You can get a more detailed overview of the differences between wax and oil extracts on this page, but here is a quick overview of each.
There are a variety of different methods of extracting wax concentrates from the marijuana plant, but no matter the method, the end result is a solid or semi-solid substance commonly called wax. Some of the more solid consistencies of wax go by the following names:
The softer, more pliant types of extract use the following monikers:
- Snap and Pull
- Live Resin
One of the best things about concentrates is that the manufacturer can control the level of THC or CBD in the extract. So you can have wax that is low in THC and high in CBD, or vice versa, which gives extract vaping more flexibility than standard dry herb vaping. Regardless of the content of the wax, it typically provides a more intense experience than weed vaping.
The reason is right there in the term, concentrates. The level of THC and/or CBD in wax is highly concentrated, which means that just a small dab can have a lot of either substance. That is the main reason why extract vaping is so popular.
There are a wide variety of different ways to vape wax, from the highly portable to the not remotely portable. They are as follows:
Vape Pens – The most common, most portable, and most affordable kind of wax vaporizer. As the name suggests, these vaporizers are about the size and shape of a pen, so they are easy to take anywhere. They also have a great price range, with the cheaper ones costing less than $50.
Concentrate Straws – Similar in size and shape to vape pens, these vaporizers work by the user dipping one end into the wax and inhaling from the other end. They are very easy to use, but the way they are used means that they aren’t really portable friendly despite their portable-friendly size.
E-Nails – This is a more intense kind of extract vaporizer since e-nails reach much higher temperatures than vape pens. The high temperatures are mitigated by the fact that all e-nails include a water bubbler that helps to cool down the vapor while maintaining its intensity.
Handheld Dab Rigs – These are similar to e-nails, only all of the components are integrated into the device, so they are much easier to use. Also, unlike e-nails, they can be held in your hand while you vape. The main downside is that they are the most expensive kind of wax vaporizer on the market.
Oil concentrates are also made via the same extraction method used to make wax concentrates. And as with wax concentrates, the level of THC or CBD in the oil can be altered during the extraction process. However, oil extracts tend to be less potent and less intense than wax, so they can be a good intro for anyone who wants to get into extract vaping.
Another reason why vaping oil is appealing to beginners is that it is very simple. Oil vaporizers are merely batteries to which the oil cartridges are attached. Those cartridges can be of the refillable or pre-filled variety. With refillable cartridges, you buy the oil and use it to fill the cartridge yourself.
Pre-filled cartridges come with the oils already inside and they have a mouthpiece built onto them so that the user can inhale the vapor from the oil. Many pre-filled cartridges are 510 threaded, which means that they can be connected to any battery with that type of threading, such as the KandyPens C-Box. However, some oil vaporizers, like the G Pen Gio only use proprietary cartridges, which means that the cartridges only work with that particular vaporizer.
Wax or Oil?
So, now that you’re familiar with both types of extract, which one is better? That is entirely dependent on the user since they both have their share of advantages and disadvantages, so let’s take a closer look.
Wax Concentrate Pros
- Can provide a very intense vaping experience
- There are a variety of different extract vaporizers that can cater to different users
- Capable of producing huge vapor clouds
Wax Concentrate Cons
- Not suitable for beginners
- Some wax vaporizers can have a high learning curve
- Wax vapes are also typically high maintenance devices
Oil Concentrate Pros
- Provides a smoother, less intense vaping experience
- Both refillable and pre-filled cartridges are very easy to use
- Batteries for oil cartridges are often very affordable
Oil Concentrate Cons
- Batteries are cheap, but cartridges tend to be expensive
- They don’t produce dense vapor clouds
Overall, wax concentrates are better for more experienced users because of the more intense vapor and the somewhat higher learning curve and higher maintenance of wax vaporizers. Oil concentrates are great for new users because they are less intense and also because oil vaporizers are affordable and easy to use.