The legalization of marijuana as a medication in the majority of the states has pushed people and researchers into exploring both technological advancements and the history of the plant. How it was consumed earlier and how its consumption can be taken to another level is being brought to the attention of the common public.
Once you have a medical marijuana card, from a telemedicine platform like onlinemedicalcard.com, you will see how medical dispensaries are filled with cannabis-infused products. There was a time when people thought marijuana can only be smoked but we have finally reached a place where the same marijuana can be eaten, applied, and extracted into cannabis concentrates for better effects and experience.
What are Cannabis Concentrates?
Cannabis concentrates, as the name suggests, are cannabis products in their concentrated form. Any product that has a significantly high amount of THC and is processed in such a manner that all the cannabinoids and terpenes are kept intact in the product but extra plant material is reduced can be listed under the cannabis concentrates category. Cannabis concentrates are usually gooey in texture and can be extracted in several ways.
How are Cannabis Concentrates Extracted?
There are primarily two ways in which cannabis concentrates are extracted:
- Solvent Based Extraction
- Solventless Extraction
Solvent-based extractions require a solvent in which the cannabis plant is soaked so that the terpenes and cannabinoids can be extracted into the solvent. This method may sound easy to do at home but it is suggested to not experiment with solvent-based extractions at home, manually as the solvent may be a little dangerous to deal with and the product you are left with may be contaminated.
Manufacturers use high-end technology and machines to conduct this process with care and make sure the end product is safe and clean for consumption.
There is a list of solvents that can be used to extract the components of the cannabis plant. It majorly includes CO2, butane, propane, and ethanol.
Solvent-based extracted cannabis products are considered more potent because the cannabinoids and terpenes are not exposed to physical pressure or agitation which can affect their consistency and concentration.
After extracting the components of the plant into the solvent, there is a mandatory step that is followed to make sure that the product is safe and not contaminated which is called purging. Purging means the process of evaporating or vacuuming the product to get rid of the residual solvent.
There is no solvent added to the cannabis plant. To get the extract, the bud is either heated or pressurized. One of the most common products made by solventless extraction that almost everyone is familiar with is hash. Solventless extraction takes more time than solvent-based extraction but it is considered natural and its usage can be traced back centuries.
Types of Cannabis Concentrates
Depending on the extraction method used, there is a whole list of products that qualify as cannabis concentrates.
One of the most common products made by solvent-based extraction methods. Co2 oil, as the name suggests, is made by using Co2 as the solvent. The oil concentrate is thick in consistency and not runny but it is still in its liquid state. It is considered easy to extract terpenes and cannabinoids with oil because it does not require much heat and more terpenes are retained than any other method.
Butane hash Oil
Butane hash oil is extracted by using butane and propane as solvent. Also known as hydrocarbon oil, this oil extraction method is highly preferred by the experts because according to them it keeps the plant in its form and does not alter the chemical structure or concentration of the cannabinoids and terpenes like other extraction methods.
Hashish, also known as hash, is one of the most common cannabis concentrates that is extracted by using the non-solvent extraction method. Not just common, the existence of hash can be traced back to more than a millennia.
Live resin is extremely popular because of its high terpene concentration that makes the product aromatic and flavorsome. To make live resin, the plant is generally frozen to retain the cannabinoids and terpenes. The extraction method used for live resin, wax, and budder is very similar. The step of freezing the plant differentiates live resin from the other two products.
It is one of the easiest to make concentration products. All you have to do is rub the plant against a special filtering screen and collect the plant’s trichomes.
Rosin is extracted by the non-solvent extraction method. It requires high pressure and heat to separate trichomes from essential oils. Rosin is available in a thick semi-solid texture and can be easily extracted at home as well. There is both commercial as well as at home level machinery available in the market that is used to extract rosin.
Wax is the gooey, slimy textured cannabis concentrate that is extracted by the solvent-based extraction method. The product is heated at low temperatures to retain the terpenes and cannabinoids. It is different from budder as it is drier and less sticky.
Some products are different from each other because of the texture. Budder, wax, and crumble are products that fall into that category. Extracted in an exactly similar manner, budder has more liquid, runny consistency than wax. During the extraction process, the budder is the first end product. It is then heated and processed further to get wax and then the wax is further processed to get crumble.
Crumble is nothing but an even drier version of wax, which is another cannabis concentrate. Once the wax is extracted, it can be further heated and processed to get the crumble.
How to Consume Cannabis Concentrates?
Dabbing is one of the most common and preferred methods of consuming cannabis concentrates. Similar to bongs, a dab rig is a device that is used to consume cannabis concentrates. Another device that is handier and easier to use than a dab rig is a dab pen. However, according to people the experience with dab rigs is much better, aromatic, flavorsome, and smoother than dab pens. The only reason why people choose dab pen is that it is portable.
Concentrates can be smoked through vapes, pipes, and joints as well. But you cannot and should not try smoking the dab alone. That won’t be a great experience. Adding bud and the concentrate together will offer a much better experience and effects.
Some of these concentrates are amazing to make cannabis-infused edibles. Easy to handle and calculate, cannabis concentrates not only make the process of baking and cooking easier but even offer better and stronger effects than the flower. Moreover, there will be no extra step of decarboxylation. Decarboxylating the bud can be very confusing and difficult, eliminating the step can prove to be an advantage of using cannabis concentrates in edibles.
Effects of Cannabis Concentrates
Since cannabis concentrates have a higher amount of THC, the psychoactive effects shall be a little stronger than the normal bud. THC has several health benefits, just like CBD. It will help alleviate pain, reduce stress, treat nausea, and offer a sense of calm. Other than that, concentrates have a higher concentration of terpenes and other cannabinoids as well. So, there shall be added medicinal benefits of other cannabinoids and terpenes too.