Cannabis Class: Concentrates
Ah the dab… The name of a popular dance move where you drop your head and lift both of your arms up at an angle, often used as a celebration. Oh we aren’t talking about sick dance moves? Ohhh you must mean smoking concentrated weed! Ok cool, that’s gonna be a lot easier to write about rather than the dance move... I mean I pretty much covered that in the first sentence.
A few weeks ago, we wrote about bongs, everything bongs! If you haven’t yet read that blog post, here’s a link. When smoking from a bong, flower is used, however, when smoking from a dab rig, concentrates are used. In a future blog post we will get into the act of dabbing, how it works, what’s needed etcetera. However, today we are going to deep dive into the wild world of concentrates!
What are concentrates you ask?
Well, concentrated weed is just that, weed that has been concentrated. I’m gonna steal an analogy weedmaps gave me and explain it this way; cannabis concentrate can be compared with orange juice concentrate, which is the smell and taste of the orange without the excess fluid, peel and pulp. So cannabis concentrates are the flavonoids, terpenes and cannabinoids with the stem, leaves, and other unwanted materials removed. Therefore it can be said that concentrated cannabis contains extremely high levels of both THC and other cannabinoids ranging from 40%-80% compared to cannabis flower which normally measures at around 20%.
Concentrates can be grouped into two categories, Solvents and Solventless. Solvents will include 90% of your concentrates. Shatter, Wax, Crumble, Diamonds, Sauce & budder are all solvents and can be extracted the same way.
There are 3 main solvent processes; BH0 (Butane Hash Oil), PHO (Propane Hash Oil) and CO2 (Carbon Dioxide). The way these solvents are used to extract the concentrates are very similar in their processes. The cannabis is placed in a big tube and the solvent (be it Butane, Propane or Carbon Dioxide) is blasted through the tube, stripping the plant of all the cannabinoids you want. So, for instance, if you used the Butane to extract your concentrate, at the end of this process you are then left with the BHO (Butane Hash Oil) and Butane. Another process then has to happen to remove the Butane. The same can be said for the propane method and the carbon dioxide, these too will need to be removed from the concentrates.
But how do we identify what type of concentrate it is? Great question, after the solvent process has been completed, there are a multitude of ways to then treat the concentrate, whether it sits for a while or what kind of things they are exposed to, and that’s what will determine the type of concentrate. If you are interested in the differences between each concentrate please let us know in the comments below and we will write a more in depth blog exploring the processes involved in creating these unique concentrates.
Ever heard of live resin? All of these concentrates mentioned above can be live resin. Normally when you’re making concentrates you harvest your weed, you trim your plant and you dry and cure your flower for the appropriate amount of time before you then do the solvent process. With live resin, you handle the weed a little differently before the solvent process. As soon as the cannabis plant is done maturing, you cut it down, you don’t trim, dry or cure it; you put it in a freezer whole – this allows a full spectrum (using the while plant) extract. You then take your plant material and use either the BHO, PHO or CO2 extraction process or alternatively, a solventless method, to create your concentrate.
Now we’ve discussed solvent concentrates let’s talk solventless. Unlike BHO, PHO or CO2, solventless concentrates can all be made at home quite easily. Rosin, Hash Rosin and 6 star Hash are all solventless concentrates that are made using heat. Rosin is the result of pressing a cannabis flower between two hot plates. The plates must be hot enough to separate the chemicals from the plant but not hot enough to activate them.
Hash Rosin and 6 star Hash are two of the most expensive concentrates you will find on the market today. If you have been attending our Cannabis Class here at Smoke Milk, you will have learned about Trichomes, these trichomes (where all of the chemical compounds are produced in the plant) are separated from the cannabis plant before the extraction method. The trichomes are then pressed in between two hot plates to make Hash Rosin.
So now we know what type of concentrates there are on offer and a little bit about how they are each made, lets chat about smoking concentrates and the effect they have on us, specifically when compared to smoking flower buds. So, as you can imagine, as it’s literally concentrated weed, you need a lot less than you would for flower. The high is a lot quicker to hit you and the flavours can be much more potent than your ground up plant material. As the THC levels are very high, your tolerance will go up fast!
Sadly concentrates are not widely accessible where I live, but it’s only a matter of time before they become readily available. We have a small range of dab rigs available on Smoke Milk and I’d urge you all to check them out! They certainly are works of art and a method of smoking that has such beauty in it. Stay tuned for a future blog post where we further explore the art of dabbing!
All blog posts are for entertainment purposes only, Smoke Milk does not condone or endorse the use of illicit or controlled substances.
All products displayed and sold via Smoke Milk are sold with the intent for legal smoking herbs only and we encourage you to check your local laws and regulations before proceeding with a purchase.
To read more on please see our T&Cs