There are so many different kinds of cannabis extracts (also known as concentrates)to choose from and the choice can be overwhelming.
Talk about a paradox of choice!
If you’re feeling unsure about extracts Fear not! Today we’re going to go over some of the different kind of extracts. By the end of this article you’ll have a good overview of the differences between extracts and will be able to make a choice about what will work best for you, or what you’d like to try next!
Let’s begin with the basics.
What are cannabis extracts?
Cannabis extracts are products that derived from the cannabis plant. Typically, these extracts will contain a few main components:
- Terpenes – associated with various cannabis flavors and taste profiles
- Tetrahydrocannabinol – also known as “THC”, the psychoactive component of cannabis products
- Cannabanoids – the active chemical compounds in cannabis
- Cannabidiol – also known as “CBD”, this component doesn’t get you “high” and is linked to all sorts of health benefits and wellness
Concentrates and extracts will all have vastly different profiles of the components mentioned above. When it comes to the world of cannabis, it helps to ask questions. Whenever you go to the dispensary make sure you’re asking about each of the components so you can find the product that will work best for you.
Different Types of Extracts
Shatter is taking the extract world by storm and there’s a huge market demand for this product, but what the heck is it? Well, out all of the concentrates and extracts we’ll go over in this article, this one is the most potent. Typically this extract will contain up to 80 percent cannabinoid content. Compare that to typical bud (or flower) which, when smoked, will have around 5-18 percent cannabinoid content. This has the potential to be almost 4 times as strong as cannabis that hasn’t gone through the extraction process. Visually, it is pretty stunning and looks like a piece of golden glass. This extract gets its name from it’s glass-like qualities. Namely, if you drop it, it will shatter.
This extraction process is pretty straightforward. Typically butane is used to split the trichomes (those little hairs on your bud plant) from the rest of the cannabis plant. Once the trichomes are off, heat and air is used to get rid of the butane because you won’t want to ingest that at all. Once the mixture has taken form, it’s poured over a flat surface so that it can form a sheet once it cools. Fun fact about this extract: the clarity of the final product doesn’t actually affect how potent it is. A perfectly clear piece of this extract will be just about as potent as a cloudier or murkier one.
Moving away from the hard, glassy extracts and onto more malleable ones. Wax is made by using a similar process as the previous concentrate we discussed but the main difference is the final texture of the product. The difference is the time it “cooks” and this doesn’t cook for nearly as long, leading to a typically fairly soft texture.
Budder is fairly similar to wax but has a consistency more closely likened to peanut butter and has more moisture than wax. It is also cooked at a slightly lower temperature than wax and has air added in to create a kind of whipped texture. This can be used with flower or in a vaporizer. Depending on how the budder is whipped, you can gt all kinds of fluffy types but the potency isn’t affected by the texture.
Crumble is much drier than wax or butter. This extract will break off easily and makes for easy use depending on how you’re ingesting it. The oil that is used for making crumble tends to be more moist than budder or wax which gives this extract a texture very similar to a hard cheese that breaks off easily. Sometimes this is made by way of the wax extraction process and then is cooked for a longer period of time. This extract can be a little hard to work with since it breaks off so easily. Many people find it works well with flower and vaporizers.
Continuing with our theme, live resin is made by the same process as the above extracts. One of the biggest differences between live resin and other extract products is that it has really interesting, complex, and varying smells that aren’t usually associated with extracts. The cannabis plants used in this process are actually cryogenically frozen as soon as it’s harvested. The freezing process keeps the oil in tact and keeps the terpenes and cannabinoids preserved. Usually those types of nuances would be lost in the curing process. That’s why this extract has a much stronger flavor than other types, making it one of the more expensive options out there on the market. People who use live resin say it’s worth it though since it’s so rare to have an extract that’s so pure to the original taste and flavor profile of the cannabis plant.
Kief, sometimes known as “sift”, is that powdery stuff leftover from grinding your cannabis flower. Sometimes it’s sifted through mesh screens in order to extract it. This kind of extract is often used for topping on other cannabis products such as ground flower. Kief is one of the most basic kinds of concentrated cannabis and can be pretty intense. Kief can be topped on bowls, cones, and used in a vaporizer. This extract won’t be as expensive as live resin, for example, and you can come across this in your everyday cannabis use. If you have a cannabis grinder with a mesh screen at the bottom then you’ll be able to collect kief all on your own. There is also something known as a “kief box” where you can shake the cannabis flower around and remove the kief, which will go into a separate drawer where the kief will build up.
Concentrated forms and extracts can vary widely and affect people in different ways. I would suggest starting with kief as a “beginner” extract and then move up to more concentrated forms from there. This way you’ll know how your body and mind react to the different levels of concentration.
Next time you’re at a dispensary or looking to buy weed online, use this knowledge to make the best choice for you. Enjoy!