An exploration into the wacky, wild world of cannabis concentrates is an undertaking laced with excitement and confusion. With a dizzying array of options, it can be difficult to differentiate between marijuana's more potent derivatives. However, fear not! This beginner’s guide is on hand to explain what concentrates are and explore the various forms of this widespread form of cannabis. Let’s examine the different types of cannabis concentrates and demystify the world of marijuana extracts. So, are you ready to discover the power of concentrates? Let’s dive in!
What is Cannabis Concentrate?
When it comes to cannabis, consumers have a lot of options to choose from. Among the choices is cannabis concentrate, a product that has grown in popularity over recent years due to its potency and ease of use. But what exactly is cannabis concentrate? Simply put, cannabis concentrate is any form of cannabis product that has been refined in order to increase the level of cannabinoids and other compounds like terpenes within the product. This refinement process can come in multiple forms depending on the type of concentrate you’re talking about. Some popular forms include things like wax, budder, shatter, live resin, and distillate, among others. When properly derived and handled in a safe setting, concentrates can provide users with a variety of potential benefits, including increased potency and reduced costs associated with smoking materials like flowers. It should be noted, however, that for those new to using concentrates, the products can sometimes be difficult to work with and potentially unpredictable due to the concentration of cannabinoids available when consumed.
Different Types of Cannabis Concentrates
Cannabis concentrates come in many forms and can be created using a variety of extraction methods. Generally, the categories of concentrates include oils, waxes, budders, shatters, and tinctures. Each type of concentrate has differences in terms of texture and look, as well as strength and levels of desired components such as THC. Oils tend to be the most popular type of cannabis concentrate and are typically composed of an oil-based extract made from plant material that includes cannabinoids such as THC and CBD, along with terpenoids. These extracts can offer users an exceptionally high level of potency - some exceeding 90%! Many prefer oils because they are easy to dose and suit those who don’t like smoking or vaporizing flowers.
Waxes are also increasingly popular among cannabis connoisseurs due to their relatively high concentrations of THC, which is ideal for dabbing. They can come in either soft or hard textures and range in color from light yellow to dark brown/black. Additionally, they often have a creamy or waxy consistency which makes them both easier to handle and consume than other types of concentrate. Budders follow the same production process as waxes but have an extra step where the resulting product is whipped under pressure until it forms a creamy consistency with a texture resembling soft butter. These products offer a pleasant experience when taken orally, but most users prefer to vape them due to their unique taste. Shatters offer yet another method of consumption for those looking for a more intense high than what is achievable from flowers alone. This type of concentrate has a glass-like translucent appearance that breaks easily when handled - hence the name “shatter.” The combination of its look and superior creaminess makes it ideal for dabbing and vaping. Finally, tinctures offer cannabis enthusiasts an interesting alternative to traditional ingestion methods such as edibles or drinking cannabis teas or coffee. Tinctures allow users to enjoy the benefits of cannabis without having to smoke or vape it, instead providing users with an easier way to consume CBD or THC-infused liquids placed under the tongue. As such, these products can provide people with both immediate relief from pain or discomfort and subtle psychoactive effects that can last between four and six hours on average.
As different types of cannabis concentrates have become more popular and accessible over time, end users must take into consideration their desired effects when selecting the right form factor for their needs. By exploring the options available within each class - from oils to tinctures -people will gain a better understanding of how each concentrate works so they can make more informed decisions about their choices going forward.
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How are Cannabis Concentrates Made?
Now that we have explored the different types of cannabis concentrates let's turn our attention to how these products are made. When discussing the production of concentrates, it is important to consider both solvent-based and solventless techniques. Solvent-based techniques involve soaking plant material in a chemical solution to strip away cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds that form the oil. The most common solvents used are butane, propane, or methylene chloride. This method is known to deliver highly concentrated extracts. But given that it involves using potentially hazardous chemicals, users should be aware of what may remain in the extract once it's been processed. Tests have shown that traces of petroleum-based hydrocarbons such as benzene can be present in the product. The alternative extraction technique is solventless, which uses mechanical processes like pressing or stirring instead of chemical solvents. Advocates for solventless extraction claim that it produces higher-quality oil since there are no harsh chemicals being used during the extraction process. While its yield is lower than solvent-based methods, solventless extraction can produce incredibly pure, safe oils without sacrificing quality or potency.
Solventless and Chemical Techniques
Solventless and chemical techniques are two other methods used to create cannabis concentrates. Solventless extraction generally involves a process that uses heat and pressure to separate the essential oils and flavors from the trichomes that are found on the cannabis flowers or trim. These processes can all be done manually, with a variety of home tools and devices, or with more advanced, commercially available equipment. Extracts produced through solvents or chemicals involve the use of substances such as hydrocarbons like butane, propane, CO2, ethanol, and other solvents. These techniques help cannabis concentrate makers extract cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds quickly and efficiently. Proponents of solventless extraction point to the purity of these products as a major benefit. The lack of unwanted chemicals allows an extractor to work safely with their product without worrying about any contamination or filtration of residual solvents. On the other hand, fans of solvent extraction argue that this method provides greater control when separating compounds, noting that it is quicker to accomplish than its solventless counterpart. Furthermore, those who prefer extraction with solvents note that there is typically a stronger flavor and aroma in these types of extracts due to the high temperatures at which they are extracted.
Popular Types of Cannabis Concentrates
When it comes to popular types of cannabis concentrates, many users are likely unaware of one of the most popular techniques; extracts. This method is also known as BHO, or butane hash oil, and involves submerging cannabis in a solvent such as butane, alcohol, or CO2 and then evaporating away the solvent to leave just the concentrated extract behind. Extracts produced through this method are often quite potent, and users can expect higher THC content than you'll find with other types of cannabis concentrate. There are two main categories within this type of extraction: shatter/budder and oils/waxes.
Shatter and budder are widely used because they generally contain very high concentrations of THC. Shatter is typically the most potent form, containing anywhere from 70- 90% THC while budder usually has concentrations ranging from 50 – 70%. Both can be dabbed directly onto a hot surface or vaporized in specialized vaporizing chambers and offer quite a strong hit when consumed. Oils and waxes have become increasingly popular recently due to their convenience. These forms of the extract have been decarboxylated (a different process that makes the cannabinoids available for use) and can easily be taken orally using an infused edible recipe or using a dropper bottle included with some of them. Waxes may not always be as potent as shatter or budder. However, they still contain much higher concentrations of THC than you would find in flower buds.
Extracts (Shatter/Budder), Oils, and Waxes
The transition from discussing the popular types of cannabis concentrates brings us to a discussion of extracts, oils, and waxes. Extracts are made by forcing a solvent through marijuana buds, either with heat or pressure, which separates out the resin. This gooey residue is then purged in a vacuum oven to remove any extra solvents, leaving behind what’s known as shatter or budder—the two most common forms of extracts. Shatter is a transparent, glass-like concentrate that crumbles into pieces when handled, while budder is an opaque concentrate with an almost creamy texture to it. Oils are made from extraction processes still involving solvents, such as carbon dioxide, alcohol, and butane. However, this form binds the cannabinoids and terpenes onto plant fats and lipids—not pure THC extract like in shatter or budder. Waxes are also formed with solvents. However, they only require agitation and filtering before being heated in order to concentrate THC from the trichomes. These concentrates provide users with higher cannabinoid concentrations than traditional products. Studies have found that some of these concentrates contain up to 95% THC by weight (Volkow et al., 2017), while marijuana flowers typically contain 10-30%. Higher levels of THC can lead to stronger effects and a quicker onset of the high; however, it is important to note that the jury is still out on whether or not these stronger concentrates can be considered good or bad for users. Many argue that using them could lead to more health issues due to their potency, while others believe that they offer medicinal users more control over their medication dosage.
Effects and Taste of Cannabis Concentrates
The effects and taste of cannabis concentrates vary greatly and can depend significantly on which extract process is used to create a particular concentrate. In general, the effects associated with oils and waxes are the most diverse and include increased clarity, reduced anxiety, and improved focus. For those looking to enjoy a calming experience, they may want to seek out shatter or budder extracts. These types of extracts often provide consumers with an intense body high that usually leads to relaxation or relief from physical pain.
When it comes to the tastes associated with these different forms of cannabis concentrates, this is again dependent upon the extract process used. However, some of the most common flavor profiles that tend to be detected in cannabis concentrates include herbal, sweet, sour, fruity, pungent, and musky notes. Consumers should be aware that flavored oils or waxes do exist on the market and will usually overpower any naturally occurring flavors found in the original plant material.
The aroma as a Characteristic of Cannabis Concentrates
Aroma is one of the most important characteristics that must be taken into account when exploring different types of cannabis concentrates. The aroma can be used as an indication of potency, terpene levels, and overall quality. It is also an indicator of how the concentrate was made and which extraction process was used. Extraction methods, such as hydrocarbons (butane, propane, hexane) or ethanol, will impact the smell, flavor, and color of cannabis extracts. The terpene profile of the concentrate often contributes to its aroma since they are volatile compounds that dissipate quickly. Concentrates created with hydrocarbon extraction techniques tend to have more pungent aromas due to higher concentrations of monoterpenes, while those created with ethanol extractions have more delicate scents due to their richer concentration of sesquiterpenes. Solventless extractions tend to produce a “cleaner” aroma since many of the volatile compounds from the original plant material are preserved in the extract.
With the help of Munchies Cannabis, you can embark on an adventure into the world of cannabis concentrates. You will learn about the numerous sorts, such as shatter, wax, and others, in the thorough beginner's guide that we have prepared for you. Elevate the quality of your cannabis experience to new heights. Get in touch with us at 613-748-1000 to learn more about the world of concentrates and to enhance the pleasure you experience.