What Are Cannabis Concentrates?
Cannabis concentrates or cannabis extracts are used as umbrella terms for a variety of products including tinctures, capsules, vape cartridges, hash, shatter, budder, and so much more. The words “concentrate” and “extract” can be used interchangeably.
A concentrate or extract is any product derived from cannabis flower that is processed into a concentrated form, but each type of cannabis oil is unique.
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If you’re a flower lover, you may be wondering why someone would bother trying a concentrate. While bud may be best for you, there are a variety of reasons why someone may reach for a concentrate.
For those who are concerned about the health implications of smoking or vaping, digestible concentrates make a great smoke-free alternative.
Concentrates are an efficient way of obtaining your desired results. You need a very small amount of product to feel the effects.
Concentrates are refined. Essential oils and cannabinoids are separated from plant material to create a smooth, clean inhale when vaporized.
Finding the Right Concentrate
Whether you are looking for euphoric and intoxicating effects, pain relief without the intoxication, or something in between, there’s a concentrate for you.
- For a potent and euphoric high, look for an extract high in THC.
- For a balanced and gentle high, try an extract with an equal mix of THC and CBD.
- For therapeutic relief without the high, you’ll want a high-CBD, low-THC product.
Common Types of Concentrates
Given the vast number of products available, it can be a little confusing what they all mean. Let’s take a closer at some of the most popular concentrates.
- Tinctures (ingest orally)
- Capsules (ingest orally)
- Vape cartridges (vaporize)
- Hash (vaporize, smoke, or dab)
- Shatter, wax, dabbable oils (ingest orally)
Hashish, also referred to simply as “hash,” is a cannabis concentrate that’s typically inhaled or smoked. Hashish can be made using a few different methods, but the essential steps are removing the trichome glands from a cannabis plant and repeatedly compressing the resin to form a hardened, solid piece. It’s arguably one of the oldest types of cannabis concentrates, with written texts referring to Hashish dating as far back as the 12th and 13th centuries.
Look closely at your cannabis flower and you’ll see a dusting of crystal powder all over the bud. This is called kief, and it’s created by the plant’s resin glands (called trichomes). Packed inside these tiny, sticky crystals is every reason we consume cannabis: THC, CBD, terpenes, and all the other compounds that harmonize to produce a strain’s effect.
A raw extract may still contain many terpenes, fats, and lipids. However, it can be further refined to contain only essential compounds like THC and CBD in a process called distillation. Good, clean distillate usually tests up to 90% or higher in total cannabinoids. Pure distillate is virtually flavorless and is popularly used as a base ingredient for other cannabis products like edibles and topicals. Most commonly, distillate is used in vape cartridges and sometimes has terpenes added to enhance the flavor and effects.
Shatter has a reputation for being the purest and cleanest type of extract. Shatter is named for its breakability, like broken glass, and is favored for its ease in handling while dabbing. It requires long, delicate purging cycles to properly remove all solvents used in the manufacturing process.
Budder is one of many concentrate textures and appears in Rosin and many solvent-based extractions. Budder retains a smooth, creamy butter consistency, and can be made using trim, cured nugs, or a freshly harvested plant.
Rosin is a dabbable solventless concentrate that’s extracted using pressure and gentle heat to squeeze the resinous sap from cannabis flowers.
Live resin is a type of cannabis concentrate that is manufactured using a technique that takes freshly harvested cannabis and freezes it to subcritical temperatures prior to and throughout the extraction process. By doing this, the cannabis plant retains its valuable terpene profile, thus retaining the plant’s original flavor and fragrance that can then be carried over into the final product. The distinguishing factor that separates live resins from other concentrate products is the elevated terpene content that these extracts tend to contain. Live resins, on average, carry a more robust terpene concentration than traditional cured BHO extracts.
Sauce, sometimes called “terp sauce” or “the terpene fraction,” refers to a runny, terpene-rich concentrate. As cannabinoids and terpenes separate from one another, extractors are left with solid cannabinoid compounds and a watery mixture of the aromatic terpenes.
Instead of providing the full chemical profile that full-spectrum concentrates express, isolates consolidate specific compounds and offer consumers the highest potency and purity of an individual cannabinoid. Isolate products make dosing more precise, offer a pure base ingredient to use in other cannabis products, and allow consumers to customize which compounds they consume.
Our Product Recommendations
Since there is so much information in this blog post already, we have created a second post, “What Are The Best Cannabis Concentrates”, to explain which products are our favorite and why.
Hop on over to the next post HERE.