Cannabis wax (also known as dabs, icky thumpers, honeycomb, ear wax or shatter) is a highly potent concentrate made from the resin on cannabis buds. Despite its name, it looks more like solidified orange sap than an earwax-like substance. Once you start using cannabis wax it should only be used with other people who are experienced with the positive and negative effects of this powerful form of cannabis.

Cannabis waxes come in many different varieties and are usually produced when using butane or CO2 extraction methods to remove THC and other cannabinoids from the marijuana plant’s trichomes. The process of making cannabis wax with these chemicals can be dangerous and should only be done under supervision.


Wax vs. shatter vs. budder:

cannabis wax shatter

cannabis wax shatter

These names can often lead to confusion among people who are trying cannabis wax for the first time. Although they have slightly different appearances, the effects and dosages are similar for the three, so it’s more important to know how these forms of marijuana wax differ from each other, rather than worrying about their different names.

  • Cannabis Shatter is a transparent, amber colored type of marijuana concentrate that has up to three times more THC content than regular marijuana flowers or buds do. This clear-looking concentrate is often used as a regular joint. The THC content in cannabis shatter can vary from 5 to 15 percent.
  • Cannabis Honeycomb is a type of concentrates that looks like the trichomes from the marijuana plant but are more crystalline and opaque. It usually has a crystal structure like sugar and can have up to 20 times as much THC as regular buds or flowers do.
    Like cannabis wax, it can be used in place of bud or flower for medical users, as most cannabinoids are still available in the honeycomb form after being extracted with harsh chemicals that would vaporize the other compounds found in flowers and buds.
  • Cannabis Budder is very similar to honeycomb, but it’s a bit softer. It usually has high amounts of THC and low amounts of CBDs. Budder can be used to make edibles or other types of foods, but its soft texture could cause problems with people who have difficulty digesting food. Budder can last longer than regular cannabis flowers or buds before spoiling, but it’s still best to limit storage time to three months at most.



This is a process that turns THCA into THC. Decarboxylation is possible in a home environment using heat and concentrated cannabis buds through a simple process.

THCA (Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) is the precursor to THC. When cannabis bud is heated at temperatures of 180°C or higher, THCA breaks down into THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). This can be done in a simple oven or on a stove top by placing whole marijuana buds in an oven for 1–2 hours, turning the oven off between each 25-minute heating period. However, decarb has slightly different effects when done on a stove top compared to when it’s performed in an oven.

People who use cannabis wax for medical purposes can benefit from decarboxylation because it’s easier to ingest the cannabinoids. Many patients who use cannabis dabs say that their symptoms are often eased by the THC. Additionally, cannabis concentrates can be consumed in smaller doses due to the increased potency.


Health risks of Cannabis Wax

cannabis wax

cannabis wax

As with any other type of marijuana product, there are many health risks associated with smoking cannabis wax. Although the carcinogen content has not been studied extensively yet, there is a possibility that inhaling butane or carbon dioxide fumes (inhaled during the extractions process) can cause cancer in some users, although this risk is considered relatively low compared to other carcinogens such as tobacco smoke.

In addition, smoking cannabis wax can cause respiratory problems and lung damage to those who are not experienced with this type of marijuana product. Patients with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other respiratory conditions should avoid smoking cannabis wax. First-time users may experience irritation at the mouth and throat as well as a burning sensation in the lungs.

People who are more inexperienced with hash oil will notice that it has a slight sweet taste that is very different from any regular marijuana flower or bud. After vaping it for some time, people may begin to get an ever-so-slightly overwhelming feeling of euphoria and be drawn to their e-cigs or vaporizers again and again. If the vaporizer is good, it drags you ever easier.


Positive effects of Cannabis Wax

The effects of cannabis wax are felt almost immediately after smoking. It contains a higher amount of THC than other types of marijuana flowers or buds, so the high from this type of concentrate may be a bit more intense. In fact, many users say the feeling is much more intense compared to smoking normal buds or flowers. The effects can last longer and may make some users feel paranoid or uncomfortable. When this happens, they’re advised to lay down and rest for a while before trying anything else.

Negative Effects of Cannabis Wax

Unfortunately, given the potency of cannabis concentrates, it only takes a small amount to feel high (which can lead people to consume more than they should). Butane and carbon dioxide fumes can irritate the respiratory system in the long-term. When smoking cannabis wax, users may experience intense coughing or gagging from the butane fumes.

Other negative side effects of cannabis concentrates include dry mouth, dizziness, paranoia, and anxiety. The use of cannabis wax is discouraged by some medical professionals because it can lead to dependency and addiction to marijuana.



vaporizer pen for wax

vaporizer pen for wax

Cannabis concentrates are very potent products that are smokeable or inhalable through some types of vaporizers. These concentrated forms of marijuana have many different medical benefits for patients suffering from certain conditions such as cancer, chronic pain, and degenerative diseases. However, the high potency often leads to many negative side effects, including the possibility of addiction.

The feeling of “getting high” is different from smoking regular marijuana flowers or buds. The “high” from concentrates is more intense and lasts longer than from flower bud. People should be aware of their tolerance level before trying a cannabis concentrate for the first time. In addition, those with a history of mental health problems should avoid these types of marijuana products during their therapy sessions.


All in all, cannabis wax seems to be best used by medical patients who are familiar with this type of marijuana product and are experienced in how to consume it safely without experiencing negative side effects that may hinder their overall outcome. Get to know it well before consuming! Happy vaping!