Following our initial course on cannabis concentrates: Concentrates 101, we dipped some toes into the various kinds of products offered in our shop.
And you might have had various strains of marijuana in your travels and now you’re looking for deeper, thicker clouds coming from little pungent packed nugs. Intensely thicker highs ranging in consistencies from runny honey to soupy terps, sugary wax, shatter dabs, and hash. Confused in any sense?
We’ve got you covered in: Concentrates 102!
But aren’t all concentrates the same?
In the business of marijuana, not all concentrates are equal, both in perspectives of experience and consumer cost. Even similarly titled strains might produce a different or unexpected result in different consistencies.
To understand the differences of what you’re getting when you pick up a Lazy Bee Gardens BHO Wax versus an Experience Organics Dry Sift, we have to look at the processes of how we get these weed products to their end state.
Cannabis extractors & scientists, using cutting-edge science and technology, are now able to deliver some of the best products that Washington state, and the world, has to offer. But what does it mean to you?
To the casual reader it means: variety (which some say is a zesty topping for life’s little lulls!) To the cannabis enthusiast, it could mean a similar or different high between enjoying a flower bud strain and a newly released Live Resin CO2 concentrate of the same name. THC content, terpene percentages, and many other factors change throughout the process for creating concentrates.
Some of the processes of extraction take solvents, such as butane or CO2, while other extractions are solventless, which provides us with products such as hash, rosin, even kief in your grinder is a concentrate! Praise be to the three chamber grinder. Below we will get more in depth on the various kinds of concentrates.
BHO: What’s the BHO deal?
BHO (or “Butane Hash/Honey Oil” as it may be referred to as) is made using a solvent (often butane, sometimes propane) being forced through weed flower matter. This produces an oily amber product that is purged through a vacuum pump to ensure no traces of the solvent are left. Shatter, wax, honeycomb, and crumble are all forms of BHO, but come out in various consistencies.
The Low Down on Live Resin
Similar to BHO, Live Resin is made by first taking uncured cannabis flower and flash freezing it, before a solvent is introduced. This process tends to provide a higher monoterpene profile of things like myrcene, limonene, and terpinolene with a lower sesquiterpene content of things like caryophyllene and humulene.
In short, Terpenes are organic compounds produced in plants and are not exclusive to cannabis or hemp plants. Cannabinoids, in contrast, are the compounds that act as neurotransmitters in the mind of the weed recipient and are exclusive to cannabis and hemp plants.
Now, some of those terms above may seem like a regular ol’ spelling quiz nightmare, but they offer a wide berth of information insofar as to provide a summary of where some highs might take you, much more so than a single, total THC percentage, but that might be found in a future blog post: Terpenes and THC 103.
What’s all the gas about CO2?
CO2 extraction is a fascinating process in which carbon dioxide is introduced in a tightly controlled process to marijuana to produce a variety kinds of products based on precise pressure and temperature settings.
Unlike BHO and Live Resin, CO2 is active, versus raw. Raw means that the active ingredient of the process is still needed to get the marijuana to an intended psychoactive potency. In many cases that involves combustion or heat. But because CO2 processing methods require heat, the cannabis is already activated. So it can be used to infuse with a wide variety of things!
CO2 oil offers advantages for terpene and cannabinoid preservation and also tends to be a runnier substance compared to BHO making them ideal for use with cartridges.
Distillates: Refining the refined
Distillates involve a refinement process on an already refined product. In a similar way that we use crude oil to produce a variety of products, Distillate oil comes from one of the processes above, or ethanol. And when it comes to distillate variety, nothing compares to our cartridge lines from Top Shelf, Clandestine, as well as Pearl which all offer a variety of strains to choose from.
RSO: Rick Simpson and his Oil
RSO, or Rick Simpson Oil, is a popular kind of whole plant extract that is produced using ethanol. RSO is often best administered orally or topically.
We’ve covered the basics of solvents, which are used to help extract products from cannabis, but now we are going to look at some solventless ways we offer up the best in marijuana experiences.
Kief: the every person's concentrate
A solventless concentrate that many unwittingly concoct in their homes, referred to as Kief, is made up of trichomes (crystalline dots surrounding well done weed) broken away from the plant in the grinder filter screens between elbow grease street and gummed up boulevard.
Hash: Calling in the Hefty Hitters
Hash is best known for being a heavy hitter when it wants to be and is also a product derived from trichomes, isolating the purest efforts of the cannabis plant through various non-solvent processes, like ice water extraction. Through a rigorous process of heating and drying, we get the compact and powerful hash we carry today.
Dry Sift: That Shifting Difference
Lastly, Dry Sieve or Dry Sift, is a solventless concentrate that is also derived from trichomes. The process by which they are attained is different, using a series of screens to isolate the trichome heads, providing some of the easiest ways to attain a hash like product. The ingredients here include: flower product, some screens, grinding, and patience (maybe some grinding on the music playlist while this process occurs.)
Wrapping up our dive into concentrates, it’s easy to forget that a simple marijuana plant can provide a beaucoup of different results.
Our shallow swim into some of our fan favorites is a testament to both current products and the future of concentrates provided at Hashtag.
So stop by in Redmond or Fremont to see what's new and hot in concentrates!