Concentrates sourced from cannabis have quickly become a beloved way of consuming the plant, both for enjoyment and management of medical conditions. More so than with simple dried flowers, there are a variety of ways to use and benefit from marijuana's extracted essence. From infused food to top-of-the-line technology, like PAX Era pods in California, the modern dispensary customer has the opportunity for exploration at their fingertips.
What Exactly is a Concentrate?
Marijuana concentrates are essentially distilled substances that contain all the desirable components of the plant. In other words, they provide consumers with the coveted cannabinoid and terpene content of cannabis in much greater doses than raw plant bud alone. Tiny, transparent appendages called trichomes are responsible for housing all such components that create the pot experience, from aroma to psychoactive properties. It is these minuscule sparkling structures that allow for the chemical components to be isolated without excess plant matter. The resulting products can be used in a wide variety of forms, including in PAX pods in California.
The Distinction of Extracts
Though the term “extract” is sometimes used synonymously with “concentrate,” they are a bit different from each other. An extract is a type of concentrate produced using a chemical solvent to extract the properties. As such, there exist both concentrates that require the use of solvents to harness the desired effects and those that use mechanical or physical separation alone. Solventless products include kief, dry sift, and rosin. The latter is a popular product for use with PAX pods in California. All concentrates feature many consumption options, though, from vaping to ingesting.
Customers should pay attention to the “input material” used in a given concentrate, which plays a role in the potency, aroma, flavor, and quality of the product. Given the part of the plant used and the associated quality, customers can have a clearer picture of what to expect. A product using “nug run” as the input is made from dried and cured buds, while “trim run” is sourced from dried leaves alone. Other products are produced by using the whole dried plant. The highest quality material, however, is live resin, which is either fresh or fresh frozen and known to preserve the highest concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes.
Concentrates with Flower Products
One popular method of adding concentrates to habitual consumption is adding it to dry flower-based methods, whether in a joint or pipe. Possibilities include sprinkling kief in powdered form on the pipe bowl or using a small amount of wrapped wax on the outside of a joint. This creates a more potent and aromatic experience whose effects are immediate while still keeping consumption relatively simple. No extra equipment is required, as with vaping or dabbing.
Concentrates in Vaping
Another popular consumption method involves using vaporizer pens, such as high-tech PAX Era pods in California, which are arguably the most easily transportable and efficient ways to enjoy pot. They are also highly discreet, looking similar to tobacco and nicotine vaporizers and avoiding any strong odors typically associated with marijuana. The usual high resulting from vaping is not as strong as dabbing. However, like joints, the effects are immediate. Customers can buy vaping pens as pre-filled and pre-assembled tools, or purchase pre-filled cartridges and batteries separately. All-in-one pens and cartridges are disposable and must be replaced once the product has been used up. Batteries bought separately are reusable for an extended period of time.
The battery component is responsible for powering an element that heats the concentrate held within the chamber, creating a convenient on-the-go option. To use, consumers need only drag on the accompanying mouthpiece. For some pens, taking a drag turns on the device, while others require one to activate a button first, which is the most common style.
Concentrates in Edibles
Though often forgotten, edible methods of consuming cannabis are also based on the infusion of concentrates. Both commercially produced and homemade ingestible goods are especially ideal for those experimenting and starting with cannabis consumption, as no equipment or individual preparation is needed. Edibles can be potent, and high-quality and high-dose foods and treats can provide a strong and lasting high. In this way, the effects are similar to the prized potency of dabbing. It is important to note that ingestion, rather than inhaling, takes quite a bit longer for a high to develop in the body. Instead of immediate effects, one may need to wait up to two hours until the psychoactive effects begin to show themselves.
Concentrates in Dabbing
Dabbing is perhaps the most well-known manner of taking pot concentrate. It is the most potent type of cannabis consumption since the concentrate is heated to the point of combustion. An intricate glass dab rig features a “nail,” comparable to the bowl of a bong, which can be made from ceramic, quartz, glass, or titanium. The concentrate of choice is then added to the pre-heated nail, which quickly takes the form of a vape. In the past, nails have been almost exclusively heated using small torches. However, there are now simpler, temperature-controlled “e-nails” available for integration into rig use.
Like vaporizer pens, dabbing can also be made simpler by using a dab pen. Unlike vaping, however, the chamber can be refilled, creating a more personalized experience with less waste. The inner chamber is refilled manually with any concentrate the consumer chooses, which is then attached to a battery like those of vape pens. The portability of these devices makes them a good option for those on the go that want a more potent high than that provided by a vaporizer pen, acting as a small dab rig.
Concentrates in Topicals
Rather than ingesting or inhaling, topical usage of concentrates is another option. The difference here is the lack of a psychoactive high. Instead, those opting for products of this form can benefit from the physical benefits of relief, used to target problem areas without being altered psychologically.