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Cannabis Concentrates: What Are They, Types, & How They’re Made

By Danyal Swan March 1, 2024

What Are Cannabis Concentrates?

Cannabis concentrates are potent substances that are made by extracting the most desirable parts of the cannabis plant, including the cannabinoids and terpenes. These substances provide a condensed version of the marijuana plant's effects, often leading to a more intense experience. Concentrates come in a variety of types and consistencies, each with their own unique characteristics that add to the cannabis smoking experience. Enhanced terpene profiles and more potent hits are but a few of what makes cannabis concentrates special.

How are Marijuana Concentrates Made?

The process of creating cannabis concentrates involves separating the desired compounds (like THC or CBD) from the cannabis plant material. There are numerous extraction methods, including solvent-based and solventless.

Solvent-Based Extraction Methods

Solvent based methods use chemical compounds like butane, carbon dioxide (CO2), ethanol, or propane to dissolve the plant matter, effectively extracting cannabinoids and terpenes. Popular solvent-based products include CO2 oil, favored for its ability to retain more terpenes, and Butane Hash Oil (BHO) Hydrocarbon Extracts, recognized for its efficacy in extracting potent resin. However, it's crucial to purge any remaining solvents post-extraction to ensure purity and safety. Any residual solvents will negatively impact the overall quality of the final product.

Solventless Extraction Methods

Employing physical methods instead of solvents, solventless extractions use pressure, filtration, or temperature adjustments to derive concentrates. This approach yields a variety of artisanal products, appreciated for their natural extraction process and preservation of the plant's cannabinoids and terpenes.

How Do You Smoke Cannabis Concentrates?

When it comes to concentrates, there are a few different ways users can partake. One of the most popular methods is dabbing, which involves vaporizing a small amount of concentrate on a hot surface and inhaling the vapor. This method requires a dab rig, a type of water pipe specifically designed for concentrates.

Alternatively, vape pens designed for concentrate use provide a convenient and portable option. For those seeking simplicity, adding a bit of concentrate to your flower before smoking is also an effective method. If you're new to concentrates, remember to also start with a small amount due to the high potency to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Types of Cannabis Concentrates

Concentrates come in many shapes and forms, each with their own unique characteristics that set them aside. Let us dive into the different types and consistencies to see what sets each concentrate apart from the next!

Badder/Budder

Badder or budder refers to a creamy, wax-like cannabis concentrate known for its malleable consistency that resembles cake frosting. Produced through solvent-based extraction methods, badder is celebrated for its flavor and potency, delivering a full spectrum of cannabis's terpene profile.

badder wax

Sugar

Sugar concentrates exhibit a granulated, sugar-like texture and is a product of the cannabis extraction process where the material starts to crystallize. This form of marijuana concentrates is highly sought after for its rich terpene content and robust flavor profile, making it a popular choice among seasoned users looking for depth in their cannabis experience.

sugar wax

Shatter

Shatter is a highly popular type of cannabis concentrate known for its glass-like, translucent appearance and its tendency to break, or "shatter," when handled. Users often choose shatter for its ease of use and high potency, making it an excellent option for those seeking strong effects and a clear, clean taste.

shatter dab

Rosin

Rosin stands out among cannabis concentrates for its solventless extraction method. By applying heat and pressure to the cannabis plant material, rosin is created devoid of any chemical solvents. This process preserves the natural terpene profile, resulting in a pure, flavorful experience that is highly valued in the cannabis community.

rosin

RSO

RSO, or Rick Simpson Oil, is a potent form of cannabis concentrate developed by Rick Simpson. It's made using a specific extraction process that involves soaking the plant material in a solvent. The result is a highly concentrated form of cannabis oil renowned for its potential therapeutic benefits. RSO has gained attention for its suggested efficacy in various medical applications.

RSO (Rick Simpson Oil)

Distillate

Distillate is a highly refined oil containing almost pure cannabinoids. The distillation process removes terpenes and other plant materials, resulting in a nearly odorless and flavorless product. This THC concentrate is versatile and can be used in edibles, vape cartridges, and topical applications due to its purity and high potency.

distillate on a dabber

Crumble

Crumble is a dry, crumbly form of cannabis concentrate that is known for its unique texture and ease of use. It's produced through a purging process that involves gentle heat and a vacuum, leading to its distinctive consistency. Crumble can be used in a variety of ways, including dabbing and adding to flower for an enhanced smoking experience.

crumble wax

Diamonds

Diamond concentrates are named for their resemblance to small, crystalline diamonds, often enveloped in a viscous, golden terpene sauce. These sparkling crystals are a form of THC-A, which, when heated, converts into the potent THC, delivering a powerful and unparalleled experience. The clarity and geometric perfection of these diamonds not only make them visually stunning but also indicate a high-quality concentrate, offering users a clean, intense, and flavorful vaping or dabbing experience. Garnering appreciation from both connoisseurs and medical patients, diamond concentrates stand out as a premium choice for those seeking the pinnacle of cannabis potency and purity.

diamond concentrates

Live Resin

Live resin is a highly valued type of cannabis concentrate known for its exceptional preservation of flavors and aromas. Produced by flash-freezing the cannabis plant immediately after harvest and maintaining that low temperature throughout the extraction process, live resin captures a broader and more complete terpene profile compared to concentrates made from dried and cured flowers. 

*image represents live resin THCA diamonds

Frequently Asked Questions About Concentrates

How potent are cannabis concentrates?

While the THC content in flower might range from 10-25%, concentrates can boast THC levels from 50% up to 90% or more. This increased potency means that less product is required to achieve desired effects, and newcomers should approach concentrates with caution, starting with low doses.

How should I store my cannabis concentrates?

To preserve the freshness, potency, and flavor of your cannabis concentrates, proper storage is key. Concentrates should be kept in an airtight container to prevent exposure to air, which can degrade cannabinoids and terpenes over time. Ideally, use non-stick silicone containers or glass jars specifically designed for concentrate storage. These containers should then be stored in a cool, dark place, like a cabinet or a drawer, to shield them from light and maintain a stable temperature. Avoid storing your concentrates in a refrigerator or freezer unless necessary, as moisture can affect their consistency and quality.

Which types of cannabis concentrates are best?

Determining the "best" type of cannabis concentrate largely depends on personal preference, desired effects, and consumption method. For users seeking strong flavors and aroma, live resin or rosin might be ideal due to their high terpene content. Those looking for high potency and purity might lean towards distillates or isolates. Meanwhile, individuals who enjoy traditional dabbing might prefer shatter or wax for their texture and ease of handling. Experimenting with different types of concentrates can help you discover which aligns best with your preferences and needs.

Find Cannabis Concentrates at a MÜV Near You

At MÜV dispensaries, patients can explore a wide array of top-quality concentrate options. From the purity of distillates to the rich terpene profiles of rosin and sugar, we have a variety of concentrate options perfect for any lifestyle and preference. Embark on a journey of discovery with premium cannabis concentrates and experience the height of quality and innovation in the realm of cannabis.

Content Manager for MÜV Florida and Contributor for Zen Leaf Dispensaries. A cannabis connoisseur with a passion for explaining the miraculous possibility of the plant, Swan began her journey with cannabis as a recreational user and quickly realized its positive impact on her depression and severe anxiety. She joined the cannabis industry as Receptionist and MedTender and witnessed first-hand the immense potential of the plant for a wide variety of ailments, deepening her passion for alternative medicine. Swan is dedicated to self-education on the plant and sharing its potential with all. She holds a Journalism degree from the University of Iowa.

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