"Concentrate" is fast becoming a catch-all word in the cannabis industry. it may refer to waxes you vaporize, hash you smoke, tinctures placed under your tongue or even the orally or topically administered THC-free oil (Charlotte's Web) that's changing attitudes and perceptions towards cannabis everywhere. The future is leading towards potent concentrated forms, primarily as the therapeutic potential of non-smoking methods is realized and embraced by the general public.
Any products generated through an extraction process fall under the classification of cannabis concentrates. Solvents (butane, CO2, ethanol) strip the vital compounds from the plant, leaving a product with concentrated cannabinoids in every drop. Extracts can test as high as 85% in THC, while other, specific plants, rich in non-psychoactive compounds like CBD, deliver relief without the "high".
Here's an introduction to some of the commonly found extracts available in today's market.
One of the oldest players is hash, a concentrate made by compressing the subject plant's resin. The kief coating the cannabis flowers is collected and compressed to form hash. Solvents such as ice water or ethanol may also be used to increase the effectiveness of shipping the plant of it's cannabinoid-laden crystals. Not as potent as BHO and other concentrates, hash is a mainstay of cannabis culture throughout the world.
Butane Hash Oil (BHO) is a very potent concentrate popular with the dabbing and vaporizing crowd. Cannabinoids are released from the plant with butane extraction, leaving a wax which either maintains its sticky consistency or hardens resulting in a "honeycomb" or glasslike "shatter." Because its THC content can approach 80% and beyond, BHO is popular in treating chronic pain and other intractable symptoms. Ensure the oil is lab tested for purity, as BHO that was improperly purged, may contain traces of butane.
CO2 oil is a concentrate made utilizing expensive botanical extractors using pressure and carbon dioxide (CO2) to separate plant materials. The method, referred to as supercritical fluid extraction, is one of the most effective ways of rendering cannabis to its essential compounds. The amber oil produced can be vaporized in numerous ways such as the ubiquitous portable vaporizer pen. Some of the best sellers are disposable cartridges filled with CO2 oil and medical grade polypropylene glycol (PPG) providing the oil with its liquid consistency.
A man named Rick Simpson started treating his skin cancer in 2003 with a homemade remedy made from the hemp plant. He began by soaking the hemp in pure naphtha or isopropyl alcohol allowing the therapeutic compounds to be drawn out of the plant, leaving him with a tar-like liquid once the solvent fully evaporated. Also know as Phoenix Tears Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) can be administered orally or placed directly on the skin. There are many variations of Rick Simpson Oil currently on the market, some are high in THC while others contain only the non-psychoactive compounds such as CBD.