As cannabis continues to become more mainstream, it's easier to find different products on the market besides just cannabis flower. These products aren't necessarily new, but it's easier to find unique takes on cannabis, like concentrate, which has become very popular, however, some people may not know how to vape concentrates.
For many, concentrates can be intimidating, since they are vaped differently than dry herbs and have completely different strengths. Below, we'll talk about exactly what concentrates are and how to properly and safely enjoy them.
What Exactly Is A Cannabis Concentrate?
THC concentrates are concentrated forms of resin that are extremely potent when vaped. There's a lot of common concentrates available, like:
- Live resin
While there's subtle differences between different kinds of concentrates, they all share the same characteristic of being high in potency and delivering robust flavor profiles. You can expect concentrates to be three times as strong as top shelf weed, and even stronger compared to less expensive, less potent bud.
Why Are People Opting For Concentrates?
Concentrates are more potent than other forms of weed and the effects are felt very quickly. Customers who have a high tolerance to THC may switch to concentrates to get faster, stronger highs without needing to vape an enormous amount of marijuana. This is very common for medical marijuana patients who may be using weed to help manage chronic pain.
Benefits of Vaping Cannabis Concentrates
Thinking about whether or not you should vape cannabis concentrates? Take a look at some of the benefits concentrates provide:
As we mentioned, the biggest advantage to vaping concentrates is how potent they are. They are great for quick highs without long vaping sessions, especially for medical marijuana patients or for recreational users who have built a high tolerance to THC.
Concentrates strip the plant material away, but they keep all the terpenes from the source marijuana. That means you get deep, flavorful vapor when you vape concentrates. Flavor-chasers often prefer concentrates, even if their tolerance is low, because the flavor experience is so much more enriched than vaping dry herbs.
When you vape concentrates, you produce less vapor than you do with vaping dry herbs. After all, it takes less vapor to get more high, which means it's easier to discreetly vape concentrates than it is to vape dry herbs. If you plan on vaping while traveling or in areas where you don't want to draw attention to yourself, then consider trying concentrates.
How Do You Use a Concentrate Vaporizer?
How you use a concentrate vaporizer will vary from model to model or brand to brand, but there are general guidelines you can follow. These standard steps will give you a good idea of what you need to be prepared for when you use a concentrate vaporizer:
- Ensure that your device is fully charged.
- Load the heating chamber. Some concentrate-only devices will have an exposed coil you place wax on. Other dual-purpose vapes (like the Firefly 2+) will have a concentrate pad to place wax on.
- You do not want to leave wax in the heating chamber. Only load a small amount that you believe you can vape in a single sitting. Concentrates should never be stored in the heating chamber of a vape.
- Once your heating chamber is loaded, power on your device.
- If available, set your temperature settings (some wax vapes have only one heating setting. Other vapes, like the Firefly 2+, allow for variable heating).
- Press the power button or alternative to "fire" the device. This will create vapor for you to inhale.
- Vape until no more vapor is produced or until the taste of the vapor deteriorates.
- Power down the device and allow it to completely cool. Then, wipe away any spent concentrate from the heating chamber.
How To Store Cannabis Concentrates
There's a lot of different ways to store concentrates, and there's different options depending on the specific concentrate you are storing:
- Silicone containers: ideal for short-term storage of any concentrate. Silicone containers are great for travel, too!
- Glass containers: ideal for anything but shatter or hash. You need the smallest possible containers to limit airflow. For long-term storage, you'll need to vacuum seal the jar.
- Parchment paper: excellent for extra sticky concentrates like hash or shatter. For long-term storage, wrap up the concentrate in paper and place it in a resealable plastic bag.
Regardless of what kind of concentrate you're storing or how you're storing it, you should always keep it in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight.
How Do Concentrates Make You Feel?
Everyone will feel the effects of concentrates differently and different strains will produce different effects, but generally, people should expect a stronger high with concentrates. Concentrates are extremely potent, and top-shelf concentrates (like live resin), are extra potent. If you are vaping concentrates for the first time, be sure to start off slowly so you don't get too high.
How Can You Clean a Concentrate Vaporizer?
While specific steps will vary between models, here are some common guidelines to follow when cleaning a concentrate vaporizer:
- Make sure the device is powered off and the heating chamber has completely cooled.
- Open the heating chamber and carefully remove spent wax with a dab cleaning tool or toothpick. Do not dig at the heating coil. This can damage the heating coil, which means you'll need to replace it.
- Dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and gently rub the coils down and anywhere else you see residue.
- Rinse the coil with water to remove the rubbing alcohol and allow it to air dry.
- Before your next use, dry fire the coils for 5-10 seconds. This will make sure any remaining rubbing alcohol is burnt off.
If you're using a dual-purpose vaporizer, which may use a concentrate pad instead of heating coils, the clean-up is easy. Soak the pads in rubbing alcohol and rinse them with water, allowing them to air dry!
How To Choose the Best Concentrate Vaporizer For You?
If you want to pick the best concentrate vaporizer for you, you need to know what you need out of a concentrate vaporizer! Here are some common questions to ask yourself when you're shopping for a new device:
- Do I want to only vape concentrates, or do I want a dual purpose wax and dry herb vaporizer?
- Do I want variable heating, or is one standard heat setting ok?
- Do I want a large, powerful device, or do I want a smaller device that's easier to travel with, and use in public?
Concentrate vaping is a growing trend, even for new vapers who are still learning how to vape. Take time to pick a device that fits your interest and be sure to start off with small amounts of concentrate so you don't get too high too quickly. It's the best way to safely enjoy suburb tasting, potent vapor. The Firefly 2+ vaporizer works equally superb with both dry herb and concentrates.