Cannabis concentrates are becoming an increasingly popular. Unfortunately, a lot of people new to concentrates feel intimidated by them.
Their emotions aren’t completely unjustified when you consider the learning curve and adjustment for concentrates. Concentrates are a lot more potent than flower and are often associated with complicated consumption technology.
The five facts below may be enough to get the cannabis curious started.
1. Concentrates By Any Other Name
Although the multiplicity of strains available can make one’s head spin, even beginners have a pretty good idea of what they’re getting with flower, regardless of its name. “Concentrates” is an umbrella term that refers to a variety of different cannabis extracts and their monikers.
Imagine you’re standing at the glass counter of a dispensary. Don’t let the breadth of options drive you away – many of these are different names for the same thing. Here are some quick tips for narrowing your search down:
- Shatter, wax, crumble, sugar, honeycomb, sap, and oil often refer to a concentrate texture. While some people have a preference of an extract’s consistency, what’s important to many people is the solvent used and how compatible that extract is with their preferred consumption method.
- Most concentrates are extracted using CO2, butane, hydrocarbons, propane, water, alcohol, and heat. Solventless extracts made using water (e.g., hash) or heat (e.g., rosin) are excellent choices for those wary of how consuming solvents might affect them.
- Ask your budtender which oils work with your delivery method of choice. Looking to dab something? Maybe try their recommended shatter, hash oil, or CO2 oil.
2. Concentrates = Very Potent
The most important distinction to make between cannabis flowers and concentrates is potency. While bud potency tends to range between 10-25% THC, a concentrate typically falls between 50-80% though some exceptional extracts can even push past 90%. Those numbers may be enough to scare off any under-seasoned consumers, and for good reason.
Just remember to always start with a low dose and work your way up if you’re new to concentrates or have a low tolerance.
3. Don’t just Smoke ‘Em
With bud, you can smoke it, vaporize it, and roll it, but there’s not much else you can do with it. Concentrates offer more options.
- Dabbing – the process by which you apply an extract to a hot nail and inhale through a glass piece – is swiftly on the rise among cannabis veterans.
- Ingestible oils act like edibles in that they take effect slowly and last much longer due to the way they’re metabolized. These oils (or any extract, really) can be high in THC, CBD, or both.
- Tinctures are a sublingual concentrate, meaning they’re dropped under the tongue and enter the bloodstream. They act fast though, so be aware.
4. Concentrates come without Plant Matter
Here’s one benefit to concentrates perhaps you’ve never thought of: extraction processes strip out plant material and isolate the compounds you want like THC and CBD.
When you smoke flower, you’re also smoking the plant material that leaves your glass black with tar. That can take a toll on your lungs. However, you may have noticed that when you dab oils, the glass and water stay clean for much longer.
Vaporizers heat cannabis below the temperature of combustion, but hot enough to extract beneficial compounds. For health-conscious consumers, this route of delivery is for you.
5. Flowers May Have More Flavour and Terpenes, But Not Always
If flavour is something you care about, this point is for you: some concentrates will lose their aromas and flavours in the extraction process. Terpenes are the volatile, fragrant oils secreted by the cannabis plant Being so sensitive to heat, it can be difficult to preserve terpenes in many extraction processes.