Cannabis Class: What Are Cannabis Concentrates?


Concentrates are a group of very potent products made by extracting THC and other cannabinoids from cannabis plants using alternative methods. Unlike edibles or topicals which are primarily used for medical purposes, concentrates tend to be more appropriate for recreational use where they can also be vaped or used in a dab rig.


What Are Cannabis Concentrates?


Concentrates come in many forms but are primarily separated into two categories: oils and solids. Oils can be either liquid (such as hash oil) or solid (such as shatter or wax). Solids can range from a hard, brittle consistency like shatter to sticky, black goo called "honey comb." Of course, the type of product you're looking for is primarily determined by what effect you're trying to achieve.


As a general rule, consumers will want to use oils when they have an easy way to vape or dab them (i.e., the user has a nail in their dab rig). Meanwhile, people who prefer the taste or ease of handling of a solid can just enjoy it on their own. There are also some people who prefer to have a combination of both in one product, but that's by far the exception rather than the rule.


Cannabis concentrates have been around for centuries. However, they didn't really gain notoriety until just recently when people realized how potent and versatile they were. It's tough to find a person who hasn't heard about dabs now that concentrates have become so popular.


If you're new to concentrate consumption, there are several things you should know before using them. Since they're much more potent than dried flower, it's important to consume only what appeals to you. If you're a new user, it's generally recommended that you start small and work your way up.


When selecting a product, as always, look for the most pure iteration of whatever you're buying - if it says "cannabis concentrate," then there shouldn't be any other ingredients in there. And of course, know the potency of what you're using and factor that into how much you take!


How Are Concentrates Made?


Concentrates are created by extracting cannabinoids from the cannabis plant using a solvent. There are a number of solvents that work well for this purpose, including butane, propane and CO2 (dry ice). Often times butane is used because it's cheap and easy to acquire. However, owin tog its explosive nature it's not safe to work with at home and is only done in a professional setting.


Most commonly, CO2 is used because it's considered safer than butane and any residual solvent can be filtered out of the final product. The process by which concentrates are made generally involves four steps: preparation, purging/washing, extraction and filtering. Each of these differs from one another based on the solvent being used but ultimately have the same goal: to remove all cannabinoids from the plant material in order to create a potent concentrate.

How Are Cannabis Oils Made?

The process of creating oil involves extracting THC and other cannabinoids using an alcohol-based solvent like isopropyl alcohol or butane. The solvent is then strained out of the final product and it's ready for use!

How Are Cannabis Solids Made?

The process of creating a solid involves extracting cannabinoids using a non-polar solvent like hexane, followed by evaporation to remove excess liquid, all while maintaining the integrity of the final product.

What Are The Risks of Cannabis Concentrate?

As with anything else, there are risks associated with using concentrates. First and foremost, you can't be sure of what's in them! It's important to know how your concentrate was made and what methods were used. In addition to that, regular use has been shown to produce mild burning sensations in the mouth, throat and lungs.

A study published by "The American Journal of Medicine" showed that daily use resulted in a "cough productive of yellow-green sputum" and inflammation of the upper respiratory tract. But most importantly, regular users witnessed an increase in symptoms associated with chronic bronchitis!

Cannabis concentrates are definitely an area where experimenting with various products and methods can lead to a lot of fun. So give them a shot, and keep us posted on the ones that you think are the best!

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