Concentrates: Everything you need to know

First, what are cannabis extracts and concentrates? Which types offer which characteristics? What makes concentrates and extracts so special? Why are they popular among medical cannabis patients and recreational users alike, and what benefits can you reap by consuming it?

Cannabis is the most prominently consumed substance, with around 147 million people enjoying it worldwide. There are many reasons why concentrated cannabis is popular in Canada. For example, the absence of plant material in extracts and concentrates can lead to lower user exposure to CO2 and carbon monoxide. Let’s explore how concentrates (a.k.a hash, dab, budder, etc.) are making an impressive name for themselves in the growing cannabis market.

First, what are cannabis extracts and concentrates? Which types offer which characteristics? What makes concentrates and extracts so special? Why are they popular among medical cannabis patients and recreational users alike, and what benefits can you reap by consuming it?

What do you need to know about these concentrates and extracts before diving in?

Concentrates
When valuable chemical components are mechanically separated from the cannabis flower, a concentrate or extract is created. They maintain a lot more of the plant’s chemical makeup, and are therefore often seen as a superior form of cannabis.

Concentrates have been around for thousands of years. Innovative technology has sparked a new interest mostly because of the ease of accessibility for modern cannabis consumers.

Rosin, dry sift, bubble hash, and kief can all be created with a limited amount of experience, knowledge, and equipment and produce great results.

Hash is the original cannabis concentrate. Dry sift and kief are similar. The creation of rosin is more technologically based. Variations in pressure, source material, and heat give us these different forms of concentrate.

Types Of Concentrates

Kief
Kief is a light green, powdery, THC rich substance that is located on the surface of cannabis flowers. It contains the majority of chemical compounds found in the flower. It can be sprinkled onto fresh cannabis flowers or added to blunts and joints. Kief can be turned into rosin which refines it even more. Luckily, kief typically collects on the surface of grinders and is easy to access.

Hash (or Hashish)
Hash is simply resin or pressed kief that has been compressed into the shape of bars. Traditional Middle Eastern hash was created by hand by separating plant material from the desired kief. In Canada, the most common form is bubble hash, where the trichromes are isolated using ice water. Dry-ice hash is similar in regards to production method. You can create hash oil using hash and use the strong, sticky substance in joints or edibles.

Rosin
Last, but definitely not least, is rosin. It’s created by taking cured cannabis flowers, hash, kief, or freeze-dried flowers and compressing them under high pressure and low heat. The trichromes are melted away from the plant which makes rosin easy to manufacture as a complete spectrum, terpene filled, clean product. It’s one of the most popular products for two reasons. It’s clean and free of solvents. It can also be safely and easily created by any Canadian with limited knowledge and equipment.

Extracts
The extraction process involves a solvent which is used to isolate the desired chemical components from the plant while maintaining the complete spectrum of chemical content. A variety of solvents are used and typically they are removed from the end product entirely. Butane/hexane/propane are the most popularly utilized to wash the chemical component from the cannabis plant. They are then evaporated to leave a clean finished product. Alcohol and carbon dioxide are also common and they create slightly different extracts.

But that’s not all. Afterwards, the chemical compounds can be separated into their individual components. The components can then be concentrated and taken, providing known, reliable benefits.

The key factor in chemical separation is temperature.

This isolation of cannabis chemicals allows for the development of full spectrum, high terpene extract (HTFSE) and full spectrum high cannabinoid extract (HCFSE). These are the greatest blends of potency and flavour for Canadian consumers. Such sauces are spurring the development of extract technology.

Pull and snap, tinctures, budder, oils, shatter, wax, crumble, crystalline, and distillate are all extracts. They are terms used to describe the appearance: its density, texture, colour, and malleability. The variety of extract forms offer different levels of taste, potency, convenience, and overall experience.

For example, shatter is hard and clear but can be transformed through temperature treatment into a crumbly wax. This smell and taste of the new product is more nuanced and more terpenes are released. Butane, CO2, or alcohol can be used to make cannabis oil and the finished product can be quite similar. Depending on what method you use, extracts frequently contain high levels of CBD and THC..

Types of Extracts
Butane Hash Oil (BHO)

Shatter
Shatter is a popular extract that is vibrant in colour. The texture is glassy and brittle and it usually has a strong flavour and scent due to the high terpene content. Shatter is usually vaped or dabbed depending on user preference.

Pull/Snap
This extract looks similar to shatter, however the consistency is more soft and stretchy. It can be pulled and snapped off. The consistency falls between wax and shatter.

Wax
Cannabis WaxCannabis wax is similar in consistency to candle wax. It’s crumbly and gooey. Wax is popular among Canadian users because it’s easy to handle and consume. It also offers a wide terpene profile and aromatic scent.

Budder
Budder has a creamy texture that is easy to store and use, while offering one of the most exquisite flavour profiles. Like wax, it’s a type of BHO. However, it’s seen as the more consumer-friendly option. As with all extracts, the end result is highly dependant on the source material but the careful creation process always leaves a superior product.

Crumble
Crumble, or honeycomb, is more brittle than budder or wax. The term is typically used to describe crumbles or fragments of wax.

Live Resin
Live resin is a newer option for Canadian consumers, and a popular one at that. It’s made with freshly harvested, freeze-dried cannabis. This ensures that no chemical compounds like monoterpene are lost during the lengthy process of curing the cannabis flower. The result is a potent, terpene rich product that’s both tasty and powerful. Resin is pricey, but it’s worth the money.

HTFSE and HCFSE Sauce
Terpene sauce, or HTFSE, and the similar HCFSE are the product of extracted components that are carefully refined and combined back together to ensure strong flavours and scents. The flavour profile is second to none.

Distillate
Distillate is a refined, honey-like cannabis product that goes through a lengthy purification process. It’s a newer extract that requires scientific equipment to produce. Consumers can see straight away how different they are from other products because they are packaged in small glass vials.

The extraction process is complex and involves heating and distilling the cannabis. Next, the steps are repeated to produce a pure, liquid cannabinoid without solvent residue and plant material. Distillates are clean, potent, and almost completely THC. They’re lack of flavour and strong effects make it perfect for edibles.

Crystalline/Diamond
DiamondsCrystalline is 95-99.9% THC-A. It’s the product of a total extraction of THC-A from the cannabis plant material. There are no terpenes in diamond, so it’s almost odorless and flavorless. It’s the most concentrated form of THC on the market. However, it is not meant for edibles as it requires vaporization or combustion. When vaped or dabbed, it provides the most potent effect possible for recreational Canadian users.

CBD Isolate
CBD isolate looks like white, fluffy crystals. It is 99% CBD. It’s quite popular as a cannabis treatment.

Tinctures
Tinctures are liquid, alcohol-based cannabis extracts. They are typically used for therapy or medicinal purposes. Tinctures absorb quickly and the effects are long lasting.

Oils
Oils are one of the most familiar and widely consumed cannabis products. They are thicker than tinctures and there are many different types. This is where alcohol and CO2 extraction dominates the Canadian market. Oils are highly accessible and convenient for vaping.

The wide variety of vaping devices has been a big factor in consumer desire for cannabis oils. Soon, it may very well be the top choice for medical consumers. Oils are typically sold in pre-filled cartridges or capsules to be added into the chambers of handheld vape devices. They are also a popular form of edible because of their broad and reliable spectrum. CO2 extracted oil, RSO, THC honey oil, and BHO are some examples of highly sought after oils.

Consumption
Each of these extracts can be consumed in different ways but the three main methods are vaping, dabbing, and oral consumption. Tinctures and oils can be vaped or taken orally. Budder, shatter, wax, diamond, live resin, and crumble are usually dabbed. Distillate can be taken any of those three ways.

Concentrates and extracts are growing in availability, usage, and popularity. Despite cannabis flower being widely known for its potency, color, and aroma, extracts and concentrates have consistently raised the bar.

Extracts and concentrates offer immediacy, potency, long-lasting effects, aroma, flavour, discretion, and an experience much superior to smoking the cannabis flower. If you’re looking to take your cannabis consumption to the next level, try extracts and concentrates.

Original post: Legend Extracts

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