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Sunday February 2, 2020

By Erin Hiatt


There’s no doubt about it, cannabis concentrates like live resin, rosin, sauce, shatter, wax and budder are far outselling cannabis flower and edibles in the United States, according a recent report from BDS Analytics, a cannabis market research firm providing consumer insights, research and analyses, and Arcview, another research firm evaluating the cannabis space. Their combined study showed that in 2018, sales of concentrates grew by more than 50 percent, and are predicted to reach $8 billion by 2022, largely due to consumer demand. However, concentrates are also very appealing to cannabis producers because of the decreased production costs.

There is minimal difference in yield and quality among concentrates from indoor and outdoor crops – that is for most undiscerning consumers (connoisseurs and concentrate enthusiasts would beg to differ). In fact, concentrates from outdoor crops can allow for higher profit margins for growers because there is simply more room to grow, and the setup is more environmentally sustainable, since growing cannabis indoors is very energy intensive. Concentrates also take less shipping space and require less fuel to move than flower.

And to pot purveyors, they are very attractive because the price per unit is often more profitable than flower. As a result, and because of a concentrates versatility, they bring in higher sales numbers. But the real driving force behind the popularity of concentrates is the consumer. Here are the top reasons why canna-consumers love concentrates:

1. Higher Potency

When you smoke cannabis flower, the potency is around 10 to 25 percent THC. Concentrates, however, typically deliver between 50 and 80 percent, with some as high as 99 percent. Because of the extraction process, you are simply consuming terpenes and cannabinoids and not combustible plant matter.

2. More Efficient and Economical

Even though the cost per gram for a concentrate is higher than flower, you get much more bang for your buck because concentrates last much longer for the average consumer. Concentrates also have a longer shelf-life than flower. If kept in a cool, dark place like a refrigerator or freezer, your product could be good for months (though terpenes can degrade if unused for too long).

Try Concentrates
Here's why you should try cannabis concentrates if you're a cannabis consumer of legal age.

Generally, concentrates are much more discreet than using flower, simply because they are much less pungent. There is need to set up a dab rig, but using a simple dab pen will suffice and circumvent any delayed setup times.

3. Concentrates Provide Fast Relief

If you are a medical marijuana patient in pain, the last thing you want to do is wait anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to feel relief from a marijuana-infused edible. Flower delivers a quicker high, but still not as quickly as a concentrates. Plus, many concentrate consumers have reported that they experience a clearer, less foggy high than they experience with flower. The higher potency is also a boon for medical patients who may need to consume high doses of cannabis for relief.

4. It’s All About the Terpenes

Concentrates are stripped of plant matter through an extraction process, and what’s left over are  cannabinoids and terpenes, more than 100 of which have been found in cannabis plants. Terpenes are aromatic compounds that influence the flavor, aroma, and effects of cannabis strains.

A concentrate high in a common terpene like limonene, for example, could help to elevate mood, alleviate stress, ease depression and anxiety.

Concentrates can also deliver the “full spectrum” effect when extracted from the whole plant, where cannabis’ beneficial molecules, like CBD, THC, and terpenes, all come together to bring you the wide range of cannabis’ potentially ameliorative effects.

At first glance, concentrates can seem intimidating, and they are definitely not for novices. When looking to include concentrates as part of your cannabis consumption routine, make sure to speak with an experienced budtender to show you some concentrates good for newcomers, or ask a trusted canna-connoisseur to show you the ropes.

Do you enjoy cannabis concentrates? What kinds are your personal favorites? Share your opinions in the comments below.


Erin Hiatt Erin Hiatt

Erin Hiatt is a New York City-based writer who has been covering the cannabis industry for more than six years. Her work - which has appeared in Hemp Connoisseur Magazine, PotGuide, Civilized, Vice, Freedom Leaf, MERRY JANE, Alternet, and CannaInvestor - covers a broad range of topics, including cannabis policy and law, CBD, hemp law and applications, science and technology, beauty, and psychedelics.

Erin's work and industry insights have been featured on the podcasts The Let's Go Eat Show, In the Know 420, and she has appeared as a featured panelist on the topic of hemp media. Erin has interviewed top industry experts such as Dr. Carl Hart, Ethan Nadelmann, Amanda Feilding, Mark A.R. Kleiman, Dr. James Fadiman, and culture icons Governor Jesse Ventura, and author Tom Robbins. You can follow her work on LinkedInWordpress, @erinhiatt on Twitter, and @erinisred on Instagram.

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