How to smoke wax

What is wax?

“Wax” is a type of cannabis concentrate named primarily for its appearance and texture. Somewhere between gooey, liquid concentrates like hash oil and solid, brittle concentrates like shatter, wax has an opaque appearance and a thick but malleable, wax-like texture.

marijuana contrates wax dabs
“Wax” is a type of cannabis concentrate named primarily for its appearance and texture.

Depending on variables such as extraction technique, moisture, and temperature, wax can take on a number of different forms ranging from more liquid, runny wax to more solid, brittle wax. The runny end of the wax spectrum includes products like “budder,” which is known for being very malleable and squishy, almost to the point of being a very thick oil. The solid end of the wax spectrum includes things like “crumble” and “honeycomb,” which are starting to approach the texture and consistency of something like shatter.

Regardless of these differences, all wax concentrates fall somewhere in between oil and shatter. For many consumers, this middle ground makes wax especially easy to work with—not so fragile that you run the risk of breaking it into tons of small and hard to use pieces while also not being so runny that it’s difficult to scoop up and maneuver onto a dab nail.

What are the different ways to smoke wax?

Wax’s unique and easy-to-use consistency makes it a very versatile concentrate. You can smoke wax in numerous ways, including:

  • On a dab rig.
taking a dab
You can smoke wax by using a dab rig. 
  • Using a nectar collector.
  • In a wax vape pen or another concentrate vaporizer.
  • Added to a joint, spliff, or blunt.
joint with wax concentrate
You can add wax to a joint, spliff, or blunt.
  • Combined with flower in a bowl.
  • Using a rudimentary knife dab.

Consistency matters: Choosing the right tool

Within the world of concentrates, there are numerous consumption methods, like taking a dab or vaping. While you can always find a way to make any of these methods work for virtually any type of concentrate, certain consumption methods tend to work better for certain types of concentrates. For example, hard and brittle concentrates like shatter can be easier to drop onto a hot nail than super runny oils, while oils can sometimes be much easier to use in a vape pen than a solid chunk of shatter. As much as possible, try to match your concentrate with whatever consumption method makes it easy to vaporize.

Step-by-step: How to smoke wax

Dab Rig

Use your blow torch to heat the nail to the desired temperature. Remember, hotter temperatures produce harder-hitting vapors that also tend to be a bit harsh on the flavor, while lower temperatures tend to give you gentler clouds of vapor with much purer flavors.

man taking a dab
Spread the wax around the hot nail and start drawing in through the mouthpiece.

Once you’ve got the nail heated to the right temperature, use a dabber to scoop up a small blob of wax. Spread the wax around the hot nail and start drawing in through the mouthpiece. If you’re using a carb cap, place it over the top of the nail while continuing to draw in with your lungs. When you’re ready to take your hit, lift the carb cap and clear the vapor from the rig.