Cannabis Concentrate Confusion? Yeah, we hear you.

But Wait, What Even is a Concentrate?

As varieties are continuously stocking most shelves of dispensaries and the term is buzzing in conversations with connoisseurs and amateurs alike, it's safe to say concentrates have become an immersive item in cannabis culture. So sure you've heard of them, but what exactly is the deal you may wonder? Well ‘no pasa nada’ were here to give you the scoop!

Concentrates are actually one of the most in demand and preferred types of cannabis, and justifiably so! Essentially, they're strikingly powerful, and this collection of potency is unlike any other product on the market. But why would you want to use a concentrate over anything else? Well hello! No duh the potency speaks for itself, but generally speaking concentrates differentiate themselves from other forms of cannabis in a few more ways than one.

To get more (annoyingly) technical, concentrates are generated from separating cannabis plant matter to isolate the parts containing consolidated trichomes, thus keeping the desirable compounds of the flower while disregarding all that useless plant material. And wallah! You get that ever so desirable strengthened product we're all here to discuss!

To put it simply, concentrates are the result of extracting all the yummies and goodies, which means no impure plant materials will be included in your product purchase.

Concentrates are extracted in varying constructions from your typical oils to different types of waxes and with the endless resulting textures and alternative ways to consume them, it can become majorly confusing, so here's the general gist.

Molding into Magic: How It’s Made

Well, the processes of extraction methods determine the result of different forms of concentrate products. There are two prominent strategies commonly practiced for this procedure, Solvent and Non-Solvent techniques.

Solvent-based extractions utilize chemical compounds, such as carbon dioxide, butane, alcohol, propane or alternative elements to separate the useless plant materials from the cannabis flower in order to obtain the trichomes. Think of this method similarly to using soap, the application of the product removes unwanted bacteria without compromising or damaging your skin.

In contrast, solventless extractions don’t use any form of chemical in its extraction practices, but instead uses the procedure of physical means. Without the additives, this method is usually done by tools applying controlled temperatures and exerting pressures to disconnect the plant material. This more hands-on involved practice is not only desired by consumers interested in DIY, but solventless based concentrates generally circulate huge demand with more natural conscious consumers due to its pure extraction process.

But enough about the ‘how to’, let’s get into the fun specifics! What seems like an endless amount of products out there it's sometimes hard to distinguish what's what. Whether you’ve been indulging in concentrates for years or are eager to start, here's a detailed list of the particulars to consider!

Bring Em Out: Concentrates and Characteristics

Maybe some similarities, but also many differences, each concentrate has its own unique sparks! For some reason most of them resemble some sort of food, so bear with us as we explain these differentiating yet delicious distinctions.

If it looks like yellow stained glass or a delectable hard candy, you’re handling a concentrate referred to as Shatter. This transparent extract is pretty delicate and in correlation to its name, can be easily broken into tiny pieces when handled. This specific variety of cannabis concentrate is produced using a solvent.

Stay clear of any bears, because this concentrate looks almost exactly like a tempting serving of golden honey. Considered one of the more ‘pure’ forms of cannabis, Rosin, has a similar sticky consistency looking like yellow syrup or sap. Developed through the physical extraction process, this concentrate has no exposure to solvent compounds. Its sister form, Live Rosin, is similar but made with fresh plant materials instead of dried buds. Major points for its flexible form, this concentrate can be manipulated to drizzle to top off alternative cannabis products.

As its name suggests, this solvent based concentrate resembles the ‘mom you wish you had’ homemade whipped butter, but don’t be fooled, this stuff is way more delicious than whatever you put on that microwaved baked potato you had at dinner. Budder, Batter, or Badder, whatever you prefer to call it, has the quality of a smooth and creamy texture. To top it all off, this concentrated color typically falls between a lightish yellow to brown, so seriously keep it out of the kitchen so grandma doesn't get mixed up.

Considered one of the most popular solventless forms of cannabis concentrate, Hash, is constructed through the compacting process of cannabis resin or Kief. In its original form, kief is a dusty, brownish powder so its appearance can look similar to a majority of traditional spices you have saved in your cabinet. When compressed together to mold the almighty Hash, its physical vibe shifts more towards solid chunks of store bought curry. This concentrate can be made using a variety of different techniques, some methods including ice and water!

Similar to its appearance, this concentrate picked up the nickname Honeycomb but its consistency is more similar to a dry graham cracker. Commonly referred to as Crumble, this cannabis concentrate is carefully curated through the chemical extraction process using solvents. With its powdery texture, it gained popularity being intentionally scattered over consumers' alternative forms of cannabis. Kind of like adding rainbow sprinkles to your favorite ice cream flavor, just sprinkle that cannabis concentrate right on top of whatever other goodies you have to add that little extra something special.

Lighter on the terpenes, but huge on the THC, Distillate is an oil cannabis concentrate that is considered to be extremely potent! This golden liquid may look like apple juice, but dissimilarly doesn’t have much flavor. Consumers love to enjoy this option through the pairing process of consuming it through flavored vapes or delectable ‘edible’ treats.

Most definitely similar to some of the back shelf condiments tucked away in your kitchen pantry, Sauce is a super gooey concentrate, hence its obvious name. High in terpenes, this solvent made form is considered quite attractive in the department of taste and smell. With its natural stimulation to the senses, consumers have been known to commonly mix this concentrate with others to amplify the experience to beyond flavorful measures.

Maybe you’ve heard it referred to as diamonds or isolates, the concentrate Crystalline is known for its abundance of cannabinoids. Containing no terpenes, this form doesn’t have any flavor and little to no color, making it look like the transparent candy crystal on a stick you’ve maybe seen at your local sweets store.

Catching up with Consumption Context

Similar to the long list of concentrates available, the varying techniques to consume them are also attractively diverse. To understand which course of action to take, it's crucial to consider the intention behind your needs and what you're ultimately looking to achieve.

If you're looking for a lazier, more low effort method of incorporating that boost of potency into your routine, simply just topping off your cannabis with some sprinkle of concentrate can be just the trick. No special equipment required, just literally scattering some form of concentrate to cover the cannabis in your bowl is so quick and easy. Have a creative touch? Even decorating your blunt by drizzling some gooey concentrate on top of your roll or sealing the paper with wax can make a powerful difference.

You’ve most likely heard of the term ‘dab or oil rig’, as this is probably one of the most common ways to enjoy a cannabis concentrate. For those of you who have a little more time and patience, this approach of consumption is more physically involved and can be pretty meditative. Dabbing consists of manipulating your concentrate using heat to produce potent vapor to which the consumer can breathe in. This inhalation definitely adheres to an instantaneous effect, so if you're wanting a rush hit option, this can be your match.

For something more portable and generally cost effective, trying any sort of concentrate vaporizer pen can be a more convenient alternative. Similar to using a rig, this grab and go option is pretty popular because consumers typically feel the effects almost immediately. From simply purchasing a pre-filled cartridge to engaging with a more manually designed dab pen, this mobile vaporized alternative offers consumers a range of flexibility and customization.

To experience the benefit more gradually, try a concentrate as a tasty edible. Whether you’re into the typical brownie or more creative with a vegan lasagna, edibles are available to incorporate with a fun DIY or simply purchase straight from the store. Although this practice typically leaves you with less potency in comparison to other methods of consumption, this delicious alternative is smoke free and a wonderful introduction for beginners.

Common Misconceptions Debunked

Yes, there is a difference between a concentrate and an extract. Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know, when it comes to technical terminologies most members of cannabis culture tend to use everything interchangeable in conversational context so it can be super confusing. Let’s break it down. Concentrates is an umbrella term used to describe products that have been separated from the cannabis plant using a solvent or solventless technique. Extract technically pertains to those formed though the specific method of using solvents, but not those separated with solventless approach. Although there is a scholarly distinction, most consumers would agree they use these words as synonyms so don’t sweat over it.

More importantly Solventless and Solvent-Free concentrates have distinct differences that you should definitely not confuse. Yeah, we do realize they sound totally similar, but ultimately they do have different meanings. From your common familiarized expert to any general newbie, any consumers in the market space may not recognize the difference so pay attention! As you’ve already learned, Solventless concentrates do not use any substances during the state of their process, so this form of cannabis is generally considered more ‘pure’ dodging potentially harmful chemicals. Therefore this term specifically indicates that the product had zero contact with solvents. On the contrary, Solvent-Free refers to a product that was produced using solvents. Although the concentrate no longer contains residuals of the solvent in the product so it's deemed safe for consumption, this label is there to ensure cannabis consumers alike can distinguish that the product in fact went through a chemical extraction process. Maybe this doesn't matter much to you, or maybe it means everything, either way just ultimately remember these terms are not interchangeable and you should be careful to not mix them up.