Over the last few years, the legalization of cannabis across many US states has led to the birth of a new industry, and it’s one that has been booming ever since. Nowadays, thousands of cannabis-related startups are being created every year, and each one brings new ideas and innovations to the industry.
One group of products derived from the cannabis plant that you may have heard of are cannabis concentrates. Since the legalization of recreational and medical marijuana, these processed extracts have become extremely popular, mainly due to their wide range of uses and high potency.
In this article, we will take a deeper dive into cannabis concentrates, looking at what is concentrate, how it’s made, how it should be consumed, as well as some other interesting facts. Let’s jump into it.
What Is Marijuana Concentrate?
Marijuana concentrates are a category of products that are extracted from the cannabis plant that are processed to isolate one particular compound. Why do they do this? The most common reason is so that you end up with a much more potent and pure product than the raw cannabis plant itself.
Cannabis is made up of 483 different compounds, and not all of them provide any real benefit when consumed. In addition to this, cannabis plants contain large amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This is the main psychoactive compound located in the flower.
However, people seeking the medicinal benefits of the other compounds in the plant, such as Cannabidiol (CBD), may not want to get high, so they look for products without THC, and that’s where marijuana concentrates come in.
How To Make Marijuana Concentrate?
Before we get into the different types of marijuana concentrate, it’s important you first understand how they are made and how the products get their concentrated definition.
The process for making marijuana concentrate is typically done via one of two methods: solvent-based extraction and solventless extraction. Each of them produces a different kind of product with varying benefits. Let’s take a look at both methods below:
The solvent-based process uses strong chemical solvents to extract the compound from the cannabis plant. This is complicated and sometimes dangerous which is why the vast majority of these extractions are done in a lab setting by experts. The most popular solvents include ethanol, carbon dioxide, butane, and propane. These highly flammable extractors are used to separate the cannabis flower of its cannabinoids and terpenes.
Using flammable solvents is a popular method when mass producing extracts and is usually done directly at the growing center. The reason for this is because solvent-based extractions require a large amount of cannabis flower to make a small amount of extract. This makes it expensive and largely inefficient. However, the concentrates that are produced via this method are typically more potent, with high THC levels and longer-lasting effects.
Once the extraction process is complete, it’s common for the extract to go through purging. This is another chemical process that removes the remaining solvent from the final product, as some of the solvents used are not safe for human consumption.
A solventless extraction is a process of isolating the compounds from a cannabis plant without the use of a chemical solvent. The techniques for this method of extraction vary but generally involve either freezing the cannabis to detach the compounds from the plant, filtration, or through a process of intense heat and pressure.
This process does not require any chemical solvents and is considered a more natural and healthier way of extracting the compounds. Thus, solventless products are commonly used in medical settings, in craft shops, and sold to people who are more conscious about the products they buy.
How to Choose Your Cannabis Packaging
When looking for a cannabis concentrate, it’s important to check the cannabis packaging to make sure the product contains the exact ingredients you’re seeking, the desired potency, and that it’s not been tampered with in any way.
Each state has rules and regulations that companies must comply with when it comes to packaging. If you have suspicions over the contents of the packaging, or if it’s ambiguous in any way, it’s better to look for a different product. After all, some of the processes require precise work in the laboratory to make them safe.
Can I Make My Own Cannabis Concentrates?
If you are wondering how to make concentrates from your home, you will be pleased to learn that it is entirely possible; however, proceed with caution as some of the processes can be dangerous. For the most part, a solvent-based extraction is out of the question for most people, as it is far too expensive and dangerous. Plus, it’s important to purge the extract of all solvent before consuming, and this may be hard to achieve in a home setting.
While at home, consider using solventless extraction techniques, such as:
- Dry sifting
- Hand rolling
- Pressure and heat
- Heat and butter
Types Of Cannabis Concentrates
Here are some of the most common types of marijuana concentrate on each type of extraction:
Solvent-Based Marijuana Concentrates
- Live resin
Solventless Marijuana Concentrates
What you call ‘ weed concentrates ‘ come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. From edibles to creams and lotions or even oil for your hair and face, the product you end up with largely depends on the extraction method.
The most common type of weed concentrates is kief. You can acquire this extract by simply shaking and disturbing the trichomes on the cannabis flower. You may also find it at the bottom of your grinder if you use one to prepare your weed before rolling a joint. It’s the small crystal-like powder that rubs off from the trichomes of the cannabis plant, and they are very high in THC potency.
If you want to know how to smoke concentrate, then look no further than vaping. There are plenty of extracts and oils that are now produced specifically for vaping. These oils are placed into cartridges inside vaping pens and can be created with varying levels of potency. Each of these products has its own unique qualities and levels of potency.
Some of them are made to contain pure THC, others with pure CBD. Just be aware that extracted products are normally far higher in potency and effects than the raw cannabis flower is.
If you’re not used to consuming extracts, start with a small dosage, and gradually increase it until you achieve the desired effects.
How to Use Cannabis Concentrates?
Wondering how to consume marijuana concentrates properly? Well, the method in which you ingest the extract depends on the type of product you have. Shatter, wax, crumble, and oil can all be smoked using a dab rig, an electric nail, or health stone. Oils are commonly used in vape pens, too, and are easy to find in most marijuana dispensaries.
The world is your oyster when it comes to choosing your cannabis concentrate. If you don’t like smoking, you could opt for an edible instead. There are also creams, oils, lotions, and other topical applications, as well as capsule and droplet forms of extract that are more commonly used for medicinal benefits.