What are Cannabis Extracts?
In the world of cannabis, extracts are a potent force to utilize. But only seasoned stoners shall apply. If you’re new to Mary J, it’s best to start out slow and stead with low THC cannabis flower.
Cannabis extracts are highly concentrated forms of the active compounds (cannabinoids) found in the cannabis plant, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
But THC and CBD are just the tip of the iceberg. Besides THC and CBD, more than 100 other cannabinoids have been identified. Pretty crazy, right?
Extracts are made by extracting the desired compounds from the plant material through various methods. In this article, we will discuss the different types of cannabis extracts and their uses.
The Different Types of Cannabis Extracts
Ready to dive in? Let’s take a look at the most common types of extracts. Keep in mind, this list is ever growing, but there are some of the most popular extracts you’ll likely come across.
Cannabis extracts can basically be classified into several types based on the method of extraction and the consistency of the final product, including:
- Oil: Cannabis oil is extracted using solvents and typically has a high concentration of THC and CBD.
- Tinctures: Cannabis tinctures are made by soaking the plant in alcohol, which extracts the active compounds. They are usually taken sublingually.
- Wax: Cannabis wax is a concentrate that has a soft, waxy texture and is made using butane as a solvent.
- Shatter: Cannabis shatter is a hard, glass-like concentrate made using solvents like butane.
- Live resin: Live resin is a type of cannabis concentrate that is made using fresh, undried cannabis plant material.
- Rosin: Rosin is a solventless concentrate made by applying heat and pressure to the plant material.
- Hash: Hash is a traditional concentrate made by separating the trichomes from the plant material through various methods, such as dry sifting or ice water extraction.
These are some of the most common types of cannabis extracts, but there are many others as well. But don’t feel overwhelmed. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
Cannabis Extracts: A Closer Look
Are you ready to learn more about extracts? Well, there’s a lot to learn. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common concentrates and what makes them what they are.
Cannabis oil is one of the most common and versatile forms of cannabis extract. It is made by extracting the desired compounds from the plant material using solvents such as ethanol, butane, or carbon dioxide. The final product is a highly concentrated oil that is typically high in THC and CBD. Cannabis oil is commonly used for medical purposes and is often taken orally, but it can also be added to food and drinks or applied topically. Oil is one of my personal favorite ways to consume cannabis.
Cannabis tinctures are made by soaking the plant material in alcohol to extract the active compounds. The alcohol is then evaporated, leaving behind a concentrated liquid that is typically taken sublingually (under the tongue). Tinctures are a popular choice for medical users because they provide a fast and discreet way to consume cannabis without the harmful smoke associated with traditional methods of consumption such as rolling a joint or puffing on a pipe, or my personal favorite, breathing deep a huge bong rip.
3. Wax and Shatter
Cannabis wax and shatter are two forms of concentrated cannabis that are typically made using butane as a solvent. Wax has a soft, waxy texture (hence the name wax), while shatter is more of a hard, glass-like substance (looks like glass made of honey). Both wax and shatter are typically quite high in THC and are commonly used for recreation. They are consumed using a dab rig, which vaporizes the extract and releases the active compounds for inhalation.
4. Live Resin
Live resin is a type of cannabis extract that is made using fresh, undried cannabis plant material. This method of extraction results in a concentrate that has a strong aroma and flavor profile and is typically high in THC. Live resin is commonly used for recreational purposes and is consumed using a dab rig.
Rosin is a solventless concentrate that is made by applying heat and pressure to the plant material. This method of extraction allows for the extraction of the active compounds without the use of solvents, making it a safer and healthier option. Rosin is typically used for recreational purposes and is consumed using a dab rig or added to other products for consumption.
Hash is a traditional form of cannabis extract that is made by separating the trichomes (the tiny crystal-like structures that contain the active compounds) from the plant material through various methods, such as dry sifting or ice water extraction. The final product is a solid, concentrated form of cannabis that is commonly used for recreational purposes.
What Cannabis Extract is the Most Potent?
For all intents and purposes, potency of the most popular cannabis concentrates is pretty high across the board.
That being said, the potency of a cannabis extract does depend on multiple factors, including the method of extraction, the quality of the base material, and the specific compounds being extracted.
However, in general, some of the most potent forms of cannabis extract include:
- Shatter: Cannabis shatter is a hard, glass-like concentrate that is made using solvents like butane. It is often highly potent, with THC levels ranging from 60% to 90%.
- Wax: Cannabis wax is a concentrate that has a soft, waxy texture and is made using butane as a solvent. It is also often highly potent, with THC levels ranging from 60% to 90%.
- Live Resin: Live resin is a type of cannabis concentrate that is made using fresh, undried cannabis plant material. It is known for its strong aroma and flavor profile and is often highly potent, with THC levels ranging from 60% to 90%.
- Rosin: Rosin is what you call a solventless concentrate, and it is made by applying heat and pressure to the plant material. While the potency can vary, high-quality rosin can have THC levels ranging from 60% to 80%.
As you can see, the potency of concentrates are pretty similar. In a nutshell, proceed with caution. The potency can knock you on your ass. But it is worth noting that not all concentrates are created equally as manufacture skill level also plays a part in potency.
What Factors Should You Consider When Choosing a Concentrate?
If you want to get really high, just about any concentrate will do the trick. Even hash will take you to cloud nine. Just don’t go crazy if you’re a concentrate newbie.
Some factors to consider include the following:
- Quality of the starting material
- Purity of the extract
- Presence of other compounds (such as CBD)
But how exactly do you know what kind of starting material they used (bud quality), the purity, or what else is in the damn stuff? Well, thankfully most manufactures are quite transparent these days, so you can just read what they have to say on their website. User reviews can also tell you a lot.
Thankfully, the days of having to get this stuff on the black market in most places are over, especially if you’re in the states. Typically most manufactures use high quality product and processes to create their extracts.
The Bottom Line
The world of cannabis concentrates or extracts are plenty. In this guide we’ve covered some of the most popular, but there are others and more cropping up each day as the industry expands.
Each concentrate offers its own unique properties and uses. From oil and tinctures for medical use, to wax and shatter for recreational fun, there is a cannabis extract to suit every stoner’s needs!
Before using any form of cannabis extract, just remember to start out slow. Heck, even seasoned stoners should tread lightly. In the world of extracts, slow and steady wins the race.
What’s your favorite cannabis concentrate? Do any extracts make you jump for joy? Let us know in the comments below…