Varying doses of cannabis are needed for each individual’s specific need, and concentrates are an essential part of the range of cannabis products that help fulfill these needs. Cannabis concentrates come in a variety of types and textures, from badder to shatter, but overall are created to isolate the particularly desired parts of a hemp plant — the beneficial cannabinoids. While an active cannabinoid concentrate is generally contained within another product such as an oil, tincture, lotion, or wax, inactive concentrates need to be heated (usually to around 350 °F) and are then consumed by vaporization through dabbing.
How it’s Made:
By isolating cannabinoids like THC and CBD, as well as terpenes (scent and aromatic compounds) from the plant’s trichome glands, concentrates offer more of the beneficial compounds cannabis users are looking for. (1) Live concentrates refer to those created from a frozen flower, as opposed to one that has been dried and cured. Extraction methods can include oil, ethanol, solventless, hydrocarbon, and more. Each type of extraction results in a different kind of concentrate, with different aromas and effects, but the overarching result is smaller applications with more intense results.
Concentrates are much more potent than other forms of cannabis consumption and can therefore grant users instant physiological relief. Dabbing concentrates used to be done by using a blowtorch on a banger, similar to a bong. Fortunately, in recent years, dabbing has become easier. Bangers can be heated with electronic nails much more safely than a blowtorch, or you can skip the banger and dabbing rig altogether and use a dab pen.
Because of their higher concentration than cannabis flower and other, less-potent, forms of consumption, this form of cannabis consumption could be considered more likely to become habitual. It may also transfer more harmful compounds than other forms of consumption. (2)
The oldest form of marijuana concentrate was hashish, created from sifted cannabis flower. The sifting isolated the same cannabinoids and terpenes in the trichome glands, which could then be turned into kief. When heat and pressure were added to kief products, it became hashish. (3) Now, there are multiple ways to create cannabis concentrates.
Looking to the Future:
More and more methods of extraction and types of concentrate are being discovered and marketed to a wider audience of cannabis consumers. This momentum has allowed a wider range of concentrates to be created for a variety of needs.