If you have only recently started diving into the world of cannabis, you’ve most likely noticed by now that there are tons of methods out there for getting high off this wondrous plant. Between edibles, flowers, and concentrates, it is overwhelming for beginners.
Concentrates have been one of the many products that have hit the shelves in recent years, and they have become increasingly popular among cannabis lovers for both medical and recreational purposes. Recent statistics show that concentrates will overcome the sales of flowers by 2022. Chances are, you’ve already run into concentrates when browsing through a dispensary already, as they commonly go by dabs, shatter, or oil.
Like any other aspect of cannabis, there are a ton of varying types of concentrates available for consumers. If you are interested in acquiring some cannabis concentrates but are not sure where to begin, then you’ve found the right guide. Read on as we managed to break down everything you need to know about cannabis concentrates.
What is a Concentrate?
Before we dive into the different types of concentrates available to you, let’s provide you with a clear understanding of what they are first. As stated by the name “concentrate’, these products are marijuana concentrated into a form. That means the cannabis plant material goes through a process that leaves behind a far more potent form of cannabis. The method is known as extraction, and it involves removing the excess plant matter, so the only thing that is left is the terpenes and cannabinoids.
Terpenes and cannabinoids are what have made cannabis famous for the high a person receives. The two primary cannabinoids found in marijuana are CBD and TCH. While THC levels differ from each strain or even different batches, concentrated extracts are usually increasingly potent and have more THC. The psychoactive cannabinoid from THC is the reason why people gain a euphoric high, while CBD is non-psychoactive and is better known for its various healing capabilities. You can buy concentrates that have both of these combined or that are CBD exclusive, depending on your needs.
Terpenes are the reasons for the aroma that you can smell on the pot leaf. Keeping this part of the leaf intact during extraction provides a far more enjoyable experience to the user.
There are several methods for the extraction process, but the more common ones are hydrocarbon extraction and CO2 extraction. These diverse methods of extraction result in different forms of concentrates.
Types of concentrates
Concentrates are just like any other cannabis product. There are several different types to choose from. It can range from a specific strain used to create the concentrate, the form that the concentrate is in, and the creation process behind it. When you visit your local dispensary, make sure to ask the budtender about which type of effect you are looking for so they can provide you with the one suited for your needs. Here are some of the more popular forms of concentrates among cannabis lovers.
This concentrate comes in a wax-like texture that is similar to a hard candy wax. These forms of concentrates require the users to have a dabbing tool because of how sticky it is to handle. The wax typically comes in yellowish color and can be smoked out from a rig or vaporizer.
There are some minor differences between wax concentrates and range from those that are less sticky and crumblier to wax that have a texture similar to honey. That variation of consistency is primarily due to the heat and moisture levels used throughout the extraction process. Gooey waxes are created from moisture-rich oils and by the name of budder. Brittle waxes are sometimes fo by the name crumble or honeycomb.
Regardless of the wax you choose, you will be left satisfied with the results.
The reason it’s known as shatter is because of the glass-like consistency making it easy to break into smaller pieces. Shatter is also known for being one of the purest forms of concentrated cannabis and comes in either an amber or clear coloration.
The concentrate is smooth and solid when handled. It’s made into thin sheets similar to that of hard candy. Shatters are a type of concentrate created using BHO extraction, which means butane is the primary extraction solvent. It also undergoes an extra filtration process to make sure it’s become a pure substance.
If you need something that offers you a powerful high, shatter is the perfect choice for you.
Concentrates created with CO2 instead of butane are known as oils. The reason for this label is due to the runny and thick consistency of the concentrate. Cannabis oils are one of the more commonly found inside of vapes pen cartridges or in syringes. The users will taste something unique that differs from concentrates made from BHO, like wax and shatter.
The reason for the different tastes is because the extraction process by CO2 saves more terpene since it doesn’t need to be under high temperatures. Oils are the more common type of concentrates on the market since they are strictly CBD variety and are also used for creating edibles.
Rosin differs from the others due to the extraction process behind it since it is made without requiring solvents like butane. Instead, rosin is produced with heat and pressure applied to the marijuana buds, kief, or trim to remove the resin. Rosin can be easily made at home from parchment paper and hair straightener. Although, some of the best quality rosins come through a hydraulic press.
Since this doesn’t need any solvent for the creation process, rosin also holds plenty of the terpenes and aroma found in the marijuana plant itself, making it a favorite among a selection of users.
Before anyone figured out the different extraction methods, hash was the go-to concentrate. It is a form of concentrate that has existed for quite some time and can be made in several different ways. One of the usual ways for creating the hash is to compress kief together into what seems like a miniature greenish disk. Other forms of hash are created with ice water and are refined through screens to gather the concentrated marijuana extract.
Every type of hash is far more potent than traditional cannabis flower and is usually smoked alone or combined with a bud.
Methods for using concentrates
There are several ways you can consume concentrate, along with methods that grant you a way to enjoy potent cannabis while on the move.
Bowl topping is a method that has the users combine the concentrate with a flower to make it more potent. The benefits gained from this method provide the users with a way to enjoy the potency without overwhelming themselves. It is ideal for people who have never used concentrates before.
If you have a pipe or bong, you need to sprinkle a little amount of concentrate into the bowl that has the flower. For those who prefer blunts or joins, add some concentrate during the rolling process, otherwise known as twaxing. If the concentrate you are using has a stretchy consistency, you can potentially create a long line of it and wrap it around the outside of a joint.
When it comes to bowl topping, users usually prefer to use has because of the combustion properties being similar to flowers. However, keep in mind that hash can remain lit if too much heat is applied, so you need to put out the fire quickly. Preferably, you want to place the flame near enough to allow the hash to melt and not burst into flames.
Dabbing is considered one of the primary ways to use concentrates. The process involves utilizing a dab rig, which is a device made only for dabbing. If possible, you should purchase a rig created from borosilicate glass. Another good idea is to buy a small rig because it will make the flavor more enjoyable. The first step requires you to fill up the rig with water. It’s recommended that you fill the rig until the water is up to two inches above the diffuser or downstream.
Assess the water level by inhaling through the mouthpiece. If water manages to reach your mouth, pour some out. Now, you need to place your nail into the rig’s joint. Season the nail by heating it with a torch until it begins to glow. Apply a small amount of concentrate to the nail and once the nail cools down, repeat the process two more times.
When you are finally prepared to dab, add concentrate onto the hot nail and inhale the vapor. You don’t need too much concentration to gain a high, so apply a minimal amount to measure your tolerance.
While you can still use desktop vaporizers, more people are adopting portable vape devices like pans. Common vape pens grant you the ability to apply the concentrate to the chamber and immediately transform them into vapor. The only thing you need to do is inhale and enjoy yourself. The more sophisticated pens allow you to choose a temperature. That is crucial if you wish to save as many cannabinoids and terpenes as possible.
As you can see, there are several types of concentrates for you to choose from. The information we have provided should help you understand what concentrates are and which ones are suited for you. If you are entirely unsure of the concentrate you want, speak to the budtenders for advice on this matter.