Extracting Cannabis Compounds

If you thought that the marijuana plant offers nothing more than smoking opportunities for its devoted consumers, think again. Cannabis plants are one of Mother Nature’s miracle healing herbs. When you take a moment to look beyond the lush green buds, sticky stems and fragrant leaves, you will discover how this plant matter can be extracted into a highly potent, pure and quality concentrate. As a matter of fact, marijuana concentrates offer a way to use every single part of the cannabis plant, leaving no waste!

The first recorded use of pure cannabis concentrates was pinpointed to the Steppe Mountains of China, sometime around 10,000 B.C. However, the demand for live resin cannabis concentrates has never been higher than it is right now. Ready to purchase at most San Francisco weed dispensaries, marijuana concentrates comprise of refined Cannabidiol (CBD) and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). With the correct equipment, buds and a safe working environment, it is even possible to make your own concentrates from the privacy of home.

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Is a cannabis concentrate the same as a cannabis bud/flower?

The answer to this question is an almighty “NO!” and if you didn’t know the difference between cannabis flower and cannabis concentrates, now is the time to find out. Concentrates pack a mean punch of cannabinoids and even if you get your hands on the smelliest weed from a San Francisco dispensary, the effects will not be as strong as they will if you consume a concentrated form of cannabis. Whether you are a regular cannabis consumer or not, you must start with small doses of concentrates to determine your tolerance.

What concentrates can I find at a marijuana dispensary?

A major misconception regarding cannabis concentrates is that a “concentrate” is just one thing when in reality, concentrates encompass a wide range of extracts. Generally, a concentrate will contain 50-90% THC. Compare this to the average potency of buds and flowers (10-25%) and it is no surprise that consumers are turning to the following types of marijuana concentrates for a more intense high:

  • Live Resin – Plant material is frozen for freshness and extracted at low temperatures using butane hash-oil (BHO) to produce this dab-tastic cannabis extract.
  • Bubble Hash – Chemical and contaminant-free, this pure cannabinoid concentrate bubbles when it is exposed to a flame. If you didn’t already know, Bubble Hash is known as one of the world’s strongest marijuana concentrates!
  • RSO – A type of cannabis oil, Rick Simpson Oil or RSO is world-renowned for its cancer-curing potential. Once extracted, RSO has a THC level of 60-90%. Consume it with a vaporizer, bake it into a batch of cookies or apply it to tumors for noticeable results.
  • Wax – These sticky concentrates are difficult to handle without making a mess. You should consume them with a nail and dab rig set-up. Inhale the vapor and wait for the intense high to hit you.
  • Shatter – Also smoked out of a dab rig is shatter. This type of marijuana concentrate is comprised of cannabinoids and powerful terpenes. It is very fragile, hence the name. Drop it on the floor and you can expect it to shatter into pieces!
  • Crumble – Similar to shatter, crumble is not suitable for working with the hands. Smudge it onto your blunt papers or onto the end of a nail for a dabbing experience like no other.
  • Rosin – Anyone who is into dabbing simply must try rosin cannabis concentrates. Also known as “live Rosin”, this extract is preferred among experienced smokers. The technique used to extract rosin from the plant matter is carried out without the use of solvents. Pressure and heat work together to produce a pure, terpene-rich concentrate with a “stretchy” consistency.
  • CO2 – When an extract is produced using carbon dioxide and pressure, it will be considered a CO2 extract. Many people refer to these types of marijuana concentrates as “supercritical fluid.” A closed-loop system is required to accomplish a carbon dioxide extract.

Why should I pay attention to the cannabis plant’s terpene profile?

Secreted by the plant matter, terpenes are what gives cannabis its fragrance, be it musky, fruity or piney. Aside from the aroma, terpenes can influence the way our brain’s receptors work. To date, around 100 terpenes have been uncovered among the ever-growing selection of strains currently cultivated.

A cannabis plant’s true terpene flavor can be retained and enjoyed with concentrates, as long as the correct delivery method is chosen. Feeling confused? Ask the budtender at San Francisco dispensaries to recommend marijuana concentrates that match your personal preferences.

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Is it possible to extract the plant matter myself?

Yes, it is possible to extract cannabis compounds yourself and there are two main types of extraction – solvent-based and solventless. In order to accomplish extraction, you will need to acquire a suitable strain of marijuana from your local dispensary, as well as the necessary equipment.

Oil concentrates are usually produced using solvent-based techniques, such as Butane Hash Oil (BHO), Propane Hash Oil (PHO), CO2, Alcohol and Isolate. High-grade extractions like Dry Sift, Rosin Tech, Ice Water Hash are created with solventless methods, which retain the trichome heads.

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