax but still provides good flavor quality
  • There is no way to increase the intensity of a ceramic atomizer besides increasing the temperature of the vape pen
  • They are used much like coil atomizers, only the wax is dabbed into the basin

Cannabis Oil

Cannabis oil is made by a process called CO2 extraction, this is a very advanced, complex method of production done using high tech equipment operated by professionals. There are also homemade methods of extraction but they are also quite complex and can get expensive because they use a lot of equipment and appliances. So it’s better to leave oil extraction to the professionals.

Cannabis oil is less potent than wax concentrates so they can serve as an intro to concentrate vaping for anyone who isn’t ready for the intensity of some wax concentrates. Seasoned vapers can also appreciate the less harsh experience of cannabis oil because not every session needs to be super intense all the time. Oil can come in pre-filled or refillable tanks, here are the differences:

Pre-filled Oil Tanks

HoneyStick ELF oil tanks
  • Can be bought from a dispensary
  • They include a set amount of oil.
  • They are usually 510 threaded, this refers to the tank and the vaporizer connection. Most oil vaporizers are 510 threaded.
  • Pre-filled tanks are not refillable, they’re meant to be disposed of once they’re empty.

Refillable Oil Tanks

Rokin thunder easy fill vape pen oil cartridge
  • Oil refills are purchased from a dispensary
  • Can be reused indefinitely.
  • Refilling them is a simple process, just open up the tank and fill it to the limit marker.
  • They allow you to use as much or as little oil as you want instead of a set amount.

Hybrid (Wax and Oil) Vaporizers

There are also vaporizers that can use both oil and wax, a nice cost cutting solution for most users and a great choice for beginners. They’re generally easy to use and offer a lot of convenience.

KandyPens Asap Rocky vape pen with prefilled 510 cartridge

The Next Step: Using THC or CBD Concentrates with an eNail

It must be said that if using an oil vape pen is simple and a vape pen for wax is intermediary—then using an eNail is intermediary+. These electronic nails are certainly more involved and not at all as portable as their pocket sized counterparts—and beyond that—they will knock you off your rocker. If you are interested in seeing more, visit our Best eRigs list.

Dabado Bolt V2 e-Rig wax vape review

The Last Word on Oil vs Wax

Now that you know the difference between marijuana wax and essential oils, it’s up to you to decide which one is right for you. If you need some help, check out the list of the Best Dab Pens for some choice wax and concentrate vapes. Thanks for reading and keep on vaping.

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