Cannabis has been around for centuries, and its use has evolved. With the legalization of marijuana in many states, new cannabis products have emerged, including concentrates. Cannabis concentrates are a potent form of cannabis that can be consumed in various ways, such as dabbing, vaping, or edibles. These products are becoming increasingly popular among cannabis users due to their high potency and fast-acting effects.
But how are cannabis concentrates made? This article will explore the process of making cannabis concentrates, including the different extraction methods and equipment required. So, if you’re curious about how your favorite cannabis concentrates are made, read on!
Types of Cannabis Concentrates
Before we dive into the process of making cannabis concentrates, let’s first discuss the different types of concentrates available. There are two main categories of cannabis concentrates: solvent-based and non-solvent-based.
Solvent-based concentrates use butane, propane, or ethanol to extract the cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis plant. These are generally more potent than non-solvent-based concentrates and are commonly used for dabbing or vaping.
Non-solvent-based concentrates, on the other hand, are made without solvents. Instead, they use mechanical processes such as heat, pressure, or water to extract the desired compounds. These are less potent than solvent-based concentrates but are often used in edibles or topicals.
Common cannabis concentrates include shatter, wax, budder, rosin, and hash. Each type of concentrate has its unique texture, potency, and flavor profile.
Now that we’ve discussed the different types of cannabis concentrates let’s take a closer look at the extraction methods used to make them. As mentioned earlier, there are two main categories of extraction methods: solvent-based and non-solvent-based.
Solvent-Based Extraction Techniques
Solvent-based extraction techniques involve using butane, propane, or ethanol to extract the cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis plant. Let’s take a closer look at each of these techniques.
Butane extraction, also known as butane hash oil (BHO) extraction, is one of the most popular methods for making cannabis concentrates. This technique involves blasting the cannabis plant material with liquid butane, which extracts the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant.
The resulting mixture is then heated to remove the butane, leaving behind a sticky, resinous substance known as shatter. Shatter is a popular concentrate for dabbing due to its high potency and fast-acting effects.
Propane extraction is similar to butane extraction but uses propane instead of butane as the solvent. Propane extraction is less popular than butane extraction but is still used by some cannabis concentrate producers.
The process for propane extraction is similar to butane extraction, but propane is a more efficient solvent, which can result in a higher yield of cannabinoids and terpenes. The resulting concentrate is often called propane hash oil (PHO).
Ethanol extraction, or alcohol extraction, is another popular method for making cannabis concentrates. This technique involves soaking the cannabis plant material in high-proof ethanol to extract the desired compounds.
The resulting mixture is then heated to remove the ethanol, leaving a concentrated liquid known as a tincture. Tinctures are often used for sublingual consumption, absorbed through the mouth and bloodstream.
Non-Solvent Extraction Techniques
Non-solvent extraction techniques involve using mechanical processes such as heat, pressure, or water to extract the desired compounds from the cannabis plant. Let’s take a closer look at each of these techniques.
Heat extraction, also known as decarboxylation, involves heating the cannabis plant material to activate the cannabinoids and terpenes. This technique is often used to make edibles, as it converts the non-psychoactive THCA into psychoactive THC.
The process for heat extraction is relatively simple. The cannabis plant material is baked in the oven at a low temperature for a specific period, usually around 30-60 minutes. The resulting material can then make edibles or other cannabis-infused products.
Pressure extraction, also known as rosin tech, involves using heat and pressure to extract the cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis plant. This technique is popular among cannabis concentrate enthusiasts due to its simplicity and lack of solvents.
The pressure extraction process involves placing a small amount of cannabis plant material between two heated plates and applying pressure for a specific period. The resulting concentrate is often called rosin and is known for its high potency and flavor profile.
Water extraction, or ice water hash or bubble hash, involves using ice-cold water to separate the trichomes from the cannabis plant material. This technique is popular among cannabis concentrate enthusiasts who prefer non-solvent-based concentrates.
The process of water extraction involves mixing the cannabis plant material with ice-cold water and stirring for a specific period. The resulting mixture is then filtered through screens to remove the trichomes. The resulting concentrate is often called bubble hash and is known for its smooth flavor and gentle effects.
Once the desired compounds have been extracted from the cannabis plant, they must undergo post-extraction processing to remove any remaining solvents or impurities. Depending on the concentrated type, this process can include purging, winterization, or distillation.
Purging involves heating the concentrate to remove any remaining solvents, while winterization involves filtering the concentrate through screens to remove any waxes or lipids. Distillation involves using heat and pressure to separate the compounds in the concentrate, resulting in a highly purified product.
Making cannabis concentrates can be dangerous, especially when using solvents such as butane or propane. It is important to follow safety guidelines when making concentrates, including proper ventilation, wearing protective gear, and using high-quality equipment.
It is also important to purchase cannabis concentrates from reputable sources and to be aware of the potency and dosage of the product before consuming it.
Benefits of Cannabis Concentrates
Cannabis concentrates offer several benefits over traditional cannabis flowers, including increased potency, faster onset of effects, and the ability to consume in various ways. Concentrates are also more discreet than smoking cannabis flower and are often preferred by medical cannabis patients who require higher doses of cannabinoids.
How to Consume Cannabis Concentrates
Cannabis concentrates can be consumed in various ways, including dabbing, vaping, edibles, and topicals. Dabbing involves heating the concentrate and inhaling the vapor while vaping involves heating the concentrate and inhaling the vapor through a vape pen or cartridge.
Edibles and topicals are consumed orally or applied directly to the skin. It is important to be aware of the potency and dosage of the concentrate when consuming it and to start with a small amount to gauge your tolerance.
The legality of Cannabis Concentrates
The legality of cannabis concentrates varies by state, with some states allowing for the production and sale of concentrates while others do not. It is important to be aware of the laws in your state before purchasing or making cannabis concentrates.
Cannabis concentrates are a potent and fast-acting form of cannabis that offer several benefits over traditional cannabis flowers. They can be made using various extraction methods, including solvent-based and non-solvent-based techniques, and can be consumed in various ways.
While making cannabis concentrates can be dangerous, especially when using solvents, following proper safety guidelines and purchasing from reputable sources can help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. So, whether you prefer dabbing, vaping, or edibles, cannabis concentrates offer a powerful and versatile way to consume cannabis.