A World of Concentrates: Medical and Recreational Cannabis

“Dabs”, “concentrates”, “hash”, “extracts”…for the brand new consumer, these terms may be confusing, especially to those trying to decipher what may be best suited for them and their needs. All of these terms are a way to describe a derivative, or extract, of the cannabis plant that has a potency of THC that is usually between 40 and 90 percent. Its color varies from brownish to gold to almost clear, and has little to no plant material leftover, as at this point it is just the chemical compounds or cannabinoids without all the rest. As some guidance, here are a few key tips to figuring out what kind of concentrates are more appropriate for different types of consumers.

Are you using concentrates on the go or only at home? One easy way to clarify what type of consumption method is best for you is to decide if you are going to be using cannabis in a vape pen, dab rig, or with flower. There are many vape pens on the market, either as a load-your-own or with pre-filled cartridges. If you want to have a load-your-own, shatter or wax is likely your better option as it is easy to work with and easy to transport. Pre-filled cartridges are the most convenient and discreet way to consume, as most batteries have time and heat settings to cater to your individual needs.

If you know that you will only be using concentrates at home and want to have the ability to size out your own amount to inhale, a nice dab rig setup would likely be more appropriate. In this case, wax or shatter are more affordable options ranging from about $20 to $50, depending on quality such as trim-run or bud-run. Live resin typically ranges from about $50 to $100 or more but offers consumers a high level of terpenes that actually help induce the certain effects you may be looking for. Terpenes, the natural chemicals found in many plant species that produce the smells we encounter, play a larger role in the “sativa” or “indica” effects of cannabis than just the names. So purchasing an indica live resin is more likely to produce a sedative quality, because the majority of terpenes are still intact and potent. However, it is not as stable at room temperature as shatter or wax and is recommended to be kept in the fridge for best results.

For an ambiguous option, bubble hash is a solventless concentrate that takes almost a powdery form and is easily added to joints or to top flower bowls with, but not necessarily the greatest option for either vapes or dab rigs due to its fragility. Another option, that may be best suited for medical patients, is full spectrum cannabis oil. This is a dark, goopy concentrate usually sold in a syringe to fill capsules or take orally. The packaging may work for on the go or at home, but again is recommended to be kept in the refrigerator when not in use. Full spectrum oil can be very effective for multi-faceted pain management, due to its high levels of complete cannabinoids and terpenes, and when taken sublingually (orally), works within just a few minutes.

As concentrates continue to evolve and develop, they are becoming a more viable option for those who are looking for potency, efficacy, and discrepancy. Whether you are shopping at a medical marijuana dispensary or just recreationally, the world of concentrates is opening up to provide consumers with a new way to use cannabis that doesn’t smoke out the room.