cannabis-concentrates oil day

Cannabis Concentrates: 5 Things You May Not Know

Medically Reviewed by: Andrew Bucciarelli, BS, PharmD, RPh

If you’re new to the world of medical marijuana, you might be wondering what cannabis concentrates are. And if you’ve been using concentrates for a while now, they’re probably familiar to you. Medical marijuana concentrates are obtained through an extraction process which removes unnecessary plant matter, like the stems and leaves, while maintaining the cannabinoids and terpenes from the original marijuana plant.  Concentrates are available in a wide array of forms such as oils, wax, glass, shatter, and oral forms. Keep reading to learn 5 things you may not know about cannabis concentrates. 

Cannabis Concentrates Are Made from Frosty Strings

Concentrates are made from the part of the medical marijuana plant called trichomes, which are the tiny crystals that you commonly see covering your dry leaf. These tiny, sticky, amazing smelling crystals resemble frost-covered strings. Inside of these trichomes are the cannabinoids (CBD, THC, etc.) and terpenes. Terpenes create different aromas and effects in all the medical marijuana strains. Trichomes hold all the active ingredients that allow you to benefit from the effects of medical marijuana.

Not All Concentrates Are Extracts

While all extracts are concentrates, not all concentrates can be considered extracts. What’s the difference? The way trichomes, the frosty strings mentioned above, are obtained. Extracts are created using alcohol, carbon dioxide, and other solvents to extract the trichomes. Cannabis concentrates that are not extracts include rosin, dry sift, and kief. Straight concentrates are created by physically removing the trichomes from the plant.

There are a Variety of Concentrate Textures

Cannabis concentrates come in many different textures. One texture is called shatter, which can be a brittle texture, much like glass, and can be “shattered” into several pieces. Wax is similar to shatter, but it is much softer and very sticky to the touch. Concentrates can also come in a batter or budder texture. These are easy to manipulate and will remind you of cake batter. Crumble is a texture that is just what it sounds like – a texture that falls apart or “crumbles” when handled. Concentrates can also come in sugar, a texture that resembles wet table sugar and another type called sauce which has a sticky, liquid texture. The final texture is crystalline, which are crystals made from the trichomes and sometimes called “diamonds”.

Cannabis Concentrates Have a High Potency

Did you know there are benefits to using concentrates? One of the benefits of cannabis concentrates is the potency. Dry leaf contains a potency of about 10-25% THCa. Concentrates can have a potency percentage of anywhere between 50 and 90% THCa.  This post will explain the difference between THCa and THC. It’s best to speak with licensed medical marijuana pharmacists or Patient Care Consultants (PCC) at any of our PA medical marijuana dispensaries about concentrates in order to get the right recommendation for you.

There are Multiple Ways to Ingest Concentrates

If you’re reading this, you probably want to know how to inhale concentrates.  Cartridges, pods, and disposable pens are pre-filled mouthpieces that are heated up by a battery in order to vaporize the medicine.  Vape pens are often described as a more discreet option and easier to use for beginners.  We offer other tips for vaping for beginners. All other concentrates, like the shatter and budder discussed above, will require a vaporization device.  Cannabis concentrates are just one of the ways that medical marijuana is available to you. If you like the idea of concentrates, but would rather use an edible form, check out this link for the concentrates that can be ingested instead.

It’s important to educate yourself on the available types of medical marijuana so that you can have informed conversations with your pharmacist or PCC at your local medical marijuana dispensaries.

Visit us at any of our locations or check out our Pennsylvania medical marijuana menus to see what cannabis concentrates are available to you. If you have additional questions for Solevo Wellness, please check out our FAQ page or follow us on Facebook and direct message our team anytime. We’d love to hear from you!