Containing over 400 chemical entities, the cannabis plant is a complex plant species with both medicinal and therapeutic benefits.
For 1000s of years, human beings have been cultivating cannabis. But it’s only recently we’ve developed extraction methods that reduce all the most beneficial chemical compounds into a potent cannabis concentrate.
There are many benefits to concentrated cannabis, depending on the type of user you are. But with a variety of different forms, ingestion methods, and names, the world of cannabis concentrate can be confusing.
Cannabis connoisseurs and beginners alike, read on to discover more about the world of concentrated cannabis.
What is Cannabis Concentrate?
The therapeutic and medicinal benefits of cannabis come from the unique chemicals contained within the plant. The human body interacts with these chemicals when they’re smoked, eaten, or used topically. It’s also these chemical substances that give cannabis it’s smell, flavor, and texture.
A cannabis concentrate, then, is a way of extracting and concentrating the most desirable compounds from the plant. This includes its aromas, flavors, physiological, and psychoactive properties. In this concentrated form, those properties are more potent in comparison to a natural bud.
How Is Cannabis Concentrate Made?
On a very basic level, a cannabis concentrate is made by separating the resin of the cannabis plant from the rest of the plant. The resin of cannabis is in its trichomes. These are the sparkly little particles that sit on the leaves and buds of a cannabis plant. It’s where the majority of cannabinoids and terpenes are.
To produce a concentrate, that resin gets harvested from the plant and all excess plant materials and impurities get removed. The main way in which to accomplish this is through chemical extraction. Using a chemical solvent such as propane, ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, hydrocarbons, or carbon dioxide, the resin is stripped from the plant and the excess gets discarded.
To be sure, this process takes a high degree of expertise. If residue from chemical solvent remains in the concentrate, it can be hazardous to your health. Be sure you’re buying from a reputable brand and keep in mind that CO2 extraction is the safest.
That is, besides non-chemical extraction methods. These methods produce concentrates like hash and kief. They use water and movement to extract cannabinoids and pose zero risks to your health.
Benefits of Cannabis Concentrate
Concentrates are exactly that – concentrated amounts of all the beneficial compounds in cannabis. Meaning that they’re great for seasoned cannabis users who are looking for a more intense high.
But concentrates also offer a whole lot more in terms of flavor. For the cannabis connoisseur who puts a lot of weight on flavor profiles, concentrates maximize the taste and aroma of even the most unique terpenes.
The high bioavailability of concentrates means that your body absorbs them faster. Which, in turn, means that you feel the effects almost immediately. For people that use cannabis to manage the symptoms of various conditions, that rapid onset time means fast and economic relief.
Concentrates are available in a variety of forms, meaning you have a variety of choices for how you’d like to consume it. You can use it in vaporizers, cooked into edibles, or even mixed with natural buds and smoked.
For an even more discreet method of ingestion, you can pack Leaf & Vine Vapes with some cannabis concentrate and pack it into a pocket or purse. This gives you quick access to a potent dose of cannabis when you need quick relief from your symptoms. And cannabis concentrates last a long time too – anywhere from one to three hours depending on the user.
Most Common Cannabis Concentrates
The cannabis concentrate world is growing and with it are the forms you can get. We’ve described each of the most common forms in more detail below.
If you have a grinder for cannabis flower, then you’ll know about kief. It’s the powdery material that falls off the buds and collects at the bottom of the grinder. Essentially, it’s a concentrate made from the resin of the cannabis flower.
It’s hard to find kief that’s 100% pure. More often than not, it contains some articles of the plant that are unnecessary. But this is one of the naturally extracted cannabis concentrates that mostly consists of trichomes.
Kief is also what’s used to make hash, which is the second concentrate on our list.
Hashish was originally produced in India and the Arabian Peninsula before spreading to Europe and the Americas. It’s a smokeable and edible concentrate that’s made from kief. The trichomes get separated from the rest of the plant and then pressed into a mass.
Hash oil is another form of hash that’s also considered a concentrate. It’s typically made by extracting trichomes using alcohol. The alcohol is then evaporated and all that’s left is the concentrated hash oil.
When it comes to the purest forms of concentrate, shatter is among the top of its class. It’s not a great concentrate if you’re looking for flavor but, if you’re looking for an intense psychoactive effect, shatter is your best option.
Users can ingest shatter using dab rigs, vapes, and bongs. It’s extracted using either the same method as hash oil or a chemical solvent. Neither of these is safe to attempt at home.
Sugar wax is a sticky, crumbly, extract that’s made through butane extraction. Like shatter, it’s usually smokes using a dab rig, vaporizer, or bong.
Smoked with a bong, a pipe, or rolled in a joint, budder is somewhere in the middle of sugar wax and shatter. Made using the same process, the end result is quite different.
Instead of being high in cannabinoids like CBD and THC, budder has a high concentration of terpenes. That means it offers more in terms of flavor and scent. It’s also easier to use than shatter and less sticky than sugar wax.
More Cannabis News and Information
A cannabis concentrate is exactly what it sounds like: a concentrated amount of all the beneficial cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds found in cannabis. You can consume these in bongs, vaporizers, e-cigarettes, and even cooked into edibles. They offer fast-acting and hard-hitting relief from whatever symptoms you’re trying to manage.
Cannabis is a complex plant and the growing cannabis industry is putting out new products and information all the time. Be sure to check out our blog for all the latest on cannabis news and information.