All About Concentrates

concentrateIf you consider yourself to be a cannabis connoisseur, you probably already know about the different kinds of concentrates that are available now. But if you only smoke flowers or eat edibles, you might not be familiar with concentrates. In fact, if you’re like me, you might walk into the dispensary and feel overwhelmed with all of the shatters, waxes, budders, and more. While bongs and vapor pens have been around for a long time, pieces for smoking concentrates are still considered to be the new kids on the block and are intimidating for some.

So what kinds of concentrates are there, and how do you consume them? Read on!

Types of concentrates

If you’re an older cannabis user, you may have smoked hash once or twice (or more!). While hash is a type of concentrate, traditional hash has been collected by hand, separated, and produced for centuries. You may still be able to find hash at some shops, but most concentrates today are made using solvent-based extraction methods that strip the essential oils of the marijuana plant.

Just about all concentrates are made using the same process, even though they are different in consistency. A solvent such as CO2 or butane extracts all of the chemicals, and then the solvent is evaporated from the compound, leaving the resins, aka the good stuff.


Wax is generally used to describe concentrates with a gooey consistency when heated. Basically, they are non-transparent soft oils that are the result of extraction. Waxes can range in appearance: it can look like clumped-up wet sugar or crumbled pieces of candle wax. The appearance of the wax depends on many factors from the type of strain to the type of extraction used.


Budders are concentrates that resembles a paste and has a creamy texture. In fact, the texture of budder resembles, well, butter! Unlike waxes, budders won’t crumble. It’s basically oil that has been whipped up into little solid chunks.


Shatter is known to be one of the purest forms of extracted concentrates. It has a translucent, glass-like appearance when cold, and unlike budders, you can handle it with your fingers. If it is dropped, it shatters like glass. When slightly warmed, it turns into a malleable sap-like substance that is perfect for topping off bowls of flower.


Composed of the trichomes from dried marijuana plants, kief is probably the simplest of all the concentrates. While it’s usually considered to be an extracted product of lower quality, kief can have a very high THC content and offer a clean high and delicious taste. The popularity of solvent extracts has made kief a lot more difficult to purchase in dispensaries.

So how do you enjoy cannabis concentrates?

You’ve probably heard of dabbing—these days, dabbing seems to be the trendiest way to consume concentrates. While it’s a slang term, it describes the act of hitting the concentrate in a single dose using apparatus that’s designed specifically for dabbing. The bongs and pipes that are made for dabs are known as dab rigs and have a glass or titanium nail (or skillet) that you heat with a handheld blow torch. When the nail is hot enough, you dab a small amount of concentrate on the nail using a dabbing tool, and it instantly forms a vapor. You inhale the vapor, and blast off! Try a good online headshop like SmokeSmith Gear for a full selection of rigs, nails and other accessories.

The price of concentrates

If you usually purchase bud at your dispensary, you may be surprised at the price of concentrates. The price you pay for an eighth of bud could very well equal the same price of a gram of cannabis concentrate. It may sound expensive, but considering the fact that one hit of concentrate will get you extremely high makes the price more reasonable. (“A dab will do ya!”) A gram of good concentrate should last as long as a quarter of flower, give or take. Plus, concentrates have a higher CBD percentage so they are wonderful pain relievers.

Should you dab?

Cannabis concentrates are good for anyone looking for a strong, clean high that only takes one hit. But they are especially wonderful for those who need a stronger level of cannabis medication for their specific condition. Pain relief is achieved much faster and more efficiently than edibles or flower when consuming concentrates. While dabbing involves specific apparatus and more money upfront for the concentrates, it’s a great way to achieve a soaring high especially if you are accustomed to smoking flower.

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