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All About Concentrates

Concentrates are the products of extracting plant matter from cannabis, leaving behind cannabinoids with unique properties. This includes THC, which is known for its euphoric experiences, CBD, which is responsible for healing, and terpenes, which provide the aroma. The whole goal of creating concentrates is to keep the desirable elements of the plants but to eliminate the plant matter.

Why Go with Concentrates?

Concentrates are known for their flavor, potency, and wide variety of products. They are great for medical cannabis users looking for immediate pain relief, experienced cannabis users, and people looking to try something new.

The versatility of concentrates is a great reason to give them a try. For starters, you don’t just have to smoke concentrates; there are many ways you can consume them. They are also very effective, meaning a little goes a long way. And, finally, the extracts that concentrates are made from are refined. This creates a smooth, clean inhale when vaporized.

So, just how are cannabis concentrates made?

How are Concentrates Made?

There are two categories that concentrates fall under. These are solvent or solventless. However, each category has a couple of subcategories that you need to know about.

Solvent Concentrates

  1. Butane- also know as BHO (Butane Hash Oil), extractors add butane solvent to fresh, frozen flower or cured bud to strip the essential oils from the plant. The final product is an extract that retains all the cannabinoids and terpenes. However, it’s not done there. This extract then must be purged in a vacuum over. During this process the remaining chemical solvents evaporate from the extract.
  2. Carbon Dioxide- By exposing a combination of cannabis and gas at high temperatures and pressures, you get a crude extract that needs to undergo distillation. Distillation further refines the product and allows manufactures to isolate cannabinoids.

Solventless Concentrates

Solventless concentrates are made when heat and pressure is applied to the cannabis flower. There are two different categories of extracts that come from this process.

  1. Dry sift/dry sieve- this is process of rubbing or rolling dried flower over a sieve to collect trichomes (the resin glands of cannabis). This product is also known as kief and looks like a crumbly, off-white powder.
  2. Ice water hash/bubble hash- the extraction process involves tumbling cannabis flower through ice water, filtering it through fine mesh, and letting it dry. It can be dry, chalky, or greasy.


Every concentrate falls into a category of textures or consistencies. Here are the different textures you can see with different concentrates.


Sauce is a runny, terpene-rich concentrate that occurs when the cannabinoids and terpenes are separated. Some products are labeled HTFSE (high-terpene full-spectrum extract), which means it’s a terpene-rich concentrate that still maintains a well-rounded cannabinoid profile. Sauce is thicker, stickier, and more viscous in texture than sugar, and has a more uniform structure.


Sugar is used to describe any concentrate that has a similar consistency to a wet, sappy sugar. This texture is not uniform in nature and typically is colored anywhere between bright yellow and deep amber.


Rosin is pure and has no solvent residue. This shatter-like concentrate retains more terpenes and flavonoids and is great for people looking for flavor and purity. It is made by heating and pressing dried flower, hash, or kief together.

Live Rosin

Live rosin has no solvent residue and is made by pressing bubble hash that came from freshly frozen flower

Live Resin

Live resin is a solvent-based (usually BHO), high-quality concentrate. The extreme flavor is achieved by flash-freezing the whole cannabis flowers and then extracting them.

(“Live” products are frozen immediately after harvest.)


Budder is an amber/yellowish concentrate that resembles butter. Its flavor, colorfulness, and aromatic properties separate it from other concentrates. The creamy texture makes it easy to consume and store. The high THC levels produce a joyful and euphoric experience.


Hash is kief compressed into a block and has been used for thousands of years by different civilizations.

Ice wax

Ice wax is a subcategory of bubble hash, this concentrate is the highest grade of bubble hash and can be dabbed. Identified by its fine, grainy, sand-like texture.


Wax has a gooey, candle wax-like texture achieved by whipping it during the purging process. Usually a yellowish-brown color, these concentrates are very potent and can be used to relieve several health issues, like chronic pain, anxiety, and depression.


This concentrate looks like glass and shatters into tiny pieces. It should be a clear-thin sheet that is amber or gold in color. Its potency (50%-90% THC) makes it ideal for medical use. It’s excellent for chronic pain and may also help with mood swings, depression, and stress.


This concentrate undergoes a complex extraction, separation, and purification process to produce a potent oil. All that’s left after these processes is THC. This 99% THC concentrate has tremendous protentional for medical and recreational use and is often used in edibles and vape cartridges.


This concentrate is isolated cannabinoids in a pure crystal structure. These crystals have no flavor, color, or aroma and are very high in THC (99.9%).

How To Consume Your Concentrates

If you’re looking for something low maintenance, but still want a potency boost, we recommend you top your flower. Adding powdered kief to your bowl or wrapping wax around your joint can up the potency of your smokables with only a little extra effort.

Looking for a light high on the go? Use a vape pen! Pre-filled vape pens are a discreet and efficient way to consume cannabis concentrates. A major plus of this option is that the high sets in almost immediately.

For a long-lasting, smoke-free high, eat an edible. These don’t require any special equipment and they’re easy to consume. However, it may take up to two hours for the full high to kick in.

Finally, if you’re looking for targeted relief, we suggested you try a topical. When applied topically, concentrates may provide the relief you’re seeking, but without the head high.

Head North!

Head North for all your concentrate needs. We have a wide selection to choose from, so it’s guaranteed that you’ll find something perfect for you. Check out our website at for all your medical cannabis needs. Also, take the time to check out some of our blogs, here, for more information about cannabis and what it can do for you.

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