A Breakdown of Cannabis Concentrates
Saturday, December 2nd, 2017
This week’s post is just gunna be a quick-and-dirty alphabetical listing of all the cannabis concentrates out there on the market, because one of the top-ten questions I hear as a budtender is “what’s the difference?” So, I wanted to write something short and simple you could use as a reference, if you needed to. As to the list itself, it’s important to remember that some concentrates can be dabbed, because they’re “full-burn” or “full-melt,” but some cannot (these work best as “bowl-toppers,” or concentrates you sprinkle on top of pot to kick things up a notch); I’ll make sure to tell you which ones are which. And here we go…
1.) Badder or Budder. This is exactly why things are so confusing when it comes to marijuana concentrates—the terms “badder” or “budder” deal with the consistency of a concentrate, not the concentrate itself. Cannabis oil can be whipped and heated into a consistency reminiscent of cake “batter” or room temperature “butter,” and that’s where the names come from (stoners replaced the t’s with d’s because that’s what you do when you’ve got bud on the brain).
2.) Bubble Hash. There’s no difference between “bubble hash” and “ice-water hash,” so the two terms are interchangeable. We make this concentrate at The Greenery Hash Factory by submerging marijuana in ice water and agitating it. The cold water freezes the trichomes on the surface of the plant matter, and the agitation breaks them free—once this is complete, we drain the slurry and run it through a series of filters. Then we collect, compact, and freeze the hash, before weighing it out and selling it to you for $40 a gram. This concentrate isn’t full-burn, so the best way to enjoy it is to sprinkle it on top of a bowl, or to mix some in with your flower when you roll a joint.
3.) Caviar. Caviar isn’t dabbable (did I just make up a word?) either, but it’s some of the best stuff on earth: a trifecta of potency, as we call it. This is another product we make in-house, and we do so by taking premium marijuana flower, painting it with oil, and then battering it in kief. You simply put it in your pipe and smoke it, and then forget about things for a while… all things. For a long while.
4.) Crumble. This is another one of those consistency-only concentrates: crumble is nothing more than wax with a different, honeycomb-like consistency.
5.) Crystalline. Quite plainly, this is the world’s strongest cannabis concentrate. Crystalline is a purified resin (which I’ll tell you about in number nine) consisting of 99.99% pure THC. Frankly, it’s like marijuana crack (but without the addiction and associated murder rate).
6.) Distillate. This concentrate is made by refining cannabis oil, but for it to be considered a true distillate, a still needs to be used (yes, just like the ones they use in the Ozarks to make moonshine). However, solvents can also be used in some instances. Distilling the oil purifies the concentrate, and makes it more potent. It can be dabbed or vaporized, but this concentrate is also used in many of the edibles on the market.
7.) Isolate. This concentrate is made by using chemicals to “isolate” the THC or CBD from marijuana plant matter. It can be smoked in a number of ways, but since isolates are most commonly white, powdery substances that dissolve instantly in water, this concentrate shows up in infused beverages more often than not.
8.) Kief, or Kief Brick. Kief is sometimes referred to as “dry-sift” because that’s the way it’s made. We make this one as well, and we do so by tumbling marijuana in a filter drum. Then we collect the kief (trichomes) and compress it into a brick which we sell for $30 a gram. This concentrate isn’t full-burn, but since all the marijuana terpenes live in the trichomes, kief is by far the most flavorful concentrate.
9.) Live Resin. This concentrate is made by flash-freezing an entire, living marijuana plant, and then by using a chilled solvent (butane) in the extraction process. I’m not going to get too deep into purge times or extraction techniques because your eyes would glaze over, but basically, frozen pot is stuffed into a huge metal tube through which cold butane is pumped. They open it up and scrape up the live resin, which once dried, looks like little crystals mixed with honey. Sometimes, you’ll hear people talk about marijuana “sugar,” but that’s just a form of live resin that has the consistency of granulated sugar. All live resin is full-burn.
10.) Moroccan Hash. This concentrate is made by decarboxylating (heating) kief, and kneading it with a little water. The final product is a darkened ball of awesomeness that’s enjoyed best on top of a bowl (you can’t dab it because it’s not full-burn). This one is my personal favorite, so much so that I wrote an entire piece about it you can read here.
11.) Oil. You’ll see many types of oil on the market, and they’re separated via the differing chemicals used during the extraction process; CO2 and Butane extracted oils are the most common. And you’ll hear a bunch of other names for marijuana oil like “CO2 oil,” “BHO,” which stands for “butane hash oil,” “hash oil,” “dragon tears,” which is just a proprietary name, or “dragon balls,” which is just a unit of measure (given that a dragon ball is a ten-thousand-dollar glass ball filled with 3,000 grams of high-THC oil, I doubt that you’ll get it mixed up with the other concentrates). Oil can be dabbed just like all the other full-burn extracts, but it can get pretty messy, so most people prefer to use a marijuana vape pen when smoking cannabis oil.
12.) Resin. This is the black stuff that accumulates inside your pipe that you scrape out and smoke with shame when you’re too broke to buy pot. We’ve all been there.
13.) Rosin. This stuff is way better than the last one, and it’s one of the only full-burn concentrates on the market that’s made without solvents. We make this one in our factory by compressing cannabis flower between two heated metal plates. The heat and pressure work in concert to squeeze out all the cannabinoid-rich “rosin,” which looks like light-brown tar. This one is dabbable (I’ve decided officially that “dabbable” is a word), and we always have rosin on our menu.
14.) Sap. This one is just oil with a thicker consistency—this stuff has the viscosity of tree sap, and that’s where the name comes from. Totally dabbable.
15.) Shatter. This concentrate is made in a tube or a vacuum purge oven just like live resin, but the temperatures are different. Butane is used when extracting this concentrate, and the final product is an amber, translucent sheet that looks like hard candy. And it’s easy to break, which is where the term “shatter” comes from. Also, totally dabbable.
16.) Wax. Wax looks and feels like wax, and it’s extracted just like shatter. Different temperatures in the purge stage produce differing consistencies, and wax is just shatter that was produced at a temperature leading to a fluffier, wax-like product. Technically, both “wax” and “shatter” are consistency-based names, and both concentrates are actually subsumed under the “BHO,” or “butane hash oil” category. But yes, you can dab wax all day long.
That’s it! I guess the list didn’t end up as “short and simple” as I planned, but worse things have happened. And as always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to give us a call at (970) 403-3710, or come in and see us at 208 Parker Avenue, right here in Durango, Colorado. We’re Your Best Buds, and we’ll tell you all you need to know about the differences between cannabis concentrates; all you need to do is ask.