Human beings are very divided and combative by default it seems - we’re always relishing in the thrill of the argument, knocking heads on issues and choosing sides to support/tear down. Apparently something as sacred as cannabis isn’t even safe from these kinds of ‘wars of words’ as the debate rages on around concentrates vs extracts. Stoners are typically a lot more civil than your average political rivals, but when it comes to choosing their favorite types of weed there’s no taking prisoners.
Some people advocate that extracts are the purest form of cannabis ever made; others cast their votes for concentrates as the undisputed leaders in cannabinoid potency. We don’t think this argument is necessary at all - smoke it if you got it, dab it, rip it, drop it, eat it, rub it, it’s all good. The main point is that you enjoy cannabis as often as you can, for whatever reasons you feel are justified.
That being said, many people aren’t sure what extracts are, or they want to learn how to make concentrates. For anyone who is about to get started in the world of potent extracts or powerful concentrates, we’ve put together the important know-how surrounding concentrates vs extracts. You don’t have to choose one kind of weed over the other - the point is to enjoy them all! However, we hope this guide to concentrates and extracts will help you to get started in the incredibly powerful world of high-potency cannabis.
Let’s start off explaining the differences between concentrates vs extracts with a bit of confusing word play. Not every concentrate is considered an extract, but all extracts are most certainly concentrates. Huh?! Cannabis extracts are actually a type of concentrate, one that is derived from using organic solvents such as butane, propane, CO2 or even ethanol.
As you can imagine from the name itself, the cannabinoids and terpenes are extracted or separated from the cannabis flowers using these solvents. Once the extraction process has been completed, the ‘extract’ can be further processed into a wax, crystalline, powdered or liquid form that is ready to be consumed in all its glorious potency.
The trick of this process isn’t necessarily to separate the cannabinoids or terpenes from the cannabis plants - human beings have been making concentrates and extracts from marijuana for thousands of years, we’ve just obviously gotten a lot more efficient at it in the last few decades. Extracts can be difficult to produce when you consider the fact that the organic solvents used in the extraction need to be removed from the final product. This is typically accomplished through evaporation or a second stage of extraction, but the potential for toxic residues in your cannabis extract can present problems for some consumers.
What kinds of extracts are there? Cannabis extracts can be categorized into these types:
Wax - very malleable, pliable and sticky
Budder - cannabis oils and extracts are whipped into butter-like perfection
Crumble - granular, crumbly yet it holds together
Shatter - brittle and translucent
Live Resin - extracted directly from fresh cannabis plants, creates a resinous substance
Iso-Hash - hash that is extracted using isopropyl alcohol
CO2 Hash/Oil - anything derived through supercritical carbon dioxide extraction
Now that you have an answer to the question ‘what are extracts?’, we should review how they are made differently from concentrates and how consuming them offers several unique options from concentrates as well. Many cannabis extracts can be dabbed using a dab rig or e-nail, vaped through a vaporizer, smoked as part of a joint, packed into a pipe or bong.
Of course, not every cannabis extract is the same, so while some can be smoked, others vaped and consumed in a variety of other ways it really depends on what you’re after. Some waxes are perfect as a potency-enhancer for coating joints in; some resins or hash is simple to inhale by lighting small portions on the end of a scraper; some shatter is suitable for both smoking and vaping. What are extracts? They’re one of the most potent, versatile and multifaceted kinds of cannabis products on the market today.
Understanding the differences between concentrates vs extracts can take a bit of time to finalize, especially if you’re just getting started with these kinds of high-potency cannabis products. What are extracts? Any kind of extracted cannabinoid or terpene concentrate that is further processed/cured into some high-potency final product. How do you make a concentrate? Concentrations of cannabinoids or terpenes that are produced through mechanical or physical manipulation of plant material - i.e. involving heat, pressure or any means other than chemicals/solvents.
Some cannabis concentrates examples include, but are not limited to:
Rosin - typically derived through use of a rosin press, produces a sticky, malleable substance
Live resin - incorporates all of the phytocompounds present in the cannabis plant into a super-concentrated, “live resin” form
Dry sift - all of the cannabinoids and terpenes are separated into this dry powdered form, similar to kief
Kief - the trichomes, terpenes and cannabinoids are collected and kept together in this form of concentrate
High-potency oils - made by oil presses or other means of capturing the naturally potent oils, resins and active compounds from the cannabis plant
Concentrates are considered to be a more naturally-derived, chemical-free option for those seeking high-potency cannabis products. Concentrates are technically just like other extracts, but they forgo the use of organic solvent like butane or CO2, instead relying on presses, high temperature ovens, or other mechanical processes to separate cannabinoids/terpenes from the plant materials.
Another tally in the win column for cannabis concentrates vs extracts has to do with how they are consumed. Concentrates can be dabbed, vaped or smoked like extracts but they are also commonly applied topically or ingested in their raw forms. This has to do with concentrates’ more natural state and lack of chemical solvents. This might be one of their biggest draws as many medical cannabis users are very cautious about what they put into their bodies.
Concentrates can therefore be considered to be just as potent as many extracts, but without the potential for residues of solvents or other processing chemicals.
Going through all of the trouble to learn how to make concentrates or extracts can be a grueling affair. For some experienced stoners, making concentrates or homemade extracts is a very fun, challenging and rewarding process that they relish in. We’re not suggesting that learning how to make concentrates of your own isn’t a worthy investment - quite the contrary, you can achieve some incredibly potent, flavorful and unique combinations of cannabis extracts and concentrates.
Nevertheless, it will take a lot of work, training and trial-and-error before you can produce some discernible quality extracts. If you don’t have the time or inclination to produce your own concentrates, then why not trust in the ever-expanding supply at your favorite online dispensary? Haute Health carries a wide variety of concentrates, extracts, edibles, buds and even CBD-only products to suit anybody’s weed needs.
Before you learn how to make concentrates or extracts by yourself, try some of the high-quality, high-potency but low-priced extracts and concentrates you’ll find at Hautehealth.online. Check out some of our best-sellers in the concentrates vs extracts departments, and get the most out of your cannabis by sticking to the top-notch inventory at Haute Health.