Saturday June 6, 2015
On your next visit to a state with legalized cannabis, you’ll most likely find that there will be many ways to enjoy consume -- from flower, to hash, to concentrates. Although marijuana is most commonly consumed in the flower (bud) form, hash and concentrates have emerged, giving the user options based upon preference.
See below for a brief breakdown, then check out our comprehensive Guide to Concentrates.
Traditional hash is created by shaking flowers (buds) over a silk screen, resulting in resin glands dropping to the bottom. From there, the resin glands are sieved through the screens to create a substance, called kief. Typically, kief is pressed into a block of hash. Although most dispensaries in Nevada will sell both traditional hash and kief, you’re more likely to come across kief during your visit. There aren’t many differences between the products, but remember: hash has been compressed, while kief will remain in a powdery texture.
Another way to make hash includes taking the extract from the resin glands and placing it in large containers of cold water. Cannabis is then added to a silkscreen bag, often known as a bubble bag. This mix is moved around in a number of bags to further filter the product. Because THC won’t dissolve in water, the resin glands can be quickly and efficiently extracted from the water, greatly improving the overall hash product, especially compared to using more traditional techniques to get the same outcome. The end result when specifically made in a bubble bag, is typically called “bubble hash” or “full melt.”
Compared to hash products, concentrates typically have a larger percentage of THC. In fact, all concentrates utilize a solvent to remove THC, which is later extracted alongside any plant matter.
When it comes to the solvents utilized in the extracting of THC from a concentrate, there are two common ones to note: butane and CO2. Many doubt that solvents are fully eliminated from the end product, hence why the cannabis industry has leaned towards using CO2 over butane.
Oils are typically found in vaporizer pens, like those found through the popular brand, Open Vape. Specifically speaking, CO2 and butane honey oils or CHO/BHO have gained popularity over the last few years, as the oil doesn’t cause any problems for leftover solvents in the concentrates. Because of the sticky consistency of oil, it will string if you choose to dab it.
Wax is another popular type of concentrate found in the cannabis industry. It’s made by whipping hash oil while it's still in the purging process and is often referenced to as earwax, due to its sticky, pasty texture. Wax and oils have very similar percentage of THC, although the former is often simpler to use.
Shatter or resin, is a highly refined form of oil, usually developed in a pressure vacuum through several steps to single out any plant matter and additional solvents. Shatter is typically brown or amber in color, see-through and very thin, which breaks off when pressure is applied hence the namesake. This form of concentrate has around 90% THC, which makes it one of the stronger forms available.
How do I consume marijuana wax or shatter?
When smoking concentrates, it’s best to use a bowl attachment for your bong or bubbler. Put the hash at the bottom of the bowl, heat it up with a glass wand to vaporize the product, then inhale. Stick with particular burning tools, like wands, to avoid causing unwanted combustion and carcinogenic smoke.
Vaporizing is a definitely the healthier option to consume concentrates. You can find vaporizers at most dispensaries across the state, who will offer desktop setups and disposable pen options. These devices heat the THC product to the exact vaporization point to ensure the user gets a clean high, free of most wastes and toxins.
Dabbing is a new, but very popular method of smoking concentrates. A user would place a dab (or small amount) of concentrate of choice onto a very hot surface, typically heated with a blowtorch to achieve the right temperature. As soon as the concentrate touches the heated nail or skillet, the content will vaporize to allow the user to inhale the smoke. Users should be warned that dabbing is an aggressive way of getting high and is often best left to cannabis veterans
The next time you visit a medical marijuana shop (or recreational potentially in the near future), be sure to ask your budtender to inform you about the varying types of concentrates that might be available to buy. Remember, always consume responsibly and enjoy your visit!