Have you found yourself entranced by beautifully displayed amber pots of cannabis concentrates during a recent dispensary visit? You’re not alone. Cannabis extracts are one of the fastest growing market segments in the industry.
There are many reasons why someone might prefer cannabis extracts over or in addition to traditional flowers. Extracts are more potent requiring less product to be effective. They can also be administered by different methods. In addition to dabbing, you can use concentrates in certain vape pens, administer them orally or add them to a joint or bowl for an extra boost.
What are extracts? Extracts or concentrates are any oils containing concentrated chemical compounds of the cannabis plant, like THC and CBD. There are many types of extraction processes and solvents that can be employed to remove these compounds from the plant material. The quality and purity depend both on the quality of the cannabis used and the extraction method used. They can be just as flavorful as flowers!
What’s the Difference Between Budder, Shatter and Crumble?
Normally, the name of the extract will contain the strain it was made from and a reference to the consistency of the end product. For example, a very hard, clear extract made from Purple Haze would be labeled, “Purple Haze Shatter.”
Cannabis Oil Extracts
Cannabis concentrates that retain transparency throughout the extraction process are oil extracts. Based on the technique used, temperature and moisture levels, these extracts vary in consistency.
Shatter is the hardest and driest form of oil extract.
Shatter concentrates are made by liquefying and then re-solidifying the trichome crystals that coat cannabis buds (which house the THC and other cannabinoids) in a process using a solvent. The result is a brittle yet sticky, very potent concentrate that resembles amber and shatters easily when cold and melts when heat is applied.
Pull-and-Snap is the mid-range of oil extract. Pull-and-Snap is still clear but has a taffy-like consistency that “snaps” when pulled apart.
Sap is the softest of the transparent cannabis oil extracts and has a sticky, runny consistency like syrup or tree sap.
Rosin refers to an extraction process that utilizes a combination of heat and pressure to nearly instantaneously squeeze resinous sap from cannabis. It has gained popularity as a solvent-less way to create shatter-like melts. All that is needed to create rosin from cannabis is heat and pressure.
Cannabis Wax Extracts
Extracts that become opaque during the concentration process are wax extracts. This occurs when the molecules are agitated during extraction. Like shatter and sap, waxes also have varying consistencies based on the technique and temperature used to create it.
Budder is the softest wax extract. It has a sticky, creamy texture.
Honeycomb is an opaque extract similar in texture to waxy honeycomb. This is the mid-range of the wax extracts in terms of consistency.
Crumble is the driest form of cannabis wax and can typically be broken apart easily for dabbing.
Other Types of Extracts:
Kief is dry, powdery pollen made up of the resin glands found on the trichomes of cannabis flowers. This resin contains compounds like cannabinoids and terpenes, which are responsible for the potency, effectiveness and flavor of each unique strain. Kief is typically used to make hash.
Hash is one of the oldest cannabis extracts. Made from the powdery pollen of the cannabis plant known as kief, hash is a concentrate made by compression. It isn’t as potent as today’s modern extracts but remains popular in many cultures.
Live resin concentrates are made using a freezing process on freshly harvested cannabis plants. As much of the plant’s flavor and potency are lost during drying, flash-freezing fresh cannabis prevents this loss and results in highly potent, flavorful, connoisseur-grade extracts.