ALL ABOUT CONCENTRATES
Concentrates are highly-concentrated cannabis extracts that you usually inhale as vapor through a conductive heating method known as dabbing. Unlike vapes—which are activated through convective heating—concentrates are vaporized through direct contact with a hot plate or nail, usually in the form of a dab rig or dab pen. Their high potency and flavor profile has made them a popular choice among experienced cannabis users, with disadvantages to newer users being the complicated accessories involved and intense effects.
EXTRACTION TYPES & POTENCY
Concentrates are distinguished from one another by their method of extraction, with factors such as pressure, solvent, temperature, and strain affecting each type’s makeup and consistency. When it comes to the different types of concentrates, it’s important to note that their potency ranges are an approximation and not set values — THC levels may vary based on the dispensary and brand.
Wax is generally less potent and ranges between 30 and 60 percent THC. The word “dabbing” originates from wax, as it’s sticky, wax-like consistency requires a dabbing tool to get the extract on the rig.
Badder or budder falls under the wax category as another low potency option (30 to 60 percent). This extract has a batter-like consistency and a bit more flavor.
Shatter is considered to be a more pure and potent extract at 70 to 90 percent THC. It’s brittle, glass-like form can “shatter” into many pieces.
Crumble or sugar wax is similar to shatter in that it has the same high potency (70 to 90 percent THC) with a grainier, semi-crystalline consistency.
Kief is the accumulated, high-cannabinoid powder that comes off ground flower. Unlike most concentrates, kief is a solventless extract — no chemical compounds are added to collect the powder. Kief looks similar to pollen and is often smoked instead of dabbed. It’s potency depends on the flower used, but generally ranges from 40 to 70 percent THC.
Sauce or terp sauce is another ultra-potent concentrate, unique for it’s terpene-rich quality. It generally has a 60 to 90 perfect THC level, robust flavor profile, and liquid-like consistency.
Diamonds are formed by purifying and isolating individual cannabinoids and take on the form of faceted, crystalline solids. Life kief, diamonds and isolate are also solventless concentrates. At up to 100 perfect THC, these extracts are known to be some of the most potent concentrates available.
CONCENTRATE ONSET & DURATION
When vaporizing concentrates, the effects kick in instantaneously and can last anywhere from a half hour to three hours depending on your dose and tolerance.
Out of all the cannabis categories, concentrates are the most complicated when it comes to their method of consumption. Most concentrates are inhaled as vapor through a temperature-specific heating method such as dab rig or dab-pen. Kief, being the notable exception, is usually smoked using a joint, pipe, or bong.
Dab rigs work through conductive heating. A titanium, ceramic, quartz, or glass nail is heated using a heat torch, and then a small amount of the extract is applied to the nail. The heated nail vaporizes the concentrates on contact, which you then inhale through an attached mouthpiece. Dab pens also work through conductive heating, except unlike traditional vape pens—which heat the air around the extract—dab pans heat a small coil chamber or oven cartridge that comes in contact with extract.
WEIGHTS & QUANTITIES
Concentrates are most often sold in 0.5 and 1.0 gram jars or pouches.