Which Cannabis Concentrate is Right for You?

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Cannabis concentrates, or cannabis extracts, are the hottest new product category within the cannabis industry. While flower and edibles have always been popular, cannabis concentrate has emerged as the fastest growing segment of the legal cannabis marketplace as connoisseurs and newbies alike are gravitating toward these stronger, portable and more discreet options. While cannabis extracts made up only about 10% of legal sales in 2014, that number will have jumped to an estimated 27% by the end of this year. That’s about $8 billion in retail sales by 2022, outpacing the growth of sales of traditional flower.

What is cannabis concentrate?

Cannabis concentrate, or cannabis extract, is typically a concentrated mass of THC and/or CBD. Concentrates are made from the cannabis plant but are processed to remove all excess materials and impurities so that what is left contains only the desired components, such as cannabinoids and terpenes.

Whereas high-grade cannabis flower normally measures about 20% THC levels, concentrates are significantly stronger with THC levels that can range from 40% to more than 90%. There are many different types of cannabis concentrates that carry a wide variety of names such as badder or budder, crumble, bubble hash, kief, shatter, taffy, wax, honeycomb, terp sauce and live resin.

The multitude of different types of concentrates can sometimes be overwhelming to newer users or those unfamiliar with cannabis extracts and the different types of highs they can provide. To simplify we have created a cannabis concentrates chart of sorts to help you to discover the best type of concentrate for your particular needs.

How to consume cannabis concentrates

“Dabbing” or ”taking a dab” is the most common way to refer to consuming cannabis concentrate. Dabbing can be done using a:

  • Rig: A rig is a bong-like water filtration device made of glass or silicone, and it’s the most common tool used for smoking dabs. A small glass or metal bit, referred to as a dab nail or a banger, is heated with a torch and then the concentrate is dropped onto it. Once the dab comes into contact with the heated element, it begins to smoke — that smoke is then inhaled from the top of the rig, just like with a bong.
  • Vape: Vaping is done with the use of a cartridge that contains cannabis concentrate and a battery element used for heating. The assembled device, referred to as a vape or vape pen, heats the concentrate and then allows the inhalation of vapor through the mouthpiece by pressing a button. Vapes are a common choice for concentrates as they are small, discrete and easy to use.
  • Nectar Collector: A nectar collector is a dabbing device that looks similar to a straw and is made from glass or silicone. With a nectar collector, you heat the metal or glass tip with a torch and then carefully tap and melt the concentrate with the heated end while you inhale the subsequent smoke through the top.

If the cannabis concentrate you use is in one of the more solid forms, it can also be added to your cannabis flower in a pipe or joint. Pre-rolls can even be dipped into warm cannabis oil and then rolled in a concentrate like kief for the best of all possible worlds. “Topping” with cannabis concentrate can superpower your flower by intensifying the taste and potency.

What are the different types of cannabis concentrate?

A fully comprehensive cannabis concentrates chart could be as confusing as the periodic table of elements, as new types of concentrates are created, and named, and evolve all the time. And all of the different types provide their own types of highs.

Tinctures are concentrates in liquid form that can be ingested orally. Capsules contain refined oil and are swallowed as an alternative for those who are adverse to the liquid oil. Vaporizer cartridges can provide a precise and easy way to control and measure concentrate dosage. But it is the other types of cannabis concentrates that overwhelm the masses.

Concentrates fall into two main categories based on how they are made and what extraction process is used — solvent-based and solventless. Solvent-based cannabis extracts are derived using a hydrocarbon. Solventless extracts are refined without the aid of any chemical solvents. And the variety of names are really just based on the physical appearance of the types of concentrate (leafly created a great cannabis concentrates chart). Here are a few of the common names you might come across when shopping for the best type of concentrate for your preferences. 

  • Kief: The simplest of the concentrates, also known as keef, dry sieve or dry sift, this is a pure and clean dust composed of the loose trichomes broken away from the dried plant material. Collected from cannabis flowers and leaves, this is simply a more concentrated form of dry cannabis.
  • Batter, Badder or Budder: This is a wax-like concentrate that is whipped during the extraction process, giving it a soft, oily and viscous texture that is very much like, well — butter. These usually have fewer cannabinoids but more terpenes, making it one of the more tasty types of concentrates.
  • Shatter: One of the purest forms of concentrate on the market. Unlike badder that is whipped, the oil used to make shatter is left un-agitated after the initial purging process. This results in a solid, translucent concentrate that resembles a piece of glass or hard-candy but has no distinguishable taste.
  • Crumble: Also referred to as honeycomb, crumble is a crumbly or powdery concentrate that falls apart easily. Where badder is made at a high heat and then whipped, crumble is made with low heat that allows the solvent to evaporate gradually. This allows crumble to retain full flavor. Crumble is easy to dose and handle and is a favorite choice for those, especially beginners, who are looking for a more consistent and manageable kind of concentrate.
  • Diamonds or Crystalline: Extracted and isolated from all other cannabinoids, these are pure isolate THCA crystals that have no color, flavor or aroma. The look of this concentrate is similar to coarse sugar, and these are almost always what are found in sauce.
  • Sauce: Sauce, or terp sauce, is a sticky liquid concentrate known for high levels of terpene potency and incredible flavor. Making sauce is a time-intensive process as producers must leave solvent in the mixture for a longer time, sometimes even weeks,  to allow it to evaporate and allow the compound to crystalize. What is then left are cannabinoid-rich crystals in a terpene-rich oil that provides intense taste, smell and effects.

Where can I get the best cannabis concentrate?

If you are lucky enough to reside anywhere within the greater Sonoma County or Marin County regions, then you can have the best in cannabis concentrate delivered to you lickety-split by placing an order from Down Under Industries. Down Under has a curated collection of all the best concentrates from names like Lime, Raw Garden, Stiiizy and more.

Down Under Industries is a family-run small business, with a cozy Petaluma storefront and a wide delivery area, that can provide you with the highest quality cannabis products at the very best possible pricing. Offering a diverse menu full of premium products with various types of highs, as well as impeccable customer service from a friendly and educated staff, Down Under provides a superior shopping experience that is second to none. Using a patient-first approach combined with communication, intuition, kindness, education and giving back, once you’ve experienced the Down Under difference, you’ll never again want to settle for anything less. Shop at Down Under to see what all the buzz is about.

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