A Beginner's Guide to Concentrates

Are you considering trying cannabis for the first time? Maybe you've dabbled in it before and want to become more informed on the benefits and terminology? Perhaps you're battling pain issues and you want to rely less on pharmaceuticals? You might find that cannabis can be a great choice for you.

Cannabis can be consumed in many different ways, but one of the most potent is concentrates. So if you’re looking for powerful effects from your herb, you’ll definitely want to look at this method and consider if it’s right for you.

What Is Concentrate?

Since this post is focused on beginners, let's quickly go over what exactly cannabis concentrate is. Cannabis concentrate is ordinary dried cannabis that has gone through a process that converts it into a malleable mass. Depending on the process used, a different kind of concentrate will be produced. All concentrates are more potent than dried cannabis itself, and contain high amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and/or cannabidiol (CBD). 

Concentrates contain 40 to 80% THC levels, which is up to four times stronger than high-grade cannabis purchased at a dispensary, which is typically about 20% THC, depending on the strain. So concentrates consistently pack a much stronger punch, and will release far more active ingredients.

Concentrates come in several different forms. You may want to try each of them out to figure which works best for you.

Kief

Kief, otherwise known as dry sift, or dry sieve hash, is the most simple kind of concentrate. It has trichomes which are the crystalline structures that coat the outside of flowers. 

Some people consider kief to be a lower-quality concentrate, but expert extractors can produce clean forms of kief which are excellent. Kief will usually have between 20 and 60% THC and provides a very enjoyable experience.

Experienced extractors of kief are able to produce huge, perfect trichome heads with no stem and plant shavings. If your kief doesn't have stems or plant matter, you know it's top quality. But if it’s full of stems and plant matter, that’s a sign of an inferior product.

Butane Hash Oil/Shatter

Butane hash oil is probably the most common of the different weed concentrates. It is also known by a number of different names which might be more familiar to you, like shatter, crumble, wax, errl, honeycombs, nectar, moonrock, and oil. The basic principle of how each of these is extracted is the same, but appearance and textures vary as a result of the finishing process. 

A butane concentrate is made when the butane is pressurized and washed over the dry plant. After that, the solution is collected and any residual solvent is removed. Then, heat is applied. All of this makes the process quicker and easier while also producing the most amount of cannabinoids and terpenes in the finished product.

Butane hash oil is usually about 60 to 90% THC, which is the strongest concentrate available on the market. Once you have your finished concentrate, you can vaporize it.

Most dry herb vaporizers aren’t able to handle both dry herb and concentrates. However, the Furna vape features swappable ovens and has concentrate ovens available, making it the most versatile dry herb vaporizer on the market.

Rosin

Rosin is made from trim, lower grade dried hash or kief, or dried buds. Rosin is unique because you make it with parchment paper, a basic hair straightener, and some elbow grease. 

First you smash the material, then you heat it through the parchment sheets. What results is an oil-like golden shatter. It can even come out looking like solvent-extracted shatter. Rosin is about 50 to 70% THC, which is similar to high-grade water hash. 

CO2 Oil

CO2 oil is produced when carbon dioxide is compressed at very high pressures, and becomes what the industry calls a "supercritical fluid". When that happens, you're able to strip the essential oils from the plant. 

The resulting concentrate has an amber tint and the oil is typically loose. After it's extracted, it will become opaque or clear, depending on the type of finishing process used.

What's great about this kind of concentrated oil is that there are no chemical solvents and it's not flammable. CO2 Oil runs at about 50 to 75% THC. 

Water Hash

Last, but not least, is water hash. Water hash can be produced using several different techniques, and each technique produces a different form of water hash. These forms include ice wax, solventless wax, bubble hash, along with some others. 

Water hash is made by using freshly frozen or dried plants and mixing them with cold water and ice. Then, the brittle trichome heads are broken off by shaking them either mechanically or manually. After that, you filter them through screens to catch any unwanted material or shake still left. Water hash will end up as a pretty clean and clear finished product and give you about 50 to 80% THC levels. 

The most popular way to extract water hash is to use "bubble bags". These micro-screened fabric bags are great at filtering out various parts of the product that aren't good for the final concentrate. The end result should come out brown or golden colored.

The latest trend in extracted water hash is using heat and parchment paper. When you press it together, you get a shatter like/taffy consistency which is lightly colored or clear. In general, when it comes to water hash, the clearer the finished product, the higher the quality extraction. 

Ways to Consume the Different Concentrates

There are many different delivery methods to get weed concentrates into your system. It's all about personal preference really. Here's a list of them for you to try out and see what works best for you:

  • Dabs
  • Bowls
  • Vaporizers
  • Edibles 
  • Tinctures

Choosing a Vape that can use Concentrates

You may still be a cannabis concentrate rookie, but hopefully with this introduction you're now ready to dive in. You know the lingo, understand more about the extraction process, and can distinguish between different kinds of concentrates and their effects. Plus, you know which type or extracting process gives the strength level you might want, and might have an idea about which one sounds the most appealing.

If you’re looking for a versatile vaporizer that allows you to vaporize concentrates just as well as dry herb, have a look at the Furna. Usually, a vaporizer will not be able to handle both dry herb and concentrates, and those that do might require awkward inserts and handling hot parts in order to vaporize concentrates. But the Furna is a multi-use vape that can actually make use of two kinds of ovens, one for dried cannabis flower and one for concentrates.

All Furna ovens are also swappable, meaning you can load up several ovens in advance and conveniently swap an empty one for a fresh one whenever you want, wherever you are. Usually with dry herb vapes you’re stuck with just one oven you have to clean and reload after each use, and reloading can become awkward when you’re on the go. Concentrate ovens are sold separately from the vaporizer itself, but it’s incredibly convenient to not have to fuss about with weird inserts and superheated materials. Whenever you’re in the mood for something stronger, just swap in your concentrate oven and enjoy the ride!