Cannabis concentrates, also known as extractions, have become ever-popular in North America and beyond, but, some consumers may find themselves a little overwhelmed when it comes to selecting an appropriate cannabis concentrate. Our cannabis concentrates guide will help you in your own journey to selecting an appropriate form of cannabis concentrate. These types of cannabis products can be consumed via vaporization, traditional smoking, cannabis edibles, and of course, dabbing.
The first cannabis concentrates were made over 12,000 years ago – these cannabis concentrates were made by rubbing plant material together and creating hashish. The oldest hash production has been traced back as far as 10,000 B.C to the Steppe Mountains in modern China.
Cannabis concentrates can reach THC levels of 90% and up. Regular cannabis flower, on average, has 15-20% THC. Cannabis concentrates can be as easy as collecting kief in a grinder, or, as complex as using a million-dollar hydraulic press system.
Learn more with our easy guide to cannabis concentrates below.
Cannabis Concentrates Guide: How Are Cannabis Concentrates Extracted?
Cannabis concentrates can be made in several different ways. There are two main types of extraction used in the production of cannabis concentrates and these are classified as solvent and non-solvent extractions. Within these two classifications, there are multiple methods of producing a cannabis product that is highly potent. Explore the different methods of extraction for cannabis concentrates:
Solvent-Based Cannabis Extraction for Concentrates
BHO (Butane) Cannabis Extractions – If you purchase a cannabis concentrate that was extracted using butane, then it will be labelled as BHO. Butane cannabis extractions are highly potent and include shatter, wax, and budder. Butane cannabis concentrates are incredibly dangerous to make and should never be attempted within a setting other than a controlled industrial environment.
CO2 Cannabis Extractions – Cannabis concentrates using CO2 in their extraction use a combination of pressure and temperature to extract elements of dried cannabis. Cannabis concentrates made using this process can be extremely refined, with cannabinoid and terpene content being controlled by the rate of temperature. An industrial CO2 extraction machine can cost upwards of $1million.
PHO (Propane) Cannabis Extractions – The PHO method is very similar to the BHO (butane) method of cannabis extraction. The difference between the two is that propane offers a lower boiling point which preserves important terpenes and will also allow for a faster purging process. In addition, PHO cannabis concentrates are considered to have a cleaner taste.
Isopropyl Alcohol (QWISO) Cannabis Extractions – Isopropyl alcohol is used by many cannabis consumers to produce their own cannabis concentrates. The QWISO (Quick Wash Isopropyl) system is used by many. On a large scale of production, ethanol is used for its ability to be re-used in future extractions. Ethanol has a high recovery rate in terms of how much can be salvaged after the initial process.
Non-Solvent Cannabis Extraction for Concentrates
Pressurized Cannabis Extraction – Pressurized cannabis extractions have become one of the most popular in recent times. Rosin is one such pressurized cannabis extraction that is clean and quite simple to make at home. Rosin can be made with parchment paper, hair straighteners, and cannabis, or, there are even portable rosin press machines available. Cannabis will be placed in a hydraulic press and the resulting wax/oil that is produced is considered a cannabis concentrate.
Heat & Water Cannabis Extraction – Heat and water can also be used to extract cannabinoids and terpenes from cannabis flower material. This type of cannabis extraction can be incredibly flavourful as well as potent.
Cannabis Concentrates: Types of Cannabis Concentrates & Extractions
There is a massive number of products available from the various extraction methods outlined above. With that being said, let us take a look at the correct terminology for each type of cannabis concentrate.
Hash, Finger Rub Hash, Dry Ice Hash, Bubble Hash – This type of cannabis concentrate has been popular in China and the Middle East for hundreds of years. Traditional Morrocan hashish is made by dry-sifting flower material and traditional Afghani hashish is made by placing cannabis into water or tea, separating the resin and creating hash bricks.
Live Resin – Live resin is produced by freezing a part of the cannabis plant and extracting the THC. Live resin is perhaps one of the most complex cannabis extractions due to the fact you will need a laboratory, and equipment, to produce it.
THC Distillate, Phoenix Tears, Terp Gravy – This type of cannabis concentrate is incredibly potent, with minimum THC levels at approximately 90%. Maximum THC levels in this type of cannabis extraction can reach 99%. THC distillate is usually found in a device that makes dosing very precise.
Budder, Wax – This type of cannabis concentrate is incredibly sticky and somewhat resembles ear wax. Don’t let that put you off though, budder/wax is incredibly easy to vape, smoke, or dab with, as well as being incredibly smooth and flavourful.
Kief – Kief is the easiest cannabis concentrate for any cannabis consumer to access. Using a 3-chambered grinder, kief collection becomes a natural routine and is a very potent addition to any traditional joint or bong.
Shatter – This highly refined cannabis extract is usually amber in colour. Shatter is made with a pressure vacuum and contains, on average, around 90% THC. Shatter is perhaps the most popular ‘dabbing’ concentrate among experienced cannabis consumers.
Rosin – As mentioned, rosin has become especially popular in recent times because it is rather easy to make at home. Rosin is perhaps the cleanest method of extraction to make cannabis concentrates and the taste cannot be beaten.
Honeycomb – Honeycomb is a complex extraction process for cannabis. Producing honeycomb involves using a closed-loop extraction system and spraying the cannabis plant material with a solvent. The resulting extraction is then placed in an oven and cooked then pressed to give it the signature honeycomb pattern.
How Do I Consume Cannabis Concentrates?
Cannabis concentrates can be consumed in a variety of ways. With the rise of new technological advances in cannabis consumption methods and products, it won’t be long until this section is updated with a new method.
Vaping/Vaporization – Cannabis concentrates can be consumed through a dry-herb, disposable, or THC vape pen. Mixing small pieces of hash, shatter, or rosin in with a dry-herb vape is highly recommended.
Dabbing and TraditionalSmoking – Dabbing involves using a “dab rig”, heating a coil, and ‘dabbing’ a small piece of shatter, budder, or otherwise against the heated coil. This will result in combustion and the resulting smoke is inhaled to create a ‘dab’. Cannabis concentrates can also be rolled into a joint or placed in a pipe and inhaled just as normal cannabis flower would be.
Cannabis Edibles – The world of cannabis edibles is truly fascinating. Using cannabis concentrates, properly decarboxylated of course, in edibles can be a convenient way to add a large amount of THC to any meal. For cannabis edibles recipes click here.
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