Cannabis concentrates are the new big thing in stoner circles.
Cannabis concentrates are concentrated THC and CBD extracts of cannabis flowers, which also contain a plethora of other active compounds like cannabinoids and terpenes.
Today, with new technologies and methods, cannabis concentrates are easier to make than ever.
Which is good, because concentrates are packed with several times more cannabinoids than regular dried flowers, and their potency can reach up to 90%.
When consumed carefully and in moderation, concentrates can be safely used by both medical and recreational users alike.
What Are Cannabis Concentrates?
Weed concentrates are products that are made by separating resin from the flowers in order to extract the maximum amount of cannabinoids and terpenes, without the unnecessary plant material.
Cannabis resin contains trichomes—tiny outgrowths on the flowers where most of the plant’s cannabinoids and terpenes are synthesized.
The more trichomes a plant has, the higher the potency of the end product will be.
Compared to dried flowers, small amounts of concentrates contain substantially more cannabinoids and terpenes.
For example, most flowers contain around 15-20% of THC, while concentrates have up to 80-90% of THC.
Concentrates can be found in many cannabis products, from edibles to oils and tinctures. They can also be consumed in their purest form by using additional equipment such as dab rigs and vaporizers.
Since they are so potent, the high you get from concentrates is almost instant and lasts for about 1-3 hours.
11 Different Types of Cannabis Concentrates
There are many different types of concentrates on the market. We recognize several common types, based on the way they are extracted and the part of the plant that’s used for extraction.
This famous cannabis concentrate originated in North India and slowly expanded to the Arabian peninsula and then Europe.
Hash is a cannabis concentrate that is made by separating trichomes from the plant material and then forming the resulting resin into a coherent mass.
There are several types of hash:
- Bubble hash—made by separating the trichomes using ice-cold water;
- Lebanese hash—made by drying flowers, rubbing them with a piece of fabric and then pressing the material into slabs;
- Afghani Royal (aka Royal Border) hash—made by putting flowers into water or tea to separate the resin, and then afterward pressing it into slabs;
- Charas Hash—made by hand rolling flowers;
- Super Nepalese Hash—also made by hand rolling;
- Moroccan Slate Hash—made by dry-sifting cannabis flowers.
How to Use Hash?
You can either smoke hash or consume it in an edible by decarbing it.
Putting hash in edibles is recommended if you are trying to avoid smoking—you can easily bake hash brownies, which are always a good choice.
Smoking is a traditional way to enjoy hashish:
- You can roll it in a joint.
- Or you can heat up two butter knives, use them to press hash, and inhale the smoke.
Hash can also be smoked with a bong or in a pipe.
I personally like to use a hookah to smoke hash.
Kief is a powdery material that collects at the bottom of your grinder (see the image above).
It’s super-potent since it consists of pure trichomes. It’s rarely 100% pure, as most of the time it will contain some plant particles.
And as you’ve probably figured out, hash is made from kief.
How to Use Kief?
Kief is easy to work with as it’s simple to make and has many uses.
If you have a grinder that has a kief catcher, you can use the collected kief by sprinkling it in a joint or by packing a bowl with a mixture of weed and kief.
One of the coolest ways to use your kief is to make moon rocks.
They can be a bit expensive in dispensaries, but you can easily make them yourself at home.
To make moon rocks, just dip a nug into some cannabis oil, and then roll it into your kief.
There’s one important thing you should remember about moon rocks—don’t grind them.
If you put a moon rock in a grinder, the oil will stick to the grinder, the kief will fall off and they will lose their potency.
Instead, just break the rock gently into smaller pieces using your fingers. Sprinkle some in your joint and enjoy getting super high.
Rosin (or weed wax) is cannabis resin in solid form.
It’s made by extracting resin from flowers by applying pressure and heat.
This process is usually done with an industrial press but you can easily make it at home with a hair straightener.
How to Make Rosin at Home?
To make your own rosin, you’ll need a hair straightener, two pieces of parchment paper, and heat-proof gloves.
Preheat the hair straightener, place the parchment paper on both plates, place the flower on one, and then press the plates together.
Keep it pressed for about 5 to 10 seconds, depending on the temperature of the straightener, until you hear a sizzle.
After the heat-and-press process, you’ll get a translucent yellowish mass ready to use.
Remove the paper and gently unfold it. Use a knife to scrape off the sticky mass from the paper.
How to Use Rosin?
One of the most popular ways to use rosin is to make a twaxed blunt or a joint—you do this by applying rosin to the outside of a joint.
The most visually appealing way to do this is to make a snake-like shape out of rosin and then just wrap it around the joint, similar to the image below.
You can also use rosin by mixing it with ground-up weed.
Hash oil (or butane hash oil) is extracted by using alcohol to wash away trichomes from the buds and then heating the liquid up until alcohol evaporates. The end result is a pure plant extract.
BHO can be smoked or used in edibles. This sort of extraction is also the original way of producing cannabis oil.
Shatter is one of the purest cannabis concentrates out there.
It’s made by using a solvent to extract THC from flowers in a process called the butane hash oil extraction.
This type of extraction is not safe for DIY projects as the solvent needs to be completely eliminated from the concentrate before you can safely consume it.
Shatter looks like a colored piece of glass and has a candy-like consistency. It’s really potent—it can have upwards of 80% THC, but it’s not especially rich in flavor.
Shatter is hard to work with since it’s in a solid state. There are several ways to use the final product, from dab rigs to vapes and bongs.
Sugar wax is another concentrate made through butane extraction and it looks just like it sounds—shiny, sticky, and crumbly.
Cannabis strains that contain terpenes which are particularly prone to retaining water are better for making sugar wax. Know that if you are trying to make shatter, it can sometimes turn into wax because of the terpene contents.
Since the process of making sugar wax also involves butane, it’s not safe to make it by yourself.
Budder is something between shatter and wax, but it’s also made using butane hash oil extraction.
What separates it is the purity: Budder has fewer cannabinoids but is richer in terpenes. Also, budder is not as solid as shatter, and it’s more wax-like which makes it much easier to use.
To use budder, put it in a bong or pipe, add it to a joint or blunt. Just like with all of the above.
The process of making crumble is very similar to other wax varieties, but with one important difference—the temperature of purging.
After the initial solvent extraction, the rest of the product is left on low heat so the solvent can evaporate gradually. This is the best way to keep the full flavor of the concentrate.
Crumble is easy to use: Just scoop it and pack it into a bowl.
It also works great for every type of dabbing. Crumble easily loses moisture, so it’ll turn into dust-like crumbles quickly. It’s important to keep your concentrate in a sealed container, in a cool place.
This is the latest method of cannabis concentrate extraction. Freshly harvested buds are frozen and then the resin is extracted from the flowers.
This method of extraction is complicated, requires laboratory equipment, and is not something you can do at home, so it’s better to buy live resin at your local dispensary.
This type of oil uses carbon dioxide for extracting the resin. The end product is a pure, liquid concentrate that’s usually used in vaporizers and vaping pens.
CO2 extraction leaves more terpenes in the concentrate, which means more flavor and even more medical benefits.
Be Careful When Trying Cannabis Concentrates!
Always keep in mind that concentrates are incredibly potent—just a small amount can contain more THC than the entire gram of your favorite dried flower.
So, if you haven’t tried them before, be extra cautious the first time around.
Just take one hit first, and see how it feels. It’s better to take small hits gradually than to get too high too quickly and feel horrible afterward.
Sandra Mason October 6, 2018 at 2:28 pm
What a wonderful and informative site you have here. Especially love the strain picker. We go LIVE October 17th. Thanks for the education!!
Luka October 8, 2018 at 8:32 am
Thank you so much Sandra!
Gordon Williams January 19, 2019 at 6:29 pm
Shatter is not the purest of all cannabis concentrates, that's bad information. There's really no information offered on live resin.
Helena January 21, 2019 at 12:40 pm
Oops, thanks for the heads up, Gordon.
Fucking Annoyed October 15, 2019 at 2:14 pm
Shatter is lower quality compared to most of these other extracts. The most pure form of extract would be 99.9% THCA Diamonds/Crystals.
Killer beee Chocolate January 12, 2020 at 3:18 pm
Trev July 12, 2020 at 3:02 pm
I just started dabbing so trying to learn the difference in all these and which I prefer. I bought some live resin and it’s good, but I go through it a lot faster than the crumble (which cost less too) I was buying before. So confusing sometimes!
Claude Lajeunesse December 4, 2020 at 3:28 pm
Great info, now how do they make wax because I just bought some and it taste and smell solvent ??
ROBERT CYR February 3, 2021 at 8:58 pm
Good overview of many different concentrates. I have heard live rosin is the caviar of concentrates. I did get a gram and the flavors were impressive and the texture of this particular GMO strain from Maine was silky smooth and best at low temp dabbing.
Mainebudz March 7, 2021 at 6:33 am
Nice! Maine has come a long way in catching up with concentrates. All the places I go to have 8 or more different types of concentrates available at one time and prices are getting a lot better. The real live rosins are amazing... Having it legal has made all these and the equipment to make them available. There's always new types coming out... Some of the equipment is insane. I tried an HTFSE live sauce, the process to make it was some serious stuff, boiling in liquid nitrogen and filtering to remove fats, lipids and impurities. It's amazing but a regular heat press rosin is great and highly in demand too. The top shelf stuff is all so expensive because it's so sought after and the makers all get the best bud, hash, and concentrates first. Even with all this I can't find a top grade hash around here that's a complete melt with no residue when vaped, most growers/makers keep that for themselves so you just gotta make your own lol. That's what you want to press the best rosin which is also the best and safest thing you can make at home for a concentrate.
Mainebudz March 7, 2021 at 6:05 am
I love concentrates!!! They're so cool, and making them is such an art to get all these different extracts and textures. I have friends in the UK who are so jealous, they're so far behind there it's sad... There's so many different varieties for different needs, flavors, textures. I really love how flavors can be captured. The dispensary I go to has all of these and more, over time I've sampled about every type, even then there's always new strains so it's always changing. HTFSE is an amazing live res, I was told they make it by immediately freezing a chopped plant and boiling it at like -100something degrees (yes negative!) to preserve flavors. Lately I've been smoking a honeycomb which is a more solid crumble, not sticky or wax like. Very good, clean, economical and I can portion out my daily amount easily. I usually get a gram of something nicer like a crumble, badder, or some type of sauce to kick up the dabs here and there. Everyone raves about diamonds in sauce right now. They're really good but expensive IMO. An 8th of honeycomb here runs $90, a G of something nice $30-45. An 8th of diamonds in sauce is $150-165. For the price of something cheaper you get just as high, but it is nice to try. I love badders, sugar hash, and the saucy crumble diamonds like big smooth. Great flavors, strong high from the crystal, and the terp sauce give the thc more of a punch, extend your high while adding to flavor. Different extracts have different THC levels and cannabinoids. So depending on your tolerance or pain needs you may find a type that just works for you. For me extracts have been the only thing I've tried that really help my nerve pain. I was smoking so much herb a day and just couldn't do enough to keep the level I needed high enough. Concentrates help the pain, and other side effects and acts almost immediately. I don't know what I'd do without them! Before I started dabbing I was in pain up all night several nights a week. Not anymore! I'd say it was life saving. I can grow here, outdoor grows enough bud and trim to smoke, make coconut oil for edibles and salves. This year getting a bubble hash kit and rosin press to make my own hash/rosin and also making alcohol tincture. What more do you need? Lol! If it isn't already get your state to legalize!!! You're all missing out!! #1 cash crop in Maine baby!!!