Cannabinoid ConcentratesNick Montes
The world of cannabinoid concentrates is ever expanding and with so many new products available, it can be difficult to decipher between them. We’ve put together a list of some of the more common concentrates to help clarify some of the differences between them. We’ll go over potency, flavor profile and ways to consume them so you get the best experience from your concentrates.
What is a concentrate?
Essentially, cannabinoid concentrates have undergone a chemical process to purify, isolate and concentrate the trichomes found around the buds of cannabis plants. The resulting product will contain high levels of either CBD or THC, depending on whether you start with hemp or marijuana, respectively. For the most part, when we talk concentrates they fall into two main categories: types of shatter or types of wax. Let’s go over what sets them apart from on another.
As the name suggests, shatter is formed in sheets that resemble glass. These translucent, clear or amber colored sheets are then broken into pieces or shards. There is a misconception that the more transparent the concentrate, the better but it is simply the result of manipulation during production. The most common way to make shatter is using butane. Upon extraction, shatter often goes through additional filtration processes to enhance the purity and potency of the final product. Manufacturers purge the cannabinoid concentrates under pressure and low temperature. Improper storage can degrade the crystalline structure, affecting its potency. When exposed to heat, shatter bubbles and melts, taking on a more honey-like consistency. The beauty of shatter, beyond its 80% cannabinoid content is that you can smoke it with or without a dab rig.
In general, waxes have a soft, oily consistency similar to candle wax, hence the name. Wax often includes other compounds and synergistic phytochemicals such as terpenes, flavonoids and sterols. Because it can be so sticky, most users handle it using a dabbing tool. Wax can range from being sticky and honey-like, to having a crumblier texture depending on the alteration. Within this style of concentrates, there are 2 common variations Budder and Crumble. What’s the difference?
Budder vs Crumble
Budder has a smooth texture that is super easy to work with, boasting great flavor and intense potency. The preferred extraction method is CO2. When the process begins, liquid solvent washes over the raw cannabis plant material. As it does, it pulls out the cannabinoids and terpenes. The extract is then purged at high temperature and pressure. To remove the solvent, the substance is whipped vigorously, resulting in a fluffier, creamier texture that resembles butter. The most common way of using budder is by ‘dabbing’ using a rig or by vaporizing.
Crumble, on the other hand, has a more brittle consistency rather than a sticky or gooey one. The preferred extraction method for crumble is also either CO2 or butane. It’s the increased water content in the crumble that facilitates the creation of a less viscous product with a crumbly texture. The great thing about crumble is its versatility. Because of its unique texture, it is easy to burn when rolled inside a joint. Crumble is perfect for vaping if your vape pen has concentrate chambers. It can also be consumed through a dab rig by putting some of it on the nail, heating it, and inhaling it through the rig. Lastly, because of the unique texture, they can be a great addition to any edibles recipe.
Live resin extract comes from fresh buds that are flash-frozen directly after harvest. The rapid cooling process preserves a large amount of volatile terpenes that would otherwise degrade during the drying and curing process. Because live resin captures the terpene profile from the buds so well, the final product typically has enhanced flavor and aromatic qualities. Live resin tends to be runnier with a more fluid like consistency. Dabbing or Vaping are the most common ways to consume live resin but you can also sprinkle some in your joints or throw some on top of a bowl. Whichever method you choose, you’ll probably need to use a dab tool to help you collect the concentrate.
The initial processes for making Live Resin is the same for making bubble hash. The dried and cured bud is frozen then the plant material is passed through progressively smaller screens until all that’s left are the trichomes. The reason we are such a fan of this concentrate is because the extraction method preserves so many cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids making the end product flavorful and potent. Bubble hash is super versatile and consumable in almost every way you can imagine, from vaping to edibles.
A few Final thoughts
Whether you in thinking of adding a CBD or THC concentrate into your cannabis arsenal, it is important to remember that these are potent and can contain anywhere from 60% to 90% or more, cannabinoids. Always start with a small dose and slowly increase to achieve desired affects. Nothing has the potential to ruin a new experience more than over doing it on the first try. For us, the thing we love the most about concentrates is the purity level. Dabbing or vaping any of the products listed above, results in a smooth inhale with no combusting plant material to contend with, just pure cannabinoid, terpene and flavonoid goodness.