If you browse a dispensary’s inventory and come across substances that resemble dijon mustard, honey, or even rock candy, you’re most likely looking at cannabis concentrates.
What connects all these types of cannabis concentrates is their potency. These concentrates can contain anywhere from 40% to over 90% THC, way more than what you’d find in the finest marijuana bud. In fact, top-shelf dispensary products often only contain about 20% THC.
If you’re looking for a pure and potent cannabis experience, experimenting with concentrates may provide the most value. Now that concentrates can be purchased recreationally in some states, there are many options on the market.
We broke down all the different types of weed concentrates you may come across so that you have a better idea of what you are buying. Use this beginner’s guide to personalize your dabbing experience and achieve the desired effects.
What is a Cannabis Concentrate?
First, let’s dissect where all these types of cannabis concentrates stem from. Within each cannabis flower bud lies hundreds of cannabinoids, the chemical compounds that interact with your body’s receptors and alter its signal responses.
The combination of these cannabinoids and trichomes, which are the resinous glands that give the cannabis plant its sticky texture, make up the plant’s full terpene profile. Essentially, this is where you get the uplifting or relaxing experience you seek.
When you extract this combination of compounds from the plant, you are left with a highly viscous concentrated mass of pure THC. But not all types of weed concentrates are created equal.
In fact, the way they are created accounts for why many of them look so different from each other. Terms like budder, shatter, crumble, wax, and others are used commonly, and often reflect the physical appearance of the type of cannabis concentrate.
How Are Cannabis Concentrates Made?
A couple of methods are used to create these delicate and potent extracts. Some forms of hash are made using water extraction, chemical extraction, heat and pressure extractions, or a method that utilizes a dry sieve.
The most well-known types of concentrates are those created through chemical extraction. It continues to be the most effective in creating a wide variety of creative-looking weed concentrates.
The proper way to consume concentrate is through a vape or dabbing, a form of vaping. This requires a dab rig and a high heat source that can quickly and properly melt the extract down to vapor. Vape pens are a fast, on-the-go way to test different types of cannabis concentrates. You can often find pre-filled oil cartridges on disposable or reusable pen batteries.
Because a concentrate is made of the very essence of the cannabis plant, the smell is less skunky than smoking an actual flower. Most, if not all, forms of concentrate are extremely easy and discreet to enjoy.
Isolate vs. Full Spectrum Concentrates
When shopping for dabs, it’s important to know the difference between isolate vs. full-spectrum types of cannabis concentrates.
A full-spectrum concentrate contains all the compounds of the cannabis plant, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and trichomes. All the active compounds work together to provide you with an even more well-rounded experience. At least, that is what believers in “the entourage effect” hypothesize.
Isolated concentrates mean one purified compound has been isolated to its fullest potency to provide a very targeted experience. There is a time and place for both these types of weed concentrates. It’s just a matter of figuring out what you like and how relaxed or focused you want to be.
Types of Cannabis Concentrates
Each concentrate has its own unique characteristics. So we’re laying out the most common types you are likely to find at a dispensary.
This oil extract is thick, waxy, and typically a deep shade of orange. It utilizes a butane extraction but actually has an extra step that gives it its creamy texture.
After the initial extraction process, badder concentrate goes through a purging stage where all the butane is removed with high pressure and heat. The badder is constantly whipped during this stage until it eventually forms a slightly crystallized, cake-frosting-like substance.
This type of cannabis concentrate is very popular amongst marijuana users because of its high potency. The average badder concentrate contains between 80% and 90% THC. It also retains most of its terpenes throughout the creation process, giving you a true-to-plant dabbing experience.
If you run into a dilemma of badder vs. budder, don’t fret. These types of weed concentrates are very comparable, with the key differences being aesthetically based. Badder will have a thicker, creamier texture, whereas budder is softer and, well, like butter. Both are lower viscosity than other variations, making them easier to scoop for dabs.
On the opposite end of the texture spectrum lies crumble. This type of cannabis concentrate can often resemble a honeycomb, and its hard, brittle texture makes it easy to break off from a larger piece. Like its namesake, it crumbles.
This makes it a versatile concentrate that can be added to all your favorite forms of weed consumption. Heat it up with a dab rig, sprinkle it into a joint, or top off a bong bowl before you take a rip.
The dry, breakable texture of crumble wax comes from its unique production process. It is heated at lower temperatures and for a longer period of time than other types of cannabis concentrates.
The compounds evaporate slowly, allowing the concentrate to retain its full flavor and strength. Its amber shades of pure THC make it a very potent, flavorful treat for experienced dabbers. Its affordable price makes it one of the more popular, easily accessible concentrates.
Shatter is another appropriately named type of delicate weed concentrate. It is one of the purest variations on the market, containing upwards of 80% THC. The sticky, brittle texture can make it tough to work with, but it is well worth it.
The rock candy, glass-like amber look of this type of cannabis concentrate is due to its undisturbed creation process. Molecules within the concentrate are not agitated during the extraction period, so they are able to maintain purity. It also retains its potency longer than waxier variations.
Pull ‘n’ Snap
Like a ribbon of taffy, the pull ‘n’ snap is stiff yet malleable. Its glossy, smooth texture can mimic the brittleness of shatter when stored at cool temperatures, but it can become messier and more viscous when warm. This is another type of weed concentrate that looks the way it does because of undisturbed molecules during the purging process of production.
Live resin should be thick and sticky. This type of cannabis concentrate retains a lot of terpenes that offer a unique, complex dabbing experience. Its texture is the middle ground between wax and wetter-looking concentrates. It is a user-friendly variation that is popular among shoppers because of its true-to-plant potency and flavor.
It is made from flash-frozen cannabis that is plucked and preserved right after it is harvested. The trichomes in the plant that host all the cannabis terpenes are able to retain their full profile, which is how you get such a fragrant and flavorful dabbing experience.
The semantics behind live resin vs. live rosin is due to how these types of cannabis concentrates are produced. Live resin uses a chemical-based extraction process, whereas live rosin is solventless and uses heat and pressure. They are both classified as “live” because they source their extract from flash-frozen cannabis, but neither has superior potency to the other.
These THCa crystals are the creme de la creme of concentrated cannabis. Diamonds are created by using pressure and the cold extraction method on live resin found in cannabis. They are known for being the most potent type of weed concentrate, testing at around 97% to 99% pure THCa.
THCa is an inactive, non-psychoactive form of THC that needs to be exposed to high heat to have any effect. This type of cannabis concentrate is strictly for use in a dab rig or vaporizer; pipes or joints do not heat up high enough to melt it down.
Many dispensaries are offering more and more diamond-infused products that can provide a long-lasting, heady high. In fact, diamonds are about 4x stronger than taking a hit of a joint and can outlast the effects of other variations of concentrates. If you’re a first-time diamond dabber, we recommend starting off with a small diamond before working your way up in size.
This unique solventless hash is a type of cannabis concentrate extracted from ice water. Frozen plant matter and trichomes that break off in the ice water are then filtered down to pure terpene-packed resin. It is called bubble hash because it is a finely textured concentrate that fully bubbles up and melts away when heated.
Shop Concentrates at CanEx
With so many different types of weed concentrates to experiment with, it can be challenging to know where to begin. If it’s your first time trying a dab, we recommend a user-friendly badder or crumble. If you’re no stranger to the dab rig lifestyle, maybe it is time to experience something more unique, like bubble hash or more top-shelf like diamonds.
Do you want to try some of the concentrates mentioned here? If you live in SoCal, shop these and more from CanEx. Our online dispensary stocks the finest concentrates from your favorite brands, and we offer same-day delivery to your door. We also provide volume discounts. So the more you buy, the more you save. Shop now and get your weed in a flash!