If you are new to cannabis concentrates, you may be intimidated by their high potency and the high heat (blowtorch) necessary to vaporize these cannabis extracts. However, they may be a more cost-effective alternative to cannabis flowers and be easy to use.
Cannabis concentrates, also known as cannabis waxes, are available in different consistencies, colors, potencies, and chemical profiles to meet the needs of any user. Understanding the differences between each type of cannabis wax can help you choose one that provides you with your desired form of relief and effects.
What Are Cannabis Concentrates?
Cannabis concentrates are concentrated extracts of cannabis plant compounds. Solventless or solvent-based extraction methods separate the cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and essential oils from the other plant material.
Cannabis concentrates typically have a significantly higher THC or CBD potency than cannabis flower. Flower can have between 15 to 25% potency levels, while cannabis concentrates can have 50 to 99.9% THC or CBD. A smaller volume of wax may be enough to achieve the same effects as a larger amount of flower.
The extraction process does more that simply reduce plant material to concentrated THC. Through the right filter media, it can also strip out the undesirable elements such as pesticides while retaining terpenes, high THC content and color.
Which Cannabis Wax Is Right for You?
With so much variety in cannabis wax products, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed with options and difficult to know which one to use. Do you prefer solventless wax made without chemicals? Are you looking for the highest terpene levels for an incredibly aromatic experience?
Consumers may consume several different cannabis wax types at once and choose different ones depending on the occasion or environment. Our guide helps you understand which cannabis wax is suitable for you.
Shatter is usually made using butane hash oil extraction and has a glass-like and translucent appearance. Shatter is solid and brittle, which may be hard to break apart for some users.
Its high concentration of cannabinoids and low concentration of terpenes results in the solidification of these cannabinoids and a solid form. This cannabis wax type usually has a gold or amber color.
Cannabis wax has a sticky and waxy texture. Cannabis wax is produced similarly to shatter using butane hash oil extraction, except it undergoes an agitation process that creates a softer and malleable consistency. Wax usually has an opaque color ranging from light to dark yellow.
Cannabis crumble has a dry and powdery consistency. Crumble is also known as honeycomb due to its crumbly nature. It usually has a golden-yellow color. Over time, this concentrate can harden and darken in color.
Its crumbly consistency can make it more challenging to handle than other cannabis wax types. Cannabis crumble is made similarly to shatter and wax but uses a low heat vacuum oven purge to create its dry consistency.
Budder has a malleable consistency with a buttery and creamy texture that may remind you of a thick frosting. It usually has a light golden color. Badder is slightly different and has a slightly saucier and oilier consistency.
Budder is usually made with solvents, but some processors may use a solventless rosin extraction method to create a similar consistency. With solventless extraction, the budder’s consistency is achieved using a whipping technique before post-processing in a vacuum oven.
Live resin refers to a cannabis concentrate made from fresh-frozen cannabis material using light hydrocarbons (propane and butane or a blend of both). This plant material contains a higher percentage of terpenes than dried and cured cannabis.
Live resin derived from BHO can have between 4 to 12+% terpene levels compared to 1 to 2% levels in other wax types. Low temperatures are recommended when consuming live resin to preserve the terpenes. Live resin has a golden yellow color and can vary in consistency.
Terp sauce is a concentrate featuring crystallized THCA or CBD and liquid terpenes. Terp sauce can have terpene levels starting at 13% and reaching up to 30%. This extract is made using fresh-frozen cannabis buds and hydrocarbon solvents.
A light vacuum purge using low heat is used to remove residual solvents and not evaporate the terpenes. Over time, THCA crystals and the terpene sauce naturally separate, creating cannabis diamonds submerged in terpene syrup.
CBD or THCA isolate is an extremely pure concentrate containing 99% CBD or THCA. THCA and CBDA are the acidic forms that precede THC or CBD. Isolates usually have a white color and is typically bought as a crushed powder. CBD isolate may be a good option for those who do not want to consume any THC or risk failing a drug test. Since cannabis isolates only contain cannabinoids, they are flavorless and odorless, making them perfect to add to food or drink.
Cannabis distillate is a highly refined cannabis extract that is odorless, tasteless, and usually colorless containing a high concentration of cannabinoids. Distillate undergoes a distillation process to eliminate everything but the cannabinoids, producing an extract ranging from ~60 to 95+% cannabinoids.
Distillate products may have re-introduced terpenes in the final product. The distillate has a viscous and syrup-like consistency, but can also be rock-hard at higher purity, and can have a light or dark amber color. CBD distillate, for instance, maybe a good product for those that do not want an intoxicating experience.
Rick Simpson Oil
Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), also known as Phoenix Tears, contains a high concentration of THC and other plant compounds. RSO is an unrefined whole-plant extract made using ethanol. This wax type is named after its creator, a Canadian medical cannabis activist who created this extract and shared his technique and product with those in need.
Dry sift, also known as kief, is a collection of cannabis trichomes from dried and cured plant matter. Dry sift is an affordable extract to make at home but requires a lot of labor and time since it is usually a manual process.
Kief can be accumulated via your multiple-chamber grinder or using a dry sifting process using a series of mesh screens in varying sizes. Kief has a fine powdery and slightly oily consistency. It can be used to enhance the potency of flower or wax products.
Hash (hashish) is an extract made from compressed kief (trichomes) that has been made for thousands of years. Trichomes are separated using dry sifting or ice water extraction techniques. Hash usually has a dark green or brown color. It can be compressed into a ball or slab and is then aged.
Bubble/Ice Water Hash
Bubble hash is a pure cannabis concentrate made using ice, cold water, a bucket, and bubble filter bags. Cannabis buds are submerged in an icy cold bath and shaken to remove the trichomes from the plant material. Then, the trichomes are collected from the bottom of each filter bag. Ice wax can have a blonde to dark brown color. Full-melt bubble hash refers to a highly refined hash that melts entirely and does not leave behind residue.
Cannabis rosin is a solventless concentrate made using a rosin pressing machine. A rosin press uses heat and pressure to compress the resin glands from the plant material. Users can make rosin at home with some bud and a hair straightener on low heat. Live rosin is a type of rosin made with fresh-frozen material for improved aroma.
Get Consistency and Retain Terpenes In Wax Concentrates with Media Bros
Consumers are increasingly looking for different types of cannabis concentrates to suit their way of life and medical needs. They are looking for the distillate to make edibles, live resin to get the full-spectrum effect, and kief to make moon rocks.
Processors looking to stand out should create a diverse product portfolio to satisfy a wide range of niches, from wellness consumers looking for solventless extraction methods to high-tolerance daily dabbers looking for the highest potency possible.