What Are Cannabis Concentrates?

Concentrates are produced by extracting the cannabinoids from all the other plant material through a variety of chemical treatments such as alcohol or C02.
cannabis oil concentrates

Cannabis plants generally produce flowers that rarely exceed 30% THC content. While the high THC content has vastly improved over the years, even the most potent strains don’t even come close to the levels produced by extracting the Cannabinoids.

Concentrates are produced by extracting the cannabinoids from all the other plant material through a variety of chemical treatments such as alcohol or C02. The process strips the cannabinoid oils, which are the chemicals responsible for the beneficial properties, and other chemicals that make up the plant. Along with the THC and CBD there are several other compounds that are available through this process as well such as CBG, CBN, Delta-8 THC, CBC etc.

Along with the cannabinoids there are also large quantities of terpenes that also get extracted in the process. Terpenes are basically the compounds responsible for the smells and flavors of the various strains.

Given the many methods for extraction and distillation techniques, the concentration process can refine the cannabis concentrates to the 90% + range in potency. Once all the wax, terpenes, plant matter and other chemical compounds have been removed to the desired effect, you have range of cannabis concentrates to choose from.

Regardless of all the by-products that can be distilled from the marijuana plant, THC and CBD concentrates are the most popular and are available in many different formats and flavors.

What Makes a Good Cannabis Concentrate?

If you are still reading this, then you are likely new to the cannabis concentrates market. Well, potency should be your first consideration as concentrates tend to be a lot more powerful than smoking. Profile is the next consideration, what effect you looking for?

Some argue that the full spectrum of natural cannabis compounds, including terpenes, make for the best concentrates for balance. But that is a matter for personal preference

Once you have gotten used to the effectiveness of the concentrate of your choice, you should examine the profiles, find out if the product comprised of natural cannabis compounds or is it made up of mostly pure cannabinoids. What is the ratio between THC to CBD?

Good cannabis concentrates should have clean flavoring, you shouldn’t have any strange tastes like chemical additives or fillers.

Quality cannabis concentrates sublimate or vaporizes easily. There are basically two forms of concentrate, full-melt, and half-melt. Full-melt because it fully vaporizes and half-melt because this type of concentrate contains some plant matter that burns rather than vaporizes.

Keep in mind that if it vapes well and you enjoy the flavor, you have found a good quality cannabis concentrate.

By law, all legal cannabis stores must provide lab test results for the concentrates that they sell. Makes it so much easier to know just what you are consuming. The data sheet will display the purity levels of the THC and CBD. Along with if there are any residual chemical solvents present and that the concentrate is free of any contaminants like pesticides and mold.

With vape carts, check the list of ingredients to make sure food-grade thinners aren’t used as they and synthetic fragrances can negatively affect the quality of your cannabis product.
Armed with some knowledge on what to look to determine the quality of the cannabis concentrate, we can now investigate the different types of cannabis concentrates available.

Solvent less Concentrates

Solvent less concentrates are made without the use of any solvents such as ethanol, CO2, or butane. These chemicals are used to distill the desirable compounds from the cannabis plant material.
Replacing the solvents, solvent less concentrates use heat and pressure to separate the desired compounds from the flower giving the consumer a much more natural product to enjoy.

Hashish or Hash

Hashish is the original cannabis concentrate. Hash is made from oils and resins from the mature marijuana flowers without the use of solvents of any kind.

Depending upon the process used to make the Hashish concentrates, the potency and purity is greatly dependent upon the source strain used.

Quality Hash can be very potent compared to straight flower, it is a concentrate after all, but Hashish is nowhere near as potent as other form of concentrates.

Kief

Kief is the crystallized trichomes, the hair like structures in which cannabinoids are produced.

Kief, being made from almost pure cannabinoids, it has a potent effect and is great addition to a joint or a bowl. Some people like to add some to tobacco to enhance its flavor and put a little zing into their cigarettes.

Rosin

Rosin is made by crushing fresh or dried cannabis flower in a heated press. When the marijuana flowers are put under the right amount of pressure and heat, the oils are extruded, practically oozing out. This processing of concentrates form known as rosin, or live rosin.

To use rosin generally requires using a dab rig or dab pen. You can check out our options for dabbing here. Rosin retains the full profile of the cannabis material used in the extraction process and like most concentrates, offers high potency but with all the flavors.

Solvent-based Cannabis Concentrates

Vape Carts

By far, vape carts are the most popular forms of solvent-based concentrates. Coming in a range of strains and potencies, vape cartridges are small carts filled with cannabis oil that are consumed by vaporizer pens.

Over the past few years vaping has become quite popular due to the ease of use and being less conspicuous. Vape carts require the use of a vape pen, which is a handheld battery-powered device that heats the marijuana oil to vaporize the concentrate.

Quality vape cartridges contain no chemical additives or fillers that can affect the quality of the concentrate. Further, the carts themselves shouldn’t clog or leak and generally speaking, ceramics are the way to go.

Wax

Wax is a form of concentrate made through an extraction process that increases the potency of cannabis flower by about 3 times. The name wax came about due to the resemblance to a sticky wax.

Wax comes in a variety of forms like shatter, budder, crumble, and others with varying consistencies, appearances, textures, and potencies. The different product names for wax depends upon the process of how it was produced.

Craftmanship of the wax type, along with the quality of the original cannabis used to make it, will ultimately determine the quality of your chosen type of wax.

What Are Dabs?

Dabbing requires the use of a special pipe, bong, or pen designed specifically for use with concentrates. Some of the more common dab rigs are made of glass but the electric dab rigs are quite popular as well.

Hash Oil

Hash oil is another of the original types of cannabis concentrate. Made using a variety of methods, the outcome is generally of a very thick oil or soft jelly like consistency. Traditionally, hash oil was dabbed or smeared on a rolling paper to be used with marijuana flower to enhance the potency of the blunt. Hash oil has a great flavor profile.

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