Cannabis Concentrates: What You Need To Know

Introduction to Cannabis Concentrates

Cannabis concentrates have had a place in medicinal cannabis consumption since the 1st century in the form of hash when cannabis growers realized the substance left on their hands and tools could be rolled into balls and smoked. With time comes progress and we now have the refined concentrates cannabis users are dabbing today.

…cannabis concentrates are rich in their essential element, which are the cannabinoids being extracted, essentially leaving out what some consider the “less desirable” parts of the plant.

The word concentrate is defined as by Merriam Webster as, “rich in respect to a particular or essential element made less dilute or diffuse”. Meaning, cannabis concentrates are rich in their essential element, which are the cannabinoids being extracted, essentially leaving out what some consider the “less desirable” parts of the plant.

Once legalization started sweeping the nation, the movement of innovative cannabis consumers experimenting with ways to extract the cannabinoids from the cannabis plant truly began. The methods to extract this liquid gold will vary by extractor. The most common ways being practiced today are using solvents, heat, pressure or flash freezing. Each method will produce a different consistency of concentrate. Some of them will even isolate particular cannabinoids.

Concentrates made with cannabis come in a plethora of colors, consistencies and tastes. The names of each concentrate are based off of its consistency. Most concentrates are meant to be dabbed, but some can be rolled into a joint or used as a bowl topper. There are even electric vaporizers on the market for consumers who do not wish to tangle with butane torches.

The world of concentrates can be somewhat puzzling to those who are unfamiliar with what they have to offer, therefore, lets break them down to their most simple terms.


Will have a waxy like texture. This concentrate is best consumed dabbed. It is also sometimes a generic term used by some to describe concentrates as a whole. Do not let this confuse you. Technically, wax is its own concentrate.


This THC rich concentrate will have the consistency similar to that of whipped butter or peanut butter. Its color will be a beautiful golden yellow or amber. This concentrate is more wet, which allows its consumers to really taste the terpenes the plant had to offer. Budder can be dabbed, but it can also be rolled into a joint or put on top of a bowl. Keep in mind it is quite thick, so your flower to budder ratio should be taken into account.


This is the sticky substance found on the trichomes of the cannabis plant. It has a sap like consistency and contains a vast majority of THC. It is also the black pungent smelling sticky substance left behind in your bowl or on the paper of your joint. This is not something that is desired to smoke as it contains carbon from the ash and much of the THC has already been depleted, it is also quite unpleasant to smoke.


Unlike the resin found clogging up your bowl, live resin is lovely to smoke. It is made by flash freezing the cannabis plant leaving all of the medicinal and aromatic properties intact. The best way to consume live resin is to dab it. It can also be put on top of a bowl. There are also vape pens with live resin cartridges on the market for those who do not wish to deal with the sticky mess that sometimes comes with resin consumption.


The concentrate that started it all. This little gem has grown not only in popularity but also in how it is made and consumed. The original hash was finger hash, which is the substance that accumulated on an individual’s hands as they processed the plant during and after harvest. This produced a thick sticky substance which was then rolled into balls and smoked or turned into tinctures. This practice is still in use for many, especially for those who grow at home. Dry sift hash uses mesh screens to agitate the cannabis and allows for the collection of trichome heads which are then pressed. This hash can be rolled into joints, or used to top a bowl or smoke all on its own. This is not something that is usually dabbed. Bubble hash or ice water hash is made by the placing cannabis in freezing water which freezes the trichomes. The trichomes are then agitated off, filtered and dried. The resulting product is dry and chalky or greasy and oily. Bubble hash can and should be dabbed. Hash will be dark brown or dark green in color.


Also referred to as hash rosin has gained its fame by being solventless. It is considered by many to be the purest form of cannabis. Hash rosin is made by using immense pressure and heat to extract the hash oil from the trichome heads of the cannabis plant. The resulting product is a golden yellow soft waxy like substance, the more desired rosin will be white. The most preferred way to consume rosin is by dabbing. It can be put on top of a bowl or into a joint, but be warned, some of your savvier cannabis using friends may scoff at the idea. Dabbing connoisseurs are extremely particular on how they choose to dab their rosin, it can almost be described as an art form. Timers and extravagant dab rigs have become jewels in their crowns as they experiment with the most ideal ways to dab their concentrates. However, do not despair, a simple dab rig or wax vaporizer will work just as well.


This sweet grainy concentrate looks just as you would expect; like sugar, but most times will be slightly wet. Sugar will generally have a deep amber or bright yellow color. The best way to consume sugar is a dab rig or rolled into a joint. Fair warning, this concentrate has a tendency to clog your nectar collectors, so a good cleaning after using them with sugar will save you from an untimely clog.


Sometimes referred to as honeycomb wax, is the driest concentrate you will find. Just as the name suggests, it will crumble when you touch it. It is usually a pale yellow or off-white color. Probably the most versatile of the concentrates, crumble can easily be dabbed or added to joints and bowls with no incident.


This reedy little concentrate can be traced back to the roots of hash production. The refinement of concentrates led to the creation of shatter and the rest of the concentrates we all know and love today.  Shatter hues can range from a pale yellow to a deeper almost amber shade. The way it is cooled gives shatter the slab like brittle swiss cheese appearance its fans have come to know and love. Sometimes you will also find shatter with a more taffy like feel. Shatter is typically dabbed but can be added to joints or a bowl.


Frequently referred to as a girl’s best friend, but these diamonds are a friend to all. These crystalline solids are created when cannabinoids are purified and isolated under the right conditions. Diamonds are usually found in sauce as the diamonds themselves are so pure they have no taste; by adding the sauce it introduces the smoker to the satisfying terpenes cannabis users expect. Diamonds are meant to be dabbed, adding them to a bowl or a joint will only prove to be frustrating as they will likely not burn correctly.

cannabis concentrates


Calling all terpene lovers! This one is for you. The consistency of this concentrate can vary. Applesauce will appear grainier and thicker while regular sauce will be smoother and thick. High levels of THC and cannabinoid rich crystal poised in a terpene rich oil are sure to give its consumer’s taste buds a thrill. Sauce is finest when dabbed, but can be added to a bowl. Rolling it to a joint may be tricky, this saucy little number will degrade the strength of your paper.


Most commonly found in your standard cannabis vape pens, distillate is made by distilling cannabinoids to create a concentrate. Distillates are also popular in the kitchen, as they are regularly used to make edibles. The extraction process of distillate strips the cannabis of all its other properties, essentially making it a THC isolate. It lacks any terpenes making it flavorless and odorless. Vape pens with a taste and smell have had those added to them. Distillate on its own will have no taste and no aroma. Along with the various ways distillate is usually consumed, it can also be dabbed. It can be added to a bowl or a joint, but it is rather runny which can make that a bit of a challenge.


Is a crystalline solid or powder made when manufacturers extract all other compounds of the cannabis plant, leaving behind just the CBD. This is different from full spectrum CBD, which does contain trace amounts of THC. This powdery substance can be added to your food or beverages, this is not a concentrate to be smoked.

Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)

RSO is not technically a concentrate, although it sometimes does end up in that category. There will be a full article forthcoming on RSO. This is a substance is ingested or used topically. The best practice is not to combust RSO.

Overall, the wide open world of concentrates is vast and continues growing as extractors experiment in their labs. The future of concentrates is bright, so grab a rig and let’s get saucy! View the Concentrates we carry at ANC Dispensary in Phoenix on our online store.


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