A Beginner's Guide to Cannabis 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.
There are many types of cannabis, but one of the most potent is cannabis concentrates. Beginners looking for powerful THC and CBD effects will definitely want to look at this method and consider if it’s right for them.
What Are Cannabis Concentrates?
Since this post is focused on beginners, let's quickly go over what exactly cannabis concentrate is. Concentrate is ordinary dried cannabis that has gone through a process that converts bud into a malleable form.
Depending on the process used, a different kind of concentrate will be produced. All cannabis concentrates are more potent than dried flower itself, and contain high amounts of cannabinoids like THC and CBD.
Cannabis concentrates contain 40 to 80% THC levels, which is up to four times stronger than high-grade dry herb purchased at a dispensary, which is typically about 15-20% THC. So concentrates are way more potent, and will release far more cannabinoids than smoking or vaping dry herb.
Cannabis concentrates come in several different forms, with varying levels of cannabinoids. You may want to try each of them out to figure which works best for you.
Types of Cannabis Concentrates
Kief: the simplest extract
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 cannabis plant's flowers. It's sticky to the touch because it's loaded with crystals.
Some people consider kief to be a lower-quality concentrate, but expert extraction can produce clean forms of kief which are excellent. Kief will usually have between 20 and 60% THC and provides a very enjoyable experience.
Extraction should produce huge, perfect trichome heads with no stem and plant shavings. If your kief is free of 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 (BHO) and Shatter
Butane hash oil or BHO is probably the most common of the different weed concentrates. It is also known by a number of other names, like shatter, crumble, wax, errl, honeycombs, nectar, moonrock, and oil. Each of these extracts is made using the same general principle, but appearance and texture 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 of the extracts available on the market. Once you have your finished BHO concentrate, you can vaporize it.
Most dry herb vaporizers aren’t able to handle both dry herb and cannabis 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: a unique cannabis concentrate
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: potent extract, no solvent
CO2 oil is produced when carbon dioxide is compressed at very high pressures, and becomes 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: different methods
The last of the cannabis concentrates we’re discussing is water hash. Water hash can be produced in different ways, 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 potency of 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 Cannabis 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:
Choosing a Vape that Can Use Concentrates
If you’re looking for a versatile vaporizer that allows you to vaporize concentrates just as well as dry herb, check out Furna. Furna is a multi-use vape that uses two kinds of ovens, one for dried cannabis flower and one for concentrates.
Usually, a vaporizer can't handle both dry herb and concentrates, and those that do require awkward inserts and handling hot parts in order to vaporize concentrates.
All Furna ovens are 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. With other dry herb vapes, you have to clean and reload after each use, and reloading can be awkward when you’re on the go. This goes double for concentrates which are sticky and get messy.
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!