Thinking About Trying Concentrates? Here’s What You Need to Know
Consuming cannabis through concentrates has become increasingly popular as our industry evolves. Many patients find that just a small dab of concentrate can give them instantaneous relief from chronic pain or nausea. When it comes to concentrates, a little can go a long way.
Concentrates are products made from the cannabis plant that have been processed to keep certain compounds (primarily the cannabinoids and terpenes) while removing excess plant material and other impurities. This can happen through either a solvent or solventless process. Here at the Wellness Connection, we extract our concentrates with carbon dioxide (CO2) a safer and more consumer-friendly option as opposed to solvents like butane or propane.
After the THC or cannabinoid is extracted using our extraction machine, the result is concentrates, or sticky oils, more commonly referred to as wax, shatter or budder. Concentrates can also include kief and rosin but they are not considered to be extracts because they are made without solvents.
Learning to Dab
Always Start Low and Go Slow
Inhaling small dabs of concentrate is a personalized experience and just like other cannabis delivery methods, it will take time to find the dosing that works for you. Due to the potency level in concentrates, we recommend our patients go slow and take their time. Even longtime cannabis patients with a higher tolerance for THC find that a little will go a long way. Consuming too much can result in anxiety or leave an individual feeling extremely uncomfortable.
How to Dab
When you purchase a concentrate for dabbing, here’s what comes next:
- A dab tool (these look similar to what a dentist may use), a carb cap, a rig (reminiscent of a bong), and torch lighter will be necessary during the dabbing process.
- Use the dab tool to host your dab and use the torch lighter to heat the nail, also known as the banger (typically the banger is glass quartz but can be titanium, porcelain or ceramic).
- Use the dab tool to place the sticky oil on the heated nail and put the carb cap on top.
- The oil will heat up and evaporate quickly after making contact with the nail so inhalation will need to take place immediately.
Different terpenes are released at various temperatures which have an impact on taste, effect and aroma. Finding the right temperature to heat your concentrate is a personal preference. When it comes to dabbing with a rig, it is common practice to heat your nail until it gets light red and then let it cool down for about 45-60 seconds. You can check the heat by putting your hand a few inches above the nail. Give the nail a few additional seconds if needed, and then use the dab tool to put your concentrate or extract in the banger and simply inhale. Remember, go slow!
Electric rigs are also an option, where you can plug in your device and pre-set it to your preferred temperature so you can bypass the manual heating process.
Vaping with a Fillable Cartridge
Another delivery method that is becoming more popular for concentrates is a vape dab pen, which works like a rig but is more mobile and discreet. You can purchase a battery and an attachment that is placed on top of the battery called a tank, which has an atomizer (or a heating chamber) where you would put your concentrate. Press the button to turn on your pen and then draw the vapor from the mouthpiece.
How Concentrate Extracts are Made
At the Wellness Connection, we produce our concentrate extractions in our Extractions Lab and our process is streamlined for the highest level of consistency and efficiency. We take the loose flower, bake it in our oven to convert THCA into THC, so it’s easier to extract (called the decarb process) and then load that flower into our extraction machine. We take that extract, or what we call crude oil, and refine it even further so we get our Refined Cannabis Oil (RCO). The whole extraction process can take up to 20 hours.
Benefits of Consuming Concentrates
The benefits of consuming concentrates are numerous. For one, patients can enjoy an odorless experience or a more pleasant aromatic experience from the terpenes released. If you are someone who doesn’t like the smell of cannabis, this is a great way to partake in this medicine. Second, you don’t need a big amount to feel the effects. When extractions from cannabis are produced, all the impurities are taken out and you are left with pure THC. The effect is much stronger, enhanced and immediate.
Many patients enjoy another concentrate, called rosin, a solventless technique that is cannabis flower pressed with only heat and pressure. It’s a shorter process than the other extracts we produce and allows for all the different terpenes in a particular strain, so the concentrate is aromatic and full of flavor. Another form of concentrate is kief, which is the result when cannabis flower crystals (trichomes) are sifted and pressed. Sprinkled on the flower, it can enhance the strain’s potency and effect.
How to Store Concentrates
Store your concentrates in a cool, dark place to help preserve them longer. We typically recommend storing your concentrates in a room with a temperature in the low 60s. Many patients keep their concentrates, as well as their other cannabis products in a lockbox and out of reach of any children or pets.