If you’re after a more intense and patent high from cannabis, then surely quite many people have recommended you cannabis concentrates. Concentrates are a form of cannabis processed to remove impurities and excess plant material, leaving behind a highly concentrated form of THC or CBD.
To help you understand cannabis concentrates more, we’ve covered every must-learn about concentrates, including their types and consumption method, and their proper storage to maintain quality.
Cannabis concentrates are highly potent masses of resins, including cannabinoids and terpenes, extracted from the plant. Concentrates contain only the desirable parts of the plant and none of the excess materials. This product is famous among consumers due to its potency, convenience, and therapeutic and medicinal benefits.
It comes in different forms and different methods of extraction, which usually determine the consistency and compound profile of the concentrate. Full-spectrum concentrates contain all active materials, while isolates concentrate a single compound near 100% potency.
Concentrates also have extreme levels of THC—up to four times higher than top-shelf buds. To understand concentrates more and its benefits, familiarize its many production processes and types.
Types of Concentrates
Each type of cannabis concentrate has unique properties, flavor, profiles, and effects. These types of concentrates have their own characteristics and methods of production. The ones listed below are among the most common or popular that you frequently encounter on cannabis stores.
Shatter is a translucent concentrate that is glass-like in appearance. This type is popular for its high purity and potency—arguably among the purist with 80% THC content. For this reason, many think shatter is the best type of concentrate. It is made by extracting CBD or THC using solvents like butane. Most local weed shops have this concentrate because of its popularity. You can usually find it in colors yellow to dark brown and has a golden yellow to bright amber color throughout.
Its unique glass-like appearance and texture make it challenging to work with, as it can easily break into small pieces. Hence, you should be careful in handling shatter.
Wax concentrates are made using the same extraction method as shatter but are whipped or agitated during the purging process for a more malleable texture. The result is having waxy, softy features. Budder is a sub-type of wax with a soft, oily, and more vicious texture than most waxes. Sugarwax is another subtype made through butane extraction and has a shiny, crumbly texture similar to brown sugar.
Wax concentrates are also potent. It is high in terpenes and is often dabbed or added to blunts or joints.
This type of cannabis concentrate has been around for centuries. It is made by extracting resin produced by the trichomes of the plant using a solventless method. Trichomes produce resinous secretions containing cannabinoids and terpenes, giving the plant its sugar-dusted appearance.
Bubble hash, dry ice hash, and dry sift hash are the main types of this concentrate. Hash can be smoked in various ways, including using a pipe or rolling it in a joint. It also has a high THC content, usually ranging from 50 to 70%.
Live Resin Concentrate
Live resin is another type of cannabis concentrate made using fresh cannabis that has been flash-frozen immediately after harvesting. This preserves the terpenes and other volatile compounds—resulting in a more flavorful and aromatic concentrate. The extraction process involves using a hydrocarbon blend of butane and propane as a solvent.
Its unique extraction process allows the concentrate to stay as close to the natural fresh plant. This results in a rich aroma and taste, making it a popular choice among medicinal and recreational cannabis users. Live resin is also dark yellow and has a THC level of 60% to 90%.
RSO, or Rick Samson Oil, is most known for its medicinal properties. In fact, many believe it can help treat cancer and chronic pain. It’s a highly potent extract that was developed by Rick Samson, a Canadian engineer and cannabis advocate, to treat his own health issues. It is made using the whole cannabis plant, resulting in a whole spectrum of beneficial compounds.
RSO extract can be consumed orally, added to food or drinks, or used topically for skin conditions. It should be used cautiously as it is highly potent, and the recommended dose is only the size of a grain of rice.
Also Read: Royal Apothecary’s Guide to Cannabis Edibles
How to Use Concentrates
Concentrates can be smoked, vaporized, or infused into edibles. You can heat it using a dab rig or vaporizer, used to make edibles or infuse it into alcohol or oil-based tinctures that are consumed orally.
It is a highly potent form of cannabis that can be overwhelming for novice users. Hence, whatever method you concentrate on, always start with a small dose and only gradually increase as needed.
How to Smoke Concentrate
Among the ways concentrates are used, smoking is the most popular. Many prefer smoking concentrates as it has high potency and rapid onset of effects. However, there’s a different approach when smoking concentrates compared to just smoking flowers. Here are some of these methods:
Dab and Rig
This method involves heating a nail or banger with a torch and then applying a small amount of concentrate to the heated surface. After reaching the desired temperature, the concentrate is vaporized, and you inhale the vapor using a dab rig. A dab rig is a specialized pipe for smoking concentrates. Dabbing and rig is a popular method of smoking concentrates because of its fast-acting effect and strong potency. It’s perfect, especially if you have selected the best type of concentrate to dab.
A nectar collector is a type of dab rig still designed for consuming concentrates. It is a handheld device that heats a small amount of concentrate and then lets you inhale the vapor through a straw. It is similar to dabbing, only that it uses smaller equipment.
Concentrates can also be smoked using a vaporizer, which heats the concentrate to a specific temperature and creates a vapor that can be inhaled. Concentrate cartridges can be easily attached to a vape pen battery, and vapor is inhaled through the mouthpiece. Vape concentrates are a more discreet and portable option—making it an efficient and popular choice for on-the-go use.
How to Store Concentrates
Proper storage and handling of concentrates are essential to preserve the potency and flavor of your concentrates and maintain their quality. Below are some tips on how you should store your concentrates the right way:
Use an airtight container.
Storing concentrates in an airtight container prevents exposure to air, which can cause the cannabinoids and terpenes to degrade over time. Glass jars with tight-fitting lids are a popular option for storing them. Mason jars are also a good choice as they are airtight and come in various sizes. It makes them suitable for storing different amounts of concentrates.
Store in a dark, cool place.
Heat and light can degrade the potency of your concentrates, so you should always keep them in a cool and dark area. Direct sunlight causes concentrates to lose flavor and potency; hence, keep them away from windows and any other bright areas of your home. Ensure they’re not near a heat source. You may opt to store them in a cool, dark drawer or closer.
Avoid refrigeration or freezing.
You might think storing your concentrates in your fridge is a good idea to keep them fresh. However, the method is not recommended. The moisture in your freezer or fridge causes the concentrate to turn sticky and lose texture. Condensation can also affect the potency of the concentrate.
Use dry and clean tools.
When handling your concentrates, ensure you only use dry and clean tools, such as a dab tool or silicone container. This avoids introducing moisture or contaminants to your concentrates. It will be difficult to handle concentrates if they turn sticky, as contaminants can affect their potency and quality.
When you properly follow these steps, your concentrates will stay fresh and potent for longer periods. This will provide you with a consistently enjoyable experience every time you think of using them.
Cannabis concentrates offer a potent and flavorful alternative to traditional cannabis flowers. With so many different types of concentrates available—wax, hash, and shatter, to name a few, there is always something for everyone. And whether you prefer to smoke, vape, or consume it with an edible, you can do so with concentrates.
Just remember to always start with a small dose and gradually increase the amount until you find the right dosage that you need. Proper storage is also essential to maintain your concentrate quality. Never store them under a direct heat source, but don’t put them, too, in a refrigerator because they may lose texture. Look for a perfectly dry and cool place that will preserve their flavor and potency.
Lastly, and as with any cannabis product, lean always on the safer and more responsible side when consuming concentrates.