For new consumers, cannabis offers a whole new world of possibilities. While cannabis flower is most frequently the starting point for newbies, concentrates are an entirely different beast. If you’re looking to upgrade your cannabis experience to the concentrate level, it’s important to learn about which concentrates are best for you.
What is a Concentrate?
Available in various forms, a concentrate is cannabis flower that usually has heat or pressure applied to it. Through these processes, the end result is a highly concentrated form of cannabis that are uniquely sticky, crumbly or waxy.
Choosing a Concentrate
Because concentrates usually contain high amounts of THC, it’s important to know where you lie on the tolerance meter. Consult your local dispensary for tips on how to begin (and which tools you might need, too!)
TYPES OF CONCENTRATES
Hashish comes from the Middle East and was introduced to westerners by European exploration in Northern Africa hundreds of years ago. Hash is made by applying varying amounts of pressure and sometimes heat to kief or sifted trichomes.
Kief is known as dry sift or “pollen,” and is what accumulates at the bottom of your grinder after a series of seshes. This type of concentrate is collected by letting the resinous trichomes fall through a sieve or mesh screen.
Most dabbers begin with wax and work their way up to shatter and more expensive forms of concentrate. It feels like earwax to the touch.
Shatter is a stable form of concentrate that is identifiable by its translucency and glass-like properties, and is considered to be one of the purest forms of concentrate available.
Crumble is a dry form of concentrate that resembles crunchy brown sugar in appearance and consistency. It is made by purging cannabis for a longer time, but at a lower heat, which preserves terpenes.
Budder is known for its thick, sticky consistency, similar to that of peanut butter. Halfway between wax and crumble, budder is made by whipping sap or shatter until it is broken down into budder. It’s packed with terpenes and therefore is one of the tastiest forms of concentrate.
Oil or sap is the smoothest and thinnest form of concentrate. It is also affectionately referred to as “errl,” which is common slang for oil. Nowadays, the inevitable messiness of oils can be abated with the use of plastic syringes.
Unlike cannabis-based oils, tinctures are alcohol-based. The often dark-green liquid is stored in droppers. Tinctures are typically consumed medicinally and are administered sublingually.
An isolate is a stabilized pure crystalline that looks clear or is an off-white powder or crystals. For cannabis, THC, CBD, THCv etc can be isolated using a complex process. A true isolate is 100 percent THC or CBD, and is obviously the purest form, but many retailers sell “isolates” that are close to 100 percent purity.