The Awesome Uses and Benefits of CBD Concentrates
If you love your CBD routine but wish that you could take it up a notch, it might be time to explore the fascinating and exciting world of CBD concentrates. CBD concentrates are, as the name implies, highly concentrated hemp products that offer more potency thanks to the uniquely high levels of compounds found in the plant’s buds. Concentrates are produced using various means and require special equipment in order to use them.
CBD concentrates come in all different kinds of strains, extraction methods and consistencies, meaning that you’ll have no trouble finding one that suits your unique preferences. Still, many people are totally new to concentrates, and don’t know where to begin. After all, the hemp world comes with a massive variety of terminology to use, and that’s not even including concentrates.
What are Concentrates?
Concentrates are hemp products that have higher concentrations of the desirable chemical compounds. They’re most often derived from the trichomes of the hemp buds. The flowering buds of the female hemp plant are where you’ll find the wide variety of cannabinoids, terpenes and other compounds that we seek out when we take a CBD product.
When you look at the bud of the hemp plant, you’ll notice that it’s coated in a fairly sticky, creamy-looking substance. This substance is actually individual trichomes that look like snowflakes close up. These trichomes offer the same compounds found in the rest of the buds, but in higher concentrations. Most of the popular extractions take these trichomes and process them in a way that provides an intensely potent end product with a unique consistency.
What Do Concentrates Do?
Concentrates, being more potent, offer a far stronger hemp experience. We are used to seeing CBD products that come in a wide array of milligram strengths, that are derived from a hemp extract. Hemp extract is, by nature, less potent than pure concentrates. Therefore, many people seek out concentrates because they want the most potent experience possible.
Because concentrates are more potent, they also act faster and last in the system for longer in terms of the effects that they provide. This is unsurprisingly appealing to those who seriously love CBD.
How are Concentrates Used?
Concentrates can be used in a few different ways. Let’s go over the most popular options.
It’s very common to vape concentrates. To do this, you’ll need a vaporizer device that is specially designed for this type of product. A lot of the vape pens that we use for CBD oils cannot handle the thicker consistency of concentrates, and so your product will end up burning. The devices used for concentrates are usually referred to as dab pens, as “dab” is another word for concentrate.
These devices have a chamber that contains the concentrate, which is attached to a battery. A special heating method is used to properly activate the compounds without burning them to the point of destroying their potency.
Dabbing refers to the act of smoking concentrates through a specialized device known as a dab rig. A dab rig looks a lot like a pipe, but it has some different components that support the unique consistencies of concentrates. A dab rig utilizes what’s called a nail, onto which the concentrate is applied. Then, the nail is lit with a butane torch, which effectively melts the concentrate and allows it to convert into smoke that is inhaled through the mouthpiece.
There are plenty of other things that you can do with concentrates. Some people cook with them by melting them into a fat, and then using that fat in a recipe. You can also make topicals using the same method.
How Concentrates are Made
Typically, concentrates are broken down into two categories based on the method used to produce them. One method involves the use of a solvent, and the other relies on more organic methods. Solvent-based methods apply a solvent to the trichomes to end up with the desired consistency. Solventless methods may use certain pressing or refining techniques to create the product. But, all concentrates start with the same component, which is the hemp flower’s buds that are naturally rich in trichomes.
Different Types of Concentrates
Now, let’s go over the most popular types of CBD concentrates.
CBD wax is one of the most popular types of concentrates, and it gets its name from its waxy consistency that is unfortunately compared to earwax. It has a rich golden color, and is sticky to the touch.
CBD wax is most often produced using butane as a solvent, which is then isolated and removed from the end product to keep the wax nontoxic. CBD wax comes in many strengths based on its concentration, as well as a wide range of strains.
Shatter is essentially one step above wax in terms of the manufacturing process, as more heat is used to melt the wax, which is then dried into a thin, glass-like sheet. It’s amber in color and translucent. Like the name implies, shatter is highly fragile, which means that it must be handled with utmost care. Shatter is filtered several times until it takes on the desired consistency. The molecules in shatter are close to reaching a crystalline state, hence its hard and brittle nature.
CBD crumble has a soft and crumbly texture, and is the result of infusing the concentrate with ample moisture. It’s highly crumbly, meaning that it must be handled with care. It can be a bit of a pain to dab, due to how easily it falls apart. But, crumble offers a unique flavor that many concentrate enthusiasts can’t get enough of, and those will tell you that the minor annoyance of the crumbly texture is well worth it.
Resin is in fact another word for the trichomes of the hemp plant. Some companies sell resin, which may or may not have been heated in order to pre-activate the compounds prior to smoking or vaporizing.
Rosin is a unique type of concentrate that is produced by using a combination of heat and pressure to simultaneously melt and press the trichomes into a highly concentrated substance. Rosin does not utilize solvents, and some argue that this makes it a uniquely clean type of dab. It’s a sap-like substance that’s highly sticky, and may be a bit tricky to handle.
CBD hash is the oldest type of concentrate there is, having been around for perhaps several centuries. It’s the result of taking the trichomes of the buds and pressing them firmly into a fairly solid brick. Like rosin, hash is made with a solventless process, which means that it won’t contain trace amounts of chemicals.
Budder has a reputation for being a uniquely flavorful type of concentrate, which many enthusiasts preferring it solely for this purpose. It has the consistency of butter, and is most often extracted via butane or CO2 extraction. Another possible advantage of this type of concentrate is that it’s very easy to handle, as it’s not as sticky, and doesn’t fall apart as easily as some other types of concentrates.
It’s also believed that budder retains higher concentrations of terpenes as a result of the manufacturing process, which may make it more desirable among those seeking the effects of certain terpenes found in the hemp plant.
Sauce is one of the newer types of concentrates to hit the scene, and it’s quickly becoming a go-to among many heavy-duty hemp lovers. Sauce has a thick sauce-like consistency, and its biggest appealing factor is its phenomenally high level of terpenes compared to other commonly used types of dabs. Sauce is a good choice for someone who really desires the entourage effect, and wants as many high levels of various hemp compounds as possible.
Crystalline is a type of concentrate that resembles small crystals, or coarse sugar. Crystalline is typically a concentrate of a single compound, such as a cannabinoid like CBD.
Which Concentrate is Right for You?
So, with so many different types of concentrates available, we understand that you may be having a hard time knowing which one you want to choose. And, we certainly don’t blame you. Each concentrate has its unique advantages over the rest, so choosing which one to try first is the hardest part of experiencing concentrates in general.
What we do recommend is that you feel comfortable experimenting with different kinds. While each one ultimately gives you the same thing, which is a very potent hemp experience, you may find that certain ones are more satisfying to you than others.
Other Things to Consider When Choosing a Concentrate
Before committing to a particular concentrate product, there are a few things you should consider beforehand.
#1: The Strain
Concentrates with the exception of crystalline are whole-plant products, meaning they contain the full variety of compounds in the hemp plant. This means that you can often choose from a wide array of strains when choosing a particular concentrate. Each strain has a unique organization of chemical compounds, which means that different strains can produce different specific effects. Therefore, when choosing a concentrate, make sure that you take the strain into account if you’re seeking out certain effects in particular.
#2: The Potency
Some concentrates are naturally more potent than others, so if you are particular about the potency level, take this into consideration when choosing the right type of product for you. Remember that even the most potent type of whole-plant concentrate will not get you high, so don’t be worried about stronger, more concentrated products.
#3: The Purity
We said that some concentrates are produced via solvent methods, while others are not. Ultimately, solventless concentrates are purer, meaning that they contain no trace levels of impurities that come from solvent materials. If this is something that is important to you, choose one of the solventless concentrates from the list above.
#4: The Quality
Concentrates can vary greatly in terms of quality depending on the company’s various practices. Always go with a company that’s highly respected throughout the vaping industry, and make sure that you look for third-party lab tests on their website, which indicates that they have their hemp concentrates thoroughly analyzed for purity levels and overall quality.
#5: The Legality
It’s always wise to make sure that your state allows certain concentrates to be purchased and sold. Each state has its own laws regarding hemp.
Final CBD Concentrates Thoughts
Sure, the world of CBD concentrates may sound intimidating at first, but as you can see, it’s easy to figure out which type of concentrate will best suit your needs based on its individual qualities. No matter which type of concentrate you choose, you can count on it providing a uniquely powerful hemp session in ways that other types of CBD products simply aren’t capable of.