Cannabis concentrate, also called marijuana concentrate, marijuana extract, or cannabis extract is a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentrated mass. Cannabis concentrates contain high THC levels that range from 40% to over 90%. This is stronger in THC content than high-grade marijuana, which normally measures around 20% THC levels. You might find legally produced concentrates for sale in states where recreational marijuana is legal, usually in a container similar to a small lip balm.
If you can get medical cannabis in your state legally, you can also get cannabis concentrates of some variety as well. Concentrates are legal in Louisiana.
Extracts come from cannabis or hemp plants, flowers, and leaves. They can be extracted using solvent/alcohol-based extraction or supercritical CO2-based extraction. Extracts are a type of concentrate that comes from solvent-based and CO2 processes.
Concentrates are a product of solventless extraction. Concentrates are usually emulsified so they look pulpier while an extract is more refined with a cleaner look. Concentrates get their name because water and other substances have been removed, making them more concentrated and potent.
But, the most important thing to remember about extracts versus concentrates is that all cannabis extracts are concentrates, but not all cannabis concentrates can be considered extracts.
Basically, a marijuana concentrate uses mechanical methods to collect the plant’s trichomes (fine outgrowths or appendages on cannabis plants. They are the “factories” that produce all the cannabinoids such as CBD and THC, terpenes like Limonene and Myrcene, and flavonoids). Meanwhile, a marijuana extract takes the added step of using some sort of solvent to strip the trichomes away from the plant material.
Dabbing is the most common way to consume cannabis concentrate and is the act of inhaling vaporized cannabis concentrates using a heating tool such as a dab rig, e-rig, or vaporizer. “Dab” is also used to describe one hit or dose of concentrate which is typically the size of a grain of rice.
Dabbing can be complicated and may seem excessively expensive to those new to marijuana. But concentrates can also be consumed via vape pens, tinctures, topicals, and edibles. Talk to your marijuana dispensary about what is available.
Concentrates may come in a variety of names, some more recognizable than others. One of the most common is hash, short for “hashish,” made with a solventless method using ice water, then compressed into a ball. Another is rosin, a solventless concentrate in pure form, extracted as oil directly from the cannabis plant. Less common names include budder, a whipped waxy extract, also called frosting for its creamy texture. Crumble is the same concentrate as budder but the wax is not as whipped as budder and it has a sandy consistency. Shatter is thin, glassy, brittle, and made from raw extract.
Cannabis concentrates can be valuable for medical patients because of their potency and because they provide a “smokeless” experience. Under a doctor’s care, cannabis concentrates can provide a potent, THC-rich product. THC has been shown to help with pain, reduce inflammation, reduce nausea from chemotherapy, reduce muscle spasms, and improve sleep in some patients. Research is being done, but because marijuana is still listed as a schedule 1 narcotic, it makes it more difficult to study. However, with state laws going into place to protect researchers, more work is already in process and will hopefully reveal additional scientific proof about the potential of marijuana, including concentrates.
If you are ready to get started with medical marijuana, your first step is to contact The Healing Clinics and get an evaluation from one of our doctors. Click the button below to take the first step toward your Healing Journey.