Concentrates are highly concentrated forms of cannabis that are made by extracting the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinoids (CBD) from marijuana plants through several different methods.
The three most popular are extraction using ethanol, butane, or CO2 fluids. Once the extraction is complete, the extracted material is used to make concentrates, including dabs, cannabis oils, oral sprays, tinctures, and edibles. Concentrated cannabis can contain up to 95 percent THC and are very strong.
Top Ways to Consume Cannabis Concentrates
Smoking is still the most popular way for people to consume cannabis and concentrates. Many people enjoy combining hash or kief with a doobie or blunt and lighting up. Another way people smoke concentrates is to mix the concentrate with some herb and smoke it from a pipe.
Smoking pure concentrate without mixing it with herb is called dabbing. Dabbing is probably the second most popular way of consuming concentrates. Dabs are super concentrated cannabis and can contain anywhere from 50 to 95 percent THC.
Dabs, or BHOs (butane hash oil), are made by using butane to extract THC from the cannabis plant. Dabs are smoked out of a bong by putting the dab in the bowl of a pipe, bubbler, bong, or a specific type of water pipe called a rig.
People using a rig also use a dab nail to heat the concentrate instead of a lighter to avoid accidents with possible gas vapors. The dab nail is a glass piece that is heated up with a dab torch instead of the concentrate being heated the way you would when smoking flowers. The concentrate is then placed in the heated dab nail and smoked. Shatter, honey oil, budder, wax, and hash are also names for dabs.
Another popular way of dabbing is by using a vaporizer. Portable vaporizers called vape pens automatically heat the concentrate while eliminating smoke. Disposable vaporizer cartridges are sold at dispensaries, along with portable vape pens, which make consuming concentrates on the go easy and discreet.
Highly concentrated cannabis oil is a sticky resin that is usually taken orally. Cannabis oils can be consumed several ways, including capsules, syringes, and edibles.
Hemp oil is also a concentrate, but it contains trace amounts of THC and high amounts of CBD. Hemp oil can also be consumed in capsules and edibles.
Oral sprays are a convenient way to consume cannabis oil because they come in small bottles with a spray pump. You just spray the oil under your tongue for fast pain relief. One pump a day keeps the doctor away. Cannabis oil concentrate sprays also come in different flavors, so if you don’t like the taste of one, you can always try another. Hemp oil sprays are also available in different flavors if you want the effects without the mind-altering effects of THC.
Tinctures are a liquid type of cannabis concentrate that comes in a little bottle with a dropper dispenser. It is made using alcohol or apple cider vinegar to extract THC and CBD. To consume tinctures, you just put a drop under your tongue. It can also be mixed with food and drinks for slower absorption into your system. Tinctures were considered an effective medicine and were very popular in the early 1900s, before hemp was prohibited in the 1930s.
Eating edibles is a very popular way to consume cannabis concentrates and is considered one of the safest. Edibles are available in varying doses but are more potent than smoking and last longer. You can find concentrated cookies, brownies, chocolates, drinks, syrups, and candy.
It is important to make sure that you are aware of the amount of THC in any edible product before consuming it to avoid unpleasant side effects. Start with small amounts the first time you try an edible and wait about an hour before trying more. Mild side effects include sleepiness and cotton mouth. Unpleasant side effects include long-lasting paranoia and anxiety, so before you reach for that pot brownie, make sure that you check the THC amount, or you may worry or be asleep for the foreseeable future.
If you have never tried concentrated cannabis before, please proceed with caution. Whether you are smoking it, vaping, using a tincture, or consuming cannabis oil and sprays, always start taking the smallest dose available and wait before taking more.