Cannabis concentrates are highly potent extracts of the marijuana plant. Found in many marijuana dispensaries across the U.S., cannabis concentrates are not all the same and in fact you may be surprised to learn that you can purchase all types of marijuana extracts! But which one is the best type of cannabis concentrate for your needs?
What Are Cannabis Concentrates?
Under the umbrella of “concentrates,” this term can include anything that is made through an extraction process. Essentially, this can include anything you find in a dispensary known as a cannabis concentrate. These types of products are made with a solvent (usually butane, CO2 or ethanol) that strips the cannabinoid compounds from the cannabis plant material. Then, what is left behind is marijuana extracts – some with as much as 80% THC!
It is important to remember that not all cannabis concentrates are created equal. Some types of marijuana extracts can test to show low amounts of psychoactive cannabinoids like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and especially high amounts of other cannabinoids like the non-psychoactive compound of Cannabidiol (CBD).
Which Extracts Make the Best Cannabis Concentrates?
While the video includes many different types of cannabis concentrates, the list is by no means complete. There are many more! But you may want to know, “Which are the best cannabis concentrates on today’s legal marijuana market?”
Here is a list of the top 5 types of cannabis concentrates:
1. Kief. This cannabis concentrate is unlike other marijuana extracts because it can be easily added to any type of flower you choose and you don’t need a special device to smoke it! Made up from actual marijuana resin you can find on the glands of some of the most stunning cannabis plants kief is
derived directly from active cannabis Trichomes. Kief is a dry sift, or pollen-like substance you can use in any type of flower concoction.
Toss it onto crumbled plant matter before rolling a joint or spliff, top a bowl, or even get creative and work it into edibles. The options are limitless with kief! Usually, because of the exceptionally high amount of terpenes found in kief, adding just a tiny bit to any strain of flower can boost the flavor profile of your smoke. Not only that, but you can even collect and use your own kief in a grinder to use it to create a more potent smoke.
2. Hash. You may have already heard of hash, as it is one of the most popular types of cannabis concentrates out there. One of the oldest players in the game of marijuana, hash is a type of cannabis concentrate that is made through a compression extraction process. Using powdery kief, hash can be made by pressing, or extracted with a solvent like ice water or ethanol to strip the plant of it’s cannabinoid-loaded resin.
Hash is not as potent of a cannabis concentrate as some other types, but it still remains a staple in the marijuana community. Around the world, you can find people adding hash to joints, blunts, and bowls!
Another form of this popular cannabis concentrate includes what’s referred to in some reefer circles as BHO, or butane hash oil. This is the type of hash oil that has been extracted to include a highly-potent form of cannabis concentrate used for dabbing and other vaporization. In butane extraction processes the wax of marijuana resin will either become hardened or maintain a sticky consistency, resulting in a crumbly “honeycomb,” or a glass-like “shatter.” This type of cannabis concentrate usually includes high-potency THC – up to 80%! That’s why you’ll find BHO is a common suggestion from bud tenders for chronic pain.
NOTE: Because the extraction methods for BHO commonly include solvents, it is important that you always get a lab-test to ensure purity as traces of butane are commonly found in BHO cannabis concentrates.
3. CO2 Oil. One of the freshest cannabis concentrates on the market today can be made with an expensive botanical extractor. Used to create high amounts of pressure, the extraction method also uses carbon dioxide to separate the active cannabinoids from the plant material. It’s called supercritical fluid extraction – and it’s getting a lot of attention in the cannabis industry right now! The extraction process used to make CO2 oil delivers a highly-potent amber oil that can be vaporized in many different ways.
Add CO2 oil to any portable vaporizer pen. As a marijuana industry best-seller, CO2 oil can be used in disposable vape cartridges and other applications.
4. Rick Simpson Oil (RSO). Who in the … ?! If you’re wondering who Rick Simpson is, you’re not alone! This man used a homemade cannabis remedy way back in 2003 to treat skin cancer. And people were thrilled! However, until now the marijuana remedy was not available to the public due to strict regulations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Today, you can find Rick Simpson Oil in many dispensaries, also by the name of Phoenix Tears.
The extraction process used to make RSO includes a soaking period in which the marijuana plant material is immersed in a solvent like pure naphtha or isopropyl alcohol. Then, the cannabinoids can be drawn out of the plant material and the tar-like resin liquid can then be used after the solvent evaporates.
You can find many different types of Rick Simpson Oil in dispensaries which may contain high amounts of psychoactive THC or only the non-psychoactive component of CBD. But no matter what type of RSO you find, make sure to get it lab tested for purity.
5. Tinctures. These can be found in any herb store containing extracts from all types of medicinal plants like lavender, chamomile and echinacea. Today, you’ll find that cannabis concentrates in the form of tinctures are easy to use in your kitchen or as a sublingual dropper. Up until prohibition in 1937, marijuana tinctures were one of the most popular forms of cannabis concentrates in the U.S. Many people use tinctures now to help with insomnia.
Cannabis tinctures are available for purchase at many marijuana dispensaries in a variety of flavors. Or, you can make your own cannabis tincture at home with a simple alcohol extraction procedure.
The Bottom Line on Cannabis Concentrates
The word “concentrate” is becoming more popular in today’s growing cannabis industry. But not everyone knows what they’re talking about and you don’t want to make a purchasing decision based on only bro-science. So, follow this brief top 5 list to help you navigate the new terrain of high-potency marijuana extracts known as concentrates.
The future of cannabis is changing and it’s right in the palm of your hands! We support you as you support the therapeutic potential of this ancient herb. Use cannabis concentrates at home any way you like. Vaporize, drop a tincture under your tongue, or use orally administered THC-free cannabis oil in your kitchen. It’s all good!
Brittany Artwohl is a health and wellness specialist based out of sunny Arizona. There, she has worked for over 15 years as an aqua fitness trainer, lifeguard and coach. Today, Brittany contributes to publications including Mountain Weekly News and Vital Updates as she lives a natural outdoor lifestyle.