Cannabis concentrates are potent extracts derived from the cannabis plant. While cannabis flower usually caps out with the most potent strains at no more than 30% THC content, concentrates offer users up to 99% potency.Cannabinoids are the chemical components in cannabis responsible for their beneficial properties. THC and CBD are the primary active cannabinoids in concentrates, however, there are dozens of others including CBG, CBN, Delta-8 THC, CBC, and more.Beyond cannabinoids, concentrates also include large quantities of terpenes, the aromatic compounds in cannabis responsible for its different aromas and flavors.Thanks to advanced extraction and distillation techniques, cannabis concentrates come in a large range of forms and potencies with varying profiles.Generally, though, the most popular types of cannabis concentrates are primarily composed of either THC or CBD.
Since you are reading this, you are likely new to cannabis concentrates. Here’s what to look for in a good cannabis concentrate. Potency and profile are obvious aspects to look at first.
Concentrates with a full spectrum of naturally occurring cannabis compounds tend to provide the best overall balanced profile and effect. This includes terpene content!
So beyond just looking at potency, be sure to check out the terpene and cannabinoid profile to see if the concentrate has a robust range of naturally occurring cannabis compounds, or if it’s primarily made of isolated or pure cannabinoids.
You’ll know the quality of a good cannabis concentrate by the way that it tastes and the way that it vaporizes.
Good cannabis concentrates should have an amazing flavor, and not taste like strange chemical additives or fillers.
Good cannabis concentrates will also vaporize or sublimate easily. Some concentrates are called full-melt, because they completely turn into vapor, while others are called half-melt.
Half-melt concentrates contain more plant matter, and therefore burn or combust to a certain degree rather than vaporize. A good rule of thumb is - if it vapes easy and tastes amazing, you’ve likely found yourself a great cannabis concentrate.
One last thing about getting a great cannabis concentrate is to check for third-party labs and ingredients.
The labs will confirm the concentrates are pure from any residual chemical solvent residues, and that it’s free from any unwanted contaminants and potential toxins such as pesticides or mold.
Check the ingredients of your concentrates, especially for vape carts! Some brands use food-grade thinners and synthetic fragrances that degrade the quality and effect of cannabis.
To find the best cannabis concentrates, always try to go for the cleanest, purest products without any artificial additives.
Now that you know a bit more about what to look for in a great concentrate, let’s get into the different kinds of cannabis concentrates available.
Solventless concentrates are cannabis concentrates that are made without the use of any solvents.
A solvent is a chemical, such as ethanol, CO2, or butane, in which cannabis flower is dissolved to separate its desirable compounds from the plant material.
Instead, solventless concentrates utilize variations in heat and pressure to separate the desired compounds from the flower without any chemical solvents.
Perhaps the oldest form of concentrated cannabis is Hash. Hash is a solventless concentrate made from oils and resins from raw cannabis flowers.
Hash will vary in purity, potency, and profile depending on the process used to make and the quality of the original flower.
Hash is very potent but not as potent as other forms of full-melt concentrates. Hash is great to add to cannabis flower, or tobacco even, to enhance its flavor and potency
Kief is made up of crystallized trichomes, the structures in which cannabis’ chemicals are produced.
You’ve noticed kief if you’ve ever seen the powder, pollen-like substance that falls off of freshly dried cannabis flower.
Or, if you’ve ever had a grinder that has an extra little compartment on the bottom. That compartment is for collecting the kief that falls off when you grind the flower.
Kief is made of pure cannabinoids and concentrated terpenes. It has a potent effect and is great for adding to flower or tobacco to enhance its flavor and potency.
Rosin, or live rosin, is almost considered gold in the solventless concentrates world. Made by crushing fresh or dried cannabis flower in a heated press.
When cannabis flower is put under the right pressure and heat, its oils are expelled out in almost an oozing fashion, producing a concentrated form known as rosin.
Rosin contains the full profile of the starting cannabis material and is packed with powerful potency and unparalleled flavor. Consuming rosin typically requires the use of a dab rig or dab pen.
The most popular forms of solvent-based concentrates are by far vape carts. Vape carts are small cartridges filled with cannabis oil for vaping. They come in a range of strain profiles and potencies.
Vape carts attach to vape pens, which are handheld battery-powered devices that heat the cannabis oil just enough to vaporize it. In recent years, vape pens have taken over the world.
The best vape carts are made without any chemical additives or fillers that compromise the quality of the concentrate, as well as quality parts that won’t leak or clog easily.
Dabbing is a method of consuming cannabis concentrates that requires the use of a special pipe, bong, or pen designed specifically for use with concentrates.
Here are the most common and best-selling forms of cannabis concentrates you’ll find at your local dispensary.
Wax is a form of cannabis concentrate made through extraction that provides up to three times the potency of cannabis flower. It’s called wax because it resembles sticky wax.
Wax comes in a variety of forms and has different terms or labels for it depending on the process of how it was crafted. This includes concentrates like shatter, budder, crumble, and others with varying consistencies, textures, appearance, and potency.
Shatter, for example, is typically very hard, and breaks into pieces like glass, while other types, such as budder, are softer.
Ultimately, the quality of each type of wax will depend on the quality of the original cannabis used to make it, as well as the skill of the crafter that made it.
Hash oil is a type of cannabis concentrate that has the consistency of jelly or very thick oil. It can be made using a variety of methods. It’s not as solid as wax, so it isn’t as easy to consume.
Hash oil is very potent and has a great flavor profile. It’s typically consumed using a dab rig or a dab pen, or it’s added to other cannabis flower or concentrates to enhance its potency.
Thanks for reading! We hope that this article helps you on your path to discovering a new and exciting way to enjoy cannabis.
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