By now, most everyone is familiar with vape pens, those simple and ubiquitous devices that allow you a quick and discreet hit of cannabis mist on the go. We love vape pens for their intuitive and no-fuss design (not to mention the pleasure of inhaling that cooling terpene-rich mist!). But for those of us who are serious about our cannabis, the question of how to vape concentrates demands a different solution: A purpose-made refillable vape.
Chances are you’ve already seen one, sold under the names Pax, Kandypens, Linx, Yocan, and others. And while they demand a larger initial investment, we feel they tend to deliver a great deal of value over the long term. If you’re interested in exploring the flavorful, potent, and unique world of cannabis concentrates, strap yourself in and read on!
How to Vape Concentrates: Concentrate Options
While it’s safe to say that vape pens played a large part in revolutionizing the cannabis industry, they’re somewhat limited by design. Even rechargeable ones typically have only one heat setting, and their cartridges contain a somewhat generic cannabis distillate.
But of course, there’s more—much more—to the world of cannabis concentrates: RSO, for one, and the waxes and shatters often used in dabbing. With all respect to vape pens, the intense “realer than real” flavors of a high-quality live resin will probably make you feel as though you’re trying cannabis for the very first time.
So, what concentrates do we typically vape? Here’s a brief introduction to a few:
BHO: Also called “Hydrocarbon Extract,” these preserve more of the precious terpenes and cannabinoids than many concentrates. It includes the popular “shatter” format: Dried, translucent candy-like shards of potent concentrate.
Live Resin: A concentrate made from flash-frozen cannabis flower. Freezing preserves a higher than usual proportion of terpenes; the result is an unusually flavorful and potent product.
Wax: A soft, opaque cannabis concentrate, waxes are meant to be consumed alone or added to a joint or a bowl, where they add a big dose of flavor and potency.
Which brings us back to the question of those specialized vapes. What’s the deal, and why do you need one?
How to Vape Concentrates: Choose Your Weapon
As we hinted before, vape pens take a one-size-fits-all approach, loading their cartridges with a generic cannabis distillate that doesn’t require manual temperature adjustment. By comparison, the esoteric concentrates we named earlier won’t fully vaporize at standard vape pen temperatures (one reason you don’t typically find such pens loaded with products like sauce or live resin).
Which one you choose is largely a question of budget and personal preference. And as we’ve written before, many of these higher-end vapes can handle dry flower just as well as concentrates, although capabilities vary by manufacturer. In the case of the popular Pax series, for instance, this means you’d want the Pax 3 (flower and concentrate) as opposed to the Pax 2 (flower only).
Whew! That’s a lot of information about how to vape concentrates, and we’ve barely scratched the surface! Needless to say, our friendly budtenders are always on hand to answer your questions.