The Basics: Cannabis Concentrates Explained

Sun Jan 10 2021

Concentrates are products made by processing cannabis plants in a way that extracts the desirable compounds (like cannabinoids and terpenes) from the plant. Concentrates come in many forms like wax, shatter, and oil. These products can be mixed with flower and smoked in standard bowls or joints, but are typically vaporized using ‘dab rigs’ or portable vaporizers. Concentrates are typically more potent than traditional flower and many smokers find concentrates to offer a cleaner, more flavorful experience.

Quartz banger with carb cap for dabbing

Smoking Concentrates

Marijuana concentrates can be smoked, vaporized, or eaten. The most common way to consume concentrates is by a smoking process called “dabbing”. Dabbing requires a special type of water pipe, called an oil rig, where a standard bowl is replaced with a quartz banger or titanium nail.

The nail or banger is heated to a temperature between 315 -900 ℉. When a small amount of concentrate is applied to the hot nail it instantly vaporizes and creates a thick flavorful smoke.

Disposable Vape Pen filled with Cannabis Concentrate

Concentrates are also used to fill disposable vape cartridges. Vape cartridges have become a favorite for many smokers due to their convenience.

Regardless of how concentrates are consumed, many smokers prefer them over traditional flower for their increased potency and flavor.

Types of Concentrates

Cannabis concentrates come in many different forms and consistencies. Different products are extracted from the raw cannabis plant using different methods. Some of the most popular concentrates are:

Seven Leaves Wax

BHO (Butane Hash Oil)

The most popular form of concentrate. Butane Hash Oil is more often referred to as wax, shatter, budder, or crumble. BHO is extracted from the plant using Butane as a solvent. Cannabinoids are dissolved into the butane, which is then evaporated leaving behind the plant’s essential oils and cannabinoids without any of the green plant matter. A light gold or amber color is typically an indicator of a high-quality BHO.

Shatter

One of the most common forms of BHO, shatter has a brittle, glass-like consistency and appearance. In order to get this firm consistency, the extraction must be purged in a vacuum and undergo a unique heating process to remove some fats and unwanted material. If left alone, the extraction will harden as it dries.

Budder

Butter is made using the same process as shatter. To get a smooth, butter-like consistency, the concentrate is whipped and heated after extraction. The whipping process makes an evenly mixed and very potent product.

Wax

Wax is a form of BHO similar to shatter. The difference between wax and shatter is primarily in appearance. Both concentrates are highly potent, often featuring up to or over 70 percent THC.

Live Resin

Live resin is made from flower that has been flash-frozen immediately after harvest. Cannabis flowers are immediately placed into vacuum-sealed bags and flash-frozen using dry ice or liquid nitrogen. Extracts are then made using this frozen material.

Flash-freezing preserves the terpenes and cannabinoids that are present on the plant right after harvest.

CO2 Oil

CO2 Oil is extracted using CO2 gas as a solvent. This type of oil is often used to fill vape cartridges or syringes. The CO2 extraction process is efficient at extracting THC and other cannabinoids, but many of the flavor compounds (or terpenes) are lost in the process. Manufacturers often extract terpenes separately and add them back to the finished CO2 Oil to create a specific flavor profile.

Rosin

Rosin has gained popularity in recent years as a solventless extract. Extracting rosin does not use any chemicals like Butane or Alcohol to extract the plant’s oils. To create rosin, raw flowers are pressed on a heated plate creating an amber-colored concentrate with no additives.

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