Marisa Timko
Feb 01 2018 . 6 min read

Weed or wax? To smoke or to vape?

Weed or wax? To smoke or to vape?

(and all the corresponding questions!)

(and all the corresponding questions!)

How do you like to enjoy your cannabis? Whether you eat it, smoke it in pipes, joints, or blunts, dab it, or vape it with a pot vaporizer, we all share a common goal... getting elevated. Figuring out which delivery method is the best one for you is a matter of personal preference.

If you decide to vape your weed -- unless some people are out their vaping small pieces of pot brownies -- we can safely assume that the vaping of cannabis is achieved by placing the desired amount of dry herb or concentrate in the chosen device. Let’s analyze both dry herbs and concentrates to figure out which one is right for you.

Dry Herb, Flowers & Nugs

Purple Haze, Sour Diesel, Bruce Banner, Girl Scout Cookies (not samoas or thin mints), Nova OG are all examples of different strains of our beautiful and beloved flower. Just like there are many strains, there are also different effects or “highs” one can get when consuming cannabis. Indica and Sativa are the predominant species of the plant and they vary in how they affect the user.

If we want to go deeper, cannabis has genders as well. Even though cannabis is claimed to be 100 percent natural -- unless you are getting your supply from a licensed dispensary -- (and even then, growers are liable to use different kinds of fertilizers and nutrients on their plants that contain chemicals to speed up growth or maximize revenue), it is safe to assume that cannabis goes through quite a curing process. Strains like OG Kush, however, are claimed to be grown 100 percent organically by the ocean in California (hence the name, Ocean Grown).

Cannabis concentrates

Just as with dry herb, there are different media (and strains) of concentrates. Wax, shatter, live resin and oil are some of the most common. The different names are not necessarily a way to rank them by potency or taste, it is more of a means to describe how they look and feel by consistency.

Most concentrates are extracted from marijuana with the use of a solvent-like butane or CO2. A good concentrate is ideally solvent-free and contains a high concentration of THC. Concentrates also offer the variety of indica, sativa and hybrid types as they are extracted from the source buds.

Weed or Wax: Which one has a richer flavor?

When it comes to dry herb, the strain, the way it is cultivated, and the method of consumption can all alter its flavor. Overall it has a strong and peculiar taste. Weed gets its amazing taste from terpenes, which are mostly lost in the process of creating concentrates.

Some users argue that the real taste of weed can only be felt with dry herb and not so much in concentrates. Although some manufacturers reintroduce the flavor afterward, thus leading to better tasting concentrates. Others go as far as adding exotic flavors such as blue raspberry, strawberry, grape, and mango.

Weed or Wax: How high will I get?

With dry herb, the high can be relative. Better strains tend to have higher intensity or a “heavier high.” The individual tolerance of a user can also determine how high one gets and how much quantity it takes. Furthermore, the chosen delivery method can also enhance the potency of the “high.” Users can get high on cannabis plants and still enjoy a wide range of activities.

On the other hand, dabbing or vaping concentrates tends to give a quicker and more potent high due to the higher concentration of THC. The effects tend to not last long, but newbies should be careful when they decide to “dab” for the first time. Make sure your calendar is clear of any rigorous activity when using concentrates since you run the risk of experiencing the “stuck high.”

Is it convenient?

Flowers are not very convenient when trying to be discreet. The smell is “loud” and sometimes it can feel like wearing a bullseye on your back when you’re out in public. Some people need the occasional quick high but carrying dry herb with you might not be the brightest idea. It is not very portable. Also, weed flowers must be ground up or broken down for consumption which can prolong how long it takes to smoke it. If it is for sharing purposes, dry herb might be the best alternative because it is generally cheaper than concentrates.

For those concerned about the healthier choice, concentrates might be the better option. Concentrates have higher THC levels and since most likely you will vape them, we already know that vaping is healthier than smoking conventionally. Concentrates are also better for on-demand medication. Press a button and smoke away, no need for grinding.

The major aspect that makes concentrates more convenient is lack of odor. Even those that carry some aroma tend to become unnoticeable after a couple of seconds. It is a beautiful thing to be able to smoke concentrates out in public while having people think it is an e-cig.

How much will it cost me?

Location, location, location. This all depends on where you live. Someone with access to a legal dispensary can buy topnotch flowers or concentrates for a very fair price. For someone living in a non-green state, dry herb is usually more accessible than concentrates. They will most likely still pay inflated prices for both products.

Whether you get product from an independent supplier or a dispensary, concentrates tend to be more expensive simply because there is an extra process that takes place when manufacturing concentrates.

Now, a higher price doesn't necessarily indicate a more expensive habit. The higher potency of a good concentrate can satisfy a user in one single use when compared to dry herb, thus taking away the urge to keep smoking.

What suits you?

At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference. How potent of flower do you need to achieve the high that you prefer to enjoy? Are you concerned with being “lowkey”? Are you trying to find the healthier alternative? Low on money? These are all determining factors in choosing between dry herb or concentrates. Finally, smoking or vaping will also play a role in dictating your high, so check out your options -- carefully -- to see what you like best.