Over the past couple of years, cannabis concentrates have ceased to be something of a niche alternative to regular bud and are instead taking over as an outright revolution. Of course, a pretty sizable chunk of the senior stoner population will tell you that anything that isn’t pure, natural bud is nothing short of heresy. Nevertheless, you can’t stop change from happening and when it comes to concentrates – the winds of change are blowing pretty hard!
But in terms of the specifics, what exactly are the biggest and most important differences between cannabis concentrates and classic cannabis?
1 – What’s In a Name?
Well, first of all there’s the way in which concentrates go by a variety of different names, which have to date led to a fair bit of confusion with regard to what it is folk are actually buying and selling. The simple fact of the matter is that cannabis concentrates actually refer to a wide variety of very different products, though in all instances their primary purpose is the same and properties very similar.
From shatter to wax to honeycomb to sap to sugar to crumble – most of the names you’ll come across actually refer to the consistency of the concentrate, rather than its quality or properties. In terms of which represents the best buy for you, it all depends entirely on your preferred delivery method. Vape pen? Dabbing? If unsure, ask your vendor.
2 – Pure Potency
The single most important difference between cannabis concentrates and standard cannabis bud is the way in which the former of the two is exponentially stronger. The whole point of making cannabis concentrates in the first place is to…well, concentrate the cannabis, of course! Generally speaking, cannabis bud has a THC potency of about 10% to 20% - some going as high as 25%. In the case of cannabis concentrates, extracts vary from 50% THC up to a whopping 90% THC.
All of which means that pound for pound, the hit you get from a cannabis concentrate is exceptionally stronger than that of standard bud. Which in turn means that dosing the stuff accurately can be a tricky job for newcomers – hence why a lot of first-timers get well and truly carried away. Still, given the fact that you need so much less of the stuff, it can actually work out fantastic value for money.
3 – Administration Methods
Technically speaking, there are literally millions of different ways of getting creative with cannabis. However, there are certain administration methods available to those choosing concentrates that simply do not apply when working with standard cannabis. For example, dabbing has become extremely popular as of late – a process that involves placing concentrates on a hot nail and inhaling the smoke through a pipe. Ingestible oils are also making a name for themselves, along with sublingual concentrates known as tinctures. And of course, they do say that variety is the spice of life…right?
4 – Zero Plant Matter
You know all that burning plant matter that leaves black tar on the inside of your pipe, your throat and your lungs? Well, here’s the good news – it’s all removed from the equation with cannabis concentrates. And that’s precisely why pipes used to take cannabis concentrate hits seem to stay so much more sparkly clean for longer.
5 – The Flavour Debate
Last but not least, one of the biggest downsides of cannabis concentrates in the eyes of true weed connoisseurs is the way in which most don’t have nearly the kinds of aromas and flavours of real bud. And as far as they’re concerned, cannabis without its signature fragrance really isn’t cannabis at all…but that’s a debate for another day.