Having touched briefly on concentrates in our previous article on How to Shop for Weed we are going to further break down the world of concentrates that may overwhelm the casual user. Compared to going to the store and seeing a bud, edible chocolate, or drink which are often self-explanatory, the world of concentrates may not be as easy to piece together. We hope that by reading this article you have a better understanding of concentrates and all that encompasses the category and why it is increasing so quickly for casual users!
What is a concentrate?
Generally speaking, concentrates, oils, and tinctures cover a wide range of products but generally speaking they are cannabinoids extracted from hemp and then diluted within a type of oil. Intake methods can vary depending on which product is selected and have varying purposes/audiences. Some of the most common concentrates are:
One of the first forms of concentrates to be available allowed for shatter to grow in popularity for users seeking alternatives to smoking or eating to get their high. Being dubbed shatter due to the thin clear and golden crystal that’s leftover that often breaks into small pieces it is popular for purists who can use its glass-like appearance as a quick test for purity. Good shatter will generally be free of impurities and much more clear than a lower-end one that is darker or harder to see through. The THC % is often in the 50 to 80% range and beginners need to be more careful with dosing but those brave enough to try it they will receive a faster longer high. Shatter often requires a special rig for consumption which we will touch on in the future but the high for the extra effort is often worth it.
Popping up more and more in Canadian online retailers due to their stealthy appearance and potential for travel CO2 oil/vape pens more and more oil-based weed products are being used and it’s easy to see why. Due to the process of extracting using CO2 at a lower temperature, many of the flavors and terpenes from the original weed is preserved and for some users, this also makes it a more popular choice over Shatter which often distillates these flavors (though of course, there are exceptions for some manufacturers who create a sappier shatter that still contains some of the flavors). Oil-based products often carry a long charge that can be used to take a hit discretely in public, with a fast delivery method, and as more hits, the market is getting cheaper and cheaper!
Similar to Shatter in terms of using a BHO extraction process and having a higher concentration of THC, where wax differs is in its appearance, stickiness, and overall consistency. Resulting in moisture, heat, and agitation differences during the extraction process it offers the end-user an alternative way to dab using their rig and due to the lower temperatures used in extraction often contains more flavors and terpenes than in shatter. There are other concentrates similar to waxes such as budder, which offers an even higher terpene level that is popular for some users, and crumble which has a texture that is less sticky to wax and easier to handle/store if you lack the proper equipment.
Rosin is one of the newer but faster-growing forms of concentrates on the market due to a variety of reasons. Though similar in appearance to oil or shatter it does not require any special extraction processes for creation. To create rosin all you need is bud, heat, parchment paper, and pressure. Using a hair straightener or similar device you can squeeze your bud and the resin will pool THC oil onto your parchment paper, yielding a pure solvent-free experience. This oil is much more flavorful and pure than other methods as it doesn’t use any complicated extraction methods and for purists, the most natural concentrate is the best concentrate.
Why Should I Try It?
Now that we’ve covered the most common types of concentrates we can look at why people use them.
In most cases, due to the THC % being much higher than other forms the potency can lead to a much more efficient high. You don’t need as much to get to the same levels and as concentrates develop in popularity and production methods it leads to stronger varieties of flavors and more ways for users to get high. The process of dabbing and using a rig or a vape pen that uses CO2 oil concentrates also allows for a more discrete experience that does not have the same lingering smoke smell from when you smoke a joint.