Cannabis concentrates are one of the newest and hottest trends in cannabis culture, and new concentrates hit the market nearly every day. This has led many long-time cannabis enthusiasts and patients to wonder if concentrates may be better for them than the raw flowers they’ve used in the past.
Concentrates are preferable for many users and patients, but they aren’t perfect for everyone. The best way to decide if concentrates are for you is by understanding the differences between the substances and consulting with your doctor, if you are a medicinal user. Five important differences between raw cannabis and concentrates are listed below.
Concentrates are much stronger than raw flowers. Because concentrates are almost entirely comprised of cannabinoids, a single dose of a concentrate contains far more THC (as well as CBD, CBN and other cannabinoids) than a single dose of raw cannabis. This has led many first-time concentrate enthusiasts to over-indulge.
Concentrates may have harmful chemicals. Concentrates are often produced by using a chemical solvent to remove the cannabinoids. The solvent is then supposed to be removed, leaving only cannabinoids behind. However, some production facilities fail to remove all of the solvent used in the process, which means that it will remain behind in the concentrate. To avoid this, be sure to only purchase concentrates from reputable businesses and opt for those produced through ice-water extraction or CO2 extraction, as these techniques do not rely on toxic solvents.
Concentrates can be consumed more easily than raw flowers. Because concentrates are much stronger, it is easier to consume them than raw flowers. Many concentrates come in the form of tinctures, which can simply be applied under the tongue via an eyedropper. Cannabis, on the other hand, requires the user to cut and prepare the product before use.
Concentrates are easier to store than raw flowers. Over time, raw cannabis degrades and loses potency. This is primarily in response to exposure to the air or sunlight, so you can reduce this problem by storing cannabis in an airtight, dark storage vessel. However, this takes up space and is not always convenient. Concentrates, on the other hand, take up very little space, and are therefore easier to store and keep fresh for longer.
Concentrates may have less flavor than raw cannabis. Chemicals called terpenes are present in many plants, including cannabis. These chemicals provide much of the characteristic odor and taste to cannabis. However, some extraction methods leave these terpenes in the plant material, rather than pulling them out into the concentrate. This results in a largely flavorless product. However, other extraction methods remove terpenes along with cannabinoids, and therefore taste very similar to raw cannabis.
Many people find concentrates to be valuable products that are far superior to raw plant material, but others feel that there is nothing better than good old-fashioned cannabis flowers. Just be sure to speak with your doctor first, and then give them a try if you are so inclined.
This is intended solely for those with legal access to cannabis and cannabis-derived products. Always follow your local laws and regulations.