Things To Know About Cannabis Concentrates
The cannabis concentrates market is expected to grow by an estimated 35% each year, and it’s no wonder. Cannabis concentrates are stronger, more potent, and easier to dose than traditional flower or edibles. But what exactly are they? What do they look like? And how do you use them? We’re going to answer these questions and more in this article!
What are cannabis concentrates and extracts?
As the name implies, concentrates are concentrated forms of cannabis, usually made from the flower (bud) or trimmings. They are extracted from the plant, reducing it to something with more of a liquid consistency than the leafy form we mostly associate with smoking.
The main goal when extracting concentrates is to keep the elements that give a concentrate it’s its potency, flavor, and aroma – cannabinoids and terpenes.
The extraction process essentially removes the chemical compounds from the plant material, creating a smaller quantity of gooey substances. Marijuana concentrates have high THC levels, averaging 50-90% THC compared to around 10-25% for the common cannabis flower.
What are cannabinoids and terpenes?
- Cannabinoids are the most abundant chemical compounds in cannabis concentrates. THC is the cannabinoid that gives the effects of euphoric experience that we typically associate with marijuana. CBD is a well-known non-psychoactive cannabinoid. It has become popular in wellness products because of its restorative, calming, and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Terpenes are what give concentrates their distinctive flavor profiles – some of these include diesel fuel, pine, citrusy smells, or tastes like pink lemonade. Terpenes also produce psychoactive reactions and more terpenes can actually result in a stronger “high” than when just THC is used.
How do they differ from other types of products from the cannabis plant?
Cannabis concentrate products differ from other cannabis products because they are typically more potent, come in a variety of forms, and don’t require smoking.
The latter is the most significant difference for many people – the lack of smoke allows them to get high anywhere at any time without the risk of lung damage from smoke inhalation.
This can be particularly beneficial to medical marijuana patients who may have medical conditions preventing them from smoking or who are just not down with the smoking lifestyle.
Why are concentrates so popular?
Concentrated cannabis extracts have been used for many years for cooking and baking “edibles”, but only recently they have come into the limelight on their own as one of the most accessible and convenient consumption methods.
No doubt, one reason for the explosion in popularity of concentrated forms of cannabis is the expansion of legalized marijuana in the U.S.. In a world where cannabis was illegal, it would not have been possible to come up with the unique extraction processes that have been developed over the past few years.
The many types of cannabis extract product
There are two basic types of extraction method: Solvent-based and solventless. Here are the differences and the types of extract that each produce:
Solvent-based extraction is a chemical process that uses hydrocarbons or solvents in order to extract the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant. Types of solvent based extracts include:
- Live resin – Created by extracting cannabis with frozen plant material. Terpenes are preserved very similarly to those in living plants. The extract often appears shiny or glossy and ranges between golden and amber colors.
- Wax – A soft, gooey consistency that is very sticky to the touch. These amber-colored and toned textures come in varying consistencies, from hard or soft blobs of concentrate oil to buttery ribbons of extract.
- Oil – Typically derived from CO2 extraction and usually thick like honey. Terpenes such as the smells of oranges and lemon ices, help keep a pure flavor and aroma. They are most often used in vape cartridges and disposable vaporizers.
- Shatter – Sometimes amber in color, it is made through BHO hydrocarbon extraction. It can be hard and sticky like candy, and many experts believe it to be the purest form of cannabis concentrates.
Solventless extracts are made without the use of chemicals. Extraction is performed by heat, filtration, and/or pressure. The most common classifications are:
- Budder – Also known as batter, badder, or even cake batter – this is a hash oil formed by manipulating rosin and adding heat to get its texture. The creamier consistency makes it an easy texture for dabbing.
- Rosin – This extraction process applies heat and pressure to the raw cannabis flower itself. The result has a deep yellow color similar to honey, creating a thick consistency with much of the plant’s flavor profiles preserved.
A cannabis concentrate can be consumed in various ways
Though there are several different methods, the most common way to consume concentrates is through vaping – either with a pen or as an ingredient in e-juices. Vaping removes the harmful chemicals and carcinogens that are found when smoking marijuana flowers, but it also gives users more control over how much THC they’re consuming.
Among concentrate aficionados, however, “vaping” is barely considered a true method of concentrate consumption. One of the most popular methods among these high-brow folks is the dab.
Dabbing, as it is known, is the process of heating concentrates in a quartz or titanium tube and inhaling the vapor that is released.
Dabbing concentrates can be done using an oil rig, which looks like a bong with special attachments for concentrates instead of flowers; there’s also the electric nail, which operates similarly to the downstem in a bong but uses electricity rather than fire to heat the concentrates.
A third popular choice is a direct-draw vaporizer, which has attachments for concentrates on top of what looks like an e-cigarette battery and typically comes with various mouthpieces to choose from depending on how you want to inhale your cannabis. This type of device offers extreme control over the temperature at which one can heat the product.
Tips for using cannabis concentrates responsibly
If you are new to the world of concentrates, the following tips might be helpful:
- Always start with a low concentrates dose. Depending on your tolerance, this could range from 0 to .25g. As you become more experienced and comfortable using concentrates, gradually increase your dosage size until you find a level that makes for an enjoyable experience without becoming uncomfortable or overstimulated.
- Experiment, and find a method of consumption that works for you. As mentioned, there are many options.
- Consult someone who knows. One of the friendly budtenders at Frost Exotic Cannabis Denver Dispensary would be happy to help you out!
Open 8am – 11:50pm, daily
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