A concentrate is a substance that is the result of removing water or other diluting substances from a source, most commonly food. The purpose of this process is to intensify the properties of the substance by making it denser, stronger and purer. The flavor, potency and value is focused into a smaller, more intensely potent form.
Marijuana concentrates offer the same inherent benefits – an end product that is stronger, purer and easier to use.
Types of Marijuana Concentrates
Marijuana concentrates are produced through an extraction (concentration) process where solvents are used to strip away less desirable compounds found in cannabis plants. This process leaves behind a substance very high in cannabinoids such as THC and CBD which are chemical compounds secreted by cannabis flowers.
Generally, the term marijuana concentrates may refer to a tincture, wax, or oil. Hash is also a cannabis concentrate alternative.
- Tinctures are liquid concentrates produced through an alcohol extraction process. A few drops applied under the tongue is typically a sufficient dose, however more can be safely be applied as needed. Tinctures are available in a variety of flavors and provide a great way to enjoy the benefits of this concentrate without the need to smoke.
- Wax concentrates are most commonly used with a vaporizer, called vaping. This technique is generally considered to be a cleaner smoking method, but can also produce lighter effects. Vaping also provides the benefits of a full cannabis experience without the smoke.
- Oils such as CO2 oil is a concentrate using botanical extractors combined with carbon dioxide and pressure to reduce cannabis to its fundamental chemical compounds. These oils are a popular choice for use in portable vaporizer pens.
- Hash is a marijuana concentrate produced by the compression of plant resin. A powdery substance, known as kief, coats the surface of cannabis flowers. This kief is collected and pressed together to form hash.
How to Consume Marijuana Concentrates
Almost as many different consumption methods are available as there are different types of concentrates. This can be overwhelming, sometimes confusing and may be quite expensive. A highly-informative series of articles, entitled Concentrates 101, will give you a valuable basic understanding – including the following methods:
- Combining concentrates with cannabis by crumbling the concentrate on top of a filled bowl, or add to a rolled joint. This method enhances the potency of the cannabis, but does not give the full impact of a marijuana concentrate directly.
- Hash pipes are specialized pipes that are designed specifically for consuming hash. This allows the user to experience the properties of the hash on its own, and a relatively small start-up cost makes it appealing.
- Vaporizers are offered in two primary styles – desktop or portable. There is no actual combustion involved in the use of a vaporizer, which produces the pure flavors of the marijuana concentrate without burning and smoke. Vape pens offer a portable method for enjoying concentrates.
- Dabbing involves vaporizing concentrates on a hot surface and inhaling through an “oil rig,” or specialized pipe. The results from dabbing can be excellent; however the cost of a quality dab rig may be prohibitive.