If you’ve shopped for cannabis at a dispensary, you’ve definitely seen cannabis concentrates. If you’ve hung out at a sesh and seen people passing around dab rigs, you’ve definitely seen cannabis concentrates.
These trichome-extracted forms of cannabis are increasingly popular as people learn their benefits in taste and potency. So much so that in many markets, concentrates are soaring in sales volume.
But what are the different types of concentrates, and how are they used to create the world of cannabis products that we know and love?
Let’s discuss it.
The difference between a cannabis extract, concentrate, and a distillate
Concentrates is a term used to describe concentrated forms of cannabis. These forms of cannabis result from separating trichomes from the cannabis plant and processing them, through both solvent-based and solventless extraction. This is why they are also called extracts, and the terms are used interchangeably.
While there is some discussion about concentrates referring to solventless products and extracts referring to solvent-based extracts, for the majority of consumers, the terms are used interchangeably.
There are many ways to create cannabis concentrates. For solventless extraction, only water, heat, and pressure are used. For solvent-based extractions, trichomes are stripped from the plant using all types of hydrocarbon materials. Those materials include alcohol, butane, ethanol, and propane.
There are many different textures for concentrates that come from these extraction methods. The textures include wax, budder, shatter, badder, crumble, sauce, jams, crystalline, and oil.
Sauces and budders are the most commonly used forms of concentrates these days. Waxes, crumbles, and shatters are becoming more and more obsolete as the industry evolves.
Distillates, also a cannabis concentrate/extract, are a type of cannabis oil that has been stripped of all their compounds (distilled), except THC. That means they are extremely high potency but have absolutely no aroma or flavor. Very rarely do you want that. This is why distillates are often combined with terpene additives, to give them some type of flavor personality.
How cannabis concentrates are consumed
There are plenty of ways manufacturers use cannabis concentrates to make various products. Most often, they are used to create dabs and oil for vape pens. However, cannabis concentrates are also used to make edibles.
Consuming cannabis concentrates in edibles
Edibles are basically food with cannabis concentrates mixed into them. Weed gummies, hard candies, and baked goods are common forms of edibles. Distillates, live resin, and solventless rosin are common types of cannabis extracts used for edibles.
Of these types, rosin probably makes the best edibles. Rosin is as close to the plant profile as possible, as it has been created through solventless extraction.
You can also use cannabis concentrates to make edibles at home. You do so by infusing butters and oils with cannabis concentrates. Coconut oil is a great choice for this process.
You can also infuse edibles at home with pour-over distillates. This is an effective use of distillates, as whatever you’re eating will carry the flavor/taste load.
Consuming cannabis concentrates with dab rigs
Dab rigs are devices used to take dabs (big surprise there, right?). Dab rigs consist of a mouthpiece, a dab nail (also called a banger), and a base/chamber for water/vapor filtration.
Dabs turn into vapor with the application of high heat. This is why dab rigs use a torch to heat the banger. They heat your oil to a temperature point that may be high, but is still below combustion.
That is why the vapor from dabs and vape pens is seen as more health-friendly than smoking flower, which burns all of the materials used.
All forms and textures of concentrates work with dab rigs. That means resins, rosins, isolates, and distillates. That also means waxes, budders, and shatters. Don’t dab isolates and distillates.
Instead, focus on resins and rosins that contain a wide spectrum of cannabis compounds, i.e. cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, etc.
Using one of these dab rig beauties is a great way to consume cannabis extracts.
Consuming cannabis concentrates with vape pens
Vape pens use atomizers to heat your cannabis concentrates into vapor. You then inhale that vapor and proceed to get high.
When you buy vape pens for concentrates, you’ll be looking at three types of systems: vape cartridges, vape pods, and disposables.
Cartridges generally refer to 510-thread cartridges that work with 510-thread batteries. They screw into any ol’ generic battery. When you’re done with a 510-thread cart, you can unscrew it, and replace it with another.
Disposables are one-time-use cartridges and pods that come as one single piece, between the oil cartridge and the atomizer/battery.
When choosing the best concentrates for vape pens, you’ll want something delicious and potent, especially if vaping is your primary method of consumption. Choose a nice live resin pod or a solventless pod that is high in terpenes so you really get the best representation of the strain used to create it.
Consuming cannabis concentrates with a dab pen
Dab pens are basically handled dab rigs. Unlike vape pens, dab pens are loaded by the users; whereas vape pens come as pre-filled cartridges and pods. Examples of dab pens include the Puffco Plus, the Utillian 5, and the Linx Blaze.
For dab pens, you’d use the same types of concentrates that you use with dab rigs. That’s because they have temperature settings that will usually melt any type of concentrate you drop into the atomizer.
You can read more about using dab pens here.
At STIIIZY, we only use premium flowers for all of our cannabis concentrates, including solventless pods, live rosin badder and jam, curated live resin, live resin diamonds, and much more. Explore all of STIIIZY's products here.