Concentrate vs Flower - Which Is Cheaper? Which is cheaper - concentrate or flower?

My name is Jacques, and I’m an alcoholic. Oh, this isn’t that meeting? It’s Wednesday? Oh, ok. My name is Jacques and recently I’ve made the switch from smoking nothing but extracts to smoking that fine dank flower we know and love. As Coolio once said, “Come along, let’s take a ride, don’t you say shit, just get inside,” and away we go.

Let’s start with some context. I’ve been smoking cannabis in some way, shape, or form since I was 18, roughly 25 years ago. At first, it was joints, bongs, and pipes, but as the very idea of weed became a lot less pearl wringing and a lot more legal, I started assessing why I was smoking it, and if the way I was going about it even made sense.

Disclaimer: I love weed. Looooooove that shit. I smoke it every day, and it’s never left me hung over like a six pack or making bad decisions like a half bottle of Patron. As I said, I started smoking weed cos it got me high, but I kept smoking it because it was the most practical and effective way to deal with various issues from pain management to anxiety, PTSD, and even getting a restful sleep every day. But mostly, it’s super fun. 

So, you can’t sleep, you’re in pain, and anxious, why light up a joint when you can dab up a 97% THC concentrate that will definitely get you to where you wanted to go. And it does, mostly efficiently. Mostly. But even as a heavy smoker, I was finding this level of concentrate use was leaving me in a state where not only was I not able to fulfill my daily tasks. Also, the shit gets expensive, and damn if you don’t build up immunity to it in a hurry. Recently, I cut my use from about 6g of shatter every month to 6g for 3 months. But after the break, I consumed 6g of shatter in 14 days. This was working, but not efficient nor cost effective.

Welp. Luckily, Sneaky Pete, had given me an Arizer EQ (don’t tell him I didn’t touch it for four years) and I started doing the math. Then I came to terms that I couldn’t do the math without checking out the process, so, off we were. I started up with an Herb Ripper grinder, a debowler as well as a scraping tool from Oldhead THC and the aforementioned Arizer EQ with the whip attachment.

For those not familiar, the Arizer EQ is a tabletop vaporizer, similar to a Volcano, whereas it is stationary, and you come to the unit to partake.  It is super easy to use, just fill up the glass oven and set the temp; it’s so easily repeatable. I’m living in a smaller apartment, around 525 sq ft, and have it set up on my coffee table with a 48” whip. This way, it’s easy to access, I’d wager a few steps max from anywhere in my apartment, and always ready to go. Grind up some flower, always keep it stocked, and you now have a consistent, convenient way to get proper fucked. 

I’d say my absolute favourite way to enjoy is what I can only lovingly refer to as “Jabba-ing” where you’re lying down on the couch and the tube is just ready to go, inches from your mouth for your accessibility. Ohta su marvalic plesodoro, indeed. And not only is it convenient, but it’s also fun to use. I can be playing bass and just reach over for a nice, milky fan-driven hit at any time. Sometimes I like to just turn on the jets and let it fill my lungs up without breathing in. Why should I be doing all the work!? 

My first concern with switching to a desktop vaporizer is a common one, “am I going to feel it? Vaporizers put out such light vapor, coming from combustion, or dabbing, it’s hard to feel … satisfied.” Short answer? Fuck yeah. The EQ offers a fan mode where the vapour is literally forced out of the mouthpiece at a steady clip. With a little trial and error, not only will you figure out how many hits you can get from a fill, but how much you need to ingest before it affects you to the level that you’re looking for. And for real? It rips AND give you incredible flavour. I’ve never been so satisfyingly stoned in my memory, and the reasons I’m taking it for are sated as well. I don’t feel anxious, I can still interact with people, and I feel satisfied with the level of effects I’m seeing. 

My second concern was, am I going to spend more money to feel it using a vaporizer than I am dabbing concentrate or even taking a massive bong toke (hi Hun!). Doing one toke to get high just feels more efficient than multiple pulls from a vape. In my experience, though? Using a desktop vaporizer with flower is measurably cheaper than combusting dank or vaporizing concentrates and you’re enjoying it at the same level, if not higher. You cannot replicate the experience of a big bong toke or a mind-bending dab, but what you can do is deliver the same power of hit multiple times in a row, consistently. Receiving a consistent experience gives you a better understanding of your use, and because even decently good flower is so much cheaper than the alternatives, and the extraction from a desktop vaporizer is so proficient, you’ll end up spending a lot less to achieve your desired effects.

Vaping flower was way easier than I expected, even easier than dabbing. I’m saving money because the cost per use is disparate, and I’m enjoying it with more regularity and that amazing flavour only flower can provide. I was spending 200$ a month extracting shatter. Vaporizing flower with my EQ has me down around 57$. The flavour is rich and enjoyable, you’re getting great effects, and the vaporization is smooth and repeatable. Do I still use my dab rig? (The MiniNail if you’re wondering) Absolutely I do, and I love it. But damn if it hasn’t taken a second chair to my EQ. As a long time concentrate guy, I never saw this coming, but I’m super happy it did.

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