Cannabis Concentrates 101: What You Need To Know About Cannabis Concentrates
Cannabis concentrates have become a popular choice for cannabis users around the world. They are more potent than traditional flower and offer an array of flavors and aromas to explore. But what exactly are cannabis concentrates? In this article, we’ll introduce cannabis concentrates and explain the different types available on the market today. So read on to learn more about cannabis concentrates!
What Is a Cannabis Concentrate?
Cannabis concentrates are a type of extract made using either a solvent or non-solvent process to pull potent cannabinoids from the cannabis plant. Concentrates are made by separating the trichomes and terpenes from the cannabis plant material with various solvents or by mechanically pressing them. The most common solvents used to produce concentrates are butane, propane, and CO2. Extractions can be done with either fresh or cured material and will create different types of concentrates.
To make a cannabis concentrate, you have to distill the trichomes, which are the most valuable part of the plant. These crystalline structures — found all over the plant but especially concentrated in the buds — are a haven for cannabinoids and terpenes. Plant pulp is removed during the distillation process, leaving just the trichomes. The end product is a golden cannabis concentrate that is silky to the touch and which contains extremely high levels of the psychoactive cannabinoid THC. Cannabis concentrates are also high in other cannabinoids like CBD, CBG, and CBC.
The terms “concentrate” and “extract” are often used interchangeably when describing cannabis products, but there is a difference between them. Concentrates is a general term for all plant-based products that have been extracted. Extracts are products that are made with solvents, but not those created without using solvents. Cannabis extracts can be considered concentrates when they are made by extracting certain compounds from the plant using a solvent such as butane or CO2. But not all concentrates are extracts; some concentrates, such as rosin, are made by extracting specific compounds from the plant using heat and pressure. In other words, concentrates are described by how they’re made, while extracts are defined by what they contain.
What Are the Different Types of Cannabis Concentrates?
Cannabis concentrates come in different forms, including:
Wax is a type of cannabis concentrate produced by extracting the active compounds from the plant — such as THC and CBD — using a specialized extraction process. This process produces a waxy substance that can be vaporized or ingested to produce an intense psychoactive effect.
Wax typically contains higher levels of THC than other forms of cannabis, making it more potent and providing users with a stronger, more immediate high. Wax is also considered one of the purest forms of cannabis concentrates, containing up to 90% cannabinoid content by weight. Wax can be an excellent option for those looking for powerful experiences with cannabis products.
Shatter can be consumed by dabbing or vaping or used as an edible product. The unique appearance of shatter — glass-like and brittle — has earned it its name. Compared to other cannabis concentrates, shatter tends to have a higher concentration of THC and other psychoactive compounds. It also typically contains more terpenes than other forms, giving it a more pungent aroma and flavor profile.
Budder is made by whipping cannabis extract with solvents such as butane, propane, and carbon dioxide. This process creates a product that is more malleable than wax or shatter and it has a buttery consistency when touched.
Budder often contains high amounts of THC, which makes it incredibly potent and gives users an intense feeling when consumed. Budder can be smoked or vaporized. It can also be used in edibles and topicals like lotions and salves.
Many users enjoy the convenience of budder because its texture makes it easier to handle and manipulate than other forms of concentrate. Budder allows for greater control over dosage since its potency can easily be adjusted depending on the user’s preference.
Live resin is a type of cannabis concentrate that stands out for its superior flavor and aroma. It’s made by freezing fresh cannabis plants immediately after harvest, preserving their terpenes and other volatile compounds that give cannabis its signature flavors and aromas. This process results in a concentrate with higher levels of terpenes than traditional extracts like shatter or wax, creating a more complex and flavorful experience than other concentrates.
The texture of live resin can vary from sticky to crumbly or glassy, depending on the strain used and the extraction process. Live resin has become increasingly popular among cannabis connoisseurs who appreciate its unique flavor profile and high concentrations of terpenes.
Cannabis oil is produced by stripping cannabinoids from the cannabis flower, such as THC and CBD, using a solvent such as ethanol or CO2. These cannabinoids have been found to have anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety effects. It can also be used as an edible product or applied topically in lotions, creams, and ointments.
Cannabis oil is typically more concentrated than other forms of cannabis products, so it should be used with caution. It can have very different effects depending on its chemical composition, dosage, and route of administration. Cannabis oil may interact with certain medications and should be discussed with a medical professional before use.
Crystalline is known for producing a potent, high-quality product with up to 99.9% purity. It’s made through a combination of several extraction methods, including butane, CO2, ethanol, and supercritical fluid extraction.
Crystalline can be consumed in several ways; it can be eaten, smoked, or vaporized, depending on the user’s preference. It offers a wide range of effects depending on its cannabinoid content; users may experience an uplifting sense of euphoria or a calming relaxation sensation from using crystalline. The effects are usually felt quickly due to the concentrated nature of the product, making it popular among experienced enthusiasts and medical patients.
Crumble is created by using heat and pressure to extract cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds from the plant material. It has a crumbly texture, which is why it got its name, and it comes in a range of consistencies from dry to gooey.
Crumble can be used in dabbing, vaping, or adding to food recipes. The effects of crumble are usually potent and fast-acting, as the concentrated form allows for higher levels of THC than flower buds. Crumble is also known for its flavorful terpene profile, offering a range of aromas like citrus, pine, or diesel.
What Are the Benefits of Cannabis Concentrates?
Concentrates have a lot of advantages over other ways to use cannabis. They include
Concentrates Are More Powerful
Cannabis concentrates provide a potent, fast-acting dose of cannabinoids compared to other forms of cannabis. Not only do these concentrates offer a more intense high, but the effects can also last longer.
Concentrates Are Very Handy
Concentrates are very easy to store and transport, making them ideal for those who need quick on-the-go access to their medication.
Concentrates Are Cost-effective
Since the THC content is usually much higher in concentrates than in traditional flower products, users can get a more potent effect in smaller doses. This means they can save money while still experiencing the desired effects. Cannabis concentrates provide an efficient and cost-effective way to enjoy cannabis without sacrificing quality or potency.
Concentrates Have Various Flavors
Concentrates also boast various flavor profiles and aromas that can add an extra layer of enjoyment to each consumption experience.
What Are the Different Ways To Enjoy Cannabis Concentrates?
To consume cannabis concentrates, you can use the following methods:
- Dabbing concentrates
- Smoking concentrates
- Vaping concentrates
- Making edibles
- Making topicals
- Making tinctures
- Making capsules
How Long Do Cannabis Concentrates Take To Work?
The effects of concentrates take only a few minutes to kick in, depending on the method of consumption. The effects will peak within 10-15 minutes and can last for up to 4 hours. Some users find that consuming concentrates in smaller amounts over a longer period of time can help to extend the duration and intensity of their high.
Smoking or vaping concentrates is typically the quickest way to experience their effects as it allows for direct absorption through the lungs into the bloodstream. On the other hand, a concentrate edible or topical can take up to two hours before you feel any effects.
How Much Cannabis Concentrates Should I Take the First Time?
If you are consuming cannabis concentrates for the first time, it is important to go slow and start with a low dosage. You should begin by taking only a small amount, such as one or two milligrams. This will allow your body to adjust to the effects of the concentrate without being overwhelmed.
If you feel comfortable after that initial dose, you can gradually increase the amount over time until you find what works best for you. It is also important to remember that everyone is different and that cannabis affects everyone differently. It is best to listen to your body and adjust accordingly.
What Should You Do and Not Do With Cannabis Concentrates?
When it comes to cannabis concentrates, there are certain things that one should do and not do.
DO: Take breaks
Concentrates can be intense, so it’s essential to take breaks between sessions to avoid overconsumption and to give your body time to recover. Taking breaks between sessions can help reset your body’s tolerance level, allowing you to enjoy the full benefits of the concentrates without any adverse effects.
DO: Use a quality device
To get the most out of your concentrate, use a quality vaporizer or dab rig specifically designed for concentrates. Quality devices not only produce more vapor and flavorful hits, but they’re also safer and more efficient than using makeshift methods. When shopping for a vaporizer or dab rig, consider the device’s size, temperature control options, extraction efficiency, and overall ease of use. You’ll also want to ensure the device is easy to clean and maintain for long-lasting performance.
DO: Research the product
When trying to purchase a concentrate, do your research beforehand. You want to ensure that the product is made from high-quality cannabis and free of harmful additives that could harm your health. One surefire way to ensure you’re getting a good product is to ask the manufacturers or sellers about the production process, where the cannabis was grown, and how the concentrates were extracted. Checking online reviews from other buyers can be another way to determine the quality of the product. Pay attention to the potency and type of concentrate you’re buying, as different concentrates offer different effects.
DON’T: Attempt to make your own cannabis concentrates at home
It is not recommended to attempt to make your own cannabis concentrates at home using solvents such as butane or propane. Not only are these solvents difficult to work with, but they can also lead to explosions and fires if not handled properly. As many of these solvents are not meant for human consumption, you could expose yourself to health risks.
It is much safer to purchase your cannabis concentrates from a reputable store or dispensary. These processes should only be done by professional extractors in a controlled environment with the proper safety equipment.
DON’T: Use in public
Concentrates, such as wax or shatter, are incredibly potent forms of cannabis that pack a heavy punch. The high levels of THC in these products can easily overwhelm even the most experienced users, and the intense aroma that comes with them can be overpowering. Due to this, it’s best to use concentrates in a private setting where you won’t disturb others.
Smoking or vaping concentrates in public can be not only unpleasant for those around you, but it can also attract unwanted attention and potentially lead to legal issues.
DONT: Mix with alcohol
Mixing cannabis concentrates with alcohol can increase the risk of adverse side effects such as dizziness, nausea, and vomiting and may also impact a person’s ability to make sound decisions or operate machinery. This combination can lead to more severe side effects, such as blackouts or potential long-term damage to the body.