Vaping CBD – What are Concentrates?

Vaping is one of the most popular methods of using CBD right now. Convenience, rapid relief, and efficacy are all reasons more and more people are turning towards it as their method of choice! While you have probably heard of the most common type of vaping product, eliquids, you may not be as familiar with another form: concentrates.

What Are Concentrates?

Concentrates are exactly what the name implies. They’re concentrated products that can be vaped (or dabbed), and even used to make other products, such as sublingual oils, topicals, and edibles. E-liquids are typically cannabis (hemp) extracts diluted into cutting agents or carriers (such as propylene glycol/vegetable glycerin) but concentrates have no such cutting agents and are not usually diluted. They are popular among those who have sensitivities to the common cutting agents, or those with health concerns.

While there is a myriad of different concentrate types out there, the most commonly found ones in the CBD hemp world are crystalline powders, slabs, and crumbles. You may also come across things called shatter, distillate, “sauce”, or wax, just to name a few. All of these concentrates are produced using different extraction methods, but they can be used very similarly.

How Do You Vape Concentrates?

Most people think of the common liquid containing vape tanks when thinking of vaping, but there is another type of vape device we’re going to turn our attention to: concentrate vapes, commonly referred to as wax/dab vapes (or pens). These types of vapes do not hold the diluted eliquid, nor do they use the common cotton coil to soak up and vaporize the liquid. Instead, they are loaded up with the more solid concentrates onto an exposed coil or heating element. This heating element essentially melts and vaporizes the concentrate product, which you then inhale.

Unlike liquid tanks, concentrate vapes do not usually hold enough to constantly keep using it without having to refill it. While you may be able to fill a liquid tank up once a day, which you then use all day long and get multiple hits out of, a concentrate vape usually only loads one or two hits at a time before needing to be reloaded. The hits from a concentrate vape are also typically much more potent since they are not diluted like liquid vape products, meaning you can often use less product, as well as use the vape itself less throughout the day. One hit from a concentrate vape could contain anywhere from 0.1g (100mg) up to 0.5g (500mg) or more of CBD, you really get to adjust how much you want based on how much you load it with. Comparing that with a typical liquid vape that is often around 5-10mg CBD per hit, you start to really see the differences.

What To Choose

Which type of concentrate you choose can depend on your needs. The crystalline isolate powder is essentially “pure” CBD and can be great for those who don’t want any other cannabinoids but CBD. Slabs can also be isolated CBD but are also often found as “Full Spectrum” or “Broad Spectrum” slabs that contain more than just CBD. Slabs are great for concentrate vapes as their more solid form leads to less mess. Crumble is another popular option, typically consisting of a looser, more crumbly appearance. All concentrate types have different benefits, and are made in different ways, so it’s still essential to check 3rd party lab tests of the individual products. Verify the purity (if isolate), cannabinoid and terpene ratios, and especially check for any residual solvents or heavy metals.

When choosing which type of vaping method you want to use, some things to consider are portability and how often you want to use it. If you don’t want to use cutting agents or carry around a vape, consider concentrates. If you cant stand the taste, perhaps a diluted  flavored eliquid is for you! The choice is up to the individual and there’s a little something for everyone out there.

Want something more in-depth to see how they’re used? Give one of our previous live streams a view:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wvplrV0gy4&t=5s

Concentrates are such a versatile product, you can even use them to make your own oils, as seen here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74vZs9Cl_rg&t=1s

Ready to start using concentrates? Many of our recommended brands carry them! Our favorites include CBDistillery, Lazarus Naturals PhytoFamily and Johnny Apple CBD.

For more information about other popular ways to use CBD, check here.

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Sarah Jorczyk is an advocate for CBD products and one of the Administrators of the CBD Oil Users Group on Facebook. She strives to educate the public, and promotes the use of safe products while helping others throughout their CBD journey. You can also find a variety of her content, including reviews and educational videos, on the group's youtube page.

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