Cannabis extracts are a growing segment of the cannabis market. Consumers have begun to discover the versatility and health benefits of extracts compared to consuming traditional flowers. While the effects are basically the same (due to the fact the active ingredient is unchanged), extracts offer a unique experience to the cannabis experience.
In this article, we will take a look at all of the different forms of extracts, including oil, shatter, and wax—but first, let’s learn a bit more about what cannabis extracts are and how they are made.
What are Cannabis Extracts?
Cannabis extracts entail a wide category of products that includes an extract of the cannabis plant, including extracts from marijuana and hemp. These extracts contain high levels of the main cannabinoids everyone knows, THC and CBD. Hemp extracts will contain higher levels of CBD, while marijuana extracts have higher levels of THC.
Cannabis extracts are created by passing a solvent through finely ground cannabis material, including the flower, leaves, and stems. When made with fresh flowers, extracts are sometimes called live resin.
Common solvents include safe choices like CO2 or solvents like butane, hexane, and more that can be toxic if not properly purged from the extract. These solvents act by pulling the THC away from the plant and concentrating it. This is a complex process, so don’t sweat it too much.
Marijuana extracts can also be made by hot pressing fresh or dry marijuana buds and allowing the flower’s oil to squeeze out. This form of extract is called rosin.
What is Shatter?
Shatter is perhaps the most popular and highly regarded form of cannabis concentrate. This is most likely due to its golden-amber sheen and its clean and pure flavor. Shatter is able to hold this near-perfect form due to the process by which the material is cured.
Unlike its less solidified cousins, which are left undisturbed while solidifying, the oil is shaken and stirred as it’s left to cool. This results in a solid cannabis concentrate with an entirely different appearance, one that’s translucent and glasslike. Despite these differences, though, the effects of dabs and shatter are more or less identical, as they’re both derived from cannabis oil.
What is Wax?
Dabs are a form of butane hash oil (BHO), a term that refers to the solvent that is used to separate the THC from the flower and is poured over the cannabis buds. The soaked buds are then placed into an oven or vacuum at room temperature to remove the butane.
The subsequent temperatures, handling, and pressure levels will determine whether the oil solidifies into malleable wax or more solidified shatter, as we mentioned earlier. Oils that contain moisture tend to form gooey waxes often called “budder,” while the dryer, harder varieties will form a more crumbly and butter-like substance. The term “wax” can be used to describe all of these softer, more solid textures.
What is THC Oil?
Unlike wax and shatter, THC oil is a liquid cannabis concentrate and is created through a unique process. Wax and shatter are extracted using butane, while THC oil is usually derived using CO2. Put simply, a unique form of CO2 is used to strip the psychoactive compounds from the trichomes of the original plant matter.
The resulting liquid THC oil is rich in cannabinoids and terpenes and commonly used to create vaporizer cartridges to attach to battery-operated vape pens. This method is used because the consistency of the product is much better for use in pre-filled cartridges for vape pens and more.
As you can tell, the world of cannabis extracts can get rather deep and convoluted very quickly. Whether you prefer the sheen of shatter or the ease of dabbing some crumble, the results will be the same a very potent and psychoactive experience!
The only way to find out which method works best for you is to try them for yourself and see what works. Now that you have a better idea of the different types of cannabis extracts, visit your local budtender and start trying them for yourself!
Pure Oasis is Boston’s first recreational cannabis dispensary. Their team of knowledgeable experts always strives to help customers find the cannabis products that are best for them from their inventory of high-end products.