Complete Guide to Cannabis Concentrates: Understanding Your Options

Spending time with customers across many demographics has shown us that cannabis itself can be challenging to navigate. Between proper terminology, emerging science, and ever-changing products, it’s hard to know what you’re asking for. Add cannabis concentrates in the mix, and you really start to get complicated.

So we wanted to break down concentrates into very simple to understand language because even just looking for a cannabis dispensary near me and hoping for the best probably won’t work.

Ultimately not all Budtenders are created equally. We spend a huge amount of time educating our team on the newest and latest. Many weed dispensaries are not ready to help and educate, so choosing the right place is important. Concentrates are still very much a product that things like same-day delivery have capitalized, so there’s even a larger gap in education.

What are cannabis concentrates? Well, if you’re a regular cannabis user, get ready to have your socks blown off. Concentrates are a large group of trichomes that have been distilled in a variety of ways. Trichomes are the little crystals that coat the buds and the part of the plant that holds all of the THC. Look at your learning. These trichomes are what differentiates a high-quality bud from a mid-lower quality bud. The more trichomes, the better quality the flower is. More crystals = better bud = better concentrates.

Now let’s get even more specific – full-spectrum concentrates. Full-spectrum concentrates have multiple compounds and come in different trims. “Trim Run” is loose leaves with most of their trichomes still intact that would have otherwise been wasted. Trim is awesome for distillate or hydrocarbon concentrates because it is a lower grade of flower that has been stripped of all undesirable products. Trim is considered the lowest quality. “Nug run” concentrates are usually the middle-smaller buds or larger nugs. These are mostly used for mid-high quality hydrocarbon extractions. “Live resin” has been extracted before the flower has dried or been cured. Live resins allow for potent flavors and THC content because it preserves the most trichomes of all the harvesting processes. This is the highest quality full-spectrum concentrates.

Now that you know what full-spectrum concentrates are let’s get more specific.
When you look at your flower, you will notice the crystal trichomes we talked about earlier; once shaken off the buds, it’s considered kief. Kief contains everything we want from cannabis, THC, CBD, and Terpenes (flavour profile). Kief can be used as a bowl or joint topper but burns best under lower heat. Kief can also be pressed into the hash and has been for a very long time.

Hash: Hash is another excellent beginner-friendly concentrate that has been around for a long time. Hash is the plant resin that’s compressed and formed into smokable chunks. This beautiful little brick has gone through more modern processing techniques such as ice water, sieves and mechanical pressure. Hash has a lower THC content than most other forms of concentrates and performs better under lower heat. Great for a bowl/joint topper.

Shatter: Shatter is a hard, amber-colored concentrate that shatters when dropped or put under very minimal pressure. Shatter is one of the most affordable forms of dabbing because it isn’t as heavily processed. This is a great option for those looking to start dabbing because it’s easy to control the dose and isn’t as potent as other concentrates. Shatter performs best under a mid-high heat and is best for use in a dab rig or concentrate vape.

Wax: Waxes are an opaque concentrate that has a variety of colors, consistency, and appearance. They will be softer and more malleable than a shatter would be. These can also be whipped or blended into other versions of wax, often known as badder, budder, icing or frosting. Drier textured waxes can also be known as crumble or honeycomb. Wax performs best under higher heat and does best in a dab rig or concentrate vape.

CBD Tinctures: CBD tinctures use are mainly to alleviate anxiety and discomfort and are often prepared from high CBD hemp strains with 60 to 70% alcohol content. “When administered under the tongue, tinctures are convenient, have a long shelf life, and are quickly absorbed.

Isolates: Are you feeling educated? Good, because now we are talking about isolates. Isolates are the isolated forms of CBD and THCA- (THC before its heated). All other compounds are removed and allow for the purest and most potent version of CBD or THC. Isolates are going to be the strongest form of concentrates you can buy. These bad boys are not recommended for beginners.

Diamonds: Diamonds are crystal-like isolates that are formed from THCA (THC Before its heated). When THCA is isolated, the molecules form a familiar crystal appearance. These are very potent isolates but are easy to dose thanks to their structure.

Sauce: Sauce is a runny liquid-like substance that is full of trichomes. This sauce is formed when the THC and CBD are separated from the terpenes. Leaving you with a flavourful saucy isolate. These are very potent forms of concentrates and harder to dose.

Lake City Cannabis is Chestermere’s first approved cannabis dispensary. Nestled just 10 minutes from Calgary on Chestermere Lake, our store is curated to your experience. Our second location is in the heart of Mount Royal supporting Altadore, Glamorgan, Mount Royal University, Lakeview, and the great Calgary area. Come stop by to shop our vast selection of cannabis or shop online!

Complete Guide to Cannabis Concentrates: Understanding Your Options

We really shouldn’t be doing this…

I mean our address book is pretty full…
but I guess we could fit you in.

Select Location
Browse Menu
Lincoln Park
Browse Menu