If you’re just diving into the world of cannabis, you’ve probably realized that there are tons of ways out there for you to try this magical plant. Between flowers, edibles, and concentrates it can sometimes be a little overwhelming to know where to start.
In recent years concentrates have boomed as a popular choice among consumers who are consuming cannabis for both recreational and medicinal purposes. You’ve likely heard of these concentrates already, and they are commonly referred to as dabs, oil, or shatter.
Like all aspects of marijuana, there is a wide range of different types of cannabis concentrates. If you’re wishing to dabble in the world of cannabis concentrates but aren’t sure where to start, then you’ve come to the right place.
Keep reading as we break down everything you need to know about marijuana concentrates.
What Is A Concentrate?
First things first, before getting into the different types of concentrates readily available to you, it’s important to gain an understanding of what a concentrate is. You may have assumed from the name “concentrate” that these products are concentrated forms of marijuana.
This means that the cannabis plant material has undergone a process that leaves you with a more potent form of the good stuff. This process, called extraction, involves removing the excess plant matter so that all you have left are the cannabinoids and terpenes.
Cannabinoids and terpenes are what this plant is known for. The two main cannabinoids found in Marijuana are THC and CBD. While THC levels can vary between strains, or even different batches, concentrated extracts are often highly potent and high in THC.
THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid that is responsible for giving you that euphoric high while CBD is the non-psychoactive one known for its range of healing benefits. You are able to purchase concentrates that are both cannabinoids together or that are CBD exclusive, depending on what you’re looking for.
Terpenes are responsible for the aromas that come with marijuana that we all know and love. And keeping these intact during extraction leads to a more enjoyable experience.
There are different methods of extraction, but the most common are the BHO, or hydrocarbon extraction, and CO2 extraction. These different methods of extraction produce a variant of products, which we will break down for you next.
Types of Cannabis Concentrates
Just like there are various types of marijuana, there are also various types of concentrates. This ranges from the specific strain used to make the concentrate, the form that the concentrate is in, and like mentioned above, how it was made.
When visiting a dispensary, talk to your budtenders about what type of effect you are seeking so they can get you the perfect, high quality strain to match your desired outcome. Here we are some of the most popular forms of concentrates.
Shatter gets its name for its glass-like consistency since it often shatters into little pieces when broken apart. Being known as one of the purest forms of concentrated marijuana, shatter is generally clear or amber in color.
It is also smooth, solid, maybe a little sticky and is made into thin sheets much like hard candy. This type of concentrate is made using BHO extraction, meaning butane is the main extraction solvent. It also goes through an additional filtration process to really ensure it’s a pure and potent product.
If you’re looking for a hard-hitting high, shatter is likely the perfect concentrate for you.
This concentrate, unlike shatter, is waxy in nature. The consistency is much like candle wax and certain kinds need to be handled with a dabbing tool because they can be extremely sticky. Wax is normally yellowish in color and can be smoked out of both a rig or vaporizer.
There are slight variations of wax concentrates ranging from those that are less sticky and crumblier to wax that is more honey-like in texture. This variation in the consistency has to do with the heat and moisture levels used during the extraction process.
Gooey waxes are made from moisture-rich oils and are referred to as budder. Brittle waxes are often called honeycomb or crumble.
No matter what type of wax you choose, you’ll be satisfied with the results.
Rosin is a little different from the above-mentioned extracts because it’s made without the use of a solvent like butane. Instead, rosin is made with just heat and pressure being applied to the marijuana buds, kief, or trim to remove the plant resin.
You can even make rosin at home with parchment paper and a hair straightener, however higher-grade rosin is made with a hydraulic press. The result is a concentrate that is golden, sappy, and oil-like.
Because of the lack-of solvents needed, rosin also contains many of the aromas and terpenes present in the plant itself making it a favorite choice among terpene loving users.
Concentrates produced with CO2 instead of butane are referred to as oils. This is due to their runny and thick consistency. Cannabis oils are commonly found in vape pen cartridges or in syringes and they have a unique taste that differs from concentrates containing BHO like wax and shatter.
This is because the process of extraction by CO2 saves more terpenes since it doesn’t require as high of a temperature. Oil is the most common concentrate to find in the strictly CBD variety and is also commonly used to make edibles.
Before there were complicated extraction processes, there was hash. Hash is a form of concentrate that has been around for a long time and can be made in a variety of ways.
A common way of making hash is simply compressing kief together into what looks like small greenish disks or pucks. Other forms of hash are made with ice water and are sifted through screens to collect the concentrated cannabis extract.
All types of hash are more potent than traditional cannabis flower and are often either smoked alone or are mixed in with regular bud.
Try out Concentrates for Yourself
All of these various types of cannabis concentrates are excellent choices to give you a clean high. Whether you choose to go with shatter, oil, or one of the many other available concentrates, you won’t be disappointed with the effects.
When purchasing a concentrate, use the help of a budtender to point you in the right direction. And if you’re really feeling adventurous, give all the types a try.