The Ultimate Guide to Marijuana Concentrates

Marijuana is available in a variety of products, including dry herbs that is smoked using a vaporizer, gummy candies, baked goods, medicated rubs, and many others.

A marijuana concentrate is the product made from the cannabis plant. Concentrates go through processing to maintain the compounds of the plant that are most desirable, including the terpenes and cannabinoids. The process also removes impurities and excess plant materials. 

Marijuana concentrates contain higher proportions of terpenes and cannabinoids, ounce for ounce, than the flowers or other parts of the cannabis plant.

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Types of Marijuana Concentrate

The main types of marijuana concentrates include shatter, rosin, wax, oil, hash, capsules, and dabs. For first-time users, the various options can be overwhelming. Each has its own advantages, and different people will prefer using different options.

It's helpful to note that many of the words used when referring to concentrates actually describe the texture of the product. For example, shatter and crumble are concentrates that tend to split apart, while sap has the sticky, thick consistency of the sap that comes from trees.

Concentrates are typically extracted from the cannabis plant through the use of heat, hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, alcohol, and water. If you are wary of how certain solvents may impact you, opt for concentrates that don't use them, such as hash or rosin. Hash is extracted through the use of water, while rosin only requires the use of heat.

The way you plan to use the concentrate will also impact which types you will prefer. If you're looking to dab the cannabis on your body, oil or shatter may be the best choices. For vaping, you'll need to choose a cartridge that works with your unit or dry herbs that can go into your vaporizer. Edibles can include candies, baked goods, or even oil capsules that don't have strong tastes.

Before you use any type of concentrate, it's important to note that concentrates are more potent than the dry herb or flower. Using concentrates allow you to experience cannabis in different ways. 

These options vary in potency, effect, and flavor, so you may find that you prefer using a concentrate product over the herb. Since concentrates also have a high bioavailability, users will feel the effects almost immediately. Those effects can last up to three hours, depending on the individual.

Concentrates can be used in different ways than marijuana, making them more appealing to those who want to experience the product in other ways. The marijuana plant can be vaporized or smoked, while concentrates can be dabbed, used topically, eaten, or even placed beneath the tongue. 

Some people like to use concentrates and herb together for a unique high. You can also use many concentrates in vaporizers, eliminating the risks that come with smoking any type of marijuana. Certain vaporizers are designed for use with loose oils, while others use cartridges that contain oil in a prepackaged form. 

Dry herb vaporizers are also used with the marijuana flower, although the potency isn't as high as what you'll find in concentrates.

What Is Hash?

Block of cannabis hash

Hash is a concentrate produced when the trichomes of the plant, or the essence of the cannabis, separate from the plant material. The separation occurs when the resinous, ripe gland heads at the surface of the female plant are collected. 

Since cannabis has been legalized in a number of states across the nation, concentrate producers have found new methods to collect and prepare hash, also called hashish. That word comes from an Arabic word that means grass.

Hash is believed to have been around since 900 A.D. or earlier. When European explorers moved into Africa in the 19th century, doctors started importing hashish to perform research on it and determine its effects on certain mental and physical health conditions. 

As a result, new extraction methods came into the cannabis industry, allowing the concentrate to be further refined for use as a medication. These processes continued until the early 20th century when the United States implemented a prohibition of hashish products.

Enthusiasm for hash and other cannabis products re-emerged in the 1960s, resulting in increased exportation of products from Morocco, Nepal, and Afghanistan. At this point, most of the hash products available were hard-pressed solids produced through methods involving heat and pressure. Nearly two decades later, those in the U.S. and other Western countries were introduced to products that used the process of gland separation.

Modern-day hash is softer and less brick-like than the previous products available to users. 

You can make your own hash with a screen for the dry extraction process or a press to produce the hash bricks that were so popular for many years. Hash can be used in many different ways. 

Some people prefer to ingest hash, either as a solid product or in a beverage. You can also smoke hash on its own or with the dry herb. If you prefer to use it in a vape, try a cartridge that contains the hash concentrate.

Hash has a lower concentration of THC than other available products, making it more appealing to those who prefer a more mellow high without the psychoactive effects. Newcomers to the concentrate world may want to start out with hash before moving on to extremely potent concentrates. 

Wax and oils can contain up to 90 percent THC, so they can produce a strong and unexpected high very quickly. Users with a lower tolerance to THC may also want to stick to hash, rather than experimenting with products that have extremely high concentrates.

Some types of hash will also vaporize when placed on a hot surface. In order to use hash in this way, you must choose a product that has the ability to melt. This process is also referred to as dabbing, although you may need to use a screen to prevent carbon residue from forming on the hot surface. 

The effects of hash tend to be higher than the effects of smoking cannabis. The concentration of cannabinoids is higher in hash, resulting in a faster impact as well.

What Is Hash Oil?

Hash oil is another concentrate that many people use in vaping devices. High-quality hash oil can melt completely on a hot surface, leaving behind no residue. The potency of hash oil can fall anywhere between 40 and 80 percent, so consider this factor when you purchase oil for your own use. A high potency oil will have strong effects, which you may not enjoy.

Hash oil has risen drastically in popularity since medical marijuana has become legal in many states. 

The product is rich in terpenes and cannabinoids, offering the medicinal effects that many people use marijuana products to achieve. Terpenes are the aromatic oils that come from the plant, delivering the flavors and scents. 

Additionally, terpenes can produce a more therapeutic effect than cannabinoids. When properly extracted, hash oil often smells similar to the flower from which it came.

Marijuana oil extracted

In order to make sure you're using a high-quality hash oil, it's important to look at the extraction method. Certain methods can produce more filler, which means you can't always predict the effect of the product. On the other hand, a medical-grade extraction method will produce a better-quality concentrate.

Another form of hash uses a nonsolvent production method. This is known as water hash or bubble hash because it is produced with the use of water, ice, and fine bags that filter out waste and excess plant material. Bubble hash looks very different from traditional hash, resembling small crystals rather than pressed bricks. 

High-quality bubble hash must go through an extensive production method. Most users of this product will dab or vaporize it to experience the effects right away.

Hash oils may also be referred to as dabs because they can be vaporized and inhaled from a heated surface.

In its early days, hash oil was called honey oil, although this product was highly concentrated and derived from the plant through a chemical solvent. In areas where medical marijuana is legal, the government issues licenses to authorized extract makers who operate under strict regulations. The process of extracting hash oil is similar to the process used to extract essential oils.

Hash oil is also used in the production of edibles, including lollipops and other candy products, as well as baked goods. If you prefer not to smoke the oil, you can experience its effects through this delivery method instead. 

However, vaping hash oil is an excellent alternative to smoking it as the process doesn't involve combustion. When you smoke marijuana in any form, the high heat and smoke produced can cause negative effects on your health, which could offset any benefits you are using marijuana to achieve.

What Is Marijuana Wax?

Marijuana wax is a soft, lip balm-like substance that often contains hash oil. This concentrate is often used in vapes, although some use it for dabbing. High-quality wax products are amber in color and easy to manipulate. 

It is one of the most potent cannabis products you can buy and offers a more appealing flavor that many people prefer over other concentrates. The THC levels in high-quality waxes fall between 60 and 80 percent, so using this product produces a stronger high.

If you plan to smoke marijuana wax, you will need a specialized water pipe called an oil rig or a dab rig. You will place a dollop of the wax on the metal wand, referred to as the dab tool. From there, the wand moves to a hot plate, which is called a nail and is made of a heat-safe material like ceramic, titanium, or quartz. 

You must smoke wax at a higher temperature than what is required to smoke the marijuana plant or flower, but make sure not to set your pipe any higher than 446 degrees Fahrenheit, as this is the combustion point for cannabis-based products.

Cannabis wax has higher levels of THC than other concentrates, resulting in a faster, stronger high. 

It is produced in the same way as hash oil is produced and should only be purchased from medical-grade providers. These products go through testing in laboratories and are subject to strict regulations since the process involves the use of butane. If you buy a product that isn't produced through a medical-grade process, you could inhale butane, which tastes bad and can be harmful to your health.

Something to consider about certain concentrates is that their production method can impact their smell and flavor. For example, cannabis wax has lower terpene levels. Since terpenes give off the smell associated with marijuana flowers, wax may taste or smell different than the products you're used to using. These scents can be musky, sweet, earthy, or fruity, but each strain of marijuana has its own associated terpenes. Since they are sensitive to heat, terpenes often aren't preserved in the production method of certain concentrates.

Since marijuana wax is one of the most potent options available, it is also one of the most expensive. Because of the higher price, some users consider making the product themselves. However, the process uses butane, which is extremely flammable and dangerous. You should never try to manufacture marijuana wax yourself. Instead, only purchase high-quality products from a reputable source.

What Is Shatter Hash vs. Weed?

Shatter hash is a hard, resin-like substance that is produced through a blasting method. The slurry that forms when the plant material is blasted with a solvent is collected and then heated in a vacuum oven to remove the solvent. 

When the solvent is eliminated from the product, the shatter spreads and takes its shape. This product has a high concentrate of terpenes, which means it tastes better than other products available. When produced correctly, shatter is light to dark amber in color. You can also snap it easily, which explains its name.

Shatter hash also has a higher concentration than the marijuana plant, resulting in a faster, stronger high. In fact, it is the most potent concentrate available because it goes through an extra filtration process to remove any filler material. 

When smoked, marijuana contains between 5 and 18 percent cannabinoid, while shatter has up to 80 percent.

If you plan to use shatter, you can smoke it in a rig. 

This unit contains a glass nail that heats up, to which you apply a small ball of shatter. The product vaporizes instantly, producing a high right away. Shatter is legal in several states, although others that allow for the use of medical marijuana still restrict shatter because of its extremely high potency.

Wax vs. Oil

Marijuana wax and oil are both produced through a similar process, so they offer similar experiences to users. 

The main difference is in the consistency. 

Additionally, the way it is used differs. Wax is usually smoked in a vaporizing unit that contains a nail or a hot plate that is shatterproof for safety. Marijuana oil can be used topically, orally, or in a vaporizing unit. Some of the most popular marijuana oils include THC honey oil, BHO oil, and Rick Simpson Oil. 

If you're using marijuana for medical purposes, it's important to know the quality of the oil and the process used to produce it. Some oils contain high amounts of fillers, while others are extremely potent. THC oil has a higher concentrate of THC, as its name suggests.

If you prefer to stay away from high levels of THC, you may want to choose CBD oil instead, which only contains cannabinoids. THC causes psychoactive effects, while CBD does not produce those effects. 

In fact, when produced from hemp, CBD oil is legal in every state, even if medical marijuana is not yet legal. BHO oil, also called butane hash oil, is a commonly used type of oil that is produced with butane.

Difference Between Hash and Wax

Hash and wax also differ in their consistencies. Hash is a pressed or compressed product that contains THC concentrates. Both products are extremely potent. 

You can smoke hash because of its pressed powder-like substance, while smoking wax requires the use of a specialized vaporizer that contains a quartz or ceramic heating chamber. A portable vaporizer or e-cigarette also makes it easy to use marijuana wax without the process of combustion.

When you use either product, you will experience a stronger, faster high than you would if you were simply smoking or vaporizing the plant. 

Cannabis wax is highly sought after because using a single dollop could provide the same effects that you would experience through smoking up to 15-20 joints. 

The highest THC content in the marijuana plant is 30 percent, while marijuana wax can contain up to 90 percent THC. For medicinal users, wax may be more appealing because it can provide faster relief from symptoms.

Using different marijuana concentrates can offer different advantages, especially for those who use the products for medicinal purposes. As you compare the concentrate options, make sure you have the right equipment and accessories to use each product properly. When you have the vaporizer you need to use the concentrates you want to try, you can start experiencing the different effects.

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