Despite the fact that there are many modern technologies and new discoveries on how cannabis concentrates are processed today, they have an established and broad history. The first uses of concentrates known can be dated back to 10,000BC in the Steppe Mountains of China. Cannabis concentrates have been in some form since 1940s till date. Solvent based cannabis extracts which is referred to as “hash oils” or “dabs”, have dominated cannabis concentrate markets over the last several decades.
The demand for concentrates have increased suddenly after the legalization of marijuana in some states.
WHAT ARE CONCENTRATES
Concentrates are products derived from cannabis plant that have been processed to preserve only the most desirable components of the plant (the cannabinoids and terpenes), while removing the other parts of the plants that are excesses and impurities. Concentrates are processed by separating trichomes and resin from the cannabis flowers so as to extract the maximum amount of cannabinoids and terpenes without undesirable plant components. This concentrates are widely used among consumers for recreational purpose and medicinal use.
Cannabis concentrates are frequently called “dabs”. Higher amount of trichomes, mean higher amount of cannabinoids and more potent products.
Concentrates are far more potent than flowers. Concentrates contains up to 90% of THC while flowers contain around 20%. Due to their potency and more economical way of consumption, concentrates are fast growing in popularity.
Concentrates are found in a wide range of cannabis products, which include oils, wax, glass, edibles and oral tinctures.
The effects of concentrates are noticed almost immediately after consumption and last close to 1-3 hours on average in most users.
There are many types of concentrates today based on their different extraction methods, chemical used and parts of plants involved. The eldest and most common type is the Hashish which has spread from the northern parts of India to Europe, Arabian Peninsula and all over the world. There are several types of hashes which include Bubble hash, Lebanese hash, Afghani Royal (a.k.a. Royal border) hash, Charas hash, Super Nepalese hash and Moroccan Slate hash. Other types of concentrates include Kief (simplest form), Moon rocks, Hash oil, Rosin, Shatter, Sugar wax, Budder, Crumble, Live resin and CO2 oil.
HOW TO CONSUME
Cannabis concentrates can be consumed in a variety of ways. The method of consumption depends on the type of the concentrate, texture of the concentrate and the personal habits of the user. The choice of the method of consumption is also based on the available equipment.
Topping Your Flower
The cheapest method of concentrates consumption is by adding powdered concentrate to your bowl, or wrapping wax around a joint(cigarette) by using a grinder or rolling a paper. This method does not require any special equipment for taking dabs, while still enjoying your smoke with higher potency and extra flavor. Powdered concentrates like kief and crumble can be enjoyed by this method.
The most common way of consuming cannabis concentrates is by vaporization using an instrument known as “dab rig”. This is done by using a butane torch to heat a “nail” on a bubbler and pouring the concentrates on the hot surface to turn it into vapor for consumption after passing through a water filter. There are many economical ways of making a dab rig with the use of a water pipe. Extracts like shatter and badder can be easily consumed with the use of a dab rig.
The most portable way of consuming cannabis is by vaping. These devices fit into pockets for easy mobility
There are two types of vaporizers;
Pre-filled Vape Pen
The most common way of vaping is by using a pre-filled cartridge connected to a rechargeable battery. A heating element is contained in the cartridge that contacts the battery and heats the concentrate. This set up is referred to as vape pen. This pen is operated by pressing a button. Vape pen are not refillable, they are discarded after use but the battery can be used again.
Another portable way of consuming concentrates is by using a handheld vaporizer. This method involves manual filling of a chamber with the desired concentrate type and this chamber is attached to a battery. A heating element is contained in the chamber which turns the concentrates into a vapor when users press a button.
BENEFITS OF CONCENTRATES
The major benefit of concentrates is that they are far more potent than the cannabis flowers. The level of cannabinoids in cannabis flowers range between 10-20% while cannabis concentrates contain up to 90% cannabinoids. This satisfies the extra potency need of some patients and for consumers who desire high potency.
Another great advantage of cannabis concentrate is its quick consumption process. This is an advantage over flower which involves consumption of dose after dose.
Cannabis concentrates gives an almost immediate desired effect during consumption.
In addition, cannabis concentrates are cost effective. Though a gram of concentrate can cost more than a gram of cannabis flower, the effect of concentrate will last longer than that of flower because of its potency making it more cost effective.
The less smell of cannabis concentrates compared to smoking flower is great plus for many users especially with the use of a vape pen.
There are varieties of flavors and smells to experience with cannabis concentrates. When many people consume cannabis, the traditional flower based method only gives variations based on what they use to smoke it, like pipes or rolling papers. But rising in popularity over the last decades are concentrates which give a purer form of the cannabis to your body, making it healthier in the sense that you are getting a refined product with varieties of enjoyable flavors.
It is important to note that concentrates are very potent. Small quantity of cannabis concentrates contains more THC than regular buds and flowers. It is important for a new user to be cautious. Taking one hit first and observing how it feels prevents undesirable effect.