Cannabis Concentrates: What you need to know?

cannabis concentrates
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Cannabis concentrates are extracts that isolate beneficial cannabis compounds like THC and CBD into highly concentrated forms. Concentrates come in many varieties – wax, shatter, oil, and live resin – each with unique properties and potencies that deliver intense effects.

If you’re new to using cannabis concentrate through dabbing or vape pens, there are some key factors to understand before trying them. Follow these essential tips to make sure your first time using cannabis concentrates is safe, comfortable, and enjoyable.

Using cannabis concentrates

Using cannabis concentrates refer to a wide range of products derived by extracting beneficial cannabis compounds like THC, CBD, and terpenes from the marijuana plant into highly concentrated forms.

Concentrates encompass a diverse array of options including:

  • Oils – Cannabis oils like Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) and distillates for vape cartridges, tinctures, or edibles
  • Waxes and budders – Softer, doughy concentrates like budder, wax, or “dabs”
  • Shatter and crumble – Hard, crystalline concentrates that break apart easily
  • Live resin – Concentrates retaining fresh plant terpenes through flash freezing
  • Rosin – Solventless extraction using heat and pressure

Each concentrate type provides different psychoactive properties, potencies, flavors, and aromas. For consumers, knowing the distinctions enables choosing the best format for their needs and consumption preferences.

Potency wise

The main appeal of using cannabis concentrates is extraordinarily high cannabinoid levels – some contain over 90% THC, providing very intense effects. However, potency varies based on concentrate type.

Oils, distillates, shatter, and wax can range from 60-90% THC. Live resins tend to measure from 50-80% due to greater retention of terpenes. Rosin potency depends on the extractors’ process.

CBD concentrates are also available in oils and isolates for therapeutic, non-psychoactive relief. Understanding this wide potency range helps match concentrates appropriately to your tolerance and desired effects.

Flavor profile

Beyond potency, using cannabis concentrates offer varied aromatic qualities through preserved terpenes – the compounds providing natural cannabis flavors/smells.

Using cannabis concentrates can be an enjoyable experience when you are well-informed about their potency and effects.

Live resin boasts the most intense, genuine cannabis terpene flavor due to flash-freezing freshly harvested plants. In contrast, traditional concentrates use cured flowers, losing some terpenes through drying/curing.

Consumption methods

There are two primary methods for consuming concentrates:

  • Dabbing – Flash vaporizing small doses called “dabs” on a hot surface or “nail” and inhaling through a dab rig or e-rig. Provides heavy, near-instant effects.
  • Vaping – Heating concentrates in vape pens or cartridges to produce smooth vapor for inhalation. The more mellow onset of effects.

Using cannabis concentrates properly requires a basic understanding of the different extraction methods used to create them.

When using cannabis concentrates, it’s essential to store them in a cool, dark place to preserve their potency and flavor.

Understanding this introduction to the wide cannabis concentrate landscape allows you to make informed decisions based on your preferences for the ideal extract types and consumption methods. Let’s now explore how to enjoy these potent products safely.

#1 – Start with low dosage

The first and most critical rule for cannabis concentrate beginners is to start very low and slow with dosing. Unlike traditional dried flowers, concentrates contain extraordinarily high THC levels – some over 90% THC! This extreme potency means that even small doses provide powerful effects.

Using too much concentrated THC too quickly can lead to an intensely uncomfortable high featuring side effects like paranoia, anxiety, dizziness, and a rapid heart rate. This overconsumption is called “being too high.” When trying cannabis concentrates for the first time, it’s vital to dose slowly to avoid this.

Look for concentrates labeled with lower THC percentages around 60-70% to begin. Also, search for CBD-rich concentrates with a more balanced THC: CBD ratio. CBD helps counteract negative THC effects, keeping your high smooth and enjoyable. As you gain experience with concentrates, you can explore more potent THC options.

If you’re unsure about how much to use, consult a budtender who can guide you through the process of using cannabis concentrate safely.

#2 – Use proper equipment

You wouldn’t try and eat soup with a fork – cannabis concentrate likewise requires special equipment to be used safely and effectively. The primary methods of concentrate consumption are dabbing and vaping:

  • Dabbing involves flash vaporizing concentrates, also called a “dab,” on a hot surface, also known as a “nail,” and inhaling the resulting vapor. This requires a specialized rig called a dab rig or an e-rig for electric heating.
  • Vaping allows consuming concentrates via cartridges or disposable vape pens using battery-powered heating.

Whichever method you choose, invest in quality equipment designed specifically for that purpose. Makeshift DIY approaches like hot knives or repurposed bongs are ineffective and hazardous. Reliable gear produces proper vaporization temperatures for full effects and flavor without burning or waste.

Using cannabis concentrate properly requires a basic understanding of the different extraction methods used to create them.

When using cannabis concentrate, it’s essential to store them in a cool, dark place to preserve their potency and flavor.

Proper gear prevents frustrating experiences and safety issues that can quickly ruin your first concentrates venture. Take time to research your many equipment options to find the best solution for your budget and consumption preferences.

#3 – Know consistency and texture differences

Not all cannabis concentrates share the same characteristics – there is a wide spectrum of consistencies, textures, and handling methods among various concentrate types. Educating yourself on key differences enables safely preparing and consuming your chosen concentrate format.

Soft waxy concentrates like budder, batter, and sugar wax are malleable and easy to dose into dab rigs or vape pens when kept cool. Shatter and pull & snap concentrates are hard and brittle, requiring gentle handling to break off dosage-sized dabs.

Saucy live resin and HTFSE (high terpene full spectrum extract) feature wet, sappy textures that make them tricky to handle compared to waxes. Different viscosity levels also impact ideal vaporization temperatures and affect overall flavor when dabbing.

Using cannabis concentrate can be an enjoyable experience when you are well-informed about its potency and effects.

Even oils come in multiple forms from thick, viscous Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) to ultra-thin distillate oils for vape cartridges or sublingual use. Know which formats you’re getting and the proper handling procedures before using them.

#4 – Be prepared for more intense effects

The ultra-high THC and concentrated terpene levels in cannabis extracts lead to a much more intense onset, peak, and overall high compared to traditionally smoking flowers. This is an important mental adjustment for first-timers.

You can expect effects from a single properly dosed dab or a few puffs of a vape cartridge to hit instantly – most users feel the concentrates’ “high” within seconds to minutes of inhalation. This rapid onset requires concentration to avoid inadvertent overconsumption.

Peak effects typically last 1-2 hours with higher potency extracts delivering cerebral euphoria, deep physical relaxation, and potentially strong alterations in perception and thought patterns. Beginners should be in a controlled, familiar environment given the experience differs so greatly from traditional flower highs.

The comedown is also accelerated – you may feel functional and clear-headed in as little as 2 to 3 hours versus 6 or more with flowers. However, using cannabis concentrate can prolong overall effects.

#5 – Quality over bargains

The rapid growth of concentrates’ popularity has led to an explosion of products on dispensary shelves. This has also brought questionable quality in some discount options. Stick to reputable, top-shelf brands and licensed dispensaries when selecting concentrates, especially as a beginner.

Price bargains on no-name shatter or cheap vape carts may tempt you, but the potential risks outweigh the potential savings. Untested concentrates risk containing contaminants like pesticides or heavy metals that lead to health issues. They may also be improperly purged, leading to residual solvents.

Established brands lab test products extensively for purity and enable experienced consumption. Certain states permit illegal street concentrates, which is never a wise choice. Always check lab test results and packaging dates – old product loses potency and flavor.

Getting what you pay for is crucial with cannabis extracts. A few extra dollars provide the peace of mind that comes with safe, high-quality concentrates delivering optimal effects and enjoyment. Once you determine brands and products that suit your needs, better deals may open up.

Embark on your concentrate’s journey with confidence

Using cannabis concentrate offers incredible potency and nuanced effects for connoisseurs, but need proper education for positive early experiences. Now understand key tips for dosing, equipment, textures, intensity, and quality, you can dive into the world of concentrates safely and successfully.

Always start low and increase slowly to determine your ideal dosage. Invest in quality gear made specifically for dabbing or vaping ease. Recognize the wide spectrum of concentrate consistencies and handling needs. Expect more intense onset and effects compared to traditional flowers. And choose reputable brands for the purest, safest concentrates.

Using cannabis concentrate can be an enjoyable experience when you are well-informed about its potency and effects.

Following these steps mindfully enables an amazing introduction to the myriad concentrate varieties available. You’ll be on your way to blissfully exploring waxes, shatters, and resins and finding your favorites in no time! Here’s to happy using cannabis concentrate and vaping ahead.

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