There’s a whole new world of cannabis products out there, and it’s taking over the industry. They’re called cannabis concentrates, and their name says quite a bit. These products come in a wide variety of names, appearances, shapes, and sizes, but they all have one thing in common. Cannabis concentrates are high-powered, potent products with high concentrations of THC. Because of that fact, these products should be used with caution and taken slowly at first. A little goes a long way with cannabis concentrates, no matter if you’re using an implement to consume them or adding them to edibles.
Concentrates are made by extracting a specific compound, typically THC or CBD, from a cannabis plant.
Trichomes are a key part of the cannabis plant and an even more key part of a cannabis concentrate. Trichomes are the tiny, crystal-like particles on the outside of a bud of cannabis. They are resin-based glands, where the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids are produced. These tiny little features of the bud give each strain of marijuana their unique effects and flavors.
Types of Cannabis Concentrates
There are several types of concentrates available, and they go by the names of wax, budder, shatter, crumble, badder, and many more. They can be made using solvents like butane, or they can be made using solventless methods, like using a hair straightener or another heating device.
Concentrates are divided into two groups: solvent and non-solvent concentrates. The non-solvent options are kief, hash, bubble hash, charas, and rosin. These can be created without the use of any chemical solvents to extract the THC from the cannabis.
The group of solvent-based concentrates includes shatter, wax, budder, badder, crumble, live resin, BHO, PHO, and CO2 oil. These products are the amber-colored glass-like concentrates that you hear so much about these days. These require solvents like butane to make, and they can be a little dangerous to do it yourself.
How to Use Cannabis Concentrates
Deciding which method you use to consume cannabis concentrates should depend on a couple of factors. First, you want to consider your patterns of use, for example, where you use your product and how often. Second, the method you use depends on which type of concentrate you choose, so keep that in mind.
Perhaps the easiest method of consuming cannabis concentrates is through a pre-filled vape pen or a vaporizer with a concentrate cartridge. Vape pens are easy to find, and they’re usually among the less expensive methods of using concentrates.
Another simple method of using cannabis concentrates is by adding them to your other cannabis products. You can add concentrates to your bowls, joints, and bongs. Adding kief to a bowl and wrapping a joint with wax are also rather cost-effective methods of using concentrates. This method works with powdered concentrates, but if you’re using something like shatter, you’ll need to try something different.
Products like shatter and budder are a little trickier to deal with than the powdered concentrates. These waxy substances are most commonly consumed using a dab rig. A dab rig will help you get the most out of your product, much more than you would get if you chose to smoke the concentrate.
Using a Dab Rig
The other methods of using concentrates are pretty self-explanatory. Using a dab rig, however, can be a little more complicated. But once you get it down, it’s just as simple as any other method. The easiest way to describe a dab rig is that it’s a water pipe without a bowl and in its place is something called a nail. Unlike a water pipe with a 45-degree angle, the dab rig has 90-degree joints to prevent the flavor of the vapor from getting lost.
Many dab rigs have a piece called a recycler, which helps push the water through the device. The recycler provides continuous filtration that helps keep the water and vapor cool and allows a smoother hit than some other devices.
The nail, which is just a surface area, is typically made out of titanium, ceramic, or possibly quartz. It’s what you heat to help vaporize the concentrate. You use a dabber to pick up the concentrate, twirling it just slightly like a fork with spaghetti. Place the dabber gently on the hot nail and inhale as the vapors are released.
If you’re new to the world of concentrates and looking to try them for the first time, a preloaded vape pen is your cheapest, easiest option. If you’re a little more adventurous, you can reach for a dab rig. There’s a good middle option if you fall somewhere between those two choices. Using dry concentrate like kief is easier than a dab rig, but it’s something you can use with your regular smoking routine. Just sprinkle some dry concentrate on top of your bowl or add it to your joint for a little extra kick.