For the Stoner on the Go: Cost-effective ways to smoke wax

click to enlarge For the Stoner on the Go: Cost-effective ways to smoke wax
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Concentrates— highly potent extracts of THC that resemble honey or butter — come in a variety of forms, such as waxes, oils, crumble, BHO or shatter.

If you turn 710 upside down, it spells oil. It’s also the date for the upcoming stoner holiday that celebrates the use of cannabis oil products.

While flower reigns supreme in medical and recreational use, THC concentrates are increasing in popularity. 

Concentrates— highly potent extracts of THC that resemble honey or butter — come in a variety of forms, such as waxes, oils, crumble, BHO or shatter. 

“They’re essentially the orange juice out of the fruit,” said CJ, co-owner of Glass Geeks.

They also require particular tools for consumption.

Devices such as water pipes and electronic vaporizers are some of the most popular apparatuses available for purchase at local dispensaries and smoke shops.

“The most cost-effective way to smoke wax is a nectar collector,” CJ said.

The straw-like dab rigs enable concentrate users to torch its tip for about 30 seconds and slightly dab at the wax product at an angle before sucking at the mouthpiece. 

They can also vary in price from $7 to over $100, depending on the design or make.

Some of the more expensive and fancier nectar collector models are made from glycerin, and allow users to freeze the device to cool the smoke by about 300 degrees. 

“It’s one of the easiest ways to get started smoking wax,” said Vivian Shenk, assistant manager at Sticky’s Smokeshop.

“They’re like hummingbirds,” CJ added, because of the mimicking action of dipping a beak into a flower to collect the juice.

While using a blowtorch may shy users away from using concentrates, electronic vape pens offer a more friendly approach and are preferable for travel. 

“If you were to go camping, I normally don’t recommend people having butane torches on them because it does hit about 113 degrees out there. You don’t want it to blow up,” Shenk said.

Butane blow torches are recommended to be stored in cool, dry environments.

Vape batteries, which are available at smoke shops, require pre-loaded and disposable extract cartridges available for purchase at dispensaries. The cartridges are screw-on and cost anywhere from $20 to $50 or more depending on the product.

Pens that work on a coil, require users to load themselves with a “BB” concentrate or .1 to .3 grams.

Brands such as Evolve-Plus by YoCan, utilize dual-quartz systems which contain replaceable coils that allow users to apply a small amount of product using a dabber or dab tool. Vape pens have different heating modes such as pre-heat or standard sessions for users to vaporize their products.

“On a small device or coil like that, you don’t use that much product, you’ll find better longevity in the coil which means you’re spending less money as a consumer to use your medication,” said Sonny Sutherland, store manager of Sticky’s Smokeshop.

Replaceable coils also range in price, anywhere from $3.99 up to $11.99 depending on the device and quality of coils due to companies’ varieties that they offer.

Rechargeable pocket batteries, or distillate cartridge batteries, allow users to screw in 510 thread cartridges at the top of the pen. There are also captive cartridges which allow users to drop into the system via a threaded magnetic connector.

A popular item offered by dispensaries known as Stizzy-pods, which are live-resin pods, are exclusively sold at dispensaries and are unavailable for sale at smoke shops. 

While these tools are available for purchase at dispensaries, they are sold at a much higher rate.

“Their profit is very high, at about a 400% margin rate,” Sutherland said.

Electronic vaporizers can also get pricey.

One of the most popular electronic dab rigs such as the Puffco Peak Pro’s retail prices range from $275 to $400, depending on the model.

“The popularity is the convenience, you have a full dab rig without having a torch and as long as it’s charged, you can dab wherever you’re at,” CJ said.

In place of torching a banger, or flat-bottomed attachment where concentrates are placed, electronic dab rigs only require a few presses of a button to heat up the product.

The Puffco brand is well-known for its excellent customer reviews, service and longevity and often flies off the shelves at local smoke shops. 

With hundreds of ways to consume concentrates, consumers can feel overwhelmed. 

Which is why there is no shame in enjoying an old-fashioned pre-roll, for as little as $7. 

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