Learn all about cannabis concentrates: types, power and how to consume them responsibly
As the name suggests, concentrates are extracts of THC and CBD concentrated from cannabis flowers, which may also contain other cannabinoids and terpenes.
Today, with modern technology at your fingertips, cannabis concentrates are much easier to do; however, old techniques, such as hash rolled by hand, they are still in use today.
The concentrates are full of cannabinoids present in dried flowers. The power of concentrates can reach 90%, which is why many people, even cannabis-savvy consumers, have had unpleasant experiences when they tried them for the first time. When consumed carefully and moderately, concentrates can be used by both medical and recreational users.
In this article, we will explore different types of cannabis concentrates, their effectiveness, how to use them.
What are cannabis concentrates?
The concentrates are transformed into cannabis products made by separating the trichomes and the resin from the flowers to extract the maximum amount of cannabinoids and terpenes without the unnecessary plant material.
Trichomes are very important when it comes to potency, since they are where cannabinoids and terpenes are stored. Trichomes are small white growths similar to hair on the surface of the plant and can be seen with the naked eye.
As you can imagine, more trichomes mean more cannabinoids and a more powerful product. Small amounts of concentrates contain substantially more cannabinoids and terpenes than dried flowers. Most flowers contain about 20 percent THC, while most concentrates have up to 80-90 percent.
Concentrates can be found in many cannabis-based products, from food products to oils and dyes, and can also be consumed in their purest form using additional equipment such as drying systems and vaporizers. Once you inhale concentrated, the effects strike you almost immediately and can last from one to three hours.
Types of concentrates
There are many different types of concentrates on the market. The types vary depending on the extraction methods, the chemicals used for the extraction and the part of the plant used. Let's examine each of these to better understand this burning topic.
The oldest and best known cannabis concentrate, hash has spread from the northern regions of India to the Arabian peninsula and Europe. Today, people in every corner of the world appreciate this form of cannabis.
Essentially, the term hash refers to the substances that are made by separating the trichomes from the plant material and then forming the resin in a coherent mass.
There are different types of hashes and ways to do this:
- Bubble hash: done by separating the trichomes using ice water
- Lebanese Hash: done by drying the flowers and rubbing them on a piece of cloth and then pressing the material into slabs
- Hash Afghani Royal (aka Royal Border): made by placing flowers in water or tea to separate the resin, which is then pressed into slabs
- Charas Hash: made with the known manual rotation method
- Super Nepalese Hash: also handmade
- Moroccan slate hash: produced from dry sieving
How to use hash
The two most popular ways to use the hash are to smoke and eat.
It is advisable to consume the hash through the edible if you try to avoid smoking. Baking brownies is always the classic choice and is very easy to make. Hash can also be smoked with a bong or pipe. Personally I like to treat myself every time I have hashish, so I smoke it in a hookah.
Kief is the simplest form of cannabis concentrate. If you have used cannabis for a while, you already know it. Kief is that dusty material that collects on the bottom of your grinder. And when you pull a rod and notice the crystal coating that sticks to your fingers … yes, that's kief too.
Kief is super-powerful because it is essentially trichomes that have separated from other plant materials, although it is rarely pure, most of the time some plant particles are mixed. And as you probably understood at this point, the hash is done by Kief.
How to use kief?
Kief is easy to play. It's simple to make and there's so much you can do with it. If you have a grinder with a kief catcher, you can use the collected kief to get super high. One suggestion is to add a little oil to the outside of an articulation and then roll the entire joint into kief. It will make it stronger and burn more slowly. You can also use kief simply by spreading it in a joint or by making a mix of kief and weed to put in a bowl.
One of the best ways to use your Kief is to create moon rocks. Although they can be a little expensive to buy, you can make them at home.
There's one important thing you should remember about the moon rocks, do not grind them. If you put a moonstone in a grinder, the oil will stick to the grinder, the kief will fall and you will lose power.
Instead, gently break the stick with your fingers into smaller pieces. Sprinkle it in your municipality and enjoy the super high.
Rosin, or grass wax, is a solid-form resin and is produced by applying pressure and heat to the shoots. It's usually done using an industrial press, but you can easily do it at home with a hair straightener.
How to use rosin?
The most popular method to consume rosin a day is today with twaxing, adding a bit of rosin into the joint, or even adding it to the exterior.
The most visually appealing way to do this is to create a snake-like shape from the concentrate you've created, and wrap it around the joint. You can also use rosin by mixing it with dried flowers in a tube or bong. Just remember that rosin is more powerful than grass, so take it easy.
The hash oil is extracted using alcohol to wash away the trichomes from the buds and then heat the liquid until all the alcohol evaporates, leaving only the plant extract. The oil can be smoked or used in food. This type of extraction is also the original way to produce cannabis oil.
Dabs or crushing are probably the purest form of cannabis concentrates.
Crushing is carried out using a solvent, more commonly butane, to extract the purest form of THC. The process is called butane butane oil or BHO extraction. This type of extraction is not safe for do-it-yourself projects; there were serious injuries caused by people who tried this at home. And the solvents must be completely removed from the concentrates before consuming them.
Shatter has the appearance of a piece of colored glass with a consistency similar to that of hard candies. It's really powerful, it can get up to 80 percent THC, but it's not particularly rich in flavor.
Shatter is hard to work because it is solid. There are several ways to use the final product, from dab rigs to vapes and bongs.
Another concentrate that is produced through the BHO extraction, the sugar wax looks just like it looks: shiny, sticky and crumbly. The strains of cannabis containing terpenes, which are particularly prone to retaining water, are better for the production of sugar wax. Sometimes, if you are trying to crush it, it can turn into wax due to the content of terpenes. Since the production process of sugar wax also involves butane, it is not safe to do it at home.
Budder is something between crushing and waxing, but it is made using the same technique (butane-butane oil extraction). The first difference is in purity: the budder has less cannabinoids but is richer in terpenes. Also, the budder is not as solid as a piece, rather it is more like wax, so it is much easier to use. To use the budder, put it in a bong or pipe, add it to a joint or a blunt … Choose one of these techniques and you can not go wrong.
The extraction process is very similar to other wax varieties, with one important difference: the purge temperature. Crumble is easy to handle: just take it and put it in a bowl or put it in a bong. It works well for every type of infill. However, crumbling easily loses its moisture, so it will turn into dust crumbles. It is important to keep the concentrate in a sealed container in a cool place.
This is the latest method of extracting cannabis concentrate. The freshly picked buds are frozen and then the resin, together with terpenes, oils and cannabinoids, is extracted from the flowers. This extraction method is complicated, requires laboratory equipment and is not something you can do at home, so it is best to look for the living resin in your local dispensary.
This type of oil uses carbon dioxide to extract the resin. The final product is a pure and liquid concentrate that is usually used in vaporizers and vaping pens. The extraction of CO2 leaves more terpenes in the concentrate, which means more flavor and added medical benefits. However, some members of the cannabis community are concerned about the safety of the additives found in some vape oils.
WARNING: Always remember that concentrates are incredibly powerful. Only a small amount of cannabis concentrate contains more THC and other substances than normal buds. So, if you've never tried them before, be cautious for the first time. Take a hit first and see how it feels. It is better to take small strokes little by little than to get too tall, too fast and feel horrible later.
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