The Difference between Flower and Concentrates
Published: July 12, 2018
Flower, or the natural form of the cannabis plant, isn't the only form cannabis comes in anymore.
Concentrates is a term that refers to the different variety of cannabis extracts that exist. Concentrates come in many different forms such as, shatter, wax, oil, live resin and more. These terms refer to concentrate's consistency or texture.
Another important factor for concentrates is the solvent used to extract the components from flower. The process of extraction involves stripping away parts of the plant leaving behind the components that are desired. This is usually accomplished with the help of a solvent that separates the components. There are many solvents that are in use these days, CO2, butane, propane, as well as solvent-less extracts that use things like water or heat.
Concentrates are usually much more potent than flower. This makes sense as the process of creating a concentrate, or extract, involves filtering material and removing the unwanted parts of the plant leaving you with a more concentrated formulation. Flower normally comes in potencies of 10-25% THC where as concentrates range in the 50-90% range. The biggest mistake made when using concentrates for the first time is mis-understanding the potency of concentrates. Make sure to start small or ask your budtender for help on dosing.
Terpenes are the volatile, fragrant oils that are produced by the cannabis plant. They are responsible for giving the plant it's nuances including smell. The smell and flavor of a strain come directly from it's terpene profile, or the list of terpenes that are present in the flower. Terpenes in cannabis evolved to attract pollinators and repel enemies. There are many different varieties of terpenes that exist in cannabis.
Extraction and Terpenes
The process of extraction can destroy these terpenes and leave the concentrate lacking characteristics (like smell or flavor) that the original strain possessed. Some producers will introduce terpenes back into the extract to solve this issue or to create a different flavor or smell they desire.
Are you still not sure what type of concentrate would be best? Ask your budtender to help you find a concentrate type that fits your needs. With concentrates, dosing matters, so if it's your first time - try to find someone who has experience with concentrates or ask your budtender to help prepare you for your first experience with concentrates.