About Cannabis Extracts
Ways cannabinoids are removed from the plant & what they're used for.
What are cannabis extracts?
Cannabis extracts, sometimes referred to as cannabis concentrates, contain far higher levels of cannabinoids and terpenes than the cannabis plant itself. There are various types of extracts, or ways in which we can produce a highly concentrated form of the plant so that its effects are enhanced by using less of the plant by weight.
- Kief (Dry Sieve/Sift) - The resin glands or trichomes of the cannabis plant. They look like crystals and can be shaken off, sometimes stick to your finger, and if you own a three-compartment grinder kief is the "dust" that gets sifted into the bottom level. (Learn More: This is Why a Quality Grinder is Essential)
- Hash - Made simply by compressing kief, hash looks like balls of clay.
- Rosin - Crafted by applying heat and pressure to hash, rosin is formed without any use of solvents and produces similar percentages of THC and CBD as BHO extraction.
- BHO (Butane Hash Oil) - Either a sticky wax-like substance or a hardened sheet similar to honeycomb (shatter), butane hash oil is typically used for dabbing. THC content is normally at 80% using this type of extraction method.
- CO2 - This supercritical fluid extraction uses pressure and carbon dioxide to separate plant material from cannabinoids and terpenes, The result is a versatile oil, used for vaping and found in vape pen cartridges or used in cooking.
- Rick Simpson Oil (Phoenix Tears) - Made by soaking cannabis in pure naphtha or isopropyl, the cannabinoids and terpenes are removed from the plant material and create a tar-like substance once the solvent has evaporated. It was used successfully by its creator, Rick Simpson, to treat his skin cancer in 2003.
What are cannabis extracts used for?
By removing the plant material from the cannabinoids and terpenes, we can use cannabis extracts in a variety of ways.
- Cooking - Infusing food and drinks with oil or tinctures can provide medicinal users healthier options other than smoking the plant. This is also a good way for rec users to indulge in longer-lasting, more enhanced effects via eating delicious candies, baked goods, or whole meals.
- Topicals - Adding a cannabis extract to lotions and balms can assist with both skin conditions and pain management. A product can have high traces of CBD oil to help hydrate the skin or ease pain in the muscles. (Learn More: How Hemp Oil Heals Our Largest Organ)
- Sublingual Administration - If looking for fast effects without any hassle of smoking or eating, applying a few drips of tincture under the tongue can serve as a proper dose in either treating an ailment or experiencing the high/stone you're after.
- Vaping - Popularity of oil vape pens is growing exponentially. They're the healthier alternative to smoking the plant, and emit a pleasant odor instead of the pungent fragrances smoke from the plant normally produces.
- Dabbing - Requiring a rig and blowtorch, experienced consumers can smoke the concentrated forms of cannabis (BHO, CO2) by heating them and inhaling the smoke produced.