Cannabis Concentrates and Extracts 101
Cannabis concentrates are potent extracts from the cannabis plant. As harder-hitting treats, concentrates deliver an extra punch of cannabinoids. However, there are many different cannabis concentrates and extracts available today. Knowing about them will help you choose the ideal products for you. Use this guide as a reference of today’s most popular cannabis concentrates and extracts.
What Are Cannabis Concentrates and Extracts?
Concentrates and extracts from the cannabis plant are responsible for the cannabis compounds that deliver its high as well as terpenes (flavors and aromas) associated with the plant. Some concentrates can deliver a whopping 60% THC level. In fact, some may even reach the 90% threshold. Stronger than the cannabis flower, concentrate edibles are immensely popular among people who want to experience more potent effects.
To make concentrates, producers use two different forms of extractions: solvent-based and solventless. The solvent-based form employs solvents that strip the cannabis plant of its cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds. CO2, butane, and ethanol are the most popular solvents used for this extraction process.
Solventless extracts, on the other hand, are typically squeezed from the plant material. Producers use a type of hydraulic press, a rosin press, with heated plates. Many people looking for more organic products will stick to a solventless concentrate, but for most, it is simply a matter of choice.
Live vs Cured Concentrates
After harvesting the cannabis, producers will choose live or cured methods for producing their concentrates. Again, users often select one or the other based on their personal preference. The live form is when producers harvest the plant and then freeze it. Freezing does not involve any curing. It’s a good way to maintain the terpenes and other compounds in the plant that were there at the time of harvest. These products may be slightly more expensive as they retain more aroma and flavor than cured extracts.
Cured concentrates are made by allowing the plant to dry before making extractions. The curing removes moisture from the plant’s buds. Unfortunately, the drying process can remove some of the terpenes and other compounds from the plant.
Consuming Cannabis Concentrates
Users of concentrates have the option to do ‘dabs,’ which are small amounts of extract smoked in glass pipes or used with a dab pen. Some people also take concentrates via conventional vaporizers or smoke them in a bong or pipe.
What Are the Different Types of Concentrates?
Some of the most popular types of concentrates you’re likely to encounter in dispensaries today include:
Live reason cannabis concentrate has an intense fragrance and flavor. It may feature 50-70% THC. It’s produced from frozen and then thawed cannabis flower. People who enjoy strong flavors find this concentrate extremely enjoyable.
Shatter is, like its name, designed to break into tiny pieces. A brittle concentrate, shatter contains 60-80% THC. Fans enjoy it because it is potent and has a good overall flavor. Sometimes this concentrate is made into a product called ‘taffy.’ Although it also has a dark amber hue, it has a taffy-like texture that’s less apt to shatter.
Popular with beginners, crumble is also referred to as ‘honeycomb wax.’ This concentrate has a waxy consistency and is easy to handle. It’s a great choice for smoking in joints because of its easy-to-handle texture.
Made with a solventless process, rosin embodies a rich termly taste and flavor that makes it a favorite among concentrate fans. Also, because there are no solvents, this option is popular among health-conscious individuals.
Similar in consistency to applesauce, ‘sauce’ is a gooey type of concentrate that is known for its potent taste. If you prefer flavor over THC potency, this is a great option to try.
Hash generally comes in small brick forms or bubble texture. Hash is among the world’s oldest cannabis concentrates and remains popular around the globe.
Also known as budder or badder, this type of concentrate is similar in consistency to actual butter. It is a solid concentrate with waxy texture but creamier than crumble. It’s a good option for smoking in blunts or joints. Users will find it in live or cured form.
Featuring trichome crystals that have been removed from cannabis plant material, kief has a lower THC potency than most other extracts and concentrates. However, many users enjoy it because it’s easy to smoke from joints or bowls.
Distillate is a more complex concentrate that is made with a distillation process. During this process, the THC and some other compounds are separated from the plant and the result is an intensely potent product–some as high as 99% THC. The downside for many users is that the process leaves the product largely devoid of flavor because of reduced terpenes.
Diamonds are actually crystalline THC diamonds that are made by removing terpene fluid. They have intense potency but not much flavor.
Dry sift is essentially a more refined kief. Usually tan or beige in color, dry sift may contain up to 90% trichome resin heads when it’s sold as full melt. At half melt, it may contain plant heads and stalks.
If you’re interested in trying concentrates, you may want to begin with kief or learn more about individual products sold at Kelo Cannabis. Definitely pay attention to the product’s THC level so you are sure of what you’re in for. Many of the best brands are known to feature 90% THC. Many people choose to experiment with different products in order to find their favorites. Once you purchase your extracts, be sure to store them in an airtight container in a cool place so they don’t dry out. You can wrap them in a bit of parchment paper before storing them in the container for best storage results.