There are many names, techniques, solvents and versions used in the cannabis concentrate arena. Listed below are some of the more common methods and concentrates to give you a firm idea on the types available.
One common goal with concentrate production is to preserve as much of the essence of the original plant as possible. This includes the aromatics and sensation felt when ingesting the plant in it’s original state.
Kief: Kief is simply cannabis trichomes that have been separated from the plant matter. This is normally done by shaking or tumbling the cannabis flowers, trimmings and leaves with a fine screen (80-160 microns) that removes the majority of the trichomes. These are collected on a tray then traditionally used on top of flowers when smoked in a pipe or vaporizer. Consumers also use this form of a concentrate in their homemade edibles.
Pressed Kief: Kief can also be pressed. This is simply done by taking the kief and “pressing it between two objects. A hash press using a type of vice is a common method as well. When using a round cylinder a hash “puck” or wafer is created. When heat is applied the trichomes are slightly melted and a dark form is created forming the traditional "pressed hash" (see Pressed hash)
Pressed: Pressed hash is one of the oldest methods for turning cannabis into a concentrate by various cultures around the world for centuries. The traditional method uses a dry sieve, to separate the desired cannabis resin (concentrated in the trichomes) from the plant material. Since the resin is sticky it binds to itself creating what will turn into hash. This resin is then pressed together with light heat and turned into the traditional hash “puck” or brick.
Sand: Cannabis flowers and trim is placed in a series of bags with different filters ranging from 80-160 microns then placed in ice and water, this is called the “Bubble Method”. This cold water and ice essentially freezes the trichomes so they break away from the leaf of the plant. The different stages of filtering the trichomes in the “bubble bags” sifts the trichomes and filters them away from the rest of the plant (this is because the trichomes are small enough to pass through the filters while the plant matter is too large to pass. The end product is then dried so it can be used.
Bubble: Cannabis flowers and trim is placed in a series of bags with different filters ranging from 80-160 microns then placed in ice and water, this is called the “Bubble Method”. This cold water and ice essentially freezes the trichomes so they break away from the leaf of the plant. The different stages of filtering the trichomes in the “bubble bags” sifts the trichomes and filters them away from the rest of the plant (this is because the trichomes are small enough to pass through the filters while the plant matter is too large to pass. This is the same method used for making Sand Hash but the difference is the use of low heat (melt) and pressing the hash In order to turn Sand Hash into Bubble Hash. The result is a dark brown substance that is soft, sticky and malleable.
MELTS AND OILS
Full Melt: Full Melt is more refined version of hash making using solvents like butane, CO2. The goal with the full melt process is the absence of plant material including chlorophyll. Because of this Full Melt doesn't burn like other types of hash. Instead, it melts completely before it begins to burn from a flame. Despite the use of solvents, Full Melt is considered one the most pure and highly concentrated cannabis concentrate in the market. The texture is very soft and waxy with it almost melting when touched.
Super Melt: Super Melt is an ultra-refined Full Melt that appears amber, yellow or mustard in color and is sometimes referred to as “Budder”. Super Melt is the most pure and highly concentrated cannabis concentrate in the market with tests in the 70% to 85% pure THC range. Near room temperature will melt this substance into a liquid.
Oil: Hash oil or “Honey Oil” has been produced for centuries by various cultures around the world. Modern versions of hash oil production employ a variety of techniques and solvents using machines like closed loop butane extractors with butane as the solvent and Supercritical C02 Extractors using C02 as the solvent. The end product offers a variety of colors from amber and mustard to black and green. With the recent popularity of Vape Pens that use this type of oil to make strain specific refill cartridges and syringes the refinement of oil based techniques and products this category only looks to expand.
Badder/Budder: This is oil whipped under heat that creates a cookie batter like texture.
Crumble: The cannabis oil is dried out to create a "honey-comb" appearance. The texture is firm, allowing you to "crumble" a piece off for use.
WAX AND SHATTER
Similar in THC concentration as OIL, these alternative concentrate forms offer additional variety and uses to the consumer.
Wax: Wax is created by whipping hash oil during the refining process. It is sometimes referred to as “earwax”.
Shatter: Shatter is an alternate form of oil but is hardened into a sheet that is easily breakable (thus the name Shatter). It’s semi-transparent and typically amber or yellow in color yellow or amber color.
Live resin, due to the use of cryogenic freezing and whole plant extraction methods, better preserves the “intentions” of the plant in terms of its collection of cannabinoids and terpenes, ensuring that they don’t become degraded via the drying and curing process and simple exposure to oxygen and light. Terpene loss approaching 60 percent of a plant’s terpene content is lost during the drying process.
A benefit of live resin is that it produces such a pure and exact replica of the original plant in terms of its terpene profile and offers the most flavor and best terpene profile of any extraction method available. Due to the ironically negative effects that drying and curing can have on the plant, live resin provides a very different twist on capturing and delivering a more robust and pure collection of cannabinoids and terpenes from the trichomes present on the buds and leaves.
According to research done at the University of Mississippi the essential oil of fresh cannabis has higher amounts of monoterpenes compared to sesquiterpenes. Upon curing, monoterpenes evaporate more quickly due their smaller size, and the terpene profile grows richer in sesquiterpenes. Not only that, but curing can lead to the loss of up to 60% of the essential oil, a.k.a. the terpenes.
Monoterpenes are light terpenes like myrcene, limonene, terpinolene and linalool. These aromatic compounds are responsible for the lighter, aerial and floral aromas of the cannabis scent.
Sesquiterpenes, the heaviest terpenes, are compounds like caryophyllene and humulene. These terpenes are responsible for the heavier undertones of the cannabis scent; think pepper, oregano, hops, mangoes, etc.
ROSIN "ROSIN TECH"
Rosin-tech involves the use of heated metal press to melt and the remove the cannabis oil from a cannabis flower or or hash placed between two pieces of folded parchment paper.
This form is created by fractionating the various cannabinoids from the cannabis oil and isolating them into a pure crystalline form.
The cannabis oil is refined during post-processing that separates through mechanicals means the various oil components such as the cannabinoids and terpenes from the rest of the oil's elements such as the wax and chlorophyll. Thee refined cannabinoids and terpenes can then be recombined or left in an isolated form for use.