The world of extracts is growing and growing by the day, with consumers opting for a “shatter” or “wax” over traditional cannabis strains. Every extraction is different as they have different compound profiles to them. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular methods for extracting concentrates.
Shatter is one of the most popular concentrates. Due to its high purity and potency, many growers will opt for creating shatter.
Its extraction process goes something like this: the marijuana plant is put through a double extraction, removing excess particles and material from the oil. The result is a Jolly Rancher like consistency, glass sheet of hardened marijuana. The finished product can be upwards of 75% THC making it a very strong extract.
Shatter loses a lot of its flavour profile from the removal of most terpenes. Terpenes are what gives marijuana its exclusive taste and flavour.
RSO – Rick Simpson Oil
RSO, also known as Rick Simpson Oil or Phoenix Tears is an extraction used by many cancer patients with marijuana prescriptions. The oil is removed from the plant by heating it with a solvent. A grain solvent like Everclear is best used for home production of the oil.
Thanks to its process RSO doesn’t need to be dabbed or smoked. Typically Rick Simpson Oil is ingested orally through a plastic syringe under your tongue. You can also squeeze some into a gel cap for medication on the go.
Bubble hash is a form of hash that normally bubbles up when you heat it. To perform the extraction of hash use a screen to collect trichomes from the flower product. The collected material is then pressed with heat and pressure to form a solid extract.
Bubble hash includes adding ice water to the process. The trichomes are extracted from the marijuana by shaking them in ice water. Freeze the trim or shake you would like to use. Fill a bucket with plenty of ice and water and add your frozen trim to the water and stir vigorously on and off for a few hours. The remainder will look like a green soup and is strained into bags and left overnight to dry.
One of the newer kids on the block, live resin is very flavourful. As the cannabis is being picked, growers will flash freeze the product to keep the terpenes intact. The resin is then removed through high scale laboratory equipment producing an aromatic finish.
Terpenes degrade very quickly and freezing them keeps the flower fresh, allowing for a more tasty punch!
Rosin is definitely the DIY of extracts compared to others. All you need is some weed nugs, parchment paper, and a hair straightener to perform the extraction. No solvent is actually used in the process, just heat and pressure.
Put a bud in the parchment paper and on medium-high heat and press the cannabis together. The end result will be a shatter like substance stuck to the paper. Trial and error might be needed for your hair straightener temp! Find the temperature that works best for your straightener.
It may look like the stuff in your ear, but wax is a potent cannabis product. Using a BHO extraction, resin is pulled from the plant with a solvent, then heated to remove all of the remaining butane.
The drying process is what gives wax it’s look and feel. Fats that weren’t properly removed can crystallize on your product and can leave a sugary looking glaze on the wax.
Budder is considered the more flavourful, aromatic, gooey cousin of shatter. It contains a higher terpene content and slightly less THC. Like shatter it goes through a BHO extraction, but unlike shatter it is whipped after to create a more malleable finish.
If your budder is a little runny and you want to harden it up, just toss it in the freezer before dabbing.
As you would imagine, CO2 gas is used in place of your normal butane for a solvent. Cannabis resin is extracted with the CO2 into a clear liquid. The consistency of CO2 allows for a very smooth vaping experience.
CO2 is often regarded as a very clean extraction method. Butane is clean in itself but if not done properly can leave behind trace amounts of carcinogenic materials. CO2 allows for a more full and complex flavour variety by leaving more terpenes in the final product.
The newest and purest method by far is THC distillate. Through what is called a “Short Path Distil” the cannabis can be extracted of its oils and processed to be 90% pure THC!
Cannabis requires a very high temperature for proper extraction. Distilling allows scientists to remove the essential oils from the cannabis at a much lower temperature. As the technology becomes more wide spread and cheaper to manufacture you might see a take over in the market by distilled extracts.
So Much Variety, What to Choose?
Finding a cannabis product that works for you isn’t a treasure hunt anymore. Depending on what you’re looking for out of your weed there’s plenty of variety to choose from. A strain index or reviews page will be of help before you commit to buying everything on a menu.