If you’re a regular cannabis consumer, you’re probably at least aware of cannabis extracts. Dabs first became known to the cannabis scene in the 70’s, but then disappeared for a few decades as they were difficult and dangerous to manufacture. Several decades later in the early 2000’s, better and less hazardous extraction processes came about and extracts started to reemerge onto the cannabis scene. What once used to be a niche portion of the cannabis market is now becoming popularized as many find these to be their preferred type of cannabis product. Last year alone, the Cannabis industry saw a 40% increase in cannabis extract sales this past year, and that number is only expected to increase as more people discover the benefits of these potent types of cannabis products. Many find that smoking these products hits smoother than flower, tastes better than flower, and best of all a little goes a long way. Many only need 1 or 2 hits to get the clean, high they’re looking for.
What are cannabis extracts AKA Dabs and how do you consume them?
Cannabis extracts are concentrated doses of cannabis that are made by extracting THC and other саnnаbіnоіdѕ often uѕіng a ѕоlvеnt-like butane or Cаrbоn Dіоxіdе, resulting in different forms of sticky oil such as wax, shatter, budder, rosin, or live resin. These products contain high levels of THC and are smoked using a glass device similar to a classic bong that is instead called a dab rig. The main difference between a bong and a dab rig is that instead of putting the cannabis extract into a bowl like you would with flower in a bong, you put the extract in a nail, which is similar to a bowl but can sustain higher temperatures. You apply the extract product to the nail using a dabber, which is typically a small metal stick with a scoop at the end of it. Instead of using a lighter to burn the extract, typically a small torch is used to burn the product.
What’s the difference between all of the different types of cannabis extracts?
If you’re new to the world of cannabis extracts, you may find yourself overwhelmed with all of the different types and products to choose from. For the sake of this article we are going to focus on the most common types of extracts that are used to smoke in a dab rig. While they all content higher potency levels than flower alone, it’s important to note the difference in the process of how the product is made and the final product produced.
Wax – Solvent Based
This is commonly thought of as the most common cannabis extract to dab and is also known as budder or sometimes frosting. Just as the name sound, its consistency is much creamier than Shatter due to the fact that it is made at higher temperatures than other extracts and whipped during extraction. The THC is typically extracted from the cannabis flower using a solvent like butane which can also make the coloring of the wax vary along with the quality of the extraction process itself. There is typically a strong taste to wax as the terpene profile is preserved in this product more than other more purified extract products. It has less potency than many of the other extracts which makes it significantly cheaper, but also a good start for dab beginners.
Crumble – Solvent Based
Similar to wax, crumble is also made at high temperatures and whipped during the extraction process. Unlike wax however, crumble is left on low heat after being whipped. This allows the solvents to evaporate slower and more gradually. This also results in a more flavorful final product. In addition, the whipping along with the low heat evaporation of the solvents makes the consistency more of a cheese-like body. You will typically find its potency to be similar to that of wax.
Shatter – Solvent Based
Another popular cannabis extract is Shatter which ranges in texture from a toffee-like consistency to that of shattered glass, hence the name. The texture comes from the vacuum oven-purging process in extraction in which moisture and solvents evaporate. If it’s more pure, meaning more of the solvents have been removed, the color will be golden or honey-like. If it’s less pure than the color will be darker and more or amber brown looking in appearance. Shatter typically has a high THC range between 85% – 95%, although it doesn’t have the many benefits of cannabis terpenes which make it less flavorful than other extracts.
Live Resin – Solvent Based
These concentrates can be made with any of the same extraction methods as previously listed, however the difference is that the cannabis plant Is cryogenically frozen, A.K.A. flash frozen as soon as it’s harvested. This preserves cannabionoids, terpenes, and oils that are easy to lose during the extraction process. This results in the final product being more potent, rich, and strong in flavor. Potency levels of Live Resin can be up to 99%, making it pricier product best suited for more experience consumers.
Rosin – Solventless
Unlike the other previously listed extracts, rosin is unique in that it does not utilize any type of solvents in the extraction process. Instead, this product is created by applying heat and pressure to the dry cannabis plant bud, trim, kief, or hash in order to squeeze out this sticky THC oil that looks similar to some loosely bodied shatter. This concentrate is a favorite of many extract consumers because it doesn’t use any solvents which results in the product retaining more of the natural terpenes and flavonoids, making it tastier than most other extracts. Sometimes you will see Rosin called “Live” Rosin which means that the cannabis plant was flash frozen right after harvesting. For those who want the most in flavor and enjoy purity in their products, rosin in a winner.
Diamond Sauce – Solvent Based
Cannabis lab experts recently discovered how to make THCA diamonds in 2017 in the Arizona Medical Marijuana industry. They discovered that these could be formed after any type of butane-based extraction process of concentrates like wax, resin, or shatter. Once the extraction process is completed, any remaining solution is taken out using heat. Then the live resin is placed in a container and set in the dark for 2 -3 weeks. During that time the terpenes will form a liquid sauce-like layer on the top, separating from the cannabinoid crystals that will form at the bottom. Following the separation process, the extractors will then take the sauce layer and the crystal layer to separately purify them. The purging process for the liquid layer takes about 60 hours while the crystals take about 72 hours. Once the final purge is completed the sauce is then recombined with the THCA diamonds and packaged. The combination of flash freezing the original plant, along with the long, thorough purge process makes these products highly potent. While they are newer to the scene, they are quickly gaining popularity
What are the best cannabis extract brands and how do I choose one?
With all of the different types of extracts to choose from, you’ll find just as many options of concentrate brands to choose from. One thing to look for in selecting a brand is where the products are made. Make sure products are made in a licensed facility. In addition, check for the COA test results online. You should be able to find these on the brand’s website or the dispensary’s website. These test results come from an official cannabis lab testing facility and will tell you every type of compound that the product contains and exactly how much of each compound is found in the product. If you’re unsure where to start, we suggest trying top cannabis extract brands like Wolfgang Wax, as their products are consistently clean, highly potent, and fairly priced. In addition, they have various strains of super terpey Diamond sauce to choose from so you’re likely to find one that works best for you. Once you begin your cannabis concentrate journey, you’ll likely see for yourself just what all the craze is about and may find yourself leaving the flower behind for this beautiful golden good stuff.