A concentrate is a form of a product reduced down to its most basic (and usually most desired) component. In the case of cannabis, the most desirable, or potent, parts of the plant are cannabinoids and terpenes. Cannabinoids and terpenes are responsible for the physical effects that we experience when consuming marijuana.
Cannabis concentrates come in many forms. Some of the most popular forms of concentrates are oil, wax, shatter, and hash. For the most part, these concentrates have similar properties and potency. The main differences are their texture and the way in which they’re used. Being familiar with different cannabis concentrates and how they’re used can help you get the most enjoyment from cannabis products.
THC cannabis oil, not to be confused with the increasingly popular CBD oil, is a highly concentrated form of cannabis that can be smoked, vaporized, or ingested. THC oil is made by soaking cannabis in alcohol which removes the resin within the plant. Once the resin is removed, the alcohol will evaporate, leaving behind an oil-like THC liquid.
THC oil can be used in vape pens, administered sublingually, or smoked.
By far the most popular use of THC oil is in vape pens. When vaporizing THC oil in a pen, the temperature at which it is vaporized is far lower than if you were to smoke it. This provides a more comfortable draw and reduces, or in most cases eliminates, the signature marijuana smell that most methods produce. This allows you to get the same benefits of smoking while remaining inconspicuous.
Cannabis wax is a term used to describe many different kinds of waxy concentrates. Types of wax include honeycomb, crumble, shatter, pull and snap, and budder. All waxes have a sticky, waxy texture, though some are harder, like shatter, and some are soft, like budder.
You can use wax in three ways, dabbing, vaporizing, or edibles. Vaporizing is becoming the most popular way to use cannabis concentrates. This is due to how easy vape pens are to use and how discreet they are. Another popular way to use wax is dabbing. Despite the complex setup required to dab, called a dab rig, dabbing is gaining popularity because it provides such an effective high. Both vaping and dabbing will give you almost immediate effects, while edibles take a bit longer to take effect.
Hash is the easiest form of concentrate to make on your own. Hash is made up of compact kief, which sheds off of bud during the grinding process. The kief is then compressed using pressure and high temperatures. The result is a highly potent, sticky and brittle substance.
Hash can be smoked, either on its own in a bong or bowl, or by sprinkling it in a joint or spliff. It can also be dabbed or vaporized. In the past, mixing hash with a spliff or on tobacco alone was the most popular way to use it. However, as vaping and dabbing become more popular, many people are turning to these newer methods when consuming hash.
No matter which concentrate you use, it’s important to take it slow, especially if you’re a novice marijuana user. Concentrates provide a high that can easily sneak up on you, especially if you’re used to taking bigger hits from bud alone. To avoid any harsh experiences while using concentrates, start slow and work your way up to different methods. This will allow you to find the type of concentrate and method you prefer while gaining maximum benefits from these potent cannabis products.