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September 28, 2023
Understanding Cannabis Concentrates
Toronto Cannabis Authority Wants to Help Educate You About Cannabis Extracts & Tinctures
If you’ve been interested in trying some of the different, more powerful cannabis concentrates that have made their way onto the market, Toronto Cannabis Authority is here to help you learn a bit more about them before you dive in.
Cannabis concentrates are known for being stronger, faster acting and in some cases, longer lasting than the effects of using cannabis in traditional ways, like smoking bowls or vaping.
Without a solid understanding of the different types of cannabis concentrates, how they’re made and their potency, you might end up using a weed extract that you aren’t prepared for. Some of these cannabis concentrates are insanely powerful, and can potentially ruin your cannabis experience if you aren’t prepared for its effects, or don’t know how to use it properly.
That’s why Toronto Cannabis Authority put together some information on the different types of weed extracts, so that you can know exactly what you’re getting into when you purchase one of these potent concentrates.
Most likely the first cannabis concentrate that was ever used, hash or ‘hashish’ gets its name from the Arabic language, and first appears in historical records around the year 900! That’s right, over 1,100 years ago!
If you have a high-quality weed grinder, there’s a good chance you have a ‘kief catcher’ on the bottom layer of the grinder, below a fine screen. ‘Kief’ is actually the slang name for trichomes; the ripe, resinous glands that line the outside of a cannabis plant. Some people also refer to trichomes as ‘crystals’ or ‘sift’, but the trichomes are the same no matter what name you give them.
There are two different types of hash: dry sift and ice water hash, also known as ‘bubble hash’.
Dry sift is the original method, where trichomes are collected and then compressed into bricks using pressure and heat. It can also be made using dry ice, though the end result is more contaminated by plant matter.
The ice water hash involves using, you guessed it, ice water and special bags. The process involves submerging the cannabis and then agitating it to separate the trichomes from the plant matter. It’s actually easy enough to do that you can find ‘how-to’ guides for performing the process at home, with only a few inexpensive pieces of equipment from the hardware store.
Apart from THC oil and CBD oil, there are two distinct types of cannabis oils.
One form is for smoking, and the other is consumed by dropping it onto your tongue. These forms of cannabis concentrates will list their potency on their product labels, and cannabis oils can be much stronger than smoking raw cannabis flowers, so follow dosage recommendations carefully.
Although cannabis oil was used long before the invention of vape pens or cartridges, it was used in very rudimentary ways. Veteran cannabis users will be able to tell you stories about doing ‘hot knives’, whereas they would heat up butter knives over a fire and then drip a drop of cannabis oil onto the red-hot surface. The oil would immediately burn and smoke, and they would use a small device like a pen tube or a straw to suck up the smoke before it floated away.
These days, this type of cooked oil is usually put into full vape pens in small cartridges, where the oil is cooked instead of burned. This makes for a much more pleasant, and effective experience.
The other form of cannabis oils is completely different, not meant to be smoked at all. This form comes as a liquid in a vial with an eyedropper that you can use to put drops on or under your tongue. These are wonderful and helpful cannabis oils that are easy for anyone to use. Just make sure to start your dosage low and follow the instructions on the product label. It can be easy to overconsume, because it takes so little effort to use this form of cannabis oil.
Cannabis Shatter & Wax
Now we’re getting into some of the incredibly powerful weed extracts.
Cannabis shatter and wax are made through the same process, though we need to point out here: these should not be attempted to be made at home. There are some very expensive and elaborate techniques used in producing these cannabis concentrates, and it can be dangerous to make if you’re not properly educated or experienced.
Shatter has a brittle, glass-like consistency, while wax is closer to, well, ear wax.
The extraction process involves using liquid butane to separate the trichomes and terpenes from cannabis plant matter. While both shatter and wax involve the same cooking process, wax is heated differently and agitated during the cooking process, which changes its final consistency.
Both forms are most effectively used in ‘dabbing’. This involves a special ‘dab rig’ and a glass bowl that is heated differently, to make it much hotter than burning cannabis with a direct flame. However, wax can be used as a bowl topper more easily, due it’s softer consistency.
If you’re inexperienced using weed extracts, be very careful trying these for the first time. Even the best weed strains have THC content below 35%. Shatter and wax commonly come in at more than twice that strength, with some as high as 80%!
Like shatter and wax, live resin is produced using a similar process involving liquid butane. However, the cannabis buds used for the process aren’t cured or dried ahead of time. Instead, the flower is flash frozen, which means that live resin is able to retain even more of the trichomes and terpenes.
This means that not only does the final product taste better, but it can come in at potencies ranging as high as 96% THC! That’s enough to blow the mind of even the most veteran cannabis users. You consume live resin the same way you would normally use shatter or wax, using a dab rig to superheat the live resin, to ensure it is activated properly.
Again, this form of weed extract shouldn’t be made at home. The production process is simply too volatile to manage safely in a home environment.
We’ve Carry a Wide Selection of Cannabis Concentrates
Plus, All the Cannabis Buds & Weed Accessories You Need
Now that you know a bit more about some of the incredible cannabis concentrates that we carry, you’re ready to dip your toes into the wide world of weed extracts.
Of course, if that isn’t your style, we also carry the best weed strains in Toronto, and our incredible selection of useful weed accessories. Whether you’re looking for a new weed grinder or pipe, rolling papers or a dab rig to try out your first cannabis concentrate, Toronto Cannabis Authority has everything you need.
Come in and visit us at 229 Queen Street West in Toronto, and we’ll help you find all of the spectacular cannabis products you’ve been searching for.