“When getting started with drugs, the tendency is to push all limits” – I quite agree with you, Hunter.
But for us it’s not just all about different drugs, it’s also about different types of the same drug, in this case weed. The resin of the plant allows such a variety of concentrates that it is possible to devote one’s life to the study of all its forms and aspects. We gathered a list of all concentrates and forms of cannabis that we know.
If we have forgotten any, let us know!
First of all, let’s look closely at the word “concentrate” because it is often misunderstood. Today, concentrated cannabis refers mainly to extractions by butane, shatter or wax. And of course, the good old Hashish is also concentrated; the only difference is the making process. So, to clarify the following, when the Cannabinoids density is increased, regardless of the way, it is concentrated.
Two types of concentrates: mechanical and solvent based
All concentrates have one thing in common: they separate the Cannabinoids from the vegetal matters. The external glands of the ……., the trichomes, are the psychoactive part. They also have medicinal values. The smell and flavor that a unique character to legends like OG Kush or Amnesia Haze comes from their flavonoids and terpenes, which give the plant its unique scent. These molecules, trichomes, flavonoids and terpenes, are extracted from the plant and processed into concentrates.
There are two ways to perform this extraction, either with a power tool or with a solvent. Mechanical concentrated has been around for millennia, its oldest form being the hashish charas which is simply hand rolled cannabis. The process is natural: when harvesting the cannabis, the hands of the harvester get sticky. He the then rubs his hands together until the resin forms a ball: and that is how you make hashish charas.
Solvent-based extracts are more recent because purified chemicals only started being widely available in the last decades. Solvents based concentrates allow a more specific control of what is extracted, and therefore of the quality of the final product. Each solvent binds with different molecules and results in a different product.
The Hasch is the oldest and most common form of concentrated cannabis. It is easy to make and has very rewarding effects. In Morocco, the modern manufacturing of hashish is done in two step. First, the dried plants are beaten over a fine sieve, which produces Kif powder. Each beating successively decreases the quality of the powder: the first filter is the most interesting in terms of quality. Secondly, the Kif powder is pressed to give blocks of hashish, which are sold all around the world.
The THC content of hashish varies between 40 and 60%, depending on the plants and the procedure.
Kif (or Kieff) is produced by filtering the dried cannabis plants through a fine sieve. The finer the sieve, the better quality is the powder produced. The Kif is what is then pressed to make the blocks of hashish. Some historians believe that Morocco only started producing blocks of hashish in the 60’s, before that only the pure Kif powder was smoked.
The trichomes of the plant easily drop when facing lower temperatures, which is why in Morocco the production of Kif powder occurs during the colder months. The production of modern Kif has been greatly simplified with the invention of the Pollinator in the Netherlands. The Pollinator is a dry sieving machine that consists of a barrel cover of a sieve and a motor. The dried herb is placed in the barrel, and thanks to the constant rotation, the trichomes simply accumulate at the bottom of the box. For even better results, place the entire machine in a large refrigerator.
THC Content: 40-60%
Charas, Nepali and hand hasch
The Charas comes originally from Nepal and the Indian regions of Himalayas, but it has spread in some areas of Pakistan. Different from the Moroccan hashish, which is produced from dried plants, Charas is the product of fresh cannabis heads. The Charas is probably one of the most obvious ways of making concentrated cannabis: when handling the plant during harvesting, hands naturally become sticky with resin. When the hands are rubbed together, the resin takes the form of a ball. Nepalese balls are similar charas: hand-rolled hashish.
Solvent based concentrates
These cannabis extracts are created using a solvent (such as water, butane, CO2 or alcohol). The solvent attracts some molecules, thereby separating them from the rest of the plant. Each solvent attracts a slightly different range of molecules. For instance, isopropyl alcohol tends to attract a broad spectrum of cannabinoids but also chlorophyll and sugars, which makes this alcohol the ideal solvent for a full spectrum medical application spectrum, but it will make a dark brown product with a poor taste. On the other hand, butane does not extract chlorophyll, which creates golden extracts drenched in cannabinoids. But butane requires more advanced equipment to create a safe and effective product.
Bubble Hash is named that way for the characteristic bubbles it forms when heated. It is ultra-pure hash which is the result of an elaborate system using multi-stage screenings. Basically, it’s the same idea as for the Kif powder, but it is produced under water and ice, which greatly increases the purity. The fine sieve produces a superb shiny golden extract: the brighter the color is, the better the quality. The darker the color is, the more it contains plant materials.
THC Content: 40-70%
Dry ice hash
This form of Kif is essentially the same as the Bubble Hash, but in this case we replace water and ice with dry ice. It can produce the same quality as Bubble Hasch, and is faster and cleaner because there is no need to worry about potential excesses in water.
BHO – Butane Hash Oil
In clinics, this concentrate can have different names: shatter, goo, crumble, earwax, honey oil, amber glass, moon rocks, budder…. They all are extracted with butane with different processes. Some are dry like rock, others creamy like ear wax. The difference is essentially the amount of water contained in the final extract, thus increasing or decreasing its consistency.
BHO is produced by getting butane through a glass tube filled with plant material, resulting in extremely pure oil, tasty and strong. From there, depending on the producer it can be refined into BHO Shatter or Budder.
The Shatter is a hard, almost glass like, honey colored product that, as the name suggests, shatters into several small pieces. That said, the shatter can be quite malleable, allowing it to take different forms. It’s an extremely powerful concentrates, the purest form that can be obtained with the butane extraction method: this is a product for connoisseurs, not for amateurs.
The Budder is another possible product from the butane extraction of hash oil technique. To create budder, the oil is whipped into a creamy consistency. The result is a product that is of a light yellow, and has a crumbly consistency. It is sometimes described as super, because it burns without leaving ashes.
BHO hash oil / wax
Wax is another product that can be created using the butane hash oil extraction, and is often the result a failed attempt to get shatter or budder. It’s not completely solidified, leaving a sticky consistency, similar to honey.
Solvent-based hash oils
A number of chemicals are used to produce this type of oil: isopropyl alcohol, ether, ethanol, naphtha and other more exotic products. Most solvent based hash oils follow a basic process in three steps: 1) Soaking 2) Filtering and 3) reduction. The plant matter is first soaked in the solvent for a given period of time, then the liquid is separated from the plant matter, and finally the solvent evaporates, only leaving a concentrated hash. This type of hash oil is easily recognized by its dark color, a mix of green and black. That coloration is due to the chlorophyll, which is also extracted, with the cannabinoids.
Rick Simpson’s oil is often produced with naphtha or isopropyl alcohol, which produces a concentrate comprising of a full spectrum. It is ideal for medical applications because it contains a wide range of beneficial compounds such as terpenes and flavonoids.
Of all the techniques and all the processes, the CO2 extraction is probably the safest and the tastiest, but also the rarest. To achieve a supercritical CO2 extraction, it is necessary to have access to modern laboratory equipment. In a machine designed to extract the active compounds plants, the high pressure CO2 is passed through the plant matter. The result of this process is a very powerful and pure cream. Since CO2 is completely healthy the absorption (in fact, we breathe it all the time), there is absolutely no risk of toxic residues.
This is the concentrate used in cooking. In addition, it is one of the safest extractions that exist because you do not need to handle dangerous equipment; you only need your kitchen tools. The scientific principle is simple: the fat in the butter (or any oil) binds to cannabinoid. Cannabis butter is a way to use cannabis discreetly. It is ideal for use in cooked foods, thus transforming any food into a cannabis delight. The cannabis butter can be frozen and stored for a long time.
Vegetable oil extracts
All types of fats can bind cannabinoids therefore all oils, from olive oil to coconut oil, may be used to create an oil extract. Olive oil in particular has been proven to be effective for the extraction of terpenes and cannabinoids, making it a preferred solvent. Since it is cheap, non-flammable and non-toxic, Olive oil can be safely used to produce extracts for self-medication. However, since oil cannot evaporate, it is not possible to make true concentrated cannabis.
A cannabis tincture is an alcohol or glycerine solution that contains cannabinoids and other active components of the plant. The alcohol is used to extract and bind with the cannabinoids from the plant in order to create a very powerful solution. This solution can be consumed as drops under the tongue or added your food. Often called Green Dragon, cannabis tincture consists of concentrated alcohol, sometimes pure grain alcohol to be diluted before consumption.
Cannabis tinctures can also be prepared with vegetable glycerin, which has the advantage of being suitable for children, including those suffering from epilepsy.