What Types of Cannabis Concentrates are Best for Me? We’ve Got Answers.
There are many types of cannabis concentrates on the market today, with a broad range of consistencies, potencies, textures, flavors, chemical compositions and delivery methods. Most cannabis concentrates also require the selection and use of a heating device, of which there are many different types. With so many options out there, the world of cannabis concentrates can feel quite confusing — to say the least.
As a consumer, how do you know which types of cannabis concentrates and delivery methods are right for you? How do you winnow down the field when the options feel nearly infinite?
Here’s our pro tip: keep it simple. The best way to determine what kinds of cannabis concentrates to try and which delivery methods to use, is to identify where you fall across a few key consumer segments and go from there.
Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered with this handy guide to finding your happy place in the land of cannabis concentrates.
Table of Contents:
● Cannabis Concentrates for Beginners
● Concentrates for Experienced Consumers
● Concentrates for Daytime Use
● Concentrates for Evening Use
● Affordable Cannabis Concentrates
Cannabis Concentrates for Beginners:
If you’re new to cannabis, or even just new to concentrates, it’s important to know that most concentrates are more potent than cannabis flower. It’s easier to accidentally overdo it with concentrates than it is with flower. So a good place to start is with CBD-rich concentrates and more balanced formulations, as opposed to THC-rich ones.
CBD does not have the strong psychoactive properties that THC does. CBD is also commonly used for anxiety and stress relief, and can be a more comfortable option for users looking to experience the benefits of cannabis without feeling a loss of control, paranoia or intense psychoactivity. There are plenty of options under the CBD-rich concentrate umbrella. CBD oils, vape cartridges, capsules and topical creams are all easy, accessible options for newcomers.
Moving into THC territory, beginners may want to start out with a less potent concentrate like hash, which typically ranges between 40% and 80% potency. It’s never a bad idea to test out mellower highs before moving on to highly-concentrated THC products.
Concentrates for Experienced Consumers:
For more advanced cannabis consumers, the world of concentrates is your metaphorical oyster. And these days, experienced users are gravitating more towards highly-potent cannabis concentrates like distillate and isolate. With the introduction of advanced extraction techniques in recent years, highly-concentrated products like these can reach upwards of 90% THC or CBD. Advanced users may also enjoy formulations that reintroduce terpenes back into the distillate for enhanced flavor and experience.
Beyond their high potency, distillate products like THC oil and CBD oil are also popular because of their versatility. Distillate usually has no flavor or aroma, making it an appealing base ingredient for infused edible products and vape cartridges. THC and CBD distillates can also be consumed using vaporizers or dab rigs, and can be combined with flower in a joint or bowl.
Isolate products, also called crystalline, are the purest form of cannabis concentrate. This fine, flavorless, white powder typically clocks in at over 99% purity, making it ideal for precision dosing in edible products, pills and capsules. Isolate can also be consumed by vaporizing or dabbing.
Shatter, wax, resin, hash oil and other dabs are another popular concentrate category among cannabis enthusiasts and experienced users. Dabs typically fall somewhere in the range of 65–90% THC. They are often consumed using a dab or oil rig, but can also be used with advanced portable vaporizers designed to work with cannabis extracts.
Beyond experience level, there are a few other key factors to consider when identifying what types of cannabis concentrates to try:
Discretion is the name of the game for many daytime consumers, making concentrates like distillate and hash oil good options, due in large part to their portability and versatility. These multi-purpose concentrates can be used in vape pens, consumed orally, or even rubbed into the skin via topical products.
Daytime users looking for fast-acting concentrates also tend to gravitate towards dabs, distillate, hash and other options that can be consumed by vaping or smoking.
Evening and nighttime consumers often enjoy potent concentrates like budder, shatter and wax. Once you’re off the clock, dabs can be a fun way to wind down and geek out with your full dab-rig setup. High-potency concentrates are usually best enjoyed at home, where you’re comfortable and you can control your space.
CBD-rich tinctures, topicals and edibles are also good options for those seeking a mellow evening experience, as many consumers report anxiety relief and relaxing effects from potent CBD products. CBD-infused edibles are also a good option for consumers looking to integrate cannabis into their nighttime routines. They are long lasting and are often used to promote sleepiness around bedtime.
Affordability and Value
Concentrates cost more per gram than cannabis flower does. That said, concentrates are also far more potent than flower–and a little goes a long with highly-potent concentrates. Where cannabis flower typically ranges between 12% and 25% THC, highly-pure concentrates can easily reach upwards of 99% THC these days. Consumers on a tight budget should always look for products with the highest concentration of cannabinoids for the best price.
Speaking of best price, the most affordable concentrate for regular flower consumers is likely to be kief. This concentrated powder of cannabinoids and terpenes can reach 60% THC or higher. One of the best things about kief is that you can make it yourself without even really trying. All you have to do is use a four-piece grinder to grind up your flower. Four-piece grinders have a kief catcher beneath a screen, which collects the kief that falls off your bud during the grinding process. If you use the grinder on a regular basis, you’ll have a nice pile of kief before you know it.