Marijuana concentrates are relatively new to the market. However, it is thought that people have been using them for more than 12,000 years! According to historians, this powerful creation from the cannabis plant was used in China’s Steppe Mountains thousands of years ago.
Concentrates are known variously as “hash,” but this potent cannabis is far from the black bricks smuggled into North America and Europe from countries such as Morocco.
Concentrates are cannabis products with a high amount of THC. They’re simple to come by online or at licensed dispensaries. This in-depth resource covers all you need to know about concentrates, including the many kinds, how to consume them, and what to think about while purchasing them.
What Is Marijuana Concentrate?
The definition of “cannabis concentrate” encompasses a wide range of goods with exceptionally high amounts of THC. It can apply to any product derived from the cannabis plant that has been transformed into a concentrated form. It is devoid of excess plant matter and contains all of the terpenes and cannabinoids generated by the flowers, as well as any other chemicals present in the plant.
Although they have similar potency, there are numerous distinct products with varying THC content as well as texture. The way you consume these things is determined by the texture. You may vaporize them, dab wax extracts, or add them to a joint or blunt for example.
The cannabis plant’s fragrance, taste, and effects are all due to the chemicals found in it. These chemicals can be found in the plant’s trichomes, which are tiny crystals. The trichomes are condensed to give you products that can produce an extremely powerful, intoxicating high.
Types of Cannabis Concentrates
When examining the most frequent types of cannabis concentrates, it’s important to note that they are divided into solvent-based and solventless solutions. Wax concentrates, for example, are considered a type of “solvent-based” product, whereas kief creation does not need the use of a solvent. Let’s take a look at each category before moving on to a quick rundown of nine well-known concentrates in both categories.
Marijuana Concentrates – Solvent-Based or Solventless?
There are solventless and solvent-based concentrates from the cannabis plant, which are both considerably more potent than the flower alone. A solvent-based extract involves extracting the THC – together with other cannabinoids and terpenes – from marijuana using a substance such as butane, ethanol, or CO2.
A solventless concentrate, on the other hand, does not entail extracting the relevant component with a solvent. Instead of that, heat/cold, pressure, and water are used. As new extraction methods are created to extract cannabinoids and terpenes from plant matter, more concentrates become available.
The technique used to extract the concentrate determines the type of concentrate. While you may notice a difference in appearance and texture, the substance’s biological and chemical properties are altered by the extraction process. While you may not be able to see it, there is a difference.
Because solvent-based concentrates are seen as dirty, there is a lot of resistance to them. There’s also the issue of danger since you could be utilizing butane or propane.
In terms of safety, solvent extractions are extremely dangerous. In terms of technology, businesses may now use certified laboratory experts and high-tech equipment to safely remove clean concentrates using solvents in a closed-loop system. These companies employ a closed-loop method to guarantee that noxious gases aren’t produced during the extraction process.
Solvent extractions are also considered to be more powerful and provide a comprehensive range of terpenes and cannabinoids. The bud’s structure is preserved because the flower isn’t shaken physically, allowing for better preservation of terpenes.
Contaminants are dealt with by ‘purging,’ which is a technique for removing them. After extraction, you must purge any residual solvent, whether it’s done using butane, CO2, propane, or alcohol as the solvent. Hand-whipping, vacuuming, or evaporation might all be referred to as “purging.”
Let’s have a look at the most well-known solvent-based cannabis concentrate products.
This entails extracting oil from the marijuana plant utilizing CO2. Supercritical extraction is utilized. It necessitates high pressure and carbon dioxide to separate plant components. CO2 with a high concentration of residual solvent has an amber color and a low level of residual solvent.
To minimize the total strength of the oil, several businesses add other chemicals. However, it is not unusual for the oil to contain 30mg of THC per milliliter.
While shatter is sometimes confused with other concentrates, it differs from them in a few ways. First and foremost, shatter is a type of wax that’s made by using a closed-loop extraction technique and a solvent. The material has a gooey texture and is heated to temperatures low enough to preserve terpenes and cannabinoids. It’s whipped to remove the solvent residue after being whipped to prevent clumping.
At this time, the primary distinction between the resulting concentrates is in their consistency. Wax is known for being dry and crumbly, whereas budder has a greater moisture content and resembles butter.
Liquid splices and sealants, on the other hand, are made with a solvent instead of wax and utilize a closed-loop system. The slurry is added to parchment paper in this instance, and purging is done utilizing a vacuum oven. To remove any remaining solvent, the stuff is “burped” several times, and it eventually covers the paper.
In conclusion, shatter is readily broken down into tiny pieces. The final substance is called “taffy” if the purge isn’t completed correctly. Both shatter and taffy have a light to dark amber color with a taffy-like texture.
Cannabis resins are made in a similar way to wax, but rather than utilizing already extracted plant material, fresh frozen plant material is used. The benefit of this concentrate is that the cannabinoid profile is similar to what a live plant would have. Live resin’s distinct flavor and aroma make it particularly attractive, in part due to the terpene profile of a live plant being preserved. Live resin has a golden yellow color and is shiny and wet.
Supercritical fluid extraction is a more recent technique that employs high-tech scientific equipment to heat and vaporize marijuana flower’s cannabinoids. The vapor is sent to a cooling system and collected in containers, which are then cooled. To ensure you only receive pure cannabinoids without any solvent residue, the process is repeated over and over.
This process involves extracting cannabinoids and terpenes without the use of solvents, as the name implies. Ice is one of the most popular non-solvent extraction techniques; it’s used to chill marijuana flowers to below-freezing temperatures. This procedure agitates the resin glands, causing them to break away from the blooms’ epidermis.
Due to the absence of solvents, extracts such as rosin and bubble hash are becoming increasingly popular. On a parts per million (ppm) basis, you may be certain that there are no residual solvents. However, during the process, you run the danger of structurally damaging the bud.
Let’s have a look at the most popular solventless concentrates.
Ice water hash, often referred to as ice water hash, is a non-solvent extract produced by filtering plant material and waste through ice and micron bags (also known as bubble bags). Bubble hash may be safely produced at home. Marijuana flower, water, ice, a bucket, and at least seven-micron bags with diameters ranging from 25 to 220 microns are all you need.
You snap off the trichome glands of the cannabis plant with ice water, making it simpler to break them off. Because trichomes are heavier than water, they usually end up at the bottom. The bags are used to filter and capture the trichomes. Bubble hash is graded on a scale of 1 to 6 stars, with 1 star being the lowest and 6 stars being the highest rating.
The easiest marijuana concentrate to prepare is this one. All you have to do is rub marijuana flower against a specific filtering screen to aid in the separation of trichomes. A three-chamber grinder usually suffices.
There’s also live kief, which is derived from freshly frozen cannabis flower. In other words, the plant was trimmed at harvest and immediately frozen to preserve its complete cannabinoid profile as well as terpenes. A nitrogen bath is the typical approach. After that, you shake the trichomes until they fall off.
To produce rosin, you need high pressure and high temperatures. The objective is to isolate the essential oils from the trichome heads in order to create solid resin. You may safely make rosin at home since it does not use solvents. The quality of rosin you obtain is entirely dependent on the grade of marijuana used.
In the past, individuals combined heat and pressure to create rosin using tortilla presses and hair straighteners. There are machines available on the market today that are manufactured specifically for this purpose.
This is a type of refined kief that has been extracted via mechanical or manual means with several micron screens to preserve the trichomes. Full melt, the best dry sift on the market, contains up to 90% trichome resin heads. Heads and stalks are included in half melt. Because it includes plant pollutants as well, dry sifting is classified as the lowest grade. Dry sift is generally tan or beige in color.
Methods of Consuming Marijuana Concentrates
There are many different ways to consume marijuana, including several options for using it while you move about.
Adding concentrates to cannabis flower for an extra kick is known as “shotting.” You get the effect without going overboard. Bowl topping is great for first-timers who want to try concentrates.
When it comes to concentrates, you may use a variety of methods. For example, if you’re smoking out of a bong or pipe, put a tiny amount of concentrate in the bowl with the flower. Add some concentrate while rolling a joint or blunt if you want; this is known as “twaxing.” You might even make a long line of concentration and wrap it around the outside of the joint if you have stretchy concentrate!
Bowl toppings, on the other hand, tend to prefer bubble hash since its combustion characteristics are comparable to those of flower. Please keep in mind that if excessively hot heat is applied, bubble hash may remain lit and cause an explosion. You should place the flame close enough to permit the bubble hash to melt without combusting.
This is the most common way to utilize concentrates. It entails using a dab rig, which is a device designed specifically for dabbing. A borosilicate glass dab rig is ideal. It’s also beneficial to invest in a tiny rig since you’ll get better taste that way. The first step is to fill the rig with water (assuming it’s made of borosilicate glass). Experts recommend filling the tank until the water level reaches two inches above or below the diffuser or downstem.
Exhale through the mouthpiece to check the water level. If you end up with water in your mouth, you added too much water! Place your nail (also known as a banger) into the rig’s joint next. Joints may be found in sizes such as 10mm, 14mm, and 18mm. ‘Season’ the nail by heating it with a torch until it is glowing. After the nail has cooled, add a bit of concentrate to it and repeat the process at least twice more.
When you’re ready to hit the dab, add some concentrate to the red-hot nail and breathe in the vapor. You don’t need a lot of concentrate to get high, so start small and work your way up.
Although desktop vaporizers are still popular, a growing number of people prefer portable vape devices such as pens. Vape pens that don’t require any setup provide for easy addition of concentrate to the chamber, after which it transforms into vapor immediately. All you have to do is breathe in for it to work! There are more sophisticated gadgets on the market that allow you to control the temperature. If you want to keep as many terpenes and cannabinoids as feasible, this is quite significant.
Purchasing Cannabis Concentrate: What to Consider
There are many items on the market, but they’re certainly not all made equal. Marijuana concentrates are costly, so do your homework before purchasing any brands you’re considering. At the very least, you’ll be ripped off at best or wind up ill as a result of potentially hazardous components in the product.
The finest cannabis concentrates are those that have been extracted via supercritical CO2 technology. Otherwise, you won’t know if the product is high-quality. Also, why spend a lot of money on butane-extracted concentrate when you can make your own for much less?
Take into account the THC concentration. The greatest isolates on the market have a THC content ranging from 90% to 99%. Any product containing less than 80% THC has a high amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids. For example, a 60 percent THC concentrate contains up to 40 percent waxes, which are not necessarily good for you.
Isolates and concentrates usually include at least 80% pure THC. The finest producers use 90% or more THC.
When it comes to dabbing wax, be cautious since it’s easy to get carried away when you ‘dab.’ Only a tiny quantity is required to generate a genuinely powerful high.
Using a lot of concentrate may be harmful, and using excessive THC can be costly. A gram of 90+ percent THC concentrate might cost anywhere from $50 to $200 or more depending on where you live and the type of product.
Secondly, to determine how cannabis affects you, start out slowly by microdosing it. Your aim should be to gradually increase the dose until you discover the minimum effective dosage. You’ll quickly develop a tolerance and lose any therapeutic benefits if you take too much too soon.
Storing Your Marijuana Concentrates
While your concentrates may seem to be unbreakable, they must nonetheless be stored correctly in order to avoid drying out. We propose storing it in an airtight container in a cool, dark location. If you keep your concentrate in a warm place, it has the potential to melt and lose fragrance, taste, and cannabinoids.
You may prevent your concentrate from adhering to the surface of an airtight container by placing it on parchment paper before sealing it.
These tiny containers are designed to store concentrates. They’re simple to maintain, non-stick, and keep your stuff at the correct temperature. They’ll never break, are dishwasher safe, and can be reused. If you want to vape on the move, they also provide easy storage.
Dispensaries mostly sell glass or plastic bottles, but if they aren’t non-stick, the concentrate will adhere to them. A heat-resistant, tempered glass container is required.
Why Consume Cannabis Concentrate?
Cannabis concentrates are a new path to explore in the realm of cannabis for recreational users. It may allow you to experience an intoxication level that you’ve never before experienced. Concentrates enable MMJ consumers to achieve a more rapid and powerful impact than with cannabis flower.
Concentrates are made from the leaves, stems, or flowers of cannabis plants. Longer-lasting effects, aroma, and flavor are among the other advantages of using concentrates. The variety of terpenes guarantees you receive the most out of cannabis in terms of taste and fragrance.
Cannabis concentrates, when vaped, offer users a level of privacy that is lacking with smoked marijuana. Also, depending on the extraction technique, these substances might provide a more pure high.
Users soon discover that there is no such thing as the “best” THC concentrate form; each depends on their own needs. If you want to taste a strain‘s unique flavor and get an unforgettable high, cannabis concentrates should be on your “to-try” list. However, proceed with caution!
Marijuana Concentrate Dosing
When you buy concentrate, it’s most often available in 0.5-gram or 1-gram portions. Reputable vendors provide lab reports on their websites that reveal the cannabinoid and terpene content of their goods. While some solventless concentrates can have less than 50% THC, the most powerful solvent-based options can have up to 90 percent THC.
Let’s assume you have a gram of concentrate with an THC concentration of 80 percent. This implies that there is 800mg of THC in the gram. The recommended starting dose for an edible is 5-10mg, as compared to 160 portions! It’s nearly impossible to break down a gram of concentrate into 80-160 parts.
To start, we recommend breaking down your concentrate into portions with a total of approximately 100mg of THC. Getting a 20mg dab from a 100mg chunk is far simpler than obtaining an 800mg piece. Pre-filled vaporizer cartridges are another good option for microdosing.
If you’re using concentrates to dab, take the tiniest amount feasible with your dabbing tool. Examine the effects of this portion on you and see whether it’s okay to increase the dose next time. When it comes to concentrates, use a little rather than a lot because being underwhelmed is preferable than being overwhelmed.