What Are Weed Concentrates?
Marijuana concentrates apply to any product procured through a cannabinoid extraction process. Majority of concentrate producers use a process that involves stripping the essential oils of the cannabis plant using a solvent (butane, CO2, ethanol), leaving behind a product that is packed with cannabinoids in every drop. In fact, some extracts have THC levels as high as 80%. There are several types of concentrates available on the market, from kief to water hash to the most common type of extract, BHO (also known as wax or shatter).
How to Consume Concentrates
Vapourizing is one of the cleanest methods for inhaling weed concentrates. Vaporizers are manufactured to heat THC to the optimal vaporization point so you can experience the pure flavour of the concentrate without unnecessary toxins or waste. Because there is no actual combustion, it makes for an easier experience on the lungs. There are a variety of vaporizers available ranging from desktop to portable. Portable vapourizers, known as vape pens, have become increasingly popular and work very well with solvent-extracted concentrates. They provide the user with complete mobility but beware of weak batteries or heating elements which result in degraded flavour and effects. Do your research and you can avoid these issues with the higher-quality units on the market.
Dabbing is quickly becoming one of the most popular (and arguably most effective) methods for consuming marijuana concentrates. A “dab” is essentially a small amount of concentrated marijuana extract. Dabbing involves touching or dropping this small amount of concentrate against a hot surface in order to flash vapourize the extract. The most common types of heating elements are the “skillet” or the “nail”, usually made from quartz or titanium so that they can retain high temperatures. Dabbing burns concentrate at temperatures very close to THC’s vaporization point, making this one of the healthier smoking methods. However, dabbing usually results in a very intense, hard-hitting high so only veteran smokers should try this!
To dab, first heat up the surface using a torch. Then, drop the weed concentrate on the hot surface to vapourize it and inhale the smoke though a “rig” which is a specialized pipe for dabbing. You can also purchase bong and water pipe attachments that replace the bowl with a skillet or nail.
There are specialized pipes intended for the consumption of water hash or kief but some pipes can work with solvent-extracted weed concentrates too. This option does not require any additional special setup, so it is an attractive and low-cost option for beginners or those who just want to try concentrates without making a big investment.
Finally, you can mix most marijuana concentrates with herb and smoke it as you normally would on bowls, joints or blunts - this is the most accessible way for new users to consume concentrates. However, concentrates often burn at different speeds and temperatures than herb, so these methods don't reach the optimal vaporization point for THC and you could end up wasting a lot of the concentrate during the process.
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