Cannabis concentrates have become one of the most popular consumption methods for millions of recreational and medicinal users alike. What’s more, the legalization of cannabis cultivation across much of the United States has inspired more home growers than ever before to try their hand at making their own concentrates.
Some having more luck than others, but the popularity of concentrates really is explosive.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, you have those who stick somewhat stubbornly to the cannabis flowers they know and love. Often failing to realise that there are certain benefits and points of appeal that are unique to concentrates and extracts.
So, for the benefit of those who are still on the fence about the whole thing, we thought we’d shed a little light on some key cannabis concentrate questions. More specifically, five things every cannabis user needs to know about cannabis concentrates:
1. Cannabis Concentrates Have Various Different Names
Head to a cannabis dispensary to pick up some cannabis concentrate and you’re likely to come across a whole bunch of weird and wonderful names. Cannabis concentrates are known by various different monikers – examples of which include dabs, honey oil, crumble, wax, rosin, shatter and many more besides. In most instances, however, they’re simply different names for the same basic product.
With concentrates like honeycomb, sugar, crumble, wax and shatter, the name is a reference to the texture of the concentrate. Some concentrates are also named after the extraction method used to produce them – CO2, for example. In any case, it’s what goes into the concentrate that matters – its composition, quality, potency and so on. All of which are far more important than the name of the product. A name that doesn’t always tell you a great deal about what’s actually in it.
2. Cannabis Concentrates Are Seriously Strong
It’s hard not to be curious about concentrates, when you consider the potential potency of a high-strength product. These days, typical cannabis flowers have a THC content that varies from around 10% to 25%. Anything above 25% being considered exceptionally strong and somewhat rare. In the case of concentrates, a decent batch of cannabis concentrate will have a much higher THC concentration of around 50% to 80%. However, it’s not uncommon for ultra-premium concentrates to have a THC concentration that goes beyond 90%.
Super-strong concentrates at the top of the scale are always tempting, but can nonetheless be tricky to dose strategically. When you’re working with a 90% THC concentrate, it can be difficult to enjoy it without knocking yourself into kingdom come. For anyone new to cannabis concentrates, sticking with a lower-potency batch is advisable at first. As it is opting for a concentrate with a relatively high CBD content, which can counteract some of the intensity of the THC.
3. Not All Cannabis Concentrates Get You High
Just as is the case with regular cannabis, there are therapeutic concentrated cannabis products that are not designed to get you high. Some cannabis concentrates are 100% non-intoxicating. Products manufactured using CBD-rich cannabis often contain little to no THC whatsoever.
Due to their potency, convenience and flexibility of consumption methods, therapeutic cannabis concentrates are often recommended by physicians as an alternative to cannabis flowers. Particularly where patients require stronger doses of medical cannabis on a regular basis, concentrates are often preferable to traditional cannabis bud.
4. Concentrates Can Be Consumed in a Variety of Ways
As mentioned, there are various things you can do with cannabis concentrates. Many of which cannot be done with traditional cannabis flowers. Buds can be vaporized, smoked, rolled and cooked. However, cannabis concentrates open the door to additional consumption methods, which include:
- Dabbing – A quick and easy way to get a potent hit, which involves using a hot nail to produce vapour, which is then inhaled through a glass pipe.
- Tinctures – Ingested by way of a couple of drops being placed directly under the tongue, allowing the cannabinoids to enter the bloodstream faster than with traditional edibles.
- Ingestible Oils – Largely similar to edibles, though take effect much more slowly and gradually for a longer lasting high.
Much of the enjoyment of cannabis lies in experimentation, so it’s worth giving these and other consumption methods a shot.
5. There’s no Plant Matter in Cannabis Concentrates
One of the most commonly overlooked benefits of cannabis concentrates is the way in which the extraction process eliminates every trace of plant matter. When cannabis flowers are smoked in the traditional sense, the combustion of the plant material produces certain compounds that can harm the airways and lungs. They’re not dangerous on the same level as tobacco, of course. Nevertheless, they can still be irritating to the delicate lining of your airways.
With concentrates, all of this plant matter is eliminated from the equation entirely. In addition, the fact that cannabis concentrates are usually ingested by way of vaporization means that the temperature is low. As a result, this adds up to a smoother, gentler and more enjoyable experience.
6. Flowers Have More Flavour
Last but not least, perhaps the only real downside to cannabis concentrate consumption is the somewhat diminished flavour and fragrance profile. The cannabis concentrate production process affects the fragile terpenes the cannabis plant produces. Properly cured cannabis flowers can smell sweet, fruity, earthy and so on. However, these complex aromas are lost in the cannabis concentrate production process.
Nevertheless, it’s not to say that cannabis concentrates cannot be fantastically flavourful and aromatic in their own right. It’s just that it’s an entirely different and somewhat simpler fragrance and flavour profile than that of traditional cannabis flowers. Some cannabis concentrate manufacturers reintroduce aromatic compounds after the extraction process, but this rarely results in the same all-natural fragrance and flavour you’d associate with top-shelf bud.