If you’re a seasoned weed enthusiast looking to level up in the potency department, marijuana concentrates offer a lot of punch in a little package. Concentrates are basically isolated trichomes (sticky crystals), offering the most desirable elements of marijuana without having to consume actual plant materials.
Concentrates are available as:
Extracted From Fresh Cannabis, High-quality and Flavorful
Brittle, Glass-like, Easy to Handle
Looks and Feels Like Cake Frosting
Sticky, High-quality, With the Texture of Jam
Looks Like Crumbly Honeycomb, Excellent for Sprinkling on Flower
Translucent Oil, High Potency, the Base Ingredient of Most Vape Cartridges
Concentrates can be consumed by vaping, dabbing, or sprinkling on top of flower before smoking. You can also find concentrates infused into edibles, tinctures and topicals, offering similar results without the application of heat. The effects from consuming marijuana concentrates last about two to three hours. If you’re new to the product, it’s a good idea to start with a small amount and go from there.
How concentrates are made
There’s nothing quite like sparking up a sparkly green bud, but if you’re a seasoned cannabis consumer who wants to level up in the potency department, it’s time to take a look at concentrates. Those gloriously sticky crystals you see on weed flowers can be isolated and transformed into a variety of products that work tremendously on their own or in conjunction with buds. Whether you choose wax, shatter, crumble, or sauce, concentrates offer a clean, quick, high-potency hit every time.
Just like fruit juice concentrates boost the flavor and scent of the fruit without the excess plant material (fluid and pulp), cannabis concentrates are made by isolating the most desirable compounds of the marijuana plant and shedding the leaves, stems, and other impurities. Cannabis trichomes—those gorgeous, desirable crystals you know and love—contain cannabinoids (THC and CBD) and terpenes, which give each strain its unique flavor, aroma, and physical effects.
Concentrates are made using mechanical or physical methods to remove and gather trichomes from cannabis buds, while extracts—a type of concentrate—use solvents like alcohol or carbon dioxide to strip trichomes off the plant. Once the trichomes are isolated, they are made in a variety of forms that allow you to customize your high.
Types of concentrates
Each type of concentrate has its own color, texture, malleability, and equipment needs, but variations in potency will depend more on the brand and strain than concentrate type. Here are some of the concentrates available at Balboa Ave Cooperative:
- Shatter: Easy to handle and golden yellow or amber in color, and brittle and glass-like in consistency
- Budder/wax: Oily, soft and malleable, bright yellow or orange in color
- Crumble: Brittle and crumbly in a matte shade of yellow
- Sauce: Thick and viscous like honey, with a similar deep amber color
- Live resin: Made from fresh, uncured cannabis, with the consistency and color of budder
- Distillate/syringe: Translucent, high-potency oil that’s the base ingredient of vape cartridges, typically packaged in easy-to-dispense syringes
How to smoke concentrates
The way you smoke your concentrate will depend on the type, and while you could go out and purchase specialized equipment, you can consume many concentrates with stuff you might already have in your designated smoking area.
- Dabbing: The most popular way to consume concentrates, using a butane torch and either a dab rig (or a specialized bowl that fits in most bongs) or a glass/ceramic/titanium nail that turns the concentrate into vapor when heated.
- Vaporizing: You can buy pre-filled vape pens to consume distillates or vaporize almost any type of concentrate with tabletop or portable vaporizers.
- Smoking with flower: Sprinkle crumble or small chunks of budder on your bowl, or add some distillate or live resin to a joint before rolling for a hit that really packs a punch.
However you consume your preferred concentrate, remember that it’s a good idea to feel out each hit before taking another—especially if you’re new to the high-potency game. Just like with the rule of edibles, you can always smoke more but you can never smoke less than you already did.
Balboa Ave Cooperative has a huge selection of lab-verified cannabis concentrates, and our experts can help guide you to the right product for your needs. Drop-in or check out our concentrate menu on Weedmaps!