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Concentrates 101: What are Concentrates?

WHAT ARE CONCENTRATES?

Concentrates are a broad class of cannabis products that are made from the extraction and reduction of the desirable plant components such as cannabinoids and terpenes.  Often, concentrates have a very high cannabinoid content (often THC), making them a perfect option for those seeking a more potent and intense high. For this reason, they aren’t typically recommended for beginners. Concentrates are classified by their texture and the method of production, which are the biggest distinguishing factors between kinds of concentrates.

Consumption method: Inhalation

Activation time: Immediate-15 minutes

Duration: 1-8 hours

CONSISTENCIES & WHAT THAT MEANS

  • Concentrates come in a variety of consistencies. Makeup wise, the content of the concentrate will reflect the type of processing, regardless of the consistency. Consistency refers to the look, feel, texture, and malleability of the concentrate itself 
  • Some may prefer a particular consistency over the other, usually depending on how they plan to use the concentrate. For example, sugar or crumble may be easier to sprinkle on top of a bowl while sauce may be easier to spread onto a paper while rolling a joint. 
  • Descriptive words are the best way to describe a concentrates consistency:

Sugar:

Looks like wet, granulated sugar; great for scooping with your dab tool

Sauce: saucey, easy to spread, a more “wet” looking consistency.

  • Typically high in flavor as terpenes are not solid.
  • Great for nectar collectors.

Badder:

a more malleable clay-like texture

Crumble:

falls apart, clumpier than sugar, drier in texture

*Not recommended for nectar collector users as they may inhale the product through the straw without vaporizing the product

Wax:

a more beeswax-like consistency

Shatter:

more brittle in texture, think peanut brittle. Easy to roll into “snakes” to lace into joints or blunts.

COMMON TYPES OF CONCENTRATES

  • Live Resin: solvent based extraction that uses fresh or fresh frozen product as raw material. Using fresh starting materials leads to a better preservation of terpenes, thus enhancing the flavor.
  • Cured Resin: solvent based extraction that uses cured flower as the raw starting material which will lend to a flavor more similar to dried flower.
  • Hash Rosin: extracted with heat and pressure to produce a very clean, high flavor product.
  • Bubble Hash/Ice Hash/Full Melt: made by using ice and water to freeze and separate the trichomes from the material and through screens, filtering out the plant material. Depending on the quality of the starting material and the level of filtration, hash can be graded from food grade to full melt and anywhere in between. Food grade hash will typically have more plant matter making it darker in color, but also more full spectrum. Full melt will go through a much finer screen, purifying the concentrate and pulling any impurities out making this a very clean smoking process, favorable to many connoisseurs. 
  • RSO: is an activated and very potent full spectrum cannabis oil. Because of it’s full spectrum nature, it’s typically very sedative and potent.
  • Distillate: Concentrate produced via a distilling process that separates the cannabinoids, terpenes, and plant matter from one another producing THC distillate; an activated concentrate, high in THC, that is odor and taste-less. Because of the single-cannabinoid nature, it’s often described as more of a “clear-headed” high.
  • Isolate: CBD is isolated to produce an extracted form of CBD void of all of plant materials, cannabinoids, and terpenes. White, powdery, crystalline product.

DOSING

  • Dosing with concentrates gets tricky. It’s not as simple as being able to measure your exact mg dose, as you would with a tincture for example. For this reason, concentrates are typically recommended for our more experienced users as they administer a high dose of THC quickly into the bloodstream. Finding the correct dosing size will require trial and error. 
  • The best reminder is to start off with a small amount. You can always consume more, but you can never take away from what you’ve already dosed
  • Quick tip: if someone is concerned about consuming too much THC, recommend that they keep a CBD tincture on hand. CBD does a great job of mellowing out some of those unwanted symptoms that can sometimes come when consuming too much THC. Although, it should be noted that CBD can lengthen the amount of the time the high is experienced.
  • It should be noted that with the high concentration of THC, risk of panic attacks, anxiousness, and paranoia can increase (as with any high THC product). If this is a concern, remind users to start with a small amount and to consume in a safe and comfortable environment, having some CBD on hand can be supportive as well.

HOW TO USE

  • Concentrates can be used in a variety of ways. We encounter everyone from the experienced dab rig user with all the bells and whistles to the beginner who doesn’t know where to start. It’s important to always assess where the customer may be so you have a better idea of how to recommend and/or if you need to explain the ways in which you can consume concentrates
  • The most common way concentrates are consumed is through a glass dab rig that looks similar to a glass bong, but has an attachment that is designed specifically for concentrates. The nail attachment or “banger” is typically made up of quartz, titanium, or ceramic, and is what is heated up using a torch. Once heated to the desired temperature, the concentrate is placed onto the banger, using a dab tool, and the vaporized concentration is inhaled.
  • There are many special tools that can enhance the quality of dabs such as carb caps, terp pearls, and recyclers.
  • Gpen Connects can be used on a rig to replace the nail and torch. You can load either raw concentrate or a Gpen pod into it.
  • Pax 3, Puffco, Gpen, and other devices that are specifically designed for concentrates make vaping concentrates on the go easier while allowing the user to be able to better monitor and control the temperature in which they’re taking their hit.
  • Nectar Collectors are a great option for someone looking to dab their concentrate, but may not want to invest in a full dab rig. Nectar Collectors are glass pieces that come with a ceramic, quartz, or titanium nail attachment. The pieces are put together resembling a straw. The end of the nail is then heated with a torch. The user touches the end of the hot nail to the concentrate, creating a vapor to be inhaled. Nectar Collectors are sometimes easier to travel with as opposed to a full rig.
  • 2-in-1 dab/flower straws are the perfect option for someone looking to try out concentrates for the first time, similar to nectar collectors in style, but with a changeable bowl/nail end piece.  To use, simply heat the glass end of the straw up with a torch and slowly inhale/suck in while you touch the hot end of the straw to the concentrate.
  • If preferred, simply add the concentrate to your preferred flower smoking method. This can be done by topping your bowl with some crumble, spreading some sauce on a blunt wrap, or rolling a snake into a joint.

POTENTIAL THERAPEUTIC USES

  • Because concentrates offer a high-dose of THC with a fast onset time, they are a great option for those who need immediate, high-dose, THC relief.
  • Good for quickly treating nausea.
  • For experienced users, it can be helpful for panic attacks by quickly adding intense relief and euphoria.
  • This should not be a first option for new users.
  • Many people use concentrates for the days that their preventive cannabis regime doesn’t do the trick.
  • For example, someone with fibromyalgia may smoke a joint of regular flower every day to manage their chronic symptoms, but on the days that the pain is greater than usual, they may take a dab to experience that potent immediate relief.

To learn more about concentrates and dabbing, check our latest YouTube Video Featuring Emily and Scotty from  the BREEZE Team, check the link Here!

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