A new trend emerged around 2018 of applying concentrates to joints and bowls, often in intricate designs. It’s called “twaxing.” Broadly speaking, twaxing is the practice of amplifying raw cannabis flower by adding kief or hash oil concentrate to it. This may be as simple as mixing kief into a bowl, or as creative as winding designs of solid concentrate around a joint. The addition of concentrates to flower is hardly a new strategy, but what is relatively new is the name and the trend accompanying it — and certainly some of the designs.
This article examines the trend of twaxing, offers a few tips on how to twax, and reviews some pros and cons of using concentrates to supercharge bowls and joints.
What is Twaxing?
Twaxing is the practice of adding cannabis concentrates to less concentrated material in order to achieve a more potent smoking experience.
The most common method of twaxing uses shatter, or a concentrate of similar consistency. Shatter is preferred because it is sticky and malleable like taffy without being too sticky to work with, such as a wax or budder may be.
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Twaxing does not need to be done by individual consumers, either. Recreational dispensaries have begun offering “infused joints,” or pre-rolls with various forms of concentrates included in them. Some are brushed with hash oil or rolled in kief, while others, like shatter joints, sprinkle solid pieces of concentrate throughout the joint. Since their debut in our stock, these have been some of the hottest items on Happy Dayz shelves.
How Do You Twax a Joint or Bowl?
The most common method of twaxing uses shatter or another relatively solid concentrate. Users begin by rolling the concentrate between their fingers until it is soft and easy to bend, and typically roll it into a long snake shape. The easier method is interior twaxing, adding concentrate to the inside of the joint.
The process begins similar to rolling any other joint by loading a little ground flower into the rolling paper. The long string of concentrate is then laid over the ground cannabis and covered with more. This prevents the concentrate sticking to the rolling paper, which would make the rolling process harder and inevitably cause the joint to burn unevenly. The ideal result is a slim core of concentrate through the middle of the joint.
One of the more complicated methods of twaxing is known as exterior twaxing, which involves wrapping the string of concentrate around the outside of the joint. This will still affect how the rolling paper burns, so the most common design is a simple spiral beginning at the tip of the joint and wrapping down toward the crutch. This will keep the combustion moving around all sides of the joint and prevent it from “canoeing,” or only burning only one side of the joint.
The other more common method of twaxing is tip twaxing, applying a little concentrate to just the tip of the joint. This can be done by pulling a dab of concentrate between the thumb and forefinger and spreading the fibrous strands over the end of the joint or the top of a bowl. Or concentrates can be heated up and dripped over either.
The easiest method of twaxing uses kief, or dry sift hash, which is simply sprinkled into the joint or bowl. Similarly, fragments of harder concentrates like THCA crystals can be sprinkled into ground flower to enhance potency. Many consumers may be twaxing this way without even knowing there’s a name for it, as twaxing is often presented on platforms like Instagram as a catchy display of craftsmanship. Some joints with exterior twaxing are even rolled in kief to add additional potency, texture, and style to their design.
But many of these concentrates are designed to be vaporised and not touched by flame, which begs the question: is twaxing a waste?
Is Twaxing a Waste?
Twaxing is not a waste of resources if you enjoy it, but it is among the least efficient uses of cannabis concentrate. Cannabis concentrates are balanced with emulsifiers to achieve certain consistencies, all of which are intended for use with vaporizers. Concentrates are usually not smoked like flower because direct flame destroys cannabinoids and terpenes in a process called “pyrolysis,” the clinical term for destroying something by fire.
The cannabinoids and terpenes in concentrates evaporate between 314° and 428° F. Even despite the use of torches with many dab rigs, the interior temperature of bangers, nails, and vape pens doesn’t rise much beyond that range (or doesn’t need to). But the flame from a common lighter burns at over 3,500° F, obliterating most cannabinoids and terpenes, and thus sharply reducing the efficacy of the concentrate. That said, some of the concentrate will vaporize as the flame or ember approaches, so if you’re enjoying twaxing that’s where the boost is coming from.
Twaxing is a novel way to spice up a smoke sesh, and a niche artform for cannabis enthusiasts, but by many metrics may not be the most efficient use of concentrates. That said, most people who twax understand this, and appreciate it instead for the creative display and unique experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does Twaxing Mean?
“Twaxing” means to augment the potency of a joint or bowl by adding cannabis concentrate to it.
How Much Shatter Do You Use to Twax a Joint?
As much or as little as you like, like adding salt or pepper to a dish.
Can You Use Wax for Twaxing?
Softer concentrates can be warmed and dripped over the tips of joints or into bowls, and thinner oils can even be brushed over finished joints.
Can You Use Rosin for Twaxing?
Yes. It will be too soft to shape into designs, but it can be dripped into a joint, over the tips, or over bowls.