Curious about concentrates? Here’s what you need to know.
What are cannabis concentrates?
Looking for a more powerful cannabis experience? Cannabis concentrates just might be your new favorite consumption method.
Made from high-quality cannabis flower, concentrates distill cannabinoids, terpenes, and other bioactives from plant matter to make a supercharged consumption experience.
When consumers need instant relief, concentrates are hard to beat. High in THC, concentrates provide rapid support.
While you may be familiar with hash, a kind of concentrate humans have been producing for centuries, there are now a variety of cannabis extracts to enjoy.
Whatever your preferred texture, taste, and terpene profile, we’re here to help you explore the world of supercharged cannabis wellness and find the perfect form of cannabis concentrate to suit your unique needs.
Made without any kind of chemical solvent, solventless extracts are produced by mechanically separating trichomes from biomass. These cannabinoid and terpene packed trichomes are then used to produce extracts and concentrates. Solventless extracts are generally produced by:
- Dry Sifting: Flower is sifted over fine mesh screens to produce kief, which is heated and put under pressure to produce hash.
- Ice Water Extraction: Freshly harvested flower is agitated in ultra cold water until the trichomes turn brittle and snap off, after which it is dried into bricks of bubble hash.
- Rosin Pressing: Hash or kief is squeezed between two heated metal plates to produce a sticky oil called rosin.
Most extracts are made using solvents, which are chemicals used to separate the trichomes from the flower. These chemicals are washed away after extraction, leaving behind a pure and potent concentrate. Here are the three kinds of solvents you should know:
- BHO (Butane Hash Oil) Extraction: Typically higher in cannabinoids, BHO extraction creates distinctive slabs of trichomes that are used to create wax, shatter, or live resin.
- PHO (Propane Hash Oil) Extraction: Created the same way as BHO concentrates, PHO extraction methods simply replace the butane with propane.
- CO2 Hash Oil: Used to create a liquid cannabis concentrate, CO2 extracted products are often more expensive and premium than their BHO or PHO counterparts.
Types of Cannabis Concentrates
Created by flash freezing fresh flower, live resin is extremely aromatic and potent, preserving much of the character of the strain it’s sourced from.
An extremely potent concentrate with a texture similar to broken glass, shatter is made by removing all excess waxes and fats from refined flower.
Consumed using “dab rigs” (more on that later), wax is created by whipping solvent-extracted concentrate over low heat to create a creamy texture.
With 100% pure THC, this thick, honey-like liquid is one of the strongest concentrates on the market. Enjoy it via vaping or in edibles.
The granddaddy (or great, great grandaddy if you want to get technical) of concentrates, hash is a potent and flavorful solventless extract.
Named for its similarity to cake batter, this concentrate is whipped for a shorter time to retain more moisture and stickiness.
Extracted using a lower temperature process that helps it retain its aromatic, flavorful terpenes, crumble has a texture similar to aged parmesan.
Effects and Flavors
One of the best things about cannabis concentrates is their versatility. Sourced from a wide variety of strain types, each concentrate has a unique blend of cannabinoids and terpenes, including minor cannabinoids to encourage the entourage effect and intensify your experience. Because they’re so intense, we find that concentrates allow us to really savor the particular flavors, sensations, and effects of our strain of choice.
Whether you prefer an energetic sativa, a soothing indica, or a well-balanced hybrid, there’s a concentrate out there that’s perfect for your needs. And there are as many flavors of concentrates available as there are forms of concentrate to enjoy. Talk to your budtender and find a personalized recommendation you’ll love.
How are concentrates consumed?
If you’re used to smoking flowers or eating edibles, adding concentrates to the menu might seem overwhelming, but they’re simple to understand and use. The two most common concentrate consumption methods are smoking and dabbing. Here’s what you should know about each one:
Solid concentrates like crumble, shatter, and wax can be easily added to flower to take your favorite cannabis smoking method to the next level.
You can smoke concentrates added to flower in any of the ways you’d normally consume flower. Bongs, pipes, vaporizers, and even a simple pre-roll can all be juiced with a little concentrate magic.
Convenient, quick, and easy, smoking concentrates requires no special equipment besides whatever you already have on hand for cannabis consumption. It also allows you to enjoy the flavors and benefits of your flower of choice.
If you’re used to a particular flower dosage, you might not be prepared for the extra boost of cannabis power a little concentrate brings to the table. It’s easy to overdo it if you smoke your regular amount.
The most common way to consume concentrates, dabbing is particularly suitable for concentrates with a soft—or even liquid—texture.
You’ll need a dab rig, quartz nail or banger, torch, dab tool, and carb cap. Most dab rig kits will come standard with all the accessories you need.
Dabbing allows you to enjoy your concentrate in its purest unadulterated form. You can appreciate the full spectrum of flavors and sensations without smoking any flower.
If you aren’t sure if cannabis concentrates are your thing, experiment by smoking concentrates before you invest in any specialized equipment needed for dabbing.
Are concentrates safe? What’s the best way to understand concentrate potency, dosage calculations, and other considerations?
It’s no secret that concentrates are strong—but used responsibly, they shouldn’t cause issues. While these incredibly potent products must be approached with a degree of respect and caution, they’re great to have in your pocket on those days when you need a little extra relief.
Before you delve into the world of concentrates, talk to your budtender and make sure you understand your product of choice and how to consume it safely and effectively. And don’t forget to read product labels so you can determine an appropriate dosage.
Remember: When it comes to cannabis the goal is always to start low and go slow. Most forms of concentrate kick in as soon as you consume them, and the experience can last up to four hours depending on your tolerance.
And if you’re a frequent consumer of cannabis concentrates, taking regular tolerance breaks is always a good idea. Step back every once in a while to reset and avoid too much of a good thing.
Want the TLDR? Here’s what we want you to remember:
- There are as many forms of concentrates out there as there are smokers. Do some experimenting to find the kind that’s right for you.
- When it comes to consumption methods, variety is key. Try smoking and dabbing to see which method suits your tastes the best.
- Stay safe when you consume concentrates by starting low and going slow. Take regular tolerance breaks and read your labels for dosage information.