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Choosing a Cannabis Concentrate

Let’s break down the different types of concentrates and how they could work for you.

July 6, 2023

Not sure where to start?

We got you. First, some quick refreshers:

What is a concentrate?

A cannabis concentrate is a highly potent product made by extracting key elements – like terpenes, cannabinoids and flavonoids -- from the rest of the plant materials, usually under high temperatures and pressure. The resulting products are typically thick and rich with canna-goodness, which is what makes concentrates so, well, concentrated.

Will concentrates get me super high?

Most concentrates are more potent than your average pre-roll, but that doesn’t mean you’ll end up lost in the stratosphere. Enjoying your experience with concentrates is all about finding the right dose for yourself.

How do I know if I’ll like concentrates?

There’s only one way to find out! Here are a few key reasons you might want to try a cannabis concentrate:

  • You don’t like to inhale smoke, or don’t want smoke lingering in your house and on your clothes.
  • You’re looking for a more potent experience.
  • You want a robust & flavorful product.
  • You love to see a little go a long way.

Now let’s get into the details:

Live Solventless Concentrates

Concentrates are considered “live” when they’re made using plant material that was flash-frozen immediately after harvest. This process helps lock in the cannabinoids and flavorful terpene profile of the strain, resulting in an experience similar to consuming flower.

Solventless concentrates are exactly what they sound like, a concentrate made without using chemical or organic solvents. Most solventless concentrates are made by sending the plant material through an ice bath that allows the trichomes to physically separate from the buds. They can also be made using a series of screens and filters that collect the trichomes in a dry, almost dusty form known as kief or dry sift.

Types of Live Solventless Concentrates

Live Bubble Hash is made by filtering fresh, undried cannabis flower through an ice water bath to collect the trichomes (aka the good stuff), then freeze-dried to preserve the tasty terpenes and potent cannabinoids that make up the true essence of the strain. The result is a soft, powdery, and super versatile product that can be consumed on its own or along with your favorite flower.

Live Rosin is made by adding heat & pressure to our Live Bubble Hash until it melts into the right consistency. The result is a soft & uniquely pliable product that’s potent, flavorful, and packed with terpenes & cannabinoids.

Live Rosin Vapes are made by heating our Live Rosin until it reaches an almost water-like consistency. This liquid gold is then poured into a gastight, sealed vessel for decarboxylation, resulting in preservation of all terpenes and making it perfect for vape oil.

THC-A Isolate and Kief are also solventless concentrates, although they not considered “live.” Both are made using a series of fine mesh screens that mechanically separate the desired extracts from the rest of the plant material, creating dry, powder-like products that can easily be used along with other forms of cannabis.

Distillate & Full Spectrum Oils

Distillate is a pure, high-potency, isolated THC oil. It’s made by taking premium plant material through a distillation process. Extracted oil is heated until it vaporizes, then those vapors are condensed into a translucent, viscous product. You can find distillate in syringe-style dispensers (like the Twistpenser) or in vape pens & cartridges.

Because the distillation process breaks down the fragile terpene profile of a strain, those terps need to be added back in. The most common way to do this is using botanically derived terps, which means terpenes that are extracted from plants other than cannabis. These botanical terpenes have the exact same aroma and effects as the terpenes you find on cannabis plants, they’re simply derived in a more sustainable and efficient way (harvesting terpenes requires a LOT of plant material).

Full Spectrum Oil is basically enhanced distillate. Rather than using botanically derived terps, full spectrum products are made with terpenes sourced from cannabis plants. The result is a more flavorful, more potent concentrate that can be consumed sublingually or inhaled through a vape cartridge.

If you’re looking for a smooth and convenient experience, check out our selection of Botanical Vapes. For anyone who wants something similar to a botanical vape without inhaling, Pure Reserve Oil or Distillate might be right for you. If you’re a fan of flower and want to try a concentrate that’s equally flavorful, Full Spectrum Vapes or Full Spectrum Oil are the way to go.

Solvent-Based Concentrates

A solvent is a liquid that dissolves the cannabinoids and terpenes to separate them from the rest of the plant material. Common solvents include hydrocarbon, C02, ethanol, and acetone. These solvents are perfectly safe and commonly found in a variety of industries, not just cannabis production.

Solvent-based extraction requires extra processing steps to remove the solvents and any other unwanted materials. This means that the fragile terpene profile may break down a bit more, resulting in a slightly less flavorful experience.

Float Crumble, Shatter, Soft Wax, and Rosin are all strain-specific, solvent-based concentrates. The main difference in these products is their consistency, ranging from syrup-like (Soft Wax) to brittle (Shatter). Choosing the product you want really comes down to personal preference.

Accessories & Devices

The most common way to consume concentrates is by vaping, which means inhaling cannabis by heating it without burning it. In the cannabis world, the term “vape” is used to refer to both products (like vape pens or cartridges) and consumption methods. Vape pens and cartridges are consumed by attaching the vape oil to a battery that heats it until vapors are created. These batteries can be disposable (vape pens) or rechargeable. Rechargeable batteries are available as a 510 thread or a specialty size (like the Pax Era).

Outside of vape cartridges, concentrates can be consumed on a “dab rig,” which is a device that heats the product to the point of vaporizing. You place the desired amount of product on the device, turn it to the appropriate temperature setting, and watch the magic happen. The Puffco Proxy, Puffco Peak, and Puffco Plus are all easy to use and create a quality experience.

Ready to dive into the concentrates sea? Come on in!

Speak to your physician before trying any new cannabis product.

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