Smoking Wax Side Effects: Are Concentrates Right for You?

Gone are the days where smoking cannabis was as simple as rolling a joint.

Today, people are obsessed with concentrates like wax, shatter, budder and rosin.

For good reason too.

Their potency helps you save money and they are flat out more effective.

Marijuana concentrates can get you high faster, and you only need a little to get super high or help with pain.

Smoking wax may be effective, but there are side effects, and today you’ll find out what they are.

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What is Marijuana Wax?

Cannabis wax is nothing but the concentrate derived from the plant.

Wax, also known as a dab, contains high amounts of THC and can knock you off if you aren't careful.

Wax concentrates are also called Budder, Taffy, Shatter or Butane Hash Oil depending on the way they are made.

They are expensive, but since the high is much more than regular cannabis, wax is a favorite among many cannabis users.

In fact, it’s compared to Crack, and the media never misses an opportunity to berate people who love wax.

But, is there any truth to it, or is it another hilarious attempt to discourage cannabis users?

I think we all know it's the ladder.

How Is Wax Made?

The side effects of wax depend on the way it’s prepared, so first let's look how it’s made.

The most common method to make wax is to use Butane or Isopropyl Alcohol.

Yes, you can make wax without using a solvent at all, but the danger lies in the type of solvent you use.

For instance, during wax production, dried cannabis and Butane are mixed in a closed container and heated at extremely high temperatures resulting in wax.

When making wax with Isopropyl alcohol, the cannabis is soaked in alcohol, and the mixture is heated again at a very high temperature until the alcohol evaporates.

If a professional employs these methods, there’s nothing to worry about.

The problem is that most people try to do this at home.

It's great to go "DIY," but Butane is dangerous.

If the solvent hasn’t evaporated completely from the final product (wax), it could pose serious problems if inhaled.

Also, Butane and Isopropyl alcohol are flammable.

And since the solvent needs to be heated at high temperatures, it could blow up your entire home or at the very least cause fire.

Smoking Wax Side Effects

Remember that wax is extracted from the cannabis plant, and any side effects associated with the plant is true even for wax.

There are a lot of rumors surrounding wax where some even believe that it might cause brain damage, but that’s hogwash because there are no studies to prove it.

Yes, there could be serious side effects for beginners using wax, but that’s only because of the high amounts of THC that ranges from 60-90%.

For instance, dabs are considered to be almost four times more powerful than your regular joint.

Small amounts of cannabis can lighten up your day and even treat some of your ailments.

But dabs can suddenly overload your system with a powerful mix of cannabinoids and THC that might make you unconscious!

Unless you’re suffering from a disease that requires you to ingest high amounts of THC, you should exercise caution, especially if it’s your first time dabbing.

Another side effect is that your body could build a tolerance to marijuana, and this takes away the pleasure of enjoying cannabis because you need more every time.

Dabbing makes your body accustomed to extremely high doses of THC.

It also produces intense withdrawal symptoms when you try to quit.

Also, you never have to worry about overdosing when enjoying a joint because you need at least 20,000 to 40,000 joints to overdose.

However, dabs can pose a real threat of overdosing because your system is suddenly slammed with high concentrations of THC.

No, this hasn’t been proved yet, but it takes common sense to understand that it’s never a good idea to abuse anything.

What Are the Side Effects of High Doses of THC?

To understand the side effects of dabbing, you only need to delve deeper into the adverse effects of ingesting high doses of THC at once.


Like any other medicine, smoking wax or strains containing high levels of THC has a few side effects, and one of them is anxiety.

A new user who’s unaccustomed to smoking dabs can experience paranoia and anxiety.

Small amounts of THC can actually relieve anxiety, but it has the opposite effect in higher doses.

Although it lasts only for a while, the experience can make the user avoid cannabis forever.

To prevent this, start with small doses of THC until you’re sure that you can take it.


Remember polishing off an entire 18” pizza when you dabbed?

Well, that’s THC working its magic.

THC stimulates the appetite and can cause a fierce hunger, but this might not be true for every user because some users aren’t affected at all.

Memory Impairment

Ever saw a movie where a stoner can’t remember things?

Yes, cannabis has always been associated with memory impairment, but did you know that long-term users don’t have this problem?

Interestingly, users that smoke cannabis regularly develops a much-needed tolerance to this side effect, as suggested by several studies.

Also, memory impairment due to cannabis is only temporary, but if that’s annoying to you then stick to CBD strains.

Distorted Sense of Time

THC in high doses can alter your sense of time.

Research suggests that THC makes the user feel as though time is speeding up, which is why an hour may feel like two when you dab.

Unless you want to forget about everything and enjoy a high-THC strain deliberately, you can try CBD strains or start with small doses of THC.

Deep Sleep

This side effect can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how you perceive it.

Patients suffering from insomnia rely on cannabis because THC is known to improve sleep in many cases.

The effect is true even for dabbers who feel very sleepy.

So, unless you want to sleep longer, stick to CBD strains or start with small doses of dabs.

How to Stay Safe?

Before you throw your dab rig away because of the danger it poses, remember that you can dab wax and also stay safe at the same time.

As long as you stay in your limits and start with minute doses, you should be fine, but if you simply can’t control your anxiety or paranoia, you should stay away from dabs for a while.

First off, don’t even think of making wax at home if you’re inexperienced.

The Butane might blow up in your face – don't risk it!

Don’t bother purchasing it at a low cost from someone who’s made it themselves because you might ingest other chemicals that are unsafe.

Always stick to dispensaries providing cannabis wax that’s lab tested.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions at the dispensary if you’re unsure about something.

One of the dangers surrounding dabs is that it can harm you if you don’t know how to use a blow torch.

Instead of experimenting and burning yourself, learn how to use a dab rig safely.

Most importantly, start small with the tiniest amount of wax until you’re comfortable.

Should You Quit Dabbing?

There's an insane amount of rumors surrounding dabs, and it's understandable if you want to avoid them completely.

Yes, dabs are dangerous, but the dangers are exacerbated only if you don’t know the procedure.

In all honesty, smoking wax is not as dangerous as alcohol.

Even sugar consumed in large quantities induces brief periods of nausea and paranoia.

Dabbing is no different from smoking a joint, but the concentrations of THC are so high that it can sometimes produce side effects.

Dabbing is not bad as long as you’re in control, so explore, experiment and do what’s best for you.


So, what are the smoking wax side effects?

Well, for the most part they are the same as smoking cannabis.

  • Potentially high anxiety
  • The munchies
  • Memory impairment & Less REM sleep

It's best to consume wax in moderation.

The high potency can be fun and save money, but it can also give you a bad cannabis experience if you are unprepared.

Have you every experienced any side effects from smoking wax?

Let us know in the comments section below!

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