Hashish concentrates, oils, and extracts provide many distinctive advantages that you just gained’t discover smoking flower. From simple, exact dosing to scrub and refined flavors, concentrates give attention to the elements in cannabis that matter most. On this 4-part sequence, you’ll study the basics of concentrates, discover product choices, uncover how extracts are made, and extra. 


Cannabis concentrates are available in a variety of product varieties, varieties, and consistencies. These merchandise might fluctuate in purity or chemical composition (i.e., THC, CBD, terpenes), which typically comes all the way down to how the focus is extracted and refined in addition to the supply materials from which the ultimate extract is derived.

There are various totally different extraction strategies that can lead to concentrates exhibiting a variety of potencies, textures, and consistencies. These varied varieties are sometimes named in keeping with how they had been made or their look—for instance, butane hash oil (BHO) refers to extracts created utilizing the solvent butane, and shatter describes a focus that seems glasslike in texture.

On this part, you’ll study extra concerning the several types of concentrates which can be popularly vaporized or dabbed by customers searching for a potent and refined cannabis product. We’ll additionally clarify how they’re made by means of a wide range of extraction processes.

Bounce to Part:

  • How Hashish Extracts Are Made
  • Solvent-Based mostly Extracts
  • Solventless Extracts
  • Focus Consistencies

How Hashish Extracts Are Made

In terms of concentrating the cannabinoids and terpenes from cannabis, strategies can typically be damaged into two major varieties: solvent-based and solventless extractions.

Sound difficult? Don’t fear, we’ll break it down for you.

Solvent Extraction

(Grant Hindsley for Leafly)

Solvent-based strategies are generally utilized by business extractors seeking to create giant volumes of extract. They use chemical solvents like ethanol, butane, propane, carbon dioxide, and others to strip important oils (i.e., cannabinoids and terpenes) from plant materials.

Most solvent-based extraction strategies require a course of often called purging. Throughout this course of, the remaining chemical solvents evaporate from the extract. Merchandise labeled solvent-free are solvent-based extractions which have the chemical solvent fully eliminated throughout purging. (Observe: Solvent-free is totally different from solventless extraction—the latter doesn’t use chemical solvents at any stage of manufacturing.)

Solventless Extraction

(Grant Hindsley for Leafly)

Solventless extraction makes use of mechanical strategies that make the most of strain, temperature, and filtration to pay attention the important compounds from the plant materials. The instruments used to create solventless extracts, like hash and rosin, are comparatively accessible and secure to make use of at dwelling.

Solventless strategies are normally extra labor-intensive than solvent-based extraction, however focus fans usually favor them as a result of they’re pure and handmade—an artisanal craft focus.

Observe: Water is a solvent within the purest sense of the phrase. Nonetheless, when the time period “solventless” is utilized in cannabis merchandise, it merely means no chemical solvents had been used.

Discover Solvent-Based mostly Extracts

Variations in solvent-based extracts may be attributed to the solvent used in addition to the purging strategies used within the extraction. These have an effect on how a product appears to be like, feels, and smells. Beneath, discover a few of the most typical solvent-based concentrates you’ll discover on dispensary cabinets.

Hydrocarbon Extracts (or BHO)

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(Grant Hindsley for Leafly)

Hydrocarbon extracts are sometimes merely known as BHO, brief for butane hash oil. These concentrates are created utilizing pressurized chemical solvents like butane and propane to strip the important oils of cannabis from plant matter inside a closed-loop system.

Right here’s what’s so nice about them: Whereas different extraction strategies would possibly destroy the fragile chemical profile that makes a pressure distinctive, hydrocarbon extraction tends to raised protect the cannabinoids and terpenes native to your favourite strains.

Hydrocarbon extracts will also be bought at each conceivable price-point and consistency. Whereas the efficiency and purity can fluctuate between merchandise, a typical THC-rich hydrocarbon extract sometimes specific efficiency between 70-90% complete cannabinoids.

Hydrocarbon extracts are normally vaporized by means of a course of often called dabbing.

CO2 Oil

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(Grant Hindsley for Leafly)

CO2 extracts use carbon dioxide beneath excessive temperature and strain to strip important cannabis oils from plant materials. Carbon dioxide is a standard solvent used for pharmaceutical extraction and different processes like decaffeinating espresso.

This extraction course of has a fame for being secure; CO2 is noncombustible and current within the air we breathe. Whereas most solvent-based extractions use gasoline or liquid solvents, extracting with CO2 is exclusive as a result of it makes use of carbon dioxide in its supercritical state, permitting it to tackle properties of each a liquid and a gasoline.

CO2 extracts are generally packaged as vape cartridges or as applicators used to refill cartridges. They’re usually additional refined by means of a course of often called distillation.


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(Grant Hindsley for Leafly)

A uncooked or crude extract should still include many terpenes, fat, and lipids. Nonetheless, it may be additional refined to include solely important compounds like THC and CBD in a course of referred to as distillation. Good, clear distillate normally assessments as much as 90% or greater in complete cannabinoids.

Pure distillate is nearly flavorless and is popularly used as a base ingredient for different cannabis merchandise like edibles and topicals. Mostly, distillate is utilized in vape cartridges and generally has terpenes added to reinforce the flavour and results.

Discover Solventless Extracts

Dry Sift

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(Grant Hindsley for Leafly)

Dry sift, additionally referred to as dry sieve, is a set of refined resin glands which were mechanically separated from the cannabis flower utilizing a sequence of wonderful mesh screens. It’s primarily a refined type of kief.

To create dry sift, extractors rub, roll, and tumble dried cannabis over a finely woven display. This means of agitation causes the dried resin glands to interrupt from the plant matter, whereas the wonderful display mesh permits solely the smallest of particles—the trichome heads—to go by means of. Extra superior strategies use static electrical energy to assist additional separate the resin.

The sand-like, powdery resin is commonly used to high a bowl or sprinkled in a joint for added efficiency. Others favor to press it into conventional hash or dabbable rosin.

Ice Water Hash (Bubble Hash)

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(Grant Hindsley for Leafly)

Ice water hash, often known as bubble hash, is created by agitating cannabis buds in ice water, that are then filtered by means of wonderful display baggage.

Making ice water hash is sometimes called washing as a result of hashmakers use specifically designed washing machines to agitate their plant materials earlier than it’s filtered by means of a sequence of wonderful display baggage. As soon as the resin has been filtered, collected, and dried, we’re left with usable hash. Its look and texture can vary between dry and chalky to greasy and oily.

The very best grade ice water hash, usually referred to as full soften or ice wax, may be dabbed whereas decrease high quality grades are generally pressed into rosin, smoked like a conventional hash, or reserved for infusions. The standard of hash is graded on a star system, with six being the very best high quality and a single star reserved for the least refined merchandise.


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(Grant Hindsley for Leafly)

Rosin is a dabbable solventless focus that’s extracted utilizing strain and mild warmth to squeeze the resinous sap from cannabis flowers. As a result of rosin is an accessible type of extraction that may be performed safely at dwelling, it’s widespread amongst DIY homecrafters.

There are three principal kinds of rosin: flower rosin, hash rosin, and dry sift rosin. All three varieties are named after the beginning materials from which they had been pressed.

Focus Consistencies

The various consistencies of cannabis concentrates (from left): oil, sugar, wax (high), shatter (backside), crumble (high proper), batter (center proper), pull ‘n’ snap (backside proper). (iStock/Leafly)

It’s not unusual for focus merchandise to be labeled and bought in keeping with their consistency. Whereas these varieties are mostly related to dabbable hydrocarbon extracts, it’s attainable to realize these consistencies by manipulating different extraction strategies.


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(Grant Hindsley for Leafly)

Shatter is a tough, translucent focus that simply “shatters” like damaged glass or arduous sweet. Concentrates with this consistency are most frequently the results of hydrocarbon extraction, and it varieties when a uncooked extract is poured out in a skinny, flat slab and left undisturbed through the purging course of.

Shatter merchandise are typically inexpensive in comparison with different dabbable hydrocarbon extracts as a result of they don’t require further processing. Shatter is simple to dose and you may deal with it at room temperature or colder, however watch out should you’re utilizing a instrument—shatter can pop aside and fly in each route if dealt with roughly.


(Grant Hindsley for Leafly)

Hashish wax is a gentle, opaque focus that may fluctuate in look, texture, and colour—as decided by warmth, moisture, chemical composition, and purging course of. Many waxes are the results of agitating a uncooked extract right into a whipped, aerated consistency.

When whipped vigorously right into a easy consistency that’s moist with terpenes, these merchandise are branded with names like budder, badder, frosting, icing, and extra. When waxes are purged to create a drier texture, merchandise are sometimes named honeycomb and crumble for his or her porous look and chunky crumbs.

Pull ‘n’ Snap

Pull ‘n’ snap is a shiny, flat focus with a gentle, taffy-like texture. It usually appears to be like like shatter however has a extra pliable consistency. Equally to shatter, it’s generally a results of hydrocarbon extracts which can be left undisturbed through the purging course of.

Pull ‘n’ Snap merchandise are appreciated for being comparatively simple to work with, however they’re recognized to develop into stringy and messy when uncovered to heat temperatures. When saved in cooler temperatures, the pull ‘n’ snap consistency turns into extra shatter-like.