One of the things you can enjoy during your visit to Colorado are the wide array of hash and concentrates. Most people are familiar with consuming marijuana in the flower (bud) form, hash and concentrates have the same goal of removing the plant matter and extracting the resin glands, which contain the THC. The technique for the extraction of resin glands differs from one concentrate to the next.
See below for a brief breakdown, then check out our comprehensive Guide to Concentrates.
Traditional hash is made by shaking the flowers (buds), which then drops the resin glands onto silk screens. The resin glands are then sieved through the screens to create kief. The kief is then normally compressed to form a block of hash. While some dispensaries in Colorado sell both traditional hash as well as kief, you are more likely to encounter kief. The only real difference between the two is that hash has been compressed, while kief has a loose, powdery consistency.
An alternate method for creating hash involves extracting the resin glands in buckets of ice cold water. Marijuana is added to bubble bags, which are essentially silk screen bags. The mixture is agitated, and different types of bubble bags are used to refine the product. Since THC is not soluble in water, the ice water can be easily separated from the resin glands, allowing for a higher quality hash product than what the traditional method creates. Hash made with the bubble bag method is usually referred to as bubble hash or full melt.
Concentrates generally contain a higher % of THC than hash products. The common theme of all concentrates is they use some type of solvent to extract the THC. In the later part of the process, the solvents and plant matter are removed from the concentrate.
The 2 most common types of solvents used in the extraction process are butane or CO2. One criticism of concentrates is that it’s unlikely for all the solvents to be fully removed from the product. This is why CO2 extraction has become more popular than butane extraction. CO2 is harmless while consuming butane spells bad news. With that said, professional concentrate manufacturers have become extremely efficient in removing butane, so don’t write off butane extracted concentrates too quickly.
Oil is what is usually used in vape pens, such as the open vape. BHO, or butane honey oil, is very common in Colorado. Recently CO2 honey oil has gained popularity, as it poses no issues for lingering solvents in the concentrates. Oil is sticky like honey, and will string if you dab it.
Wax is created by whipping hash oil during the purging process. It is sometimes referred to as earwax, due to its similar consistency. Wax is easier to handle than oil, and the % of THC between the two are similar.
Shatter is a refined version of BHO, which typically involves multiple steps to extract all the plant matter and solvents. These steps usually involve a pressure vacuum. Shatter is semi-transparent, usually with a yellow or amber color. It is usually a thin cake, which ‘shatters’ when you break a piece off, hence the name. Shatter is very potent, and can be upwards of 90% THC.
How do I consume waxes or shatter?
You may hear the term 'dabbing' while in Colorado. Dabbing is a technique for consuming concentrates.
You place a 'dab' of concentrate onto a heated surface, which in turns vaporizes the concentrate which is then inhaled. Think of it as a sophisticated way of hot knifing. Be warned, dabbing can get you to level 10 baked, and it is easy to over consume, so best left to the experienced users.
Where do I store my concentrates?
Because cannabis concentrates are often sticky, we recommend storing them in parchment paper or non-stick silicone containers.
During your next visit to a marijuana store, ask the budtender about the different types of concentrates available to you. Concentrates are hard to obtain outside of Colorado, so take advantage while you are here. Enjoy your visit!