What’s a Concentrate?
Concentrates, also known as extracts, are derived from cannabis trichomes. These trichomes contain cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds that give cannabis its recreational and medicinal benefits.
Although there are a number of ways to create and process concentrates, they can typically be grouped into two categories:
- Full-spectrum concentrates
What Are Concentrates?
Cannabis plants are covered in trichomes. These trichomes can be extracted from the plant to create a concentrated form of cannabis. These concentrates take many forms — it’s largely dependent on what method was used to create them. Common methods include:
- Water extraction (ice water hash)
- Heat and pressure extraction (rosin and hand hash)
- Chemical extraction (butane, pentane, hexane, C02)
- Dry sieve hash/kief
When the concentrate includes all cannabinoids and terpenes found in the cannabis plant, it’s known as a full-spectrum concentrate.
When the extraction method purifies and concentrates a single compound to isolate it to a potency near 100%, it’s called an isolate.
Most people believe that full-spectrum concentrates have stronger medical impacts than isolates.
Concentrates are typically dabbed or flash vaporized with a dab rig. Some concentrates can be added to a bowl on top of flower or used to make edibles. They also commonly come as oil in pre-filled cartridges that can be attached to a battery for discreet consumption.
If you’re looking for an easy potency boost, try topping your flower with concentrates. For example, adding powdered kief to your bowl or wrapping some wax around your joint can increase the potency with little added effort. These methods also don’t require any expensive dabbing tools or intricate methods.
If you’re looking for an intensely potent and fast-acting high, try dabbing. This method consists of heating the dab rig equivalent of a bong, called a nail, then apply the concentrate directly onto the hot surface, and it will instantly transform into an inhalable vapor.
If you’re looking for a light high on the go, use a pre-filled vape pen. While these likely won’t get you as high as dabs, the high will set in right away. All you need for this method is a pre-filled cartridge and a battery or a vape pen.
If you’re looking for a long-lasting, smoke-free high, eat an edible. Although edibles don’t frequently make it into the cannabis concentrate conversation, they should! Both store-bought and homemade edibles are made possible by cannabis extracts. Similar to vapes, edibles don’t require special equipment, and they’re as easy as it gets for new consumers. Similar to dabs, they can provide a long-lasting, strong high — dependent on the dose.
If you’re seeking targeted relief, try a topical — another concentrated cannabis form that’s left out of the conversation. When applied topically, concentrated cannabis forms can provide targeted relief without a head high.
The bottom line is that there are a number of ways to experiment with concentrates. We recommend trying a wide variety of them until you find the one that you like best. Just make sure you’re purchasing your product from only licensed brands and dispensaries.