Cannabis concentrates are heating up in popularity, just like the heat it takes to light them up. The gooey like substances are not only unique to consume but individual in the way they’re extracted and processed too.
From the type of solvent used to the type of equipment, temperature and to timing can all affect the varied types of the most common concentrates available on the market today. Here, we’re diving deep into the new world of concentrates to teach you everything you need to know. Including what makes each unique, and the latest trends to hit the industry.
How Concentrates Came to Be
As the world of weed quickly progressed, extractors soon realized what they could harness from flower with new technology and processes. Since the trichomes of the plants, or the crystal coating found on buds, contains the beneficial cannabinoids and terpenes…why couldn’t they just be extracted?
The answer was they could. So pioneers in the industry set out to construct the best machinery and technology to isolate the intricate cannabinoids that produce weed’s effects, and even more delicate terpenes that provide marijuana’s unique scents.
By isolating these compounds, you’re removing the unnecessary plant material and impurities. This makes concentrates, quite literally the purest form of cannabis altogether. Plus, it’s usually the plant material or contaminants that can cause harshness when smoking. So, hitting concentrates can be smoother than other methods as well.
From their beginnings, concentrates have come a long way. Now there are a plethora of different types available on the market with processors constantly innovating with new techniques and types. For the most part though, no matter how different the end-product or consistency, there are only a few factors that go into making certain concentrates ‘different’ than others. Including:
- Extraction Method – How the cannabinoids and terpenes are extracted from the flower material, will determine what type of end-result the concentrate will be. Certain processes are specialized to extract high levels of THC, while others are more concentrated on extracting the entire profile of cannabinoids. Even further, some might be interested in extracting terpenes for robust and full flavours.
- Type of Flower Used – The type of flower used, will not only determine the effects that the concentrate will deliver but also its flavour and potency levels too. You might also see similar strains for concentrates and wonder why. That’s because certain plant genetics will produce more resinous buds than others. So, considering concentrates are made from the sticky-icky resin on flower, these strains are more apt to be potent choices for extractors to turn to.
- Final Consistency – What really allows concentrates to differ from brand to brand, type to type, is the final process in extracting the resinous oil material. While we’ll touch more upon that next per each type of concentrate, it all has to do with the type of solvent or non-solvent used, temperatures, speed, and technique.
The Most Popular Concentrates and Extracts
Of all the concentrates and extracts, shatter, budders, wax, live resin and distillate or oils are the most popular as of recently. Here’s a quick breakdown of how each differs, and what makes them uniquely their own.
Shatter is appropriately named, as the texture looks and feels like it could break into pieces, just like glass. The golden, translucent concentrate comes from a hydrocarbon extraction process. After the resin is extracted, the oil is poured and left to dry for its notorious consistency.
Budder is another appropriately named concentrate, as the final consistency is creamy like ‘butter’. To produce this consistency, there’s a whipping process that’s utilized by extractors to create a soft, yet gooey texture.
Crumble or Honeycomb Wax
Crumble is similar to budder in colour, but has a unique texture that is crumbly versus creamy. As processors purge the solvent away from the oil extracted from flower, a high heat process is utilized. This ‘agitation’ creates the holes you find in crumble, similar to ‘honeycombs’.
The Latest Trends for Consuming Concentrates
THC-a or crystalline concentrates are rising in popularity, and are quite rare to find. Also known as ‘diamonds’, this type of ‘concentrate’ undergoes a unique process to purify the end-product of almost all excess colour.
The unique process that extractors use, produces a hard, translucent stone that looks like a diamond or gem. Hence, the nickname. To note, THC-a is a cannabinoid all on its own, and is the precursor to THC. Meaning, when you light it up via a torch for dabbing or while vaping in a vape pen, you’ll be treated to the effects of THC.
In addition, e-nails or auto heating dab rigs like the Puffco Peak are becoming trendy amongst the population who prefers to dab their concentrates. E-nails are a handy way to avoid using a torch, and many come with a built in temperature gauge so you can better regulate what temp you’re taking your dab at.
While there’s a great debate amongst low heat dabs versus high heat dabs, as you further research the cannabinoid or terpene you’re most interested in the effects of, you’ll find that each can burn off or evaporate at certain heats. So, this may be something you want to keep in mind, or invest into.
Concentrate on extracts for elevated highs
Overall, the most important thing to note about concentrates is – the extracts will deliver elevated highs. No matter the type you prefer or choose to consume, they all share one thing in common. That being heightened levels of THC.
This potency comes from the way that technology has advanced, to allow extractors to process the ‘sticky-icky’ trichomes so well-known for making cannabis flower, top-shelf. Now, you can quite literally ‘smoke’ or vaporize the best and purest form of cannabinoids, and terpenes, that the weed industry can provide.
For a wide selection of cannabis concentrates, in a wide range of flavours, and strains for varied effects – Greenz’s got your back. Check out our extensive collection of goods to dab or vape, now.