WHAT ARE CONCENTRATES
Concentrates or extracts, are high potency products produced from cannabis trichomes. Trichomes are extremely small hair-like follicles that extend off of cannabis and contain the majority of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds. Trichomes can be extracted from the cannabis, creating a concentrated product. These concentrates can take on numerous forms, mainly depending on the methods and technologies used to create them. There are a variety of methods to create and process trichomes into concentrates, which depend on two main factors: solvent, or solventless extraction methods. Solvents like butane, CO2 strip the potency from cannabis creating products like live resin, and Butane Hash Oil (BHO). Solventless methods are based on heat application or pressure like bubble hash or fresh pressed rosin.
Depending on the type of extract, flowers may be fresh or cured. “Live” extracts refer to extracts created before a flower is cured, meaning it is harvested and immediately flash frozen to preserve all cannabinoids, terpenes and essential compounds.Non-live concentrates are usually cured, and then extracted. For example, live resin is made using fresh frozen flowers, while types such as rosin and hash are made using dried and cured flowers. The final result can be processed into a variety of consistencies. Users have their preferences when it comes to concentrates. Types of methods and technologies can include water extraction, heat and pressure extraction, chemical extraction, and kief applications. Chemical extraction, in particular, produces a wide variety of consistencies, with concentrates coming in forms such as wax, shatter, and oils.
CATEGORIES OF CONCENTRATES
Kief (Sift Hash) - Most consumers are familiar with kief, the powder like residue that consists of fallen trichomes from the bud. However Sift hash removes the trichomes in a specific way to optimize the extraction of trichomes. The flower is harvested, cured and then placed on a screen like surface to be mobilized or vibrated until the majority of the trichomes and pistils are removed. This then can be consumed or pressed into a more pure form of hash.
Hash - Made from kief that has been pressed (with or without heat) into a brick like form.
Bubble Hash - Can be created with applications of heat, cured or uncured flowers. It is filtered through ice water to extract trichomes and then is dried.
Fresh Pressed Rosin - Made by applying a low temperature of heat to flower in a rosin press. By using a low temperature, more terpenes are preserved allowing for a more flavour filled concentrate. The buds are squished, heated and essentially “juiced” to produce secreted oils. The rosin is then stored in an airtight container to further preserve the flavour & cannabinoids.
Solvent - Based
Live Resin – A concentrate made from uncured, solvent extracted flower. Usually gold in colour with hints of yellow and orange. Live Resin can have viscosity similar to that of wax or honey oils.
Caviar - Caviar is a concentrate made from a combination of diamonds + extracted “sauce.” It is usually high potency with smaller crystallizations of cannabinoids in a sauce with consistencies similar to that of molasses.
Diamonds - A full spectrum, extract and one of the most potent and purest forms of cannabinoids. Diamonds come in the form of small grains of high THC or CBD similar to coarse salt or sugar.
RSO - Ethanol based used to make decarboxylated (honey) oils. Cannabis is left to soak in an ethanol bath, strained out and the ethanol bath will be evaporated into a concentrated form.
Hydrocarbon extracts (shatter, wax, badder,) - Depending on the post-processing, technology, methods and specs of the flower used, hydrocarbon extractions are the most common form of concentrates. By using propane or butane through cannabis in a closed system, the cannabinoids and terpenes are stripped from the flower. Heat can be applied post-processing to create a thicker consistency. Hydrocarbons can also be made with cured, or uncured cannabis depending on if the extractors goal is to have a live product or not. Shatter is known for its brittle, glass like consistency. Wax is exactly what it sounds like, a beeswax-like consistency. Badder has the most viscosity of these examples, and is usually referred to having a “cake batter” like texture.
Full-Spectrum Concentrates - Concentrates that do not include additives and only cannabinoids and terpenes found in a cannabis plant are referred to as full-spectrum concentrates.
Isolates - Other extractions purify and concentrate a single compound, E.g., cannabidiol, to the point of isolating it to a potency near 100%; these are called isolates.
EFFECTS OF CONCENTRATES
The effects of concentrates vary depending on the person consuming and the cannabinoid and terpene potencies in the plant. As a rule, though, concentrates are more potent than flowers. One of the primary motives for creating concentrates is to have a more rich experience.
While concentrates are generally high in THC, some varieties remove most or even all the THC. For example, CBD oils are made for people who are mainly seeking the medicinal benefits of CBD, and no psychoactive effects.
If you prefer to experience the terpenes, which may have specific therapeutic benefits, live resin is an extract that retains most of these compounds. Our team highly recommends using a wax vaporizer to begin working with concentrates, this way you will be able to manage the dosage and temperature for terpene engagement.
HOW TO STORE CONCENTRATES
There are various factors to consider when storing your concentrates, and it will always depend on what works best for you as a consumer. The main things to consider for concentrate storage are temperature, light and humidity. When you bring your concentrate home get in the habit of putting them into the fridge for 1 hour to keep their consistency at its optimal form. You can also place your extracts in the freezer for a long-term storage solution. Keep all your cannabis products, extracts included out of direct light. UV protected containers are your best choice to ensure your product is not damaged or any potencies reduced. One trick to try is keeping your products in parchment paper to avoid any bacterial growth. Finally, do not leave your product in a humid environment as it may lead to mold and keep it away from various contaminants, such as hair, dust, bugs, and so on.
Silicone Containers – A great option for short-term storage, and consumers who will use their product quickly. Be careful to choose a container that will store the amount of extracts you are planning to store. This will prevent a build up of moisture and preserve your product for a longer period of time.
Airtight Containers – CannMart offers an assortment of plastic, glass and metal containers for storing cannabis products. Always check if the product has an airtight seal for the best environment for your concentrates to live in.Concentrates are sometimes consumed by “dabbing”, which is why the products are sometimes called dabs. The most common devices used to heat concentrates are water pipes called dab rigs and portable vape pens called dab pens. Some concentrate, such as shatter and crumble, are often added to flowers and smoked in joints or blunts. Another option is to create concentrated infused edibles.