Today’s lesson will concentrate (pun intended) on budder, wax, and shatter. When made correctly, these concentrates can lead to a product that is super flavorful and equally as potent.
How flavorful? People often describe trying a well-made concentrate akin to tasting the pure essence of the whole flower’s terpene profile, sans the added burnt smokey flavor associated with using a bong or a bowl.
How potent? Unlike a few strains of bud that have just recently exceeded 30% THC (though most strains are considered strong if they surpass 20%) and bubble hash that can reach between 45% to 55%, these newer and more refined concentrates can reach anywhere from 75% to nearly 100% THC!
Ok, ok. To most weedheads this info is nothing new. So lets delve deeper, shall we?
Besides hash, which has been around for thousands of years, different forms of honey oils have apparently been around since the 1960s. But they had a critical problem: Too much extra solvent and residue were being inhaled other than the coveted cannabinoids.
Enter a figure widely credited for advancing the movement of cannabis concentrates, known the world over as BudderKing. BudderKing, an avid grower in the Vancouver area, was mesmerized by the idea of more concentrated versions of THC that went beyond toking on a jay. Making honey oil was the best bet in his day, but then, sometime in the 90s, he and his crew starting refining the oils more and more. What they came up with was an amber-like product they simply called glass. Though glass (essentially what we today call shatter) was cleaner and stronger than the oil they were smoking up until that point, it usually came out dark and was, in their opinion, a pain to deal with. They yearned for improvement.
According to BudderKing himself, this improvement came in the form of an accident of sorts. The story goes that they rested some of their glass, as they called it, on a window sill. The hot sun melted the glass into a jelly. They played with this new texture, turning it and turning it with a tool. This process, now called whipping, helped oxidize the concentrate, thus turning it into a softer, lighter, more pliable product they eventually called butter. However, because of all kinds of potential patent and trademark issues, to BudderKing’s dismay, they changed the name to Budder. To most, this name actually works better because of the obvious play on the word “bud”.
According to a 2005 piece done with BudderKing, he said the following about his exclusive product:
“It’s hard to make. It takes an ounce of prime buds to make about three grams of prime budder. Three grams provides about 100 hits, and each hit will get you as high as if you had just smoked a joint or two.”
In the same article he explained that he used a glass piece that was heated using a blowtorch to then place the budder on and smoke through a pipe. Sound familiar? This later, of course, became a dab rig–the most common way to smoke concentrates not named hash.
Come 2003, still way before even your most trusted pothead had ever heard of budder, wax, or shatter, BudderKing started to slowly introduce his product to the world, or at the very least his part of the country, by offering free “Budder Hoots” to clients at Da Kine, a questionably legal dispensary in Canada that was raided and shut down by the following year. Those lucky enough to try a sample at that time were absolutely blown away by its taste and potency, yet, it still would take over a half a decade before most would jump on the dab train. The introduction of vapor pens certainly and without question helped the spread of these new generation of concentrates to the masses as well.
Choosing to keep his magic formula a secret in the beginning, BudderKing’s process is pretty well-known at this point, especially to manufacturers of similar concentrates. In simplest terms, his highly acclaimed budder was and still is made as follows:
- Create a tincture using alcohol. The alcohol strips away cannabinoids and terpenes from the rest of the plant matter, causing them to dissolve in the alcohol.
- Pour the solution into a glass dish or onto parchment paper for evaporation.
- Steam heat beneath the dish to start evaporation of the alcohol. Never use an open flame.
- Evaporation is complete when the concentrate hardens and can be scraped together.
- Periodically warm on the hot plate while whipping, but do not overheat. If comfortable in your hand, it is not overheated. Properly whipped budder is near blond before drying and should be thick, not runny.
- Drying is done on parchment paper in a vacuum drying oven or in silicone baking dishes as Budderking does.
- Once the budder has cooled off, the end product is reached. Success.
One key note we should make clear: BudderKing does not use butane. He has always highly recommended pure grain alcohol instead. In fact, he claims that his brother-in-law was actually one of the first to make BHO, but that the butane-based method, which uses a very similar recipe and is perhaps easier to produce, is not at all the same as what he makes or prefers. For our purposes, however, we will say that in today’s marketplace, whether using alcohol (which most do not) or butane (the more common method by far) both solvents can provide an end result extremely high in THC, extremely low in anything other than cannabinoids and leave no ash whatsoever after combustion.
Thanks to this method finally being understood and utilized around the turn of the second decade of the new millennium in places like California, the average smoker was at long last introduced to budder, wax, and shatter. Marijuana culture had stepped into the future and was never going back.
Today, as expected, new procedures and advancements are and will continue to be discovered in the growing world of concentrates. One example of this new technology is de-waxing, which uses dry ice or cryogenic freezers.
But one thing is for certain: If you love dabbing or puffing wax discretely in your pen, you should be eternally grateful for BudderKing and his crew’s groundbreaking discoveries–inventing the next generation in concentrates that surpassed traditional hash and honey oil in taste and purity. So… Let’s all hail the BudderKing!