The 411 on 420 Concentrates

Whether you’re a long-time fan of flower or you’ve branched out into convenient edibles and tinctures that give you optimal control over intake, you may be interested in new ways to make the most of your cannabis experience. One great option for anyone looking to get the most bang for their buck is concentrates.

Of course, even cannasseurs may be hesitant to dabble in dabbing, due to the exceptional potency of concentrates. However, when you understand the basics of concentrates, it’s easy to start small and work your way up, and you may find that highly-effective and convenient dabbing becomes your new consumption method of choice. Here’s what you need to know to get started with concentrates.


What are Concentrates?

In case you didn’t know, cannabis plants produce essential oils (resin) that contain not only the recognizable aromas and flavors (terpenes) associated with the plant, but also the many chemical compounds, or cannabinoids, that make it so desirable for consumption. When resin is extracted and refined, it can be made into a variety of concentrated forms, including powdery kief, compressed hash, viscous sauce, sticky budder, granular sugar, rocky crystalline, glassy shatter, and more.

When the resin is separated from the plant material and impurities are removed, the remaining product is a highly concentrated form of cannabis – hence the name. What this means for consumers is a range of products that delivers much greater potency than everyday flower or your average edible. Although concentrates are sometimes added to edibles, topicals, and more, you can enjoy them more directly through dabbing.

The reason there are so many different types of concentrates stems from the many different processes used to extract the resin. In some cases, resinous trichomes fall to the bottom of a grinder, creating loose powder, or kief, which can be pressed into hash. In some cases, chemical extraction is used or plants are frozen. Water baths can also be used to separate trichomes from plant material or flower can be subjected to heat and pressure. The results are as varied as the extraction methods employed.


How to Consume Concentrates

Dabbing is the most common method of consumption when it comes to concentrates, although certain products, like kief, can also be smoked, while nearly any concentrate could be added to edibles and eaten. In order to dab concentrates, you’ll need a dabbing rig.

Dab rigs look a lot like your average pipe or bong, except that the setup includes a nail and/or a banger (a dish to hold your concentrate), typically made of titanium, quartz, or glass. In order to dab, you simply place a very small amount of concentrate on the nail or in the banger. Using a torch, you evenly apply heat for a short time, vaporizing your budder, shatter, or other concentrates. The resulting vapor is inhaled through the pipe.

As with all cannabis products, it’s a good idea to start slow until you know how the product will affect you, and then work your way up to desired results. This is especially important when you first try concentrates as they are significantly more potent than other types of cannabis products.

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