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Published
July 21, 2023

Guide to Consuming and Understanding Cannabis Extracts

What is a cannabis concentrate and its pros and cons?

In this article we will take a look at concentrates per se like wax, shatter, live resin, oil, etc. although edibles, topicals and tinctures can also be considered concentrates that just come in a different final form, i.e. they are infused with a concentrate.

Are concentrates more potent than weed?

Yes, they are. The average THC content in flower is about 18-25% whereas extracts average 80% and going all the way up to 99% meaning that a gram of concentrate would be at least three times more potent than buds. Cannabis concentrates are preferred by connoisseurs for their potency and variety of effects, as well as people with high tolerance, especially medical patients.

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How to use cannabis concentrates? What is dabbing and why do people do it? What's the difference between dabbing and vaping?

Dabbing: Potent and Immediate

In contrast to vaping, dabbing is a technique that involves a dab rig, a unique type of water pipe. The extract is placed on a heated nail causing it to instantly vaporize for inhalation. They can also be dabbed with a simpler tool like a nectar collector that you place over the extracts, heat them up and inhale through the straw. Concentrates can also be used to top off a bowl of cannabis flower or adding them to a joint.

Vaping: Fast and Controlled

A widely embraced method of consuming cannabis extracts is vaping. This process involves heating the extract in a vaporizer or vape pen to create a vapor that's inhaled, enabling quick absorption and offering precise dosage control. Vape carts use various concentrates types like CO2 or butane extracted oil, distillate, sauce, live resin or rosin.

Dos and don’ts of consuming cannabis concentrates

Dos:

  • Start small and go slow. Cannabis concentrates are very potent, so it's important to start with a small amount and see how you feel.
  • Use a clean and well-maintained dabbing rig or vaporizer. This will help to ensure that you're getting a pure and flavorful experience.
  • Make sure you know the source of your concentrates - buy from a licensed dispensary.

Don'ts:

  • Don't drive or operate heavy machinery after dabbing. Cannabis concentrates can impair your judgment and coordination, so it's important to wait until you're sober before getting behind the wheel.
  • Don't dab in public places. Cannabis concentrates are still illegal in many places.
  • Don't dab if you're pregnant or breastfeeding. The effects of cannabis concentrates on pregnant and breastfeeding women are still not fully understood and require further studies.

Tips and tricks

  • Be patient. It takes some time to learn how to dab properly.
  • Heat your nail or banger to the correct temperature. If your nail is too hot, you'll burn your concentrate and ruin the flavor. If your nail is too cold, your concentrate won't vaporize properly.
  • Use a dabber tool to handle your concentrate. This will help to prevent you from getting your concentrate on your fingers.
  • Find a good dabbing partner. Having someone to help you with your first dab can be helpful.

Can I ingest cannabis concentrate?

It depends on the final form - some infused products are meant for ingestion (edibles, tinctures) but your typical concentrates like wax, shatter, badder and so on are not. If you ingest the latter they will not get you high. The release of psychoactive effects of THC from extracts requires heating. The process is called decarboxylation - it turns THCA in cannabis extracts into THC which in turn provides that buzz feeling when it enters into the bloodstream. If you wish to consume something edible, go for infused gummies, chocolates, or tinctures. They are meant to be ingested and will get you high.

Concentrate storage

The main thing to remember if you want to store your cannabis extracts properly is to avoid excess humidity and external contaminants (hair, dust, bugs, etc.) that can ruin your experience and may even be hazardous to your health. Properly stored, concentrates have a huge shelf life - they can stay potent for years or even decades.

What are the side effects of cannabis extract?

Cannabis concentrates sold in Colorado come with the following disclaimer required by the Marijuana Enforcement Division: Overconsumption of Marijuana Concentrate may lead to Psychotic symptoms and/or Psychotic disorder, Mental Health Symptoms/Problems, Cannabis Hyperemesis (CHS), and Cannabis use disorder/dependence, including physical and psychological dependence.

If you are considering using cannabis concentrates, it is important to weigh the risks and benefits carefully. If you experience any negative side effects after using cannabis concentrates, stop using them immediately and contact a healthcare provider. The information in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with a qualified healthcare provider before using cannabis concentrates or any other substance.

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