If you’re brand new to weed concentrates, you may feel overwhelmed looking through all of the different products that are available. From budder to shatter to hash to live resin, it can be challenging to figure out what’s best for you. This article will give you a clear understanding of all the different choices on the market today. But before we delve into the different concentrates on the market, let’s review some cannabis concentrate basics.
What’s a Cannabis Concentrate?
To put it poetically, cannabis concentrates are “distilled dankness”. Scientifically speaking, concentrates are a compressed collection of cannabinoids and terpenes extracted from a cannabis plant’s trichomes.
If you’ve ever handled cannabis before, you should know that trichomes are the sticky, semi-white protuberances that coat flowers. These tiny trichomes are so valuable because they contain all of the cannabinoids and terpenes that smokers crave. When manufacturers separate trichomes from cannabis and make them into a new product, they can put together some incredibly intense “concentrates.”
How intense, you ask? Well, different concentrates range in potency, but they typically have well over 30 percent cannabinoid content. On the high end, you could find concentrates with above 95 percent THC content!
Oh yeah, and don’t forget about CBD. Yes, there are now non-intoxicating concentrates with equally impressive CBD levels. These products are fantastic for customers who want to experience weed’s therapeutic properties without feeling stoned.
Solvent vs. Solventless Extraction – How Do Manufacturers Create Cannabis Concentrates?
Getting all of those delicate trichomes off the cannabis plant may seem like an impossible task, but manufacturers have many tricks up their sleeves. Indeed, thousands of years ago, people in India and the Middle East perfected the art of pressing hashish. Other time-honoured techniques include sifting flowers through fine-mesh strainers (aka dry-sifting) and using cold water baths.
As technology advanced, many extractors began using solvents to make ultra-refined cannabis concentrates. One of the most popular solvents nowadays is supercritical CO2, but you could also find plenty of products that use butane, alcohol, or hexane.
But please don’t worry about ingesting solvent residue. Companies put their products through rigorous screenings before reaching the marketplace.
Why Would I Want To Use A Cannabis Concentrate?
Most people get interested in cannabis concentrates for one reason: potency! Just one hit of high-quality concentrate is sure to knock you off your rocker. This is fantastic news for experienced medical marijuana patients who want fast-acting relief. If you’re in need of a potent pot experience, cannabis concentrates won’t let you down.
There are, however, other benefits to using cannabis concentrates. For instance, since you only need a tiny bit of “sauce” to get high, a small vial of concentrate could save you some money. Also, some people say they enjoy the cleaner taste of some concentrates versus flowers.
As a bonus, concentrates won’t get moldy like cannabis flowers. As long as you store your concentrates in a sealed container far from light, heat, and humidity, they should retain their max potency for months.
Just How Intense Are Cannabis Concentrates?
Since cannabis concentrates are so powerful, you may be wondering whether they’re safe to use. Indeed, we often hear from new customers who are afraid of the overwhelming effects associated with dabs.
To put your fears at bay: there’s no scientific evidence that too much cannabis will cause life-threatening side effects. In fact, the CDC now says it’s virtually impossible to die from taking too much weed.
However, that’s no excuse for overdoing it! Cannabis concentrates mean serious business, and they will cause adverse reactions if you’re not careful. People who aren’t used to THC may experience side effects like insomnia, difficulty concentrating, and severe anxiety. If you’re prone to panic attacks, it’s best to avoid THC concentrates until you have more experience with cannabis. Also, people who have pre-existing conditions or who are taking prescription medications should speak with a qualified doctor before trying any cannabis product.
Anyone who’s new to cannabis concentrates should start with the smallest possible dose and see how their body reacts. Be sure to monitor your reaction and stop using concentrates if you feel it’s too much to handle. You may also want to keep a dosage journal to track your THC tolerance.
Are Cannabis Concentrates The Same As Tinctures Or Oils?
As you start exploring the cannabis concentrate market, you’ll notice some vendors use terms like extracts, oils, and tinctures interchangeably. While all of these products could be considered cannabis concentrates, they don’t all refer to the same thing.
If you want to get technical, a cannabis extract must go through a solvent-based procedure. So, something like hashish wouldn’t be considered an extract, but butane hash oil would be.
Since cannabis tinctures use solvents like alcohol, they should always be classified as extracts. On the other hand, cannabis oils don’t necessarily go through solvent-based extraction, so they could just be concentrates.
But don’t worry too much about all this technical jargon. The most important thing to keep in mind is that extracts use solvents, while concentrates don’t have to.
To keep things super-simple for our customers, BC Bud Supply put all of our concentrates (including extracts, oils, and tinctures) in one convenient tab.
How Do You Use Cannabis Concentrates?
If you’ve heard of concentrates before, then chances are you’ve also heard of dabbing. Heck, for many cannabis enthusiasts, the only way to use concentrates is to dab them. Sometimes, you may even see concentrates listed as dabs in online stores and dispensaries.
For those who aren’t aware, dabbing refers to smoking concentrates through a device known as a dabbing rig. Traditionally, dabbers heat a nail with a blowtorch, place their preferred concentrate on the nail, and inhale. There are also a few fancy “e-rigs” now available that allow smokers to dab without the need for a blowtorch.
While dabbing is the most popular way to consume concentrates, it’s not the only way you could use these products. For instance, many people enjoy mixing a tiny bit of concentrate into their joints, spliffs, or blunts. You could also find a few portable vaporizers that have concentrate compatibility.
How Should You Store Cannabis Concentrates?
Like cannabis flowers, it’s best to store cannabis concentrates in a cool, dark place. You could even keep your concentrates in the refrigerator if you’re not planning on using them within a few weeks.
Choosing which container to store your concentrate in depends on your product’s consistency and how quickly you want to use it. If you have a particularly sticky substance like shatter, it’s best to leave it in parchment paper rather than a glass jar. By contrast, runnier substances like terp sauce tend to do better in silicone jars.
If you’re planning on leaving your concentrate in the fridge, it’d be wise to invest in a vacuum-sealer. Whatever you do, try your best to keep humidity and moisture away from your concentrate. Also, please bring your refrigerated concentrate to room temperature before scooping out a dab.
When properly stored, opened cannabis concentrates should maintain their full potency for about one month. If you’re keeping your cannabis concentrate in the fridge, you can expect it to maintain peak potency for about one year.
What Are The Most Common Cannabis Concentrates?
While all cannabis concentrates share a higher-than-average cannabinoid count, there are significant differences between various products. Most often, concentrates differ in terms of consistency, but there may also be differences in flavour or intended uses. Customers should review the key features in each concentrate before making a purchase.
All of the concentrates detailed below are available at BC Bud Supply. Be sure to click the links in each concentrate description for more details.
Hashish is the OG of cannabis concentrates! Dating back thousands of years, this Middle Eastern miracle is a collection of trichomes that have been pressed into a brick-like consistency. Traditionally, hash was made by sifting trichomes through various mesh screens, but modern-day manufacturers could use dry ice or cold water baths to maximize their yield.
Today, most people who use hashish enjoy smoking it in joints, glass pipes, or bubblers. You could also use hashish in a dab rig, but you may want to pre-heat it with parchment paper and a hair straightener. Certain varieties of hash burn better than others, so be sure to ask someone experienced with this concentrate before you start experimenting.
Oils and Tinctures
Cannabis oils and tinctures have quickly become one of the hottest concentrate category in the legal weed market—and it’s not hard to see why. Not only are these concentrates beginner-friendly, they are relatively discreet and easy-to-dose.
While both of these products share many similarities, tinctures are typically made with alcohol as a solvent. Cannabis tinctures also tend to be more fluid than oils.
Although you can’t smoke oils or tinctures, there’s a neat trick customers use to feel effects almost immediately. After you measure your desired cannabinoid percentage in a dropper, place it under your tongue for about a minute, and then swallow.
Interestingly, there are glands under the tongue that can absorb cannabinoids into our bloodstream. So, if you let your tincture sit for just one minute, you should feel potent results fast.
First introduced in the early 2000s, shatter is a sharp-edged concentrate that looks and feels like a pane of glass. But don’t worry; you won’t feel any sharp shards as you smoke this concentrate. Indeed, with the right dabbing equipment, smoking a piece of shatter should feel super smooth!
Some dabbers like how rigid shatter is compared with other concentrates. You may find it easier to break and transfer just the right amount of shatter for your needs. However, shatter does tend to get stuck to glass jars or silicone containers. For this reason, many users place their shatter in parchment paper for convenient storage.
HTFSE Terp Sauce
If you’re not a fan of shatter’s rigid texture, then cannabis sauces may be more your style. As the name suggests, sauces are concentrates that have a runny, honey-like consistency.
One popular sauce variety in today’s cannabis market is called High Terpene Full Spectrum Extract. Sometimes called terp sauce, HTFSE is usually made with butane extraction technology and has a higher-than-average concentration of terpenes. These additional aromatic compounds give HTFSE an intense flavour profile. While cannabinoid percentages are high in terp sauce, these products are perfect for cannasseurs who crave a flavour-forward experience.
In terms of consistency, budder is a fantastic middle of the road option. A good batch of budder should be malleable, but nowhere near as soupy as a cannabis sauce. Budder feels, well, just like butter!
People who don’t like the density of shatter or the liquid-like consistency of sauce will dig budder’s Goldilocks texture.
There’s also another cannabis concentrate called crumble that’s often confused with budder. While both of these concentrates are nearly identical, crumble is slightly tougher. Cannasseurs often describe crumble as having a texture similar to blue cheese.
What makes live resin such a unique concentrate is its innovative fresh-flower extraction process. Instead of using dried cannabis buds, live resin extractors flash-freeze cannabis flowers immediately after harvest. The goal of this technique is to preserve the plant’s max terpene percentage throughout the extraction process. This innovative strategy gives live resin its delicious flavour profile.
However, unlike HTFSE, live resin has a firmer, budder-like consistency. Flavour chasers who want a premier experience are the best fit for live resin products.
Please don’t confuse live resin with the equally popular concentrate rosin. Instead of using flash-freezing technology, rosin manufacturers use a combination of heat and pressure to make their sticky concentrate. In fact, as long as you have parchment paper, a heat-resistant glove, a few trichome rich buds, and a hair straightener, you can make rosin at home! While rosin is nowhere near as pure as live resin, it’s also way more budget-friendly.
If your only goal is to get super high super fast, THC diamonds are for you. These precious gems go through multiple rounds of intense purification to have a THC content of nearly 100 percent. You must have a solid THC tolerance before dabbing these diamonds.
Please keep in mind that THC diamonds are flavourless. You won’t get to experience any of the effects of terpenes or secondary cannabinoids like CBD or CBG. People who crave complex flavours or the entourage effect should look into the other concentrates in our catalog.
Are Cannabis Concentrates Right For You?
It’s not difficult to understand why concentrates are “shattering” records in Canada’s cannabis market. These highly-purified products offer customers an easy way to feel CBD or THC effects within a few seconds.
However, if you have a low THC tolerance, we’d suggest focusing on CBD-rich goods or easy-to-dose oils and tinctures. You may also want to review our extensive edibles and cannabis flower portfolios for a less intense experience. Once you have a higher tolerance for THC, you should feel more confident about upgrading to higher-intensity goods like shatter, budder, or THC diamonds.
If you’re looking for a place to make a purchase online, be sure to check out BC Bud Supply’s vast catalogue of weed concentrates here.