The Different Types of Cannabis Concentrates: An Overview of Marijuana Extracts

When you join the world of cannabis, you will quickly realize that there is a lot to take in. Initially, you may find yourself lost in the many terms that define different aspects of this rich plant.

But when you get past the general classifications of indica, sativa, and hybrids, you realize there’s much more to cannabis. An evolution that allows the industry to meet the growing demand for cannabis products.

You’ve probably come across terms like cannabis concentrates and extracts. This guide will help you understand what they are and the varieties available.

Understanding Cannabis Concentrates

Basically, anything derived from the cannabis plant is an extract. But there seems to be a difference between the terms concentrates and extracts.

The extraction processes used to isolate the most valuable parts of the plant influence the terminology.

As such, the terms:

Extracts: generally refer to the product derived from the whole plant using solvents like alcohol or oil.

Concentrates: are extracts that undergo non-solvent mechanical processes.

However, the terms are often used interchangeably to mean highly concentrated forms of processed cannabis, which is true. But that leaves us with different types of cannabis concentrates with various consistencies.

The Different Types of Cannabis Concentrates

While concentrates vary depending on the extraction method and consistency, they all have one thing in common.  They are highly potent.

The levels of cannabis compounds in concentrates, like cannabinoids and terpenes, are way above what’s present in regular buds.

Here are some common types of cannabis concentrates you should know about:

1. Hashish/Hash

Hashish is a common type of concentrate extracted from the highly potent resinous cannabis glands known as the trichomes. Most of the time when people are looking to buy extracts canada (or elsewhere where cannabis products are legal), they’re looking to buy some kind of hash product to enjoy a powerful high.

The extraction method is non-solvent, which involves applying slight heat and pressure on Kief — a dusty product full of trichomes — to create hash.

Hash ranges in color and potency, but it usually retains much of the terpenes and cannabinoids.

Hash comes in different versions depending on the production method.

  • Ice Hash

Ice hash, also known as Bubble, is produced using ice water mixed with cannabis buds. The production process isolates trichomes from the plant material, taking them through a filtration system. The product is then pressed into what is known as ice hash.

  • Dry Ice Hash

The production method for dry ice hash is the same one used for ice hash with one key difference: there’s no water involved, eliminating the extra work of drying trichomes after separating them from plant matter.

The dry ice is mixed with cannabis buds. The ice is then melted and evaporated to isolate trichomes and resin from the plant, which is then pressed into hash.

  • Dry Sift Hash

Dry sifting trichomes into hash may be less fussy than the other two methods, but it’s not the most popular. It involves turning trichomes and resin into kief before pressing it into hash.

Basically, cannabis buds and any other part of the plant are finely chopped and passed through a filtration system that isolates the trichomes.

Using low heat and pressure, the resulting trichome dust, or kief, is pressed into hash.

2. Budder

Budder is a soft and fluffy concentrate, also known as butter, due to its color and creamy appearance. It’s whipped into a soft consistency that looks like frosting.

The concentrate ranges in color from light yellow to yellowish brown and generally has a rich terpene profile.

3. Wax

Some consider wax similar to budder, but there are a few differences. Wax has an appearance and consistency that suits its name. It’s a gooey concentrate, thick and malleable like candle wax.

The concentrate is produced using hydrocarbon extraction under slight heat until the oil crystallizes into a sticky yellowish-brown product. The end product is a highly potent waxy concentrate.

4. Rosin

Rosin is a concentrate with the purest forms of cannabis compounds. Extraction uses a simple and natural technique that doesn’t involve adding anything to the plant matter.

There’s no use of solvents or other products, which allows the extract to remain intact with no changes in the chemical composition.

Rosin is extracted using heat and pressure, creating a highly potent hash oil concentrate with a thick consistency. The sought-after oil is usually brownish and rich in cannabinoids and terpenes.

5. Shatter

Shatter is a brittle cannabis concentrate, glassy, and can crash into tiny pieces when you apply pressure. Its colors usually range from honey-like to gold.

The production process for shatter is solvent-based, with emphasis paid to its consistency as that indicates the cannabinoid concentration. The end product can be stretchy or brittle, where brittle is the preferred texture.

Shatter is one of the purest cannabis concentrates with high levels of potency.

6. Crumble

As the name suggests, crumble looks like pieces of biscuits that crumble easily into grainy dust. The concentrate is almost similar to shatter, but that’s because the same extraction process is applied, involving solvents such as butane and alcohol.

The difference is in how long it takes to process both extracts. Manufacturers use lower heat and an extended filtration process when making crumble than they do with shatter.

Crumble tends to have a yellowish color, ranging from lighter to deeper shades. It’s a highly potent concentrate, especially rich in THC.

7. Crystalline

Crystalline is the best cannabis concentrate when it comes to purity. The extraction process isolates a specific cannabinoid resulting in a highly concentrated crystal-like form or granules.

Unlike other concentrates, crystalline, also called diamonds, doesn’t contain a variety of compounds. If it’s a THC crystalline, then that is all it has in abundance.

The extensive extraction process that strips out everything except a single compound leaves crystalline without any flavor, aroma, or color.

8. Terp Sauce

Using lower temperatures and a mild solvent, manufacturers produce terp sauce, a liquid broadspectrum cannabis concentrate. The extract generally retains much of the chemical profile present in the cannabis plant, including terpenes and flavonoids.

Due to its consistency, terp sauce, also known as ‘The Sauce’, is often used alongside crystalline to add the effect of terpenes, flavonoids, and aroma.

Final Thoughts

As the name reveals, cannabis concentrates are highly concentrated versions of the drug. It’s advisable to practice caution with dosages and highly recommended to get your concentrate from trusted sources for safety reasons.

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