A Quick Guide to Cannabis Concentrates

From wax to shatter and hash to rosin, cannabis concentrates are as diverse as they are potent.

July 10th, also known as 7/10, is International Dab Day - a day in which we celebrate cannabis oil and concentrate. On this day of cannabis concentrate celebration, we thought it might interest those of you who don’t know much about the world of cannabis oil to learn more about it. From wax to shatter and hash to rosin, concentrates are as diverse as they are potent.

What are cannabis concentrates?

Concentrate is oil that is extracted from cannabis flower and the end result is considerably more potent than the flower alone. Concentrates can be extracted into many different forms and consistencies, considering the starting material used and extraction technique.

Extraction Technique: Solvent-based

One common way to create concentrate is by extracting the cannabinoid-rich flower with a solvent. A solvent-based extraction refers to the source used to extract the cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis flower, including CO2, butane or ethanol. This process can create concentrates with very high potencies ranging from 60-90% active cannabinoid content. Properly made solvent-based extracts remove all of the solvents before sold.

Solvent concentrates include:

  • Butane Hash Oil (BHO): concentrate that is made with butane as a solvent. Golden to amber in color. This process is used for many concentrate types such as shatter, wax, honeycomb, budder and crumble.
  • Live resin: a form of BHO that is made by flash freezing cannabis flowers after harvest.
  • Wax: a form of BHO that is similar to shatter but looks different. Wax is opaque in appearance, granular texture and golden in color.
  • Budder or badder: concentrates whipped under heat to create a cake-batter like texture.
  • Shatter: Translucent and brittle with a golden to amber hue. Hard in consistency.
  • Crumble or honeycomb: dried oil with a honeycomb-like consistency.
  • CO2 oil: often used to fill vape cartridges. Light to dark amber in color with a honey-like consistency.
  • THC oil or distillate: Refined cannabis oil that is usually free of taste or smell. It is the base of most edibles and vape cartridges.

Extraction Technique: Solventless

Solventless concentrates require no solvent extraction. Solventless refers to a more mechanical method or craft based approach of extracting concentrate from cannabis flower. One solventless method, for example, simply applies heat and pressure to press out cannabis resins which produces what is known as rosin.

Solventless concentrates include:

  • Kief: dry sift particles that are sticky and cover cannabis flowers. Kief is one part of what is called a trichome.
  • Rosin: This is created by applying heat and pressure to press out cannabis resins. Sticky to touch with a yellow-golden color.
  • Isolates: clear in coloration and contains nothing but the isolated cannabinoid indicated, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Does not contain any residual terpenes or cannabinoids.
  • Crystallines: Isolated cannabinoids in their pure crystal structure.
  • Hash: Created with water, ice and mesh screens to pull out trichomes into a paste-like consistency.

How do you consume concentrates?

Concentrates can be either smoked or vaped, otherwise known as dabbing. A basic dab rig set up includes a water pipe, glass or metal tool to put the concentrate on, nail and blow torch. You will use the blow torch to heat up the nail, then use the glass or metal tool to put the concentrate onto the nail. Inhale slowly. A more simplistic or easier method of dabbing is to use an electronic vape or dab pen. The Puffco Peak and Puffco Plus offer great options for electronic dabbing.

If you’re new to concentrates or smoking cannabis, remember that concentrate is much more potent than smoking flower alone. Between different types, potency and price points, there is much to take into account when picking out a concentrate. March and Ash virtual concierges are always happy to help you pick the right product for you. Simply click on the green chat box in the bottom right corner of your screen to begin a live conversation. Happy dabbing!