Some might think that cannabis concentrates are a modern luxury, but we have been making concentrates for a long time. As our technology increases, the potency of cannabis concentrates continues to increase. To learn more about cannabis concentrates and the variety that is now available on the marijuana market, keep reading this article.
In the big wide world of cannabis products, concentrates have increased dramatically, both in demand and popularity since the legalization movement started. Legalization opened the doors for innovative technology, allowing us to extract the most potent parts of cannabis.
However, although the most popular cannabis extracts are a result of modern invention, we have been extracting cannabinoids for a long time now. This guide is all about the cannabis concentrates that are available today, and the story they have told from ancient times until now. If you are a lover of dabs or oils, then you’re already familiar with the experiential wisdom of cannabis concentrates.
Hashish is probably the earliest form of cannabis concentrate. In Eastern Asia, where hash is originally from, it is otherwise known as charas. These days we have all kinds of neat devices to help us make hash, but once upon a time it was made all by hand.
By rubbing the buds between the palms, the trichomes separate. As we know, the trichomes contain the highest concentration of THC, so extracting them from the plant gives you a cannabis concentrate.
What eventuates is a thick, creamy, dark substance that people often roll up and put into joints, bongs or chillums. It’s powerful because only a small quantity is required to do the job.
Now, we use bubble bags to make hash by separating the oils from the buds using water and ice. Some people even have kief catchers in their grinders. The powder that ends up in the chamber is actually made up of trichomes! That’s hashish!
Dabs, shatters and oils
Ok, dab lovers, this is the part you have been waiting for. This is arguably the most popular way to consume cannabis concentrates in the USA. When marijuana shatter and oil for dabbing hit the market, it changed the cannabis market altogether.
The difference between dabs and hashish is the use of a solvent. This makes things a little bit tricky and much more potent. To give you an example, really strong weed contains about 25% THC. A concentrate can average up to 60% THC. This is what makes it such a powerful hit of weed.
Butane Hash Oil (BHO) is an example of a concentrate made using a solvent. The cannabinoids are dissolved into butane, and then heat is used to remove butane and keep the cannabinoids. This is quite an intricate process, and sometimes contaminants make it into the final product, which obviously isn’t something that we want.
Other cannabinoid-friendly solvents can be used in the same way, and the final result varies slightly. Ethanol, methanol and isopropanol are other solvents that are sometimes used in the extraction process. While isopropanol is cheap, it is not really safe to use in the extraction process. Ethanol and methanol, on the other hand, are expensive solvents to use, but they are safer to extract. The concentrate that is finally produced and its contaminant levels depend on which solvent is used, as well as how well the extraction has been executed.
There are solventless concentrates that result in an oily/shatter substance, too, such as marijuana rosin. To make rosin, the buds are heated between metal plates so that the trichomes essentially melt off. They are then usually absorbed onto a piece of paper towel or parchment. What results is something sticky or brittle, and highly concentrated in cannabinoids.
Whereas you might use a gram of buds to roll a joint between friends, that is certainly not necessary when you are using shatters or oils. The concentration is so high that only the smallest amount is needed to ingest a lot of cannabinoids.
Yes, alcohol is a great way to extract cannabinoids! Although the process of extraction with alcohol can take a long time, it is extremely effective at drawing out THC and CBD. Tinctures were also one of the first cannabis concentrates that we used to use as human beings, and were sold in pharmacies in the USA pre-prohibition.
Although a solvent is used to make tinctures, there is no requirement to remove the solvent from the solution. It is consumed with the alcohol inside, which is perfectly okay for consumption. Only a few drops of the tincture are needed (and in some cases less) to get the desired effect.
Despite the fact that some people still prefer to stick to the herbal material, for others concentrates are still not enough. What’s more than concentrates are distillates which are reaching almost complete purity – yes, something like 99% THC. So, it does go further than concentrates. It seems that marijuana enthusiasts are prone to wanting it to be stronger and more intense!
Cannabis concentrates can be consumed in a multitude of different ways, just like the regular ol’ herb. While some are meant to be dabbed, others are meant to be smoked. And it all depends on the concentrate itself.
Using cannabis concentrates is no joke, and those who prefer concentrates usually do for their super intense highs. It can be hard getting used to the intense high that one gets from cannabis concentrates (let alone distillates), so first-time users usually stay clear.
Always be aware when using concentrates that you’re in for a mind-blowing experience. Enjoy, but use responsibly!