There are a multitude of products out there that allow for the smoking or vaporization of wax and shatter. There is no ‘right’ way to accomplish this task, meaning that much of the decision largely comes down to the consumers’ personal preference.
There are two major factors that determine how wax or shatter are vaporized, starting with the type of coil. Some vape coils are able to conduct more power than others, which oftentimes means the difference between the power of the battery.
Besides the pancake coil, as we described before, you have the ceramic vape coil. It’s a step up from the old wick coil, this option has higher heat retention and may also last longer. However, like the wick coil, it is important that the ceramic rod coil is kept as clean as possible, as consistent wax usage may oftentimes result in the coil becoming clogged with excess wax that slips to the bottom of the heating chamber.
Finally, there is the quartz coil. This glass-like option is the best available option for conduction of heat and ensuring that as little wax as possible goes to waste: This is accomplished by the quartz rod reaching heating levels that leave little wax behind.
Shatter vs. Wax
The first step in understanding how to properly consume wax and shatter is to understand the difference between the two. While they are similar, there are a few key differences.
Wax and shatter are both concentrated forms of cannabis that have been distilled from dry herbs. They contain a far greater amount of cannabis’s psychoactive compounds – such as THC and CBD – and are far more potent than the regular plant as a result.
The difference between the two lies in their consistency and their methods of preparation. Shatter has a translucent, glass-like appearance; wax, on the other hand, is considered concentrates that are waxy and gooey.
There are 5 types of concentrates many people purchase:
- Shatter – Glass-like concentrates that are easiest to handle for dabbing
- Crumble – the driest form of concentrates that’s perfect for using in a dab pen or wax pen.
- Budder – Its consistency resembles peanut butter and it’s a type of concentrate that starts out as shatter, but then due to heat and timing, it turns into budder, which can get gooey. According to MerryJane.com, it’s possible that the material wasn’t purged enough.
- Wax – Sticky substance that should only be handled with a dab tool. If you use fingers, it will be a sticky mess and you won’t be able to load your dab pen.
- Oil – This type of concentrate is made of CO2 instead of butane, which will make the concentrates more runny. That’s why people generally vape oils in 510 oil cartridges. The SteamCloud Mini 2.0 would be a great example of an oil vape to use with oil cartridges.
Vaporizers utilize different coils in different ways, with some of the portable-dabbing vaporizers utilizing multiple quartz rod coils. For example, the Yocan Evolve Plus, which is one of the Best Yocan Vape Pens, uses two quartz rod coils in a sizable heating chamber. There is also the Yocan Magneto – one of the most powerful and best wax vape pen ever created – that uses a ceramic coil featuring two heating layers so that wax or shatter can vaporize more evenly and provide the best quality flavoring. One hit will likely be intense for even the most experienced of wax lovers, but the taste will be delicious. The more intense the better, right?
There has been a huge trend leaning towards lower, slower temperature for dabs as more research has been done on the burn rate of the complex cannabinoid system.
THC boiling point is around 315°F (157°C)
CBD boiling point is around 356°F (185°C)
THCV boiling point is around 428°F (220°C)
The lower temperature for dabs allows the combustion of terpene profiles to elevate and produce a stronger, more vivid flavor profile. The downfall of a lower temperature for dabs and concentrates is that it won’t create a massive cloud, but if you are an experienced user that appreciates full flavor then a slower, lower temperature is ideal.
High Temp Dabbing
As opposed to low temperature for dabs, more traditional rigs and consumption is done through high-temperature combustion. This is usually hit when the bowl or dome reaches between 600°F – 900°F (315°C – 482°C).
The benefits of a higher temperature for dabs is that you’ll get a much thicker, more robust cloud. The downfall is that you sacrifice flavor, and hits can be much harsher. It’s also been shown to elevate the effects of concentrates, so if you’re a heavy user that wants to get a good bang for your buck, high-temperature dabs can achieve this effect.
Temperature Recommendation For Dabbing Shatter & Concentrates
The temperature you set for dabbing your concentrates solely relies on your personal preference. If you like seeing the fruits of your labor in thick milky clouds then higher temp dabbing is for you. If you like to enjoy flavor expressions and the complex terpene profiles from different strains, then low temp dabbing is the route for you.
32°F – 310°F (0°C – 154°C) – This range is generally too low to vaporize any type of cannabis concentrate. This will result in zero clouds and thus no flavor.
315°F – 450°F (157°C – 232°C) – This is the range for your “low temp dabbing”. In this range terpene profiles efficiently vaporize without burning. You will experience the maximum flavor and taste exactly the way the extractor meant for the extract to taste.
450°F – 600°F (232°C – 315°C) – This is in range with a “medium temp dab” or a hybrid temperature. This range will deliver slightly lower flavor profiles while increasing cloud production.
600°F – 900°F (315°C – 482°C) – This is the “high temp dab” range. You will start seeing rapid combustion and thick clouds. You lose terpene flavors as they lose their molecular structure at such high heats.
900°F + (482°C +) – Anything above this temperature is generally frowned upon as certain carcinogens and toxins begin to release in a vapor form. Hits will be cloudy, but extremely harsh with a distinct burnt taste.
Vaporizers & variable temperature for dabs
With traditional dab rigs, accurately heating your bowl or dome can be extremely hard. Heating your rig with an open flame blowtorch is hard to get a precise reading. With innovative technology getting stronger within the cannabis vape industry, more accurate temperature readouts are becoming ubiquitous.
A good example is with the Torrch portable dab rig. With 6-second slow burn technology, the battery communicates with the ceramic bowl to heat up at a slower, lower temperature for the first 6-seconds (315°F – 450°F or 157°C – 232°C). After that time, the bowl heats to a medium to high heat (600°F or 315°C). This temperature range allows a great balance of bringing out full terpene profiles, while also delivering a nice cloud when drawn for 6-20 seconds. If you are looking for a full experience dab rig, the Torrch delivers on all fronts.