The use of cannabis concentrates and extracts date back to the first use of cannabis. However, as the legalization of cannabis becomes more and more common throughout the nation, the popularity and demand for cannabis concentrates has increased―and continues to increase―as well.
Concentrates describe themselves accurately. They are merely the concentrated form of cannabis’ psychoactive compounds (e.g., THC), cannabinoids (e.g., CBD), and terpenes (i.e., cannabis’ flavor and aroma causing compounds) without any additional plant matter. Sure, you get the definition of “concentrates,” but why should you be interested in concentrates in the first place? Well, there tend to be four reasons why individuals prefer concentrates and extracts:
- Quicker relief
- Taste and aroma
A typical cannabis flower contains between 15 and 25 percent THC. Cannabis concentrates, on the other hand, can get up to―and surpass―90 percent THC. Because concentrates contain a higher percentage of terpenes as well, a good concentrate should taste and smell better than the whole flower alternative. Whatever your goal is with cannabis, concentrates will get you there quicker and with less product.
Modern Extraction Techniques
Modern concentrates can be extracted in many ways, but fall into one of two buckets: solvent-based and non-solvent-based extractions. Solvent-based extractions involve the use of chemical solvents (typically alcohol, butane, carbon dioxide, or propane) to separate cannabinoids from the plant. However, non-solvent based extractions achieve similar results with the use of pressure, temperature, or water.
Because of the inherent danger in using alcohol, butane, carbon dioxide, or propane to extract cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis plant, it is best to leave solvent-based extractions to the experts who work in high-grade laboratories and factories.
Fans of non-solvent concentrates prefer this method because it does not use harsh and potentially harmful chemicals but still maintains high THC percentages. The lack of chemicals in this process also means this process is safe to try at home―and, as mentioned before, if you own a three chamber-grinder, you have most likely made concentrates at home.
Cannabis Concentrate Products
Wax & BUdder
Perhaps the most popular solvent-based concentrates are wax and budder. Similar to each other in many ways, the main difference between the two extracts is moisture content. Wax tends to be drier with a crumblier consistency than the oily and wet-clay-like budder. Both can be combined with ground cannabis in either a bowl or pre-roll, as well as dabbed in a rig.
Another common solvent-based concentrate is CO2 oil. As carbon dioxide is a natural compound, some people do consider it to come with less risk than alcohol, butane, or propane-based solvents. It is also a reasonably efficient process that results in a very pure end product.
Shatter can be found at most cannabis retailers and dispensaries. It tends to be more stable than wax, budder, or CO2 oil, and breaks into pieces. Shatter is also known for its amber-color, which can run the gamut from light to dark. With a rich aroma and deep flavor due to the high concentration of terpenes, shatter is favorited by those who like to indulge in all their senses when consuming.
Kief has been mentioned several times already because it’s probably the concentrate that most cannabis consumers have already used. If you have ever owned or seen a three-chamber grinder, you have probably noticed the filtering screen and the fine, almost fluffy texture of kief. Because a good deal of cannabinoids and terpenes are found in the cannabis plant’s trichomes―the part that is filtered into kief―this form of concentrate is fairly potent, regardless of the simplicity of the extraction method.
Rosin is the byproduct of cannabis when exposed to high temperatures and pressure. Since no solvents are used in this process, it is growing in popularity among home extractors. This process results in a sap-like product with a very light amber hue.
Consumption, Dabbing, and Rigs
Once you have purchased your preferred concentrate, it is time to start consuming. With most concentrates, you will be able to mix or layer with ground up cannabis flower in a bowl, pipe, or pre-roll. For those who are looking to merely dip their toe in the concentrate waters, this method may be best as you can start with small quantities of concentrate and work your way up, enjoying cannabis the way you usually do.
Dabbing is an increasingly favored way to smoke cannabis concentrates. Its popularity stems from the way it keeps concentrates away from direct flame, and because you end up inhaling vapor instead of smoke, it feels less harsh on your lungs. When dabbing, you will most likely notice that hits will get you higher faster. Therefore, if you are new to dabbing, it is always a good idea to start slow.
Tips for Beginners
As with anything new, it is important to keep some essential tips in mind when you first start using concentrates or extracts:
- A dab mat will help ensure your rig won’t slip off the table
- Clean your rig on a regular basis to remove harsh, discoloring residue.
- If you’re using a rig, make sure to heat only the nail and not the body of the rig.
- Try many different types of concentrate processes and products to determine which works best for you.
- When it comes to amounts and concentration levels, start small and slowly work yourself up.
How Acres Cannabis Can Help
Whether you have more questions about concentrates or are itching to make a selection, make sure to reach out to Acres Cannabis today! Our online menu is ready for perusal and our conveniently located retail location is open 24/7 for your Las Vegas cannabis needs.
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