Concentrate, Concentrate, Concentrate..
What is it that are we concentrating on you ask? Why, cannabis of course. This entire website you've stumbled upon is concentrated on cannabis, but this article is specifically concentrating on cannabis concentrates. Have I lost you yet? Let's begin!
Where Do We Begin?
With such a wide variety of concentrates already from oils to powders to shatters, looking into the world of concentrates is like discovering an entirely new side of cannabis that you have never seen before. Hashish was the first form of cannabis concentrate used which dates back to about 900 A.D. From there it began expanding into oils, tinctures and shatters. The market is constantly expanding with new and improved ways to make your cannabis even better than it already is.
Also called hash, this is the oldest of the concentrates, its use was established some time between 900 A.D. and 1300 A.D. Currently it is still used by breaking up and smoking with cannabis, or just on its own. This method has come a long way since the begin of hash usage, when it was generally eaten rather than smoked.
Hash does not require a complicated procedure to create like some of the modern concentrates do. Hashish is simply the sticky resin from a flowering cannabis plant, it is stripped from the plant and rolled into chunks that can be smoked, or eaten if thats what you prefer! Hash generally has a light to dark brown colour and comes in a variety of strains and types just like cannabis.
Another concentrate very similar to hash, with no complicated processing methods. Kief is the powder that is collected from busting up the herb. If you have a screen / pollen collector on your grinder you will be able to start collecting this trichome concentrate with every nug that is busted!
Kief is essentially just the fine dusting of trichome crystals that fall off cannabis when it is busted up. It can be smoked alone or sprinkled on top of bong hits or joints. It generally burns quite a bit hotter than cannabis does alone, so be warned that no matter how you smoke it you will be feeling the tingle in your throat!
BHO / Dabs / Shatter / Wax
Which stands for butane hash oil, refers to the dark, oily, wax that is extracted from cannabis using butane gas. The gas is filtered through cannabis, stripping the trichomes and terpenes from the plant along with it. When the butane mixture is then heated, the butane burnt away and left is the waxy remain of trichomes. The process sounds quite simple and it can be if you've done it once or twice, but it can also be extremely dangerous. Heating the butane even just a few degrees too much can cause deadly explosions and fires.
Carefully following instructions or having an experienced friend to help is very important, but the reward is always worth it. The waxy substance can be vaporized on a heated dab nail for the most flavourful and smooth experience. Though some may prefer to just burn the hash oil on top of a bowl of cannabis or in a joint, this works just as well but the terpene flavour profile will not be as noticeable. Vaporizing is also known to be healthier on the lungs, reducing the damaging effects that can be caused by inhaling smoke.
Quite similar to dabs, this very light golden sticky oil is generally found in syringe like tubes that can be conveniently squeezed out onto a nail or on top of a bowl or joint. Even experienced users should be careful with this stuff though, boasting THC levels of up to 99%, distillate is nothing to be messed with. The average strain of flower will contain about 15 - 25%, many shatters and waxes will contain anywhere from 40 - 60%, for comparison. This is a very powerful oil and experienced users will notice a high far more powerful than the usual.
Distillate is essentially cannabis hash oil that has gone through excessive amounts of extraction and purification to get the cleanest and purest oil possible. Containing zero solvents or hydrocarbons, the purity cannot be matched by any other concentrates. Generally BHO or other shatters will leave a residue from impurities and unwanted materials being burned off, distillate's near perfect purity minimizes this residue. Less residue on the bowl means less residue in your lungs.
Cannabidiol, or CBD oil for short, is becoming an incredibly popular to medical patients and healthy individuals alike. CBD oil an excellent natural treatment for some forms of anxiety, depression, pain, and inflammation. Generally the oil will have very low THC levels and high CBD levels, there will not be a very noticeable psychoactive effect but the CBD will provide the incredible health benefits generally associated with medical cannabis.
One drop of CBD oil per day, generally 50-100mg per day should do the trick for the average user, but every person is different so it's best to try a small drop daily and increase usage over time if required. For an entire article containing more information on the incredible medical benefits of CBD oil, click here!
RSO : Rick Simpson Oil
Rick Simpson Oil, a little known medicine but a well known miracle. This oil is known for its incredible cancer fighting abilities. It was originally created by a man named, can you guess..? Rick Simpson! In 1997, while he was working as an engineer in a hospital he had a severe work accident that caused him to suffer with dizzy spells and ringing ears for a number of years. Although none of the prescription medications were useful to Rick, he began seeing great improvements after starting to self medicate with cannabis. Rick developed skin cancer in 2003 and was able to completely cure the cancer using his home made oil.
Ever since, RSO has been self prescribed by many cancer patients with great success. Many doctors will not prescribe this oil as it contains the full spectrum of cannabinoids, THC and CBD, making it medically beneficial, but also quite psychoactive. Even Rick's physicians were refusing to believe that his oil was able to cure his dizzy spells and skin cancer, but Rick proudly spread word of his discoveries and created batches of oil for patients in need.
Similar to CBD oil, a drop under the tongue daily will provide a broad range of medical benefits. This oil shouldn't be taken by just anyone as it is noticeably more powerful than cannabis or even CBD oil. Even severe medical patients should only use the oil for a 12-week cycle as it could be too powerful for prolonged use.
Another popular medication made from cannabis, this liquid found in small glass bottles is extracted from cannabis using alcohol. Applying a drop or two under the tongue will allow blood vessels to absorb the tincture and begin spreading medical benefits through the body. This can help with pain, inflammation, anxiety, many of the general benefits associated with medical cannabis.
Although not very common anymore, tinctures were incredibly popular in the early 1900's before prohibition. Cannabis tinctures were used and prescribed to solve nearly every ailment from headaches to knee aches and all the anxiety in between. After becoming illegal, the tinctures began to disappear from the common market. They have not been very popular until now, but with legalization around the corner in many states and countries tinctures and other cannabis infused liquids are making a powerful comeback in modern medicine.