skip to Main Content
Your Guide To Cannabis Concentrates

Your Guide To Cannabis Concentrates

Are you looking for more of a buzz from your flower? Want to try something stronger? Concentrates may be what you’re looking for, and we have a variety of concentrates at our cannabis dispensary! Unfamiliar with this type of product? No problem, we’ve built a quick guide to help you out.

A Guide To Cannabis Concentrates

Concentrates are processed in one of two ways:

With Solvents: These require the use of butane, propane, ethanol, or CO2 to extract the cannabinoids and terpenes, and undergo a process to remove the hydrocarbon solvent that was used after extraction.

Without Solvents: These require mechanical energy (like grinding or agitation), heat, pressure, or a combination of these methods.

Many concentrates are smoked using a dab rig, which requires using more specialized tools. These include: a dabber, which is a long tool made of ceramic, glass, or metal that is used to pick up the concentrate, a torch, which gets much hotter than a regular lighter, and a dab rig equipped with a nail or a banger, these water pipes look much like bongs but are built to withstand the heat of the torch.

The torch is meant to heat the banger to a very high temperature, which then vaporizes the concentrate when it is applied to the glass, or occasionally metal, with the dabber. Be sure to let your nail cool slightly before using the dab.

Concentrates that are best used in dab rigs will be marked in this blog.

There are hundreds of cannabinoids in cannabis, but the ones we know the most about, and focus on, are THC and CBD.

A Detailed List Of Solventless Cannabis Concentrates 

Please know that concentrates are generally far more potent than flower and that a little goes a long way!

Kief is the humble crystal you find at your grinder base if you have one that has a mesh to separate the flower and crystal. It is composed of the terpene and cannabinoid trichomes that snap off the bud during the grinding process. Some producers will place buds on large screens and agitate them to sift off these trichomes and cannabinoids. Mix some in your joint or heap a little in a bowl for an extra boost! 

Dry Sift Hash is a form of Kief with a much finer texture and far less plant material. This makes for a higher quality product with greater potency and smoother smoke. This is also another term for the sifting method that some producers use to make Kief, but this method uses much finer screens.

Hash (Hashish) comes in many forms. Most people are familiar with Pressed Hash, which is a small chocolate coloured block or ball made of the Kief from a cured cannabis bud and is often smoked with a cigarette or joint. Hash also comes in Full Melt forms, meaning it has minimal to no plant material in them, has cleaner smoke, and leaves very little to no residue when smoked.

Bubble Hash is extracted from dry flower using an ice bath and agitation to remove the Kief from the bud. This process makes for an exciting type of Kief that you can watch “bubble” and “boil” while you smoke it. It looks more like Kief than Pressed Hash, though!

Rosin is created by squishing dry-cured buds in a heavy-duty heated press. This liquifies the cannabinoids and trichomes on the bud without cooking them, making for the full-spectrum bud experience without the plant matter. Full-spectrum means that all of the terpenes and cannabinoids found on the flower are still present in the product.

Live Rosin is created through the same process as Rosin but instead uses flash-frozen uncured flowers for a more terpy and flavourful experience, as the plant has not lost terpened during the curing process. Live Rosin is considered a crown jewel of solventless concentrates.

However, it should be noted that Live Resin is a disputed term used for two very different types of concentrate. Some know it as a concentrate that requires hydrocarbon solvents to produce, and its gooey sticky texture for dabbing. Others know it as a type of dried solventless crumble Hash.

In both instances, it is made with flash-frozen live plant material instead of cured plant material, meaning the plant was flash-frozen and then either had the Kief sifted from it, or had its cannabinoids and terpenes separated via a solvent. 

An example of the product that we carry here at Bud Bar is the GoodBud Live Resin, which has more of a Bubble Hash texture—dry and crumbly—and it is best smoked in a pipe or bowl. 

 Note: Rosins are excellent for dabbing, and both are considered the cleanest of the dabbable concentrates due to the lack of solvents used in processing. 

A Detailed List Of Solvent Cannabis Concentrates 

Concentrates that require the use of hydrocarbon solvents have different consistencies than solventless concentrates. Most concentrates that needed solvents during the creation process are ideal for dabbing.

Badder, also known as Budder, lives up to its name as a room-temperature butter textured concentrate. This concentrate is easily spread on a joint or blunt, or smoked via a dab rig. It is effectively a soft whipped form of Shatter. 

Shatter is a type of glass-like concentrate that was named after its brittleness. It can have varied textures, with the most common one being glass, followed by a “pull and snap” texture, much like taffy candy. 

Terp Sauce is a less common but lovely concentrate and is the primary ingredient in Caviar concentrates (sometimes known as Diamonds). Living up to its name, it is thin and liquidy. In Caviar products, the sauce is studded with jewel-like THC crystals, giving it its name. When made correctly, the sauce can have various textures, but the product that we carry (Premium 5 Caviar) has a similar appearance and texture to honey. Terp sauce is by far the most flavourful of the solvent-based concentrates.

And finally, we come to Distillates, which is the major component in a vape pen and edibles. These are produced by isolating THC and CBD via heat and then concentrating them into a single fluid. These are often flavourless and made entirely of a single cannabinoid and maybe a handful of terpenes. They can be found as-is in vape pens, sometimes with added botanical terpenes for scent and flavour. When found in edibles, they are often bonded to MCT oil, a long fatty molecule that bonds well with cannabinoids. This oil ensures that our body can digest the cannabinoids and allow them into our system. People do not dab distillates, but some may call vapes dab pens.

There are some nuances in concentrates that were not profiled here, but this blog focuses on what is currently present in the legal market. If you have any additional questions regarding concentrates, please do not hesitate to come to our cannabis dispensary and ask our staff!

Bud Bar is your trusted Calgary dispensary. We pride ourselves on creating an open and welcoming environment where you are comfortable and safe access recreational cannabis. We set ourselves apart with personalized customer service with our budtenders providing one-on-one sessions so that you can learn about our cannabis products and accessories. We offer a selection of high quality yet affordable products, including flower buds, pre-rolls, oils, capsules, as well as accessories like vaporizers, bongs, and pipes. As your trusted Calgary marijuana dispensary, we can make it easy and safe for you to get recreational cannabis. Visit our marijuana stores in Calgary Northwest today, or place an order online!