Cannabis concentrates are very appealing to medical cannabis patients for various reasons.
Most notably, they are more potent than flower because the extraction process separates the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant matter, which results in a higher concentration of THC, CBD, or other minor cannabinoids, hence why they’re called concentrates.
Also important to medical cannabis users is that lack of plant matter when inhaling concentrates through a vaporizer or “dabbing”. Concentrates feel less harsh on the lungs that smoking ground up cannabis without the actual leaves of the flower.
Many of those who get a medical cannabis certification with Compassionate Clinics of America will wonder how to buy concentrates, what type is best for them, and how to use them. Here we’ll provide an overview on concentrates as well as tips on how to buy concentrates that fit your desired outcomes.
Get Your Medical Cannabis Certification
Although you may be in a state that offers adult use cannabis, there are several benefits to having your medical cannabis certification in an adult use state.
One of these benefits includes the ability to buy your concentrates and cannabis products at a medical cannabis dispensary. While the adult use market may focus heavily on products with the highest THC, medical cannabis dispensaries are more likely to stock products that have shown to be more medically effective.
Medical dispensaries will have a variety of concentrates such as shatter, wax, hash, budder, rosin, live resin, and distillates, to name a few, however, most will pay attention to the balance of cannabinoids and terpenes so to provide maximum medical benefit through the entourage effect.
Consider getting your medical cannabis recommendation in Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania with Compassionate Clinics of America, to guide you on your next step to finding your ideal cannabis concentrate.
Do Some Research on Brands & Types of Concentrates
Before you visit a medical cannabis dispensary, do some research on some of the brands that are creating cannabis products for medical patients. Distribution may vary from state to state for brands, so it’s always a good start to look at an online directory like Weedmaps or Leafly to browse available products and medical-focused brands.
It can get pretty intimidating when browsing a menu, only to see that there are so many types of concentrates. Take some time to get to know the different types of concentrates and what differentiates them. We have a helpful blog that focuses exactly on this topic.
Here is a brief breakdown of the different types of concentrates a medical cannabis patient can consider:
- Shatter – a glass-like extraction that is usually amber in color, usually sold by the one gram
- Wax – a thicker, waxy substance that is golden or opaque in color that may be granular in texture
- Live Resin – holds a sticky consistency between saucy and waxy, extracted through solvents and often known for its terpene concentration
- Live Rosin – similar to Live Resin but uses heat and pressure instead of solvents for extraction; also preserves terpenes
- Hash – created by pressing or rubbing together the resin glands (trichomes) of a cannabis plant to form a brick, a slab, or rolled pieces
- Bubble Hash – uses ice water to pull the sticky trichomes or resin glands from the plant, resulting in loose, bubbling trichomes that look similar to brown sugar
- Distillate – an extract with a honey-like consistency that is further refined than resin or rosin to isolate one particular cannabinoid
- Sauce – focused on combining a strain’s (cultivar) expressed terpenes and its cannabinoids (aka. terp sauce, THC sauce, or diamonds when they contain THCA crystals)
- Budder, Badder, and/or Batter – similar types of concentrates, all with a high potency
- Crumble – a dry, more powdery form of cannabis concentrates that looks like sugar
Choose Your Method of Inhalation or Consumption
Cannabis concentrates are most commonly inhaled via a vaporizer or through a process called dabbing. However, cannabis concentrates can also be put into edibles as well.
Vaporizing cannabis concentrates can be done a few different ways. Some may choose a concentrate vaporizer that holds a chamber where they can insert their chosen concentrate to be heated by the coils in the device. Other may choose to purchase a battery in which they can screw in a pre-filled cartridge with a cannabis concentrate or a single-use disposable vaporizer containing a concentrate. Vaporizing is often preferred because it is discreet, it makes it a bit easier for patients to control their dose, and there are a variety of choices of concentrates and cartridges available of different cultivars (strains) that hold different terpene profiles.
Dabbing is a bit more of an involved process. Dabbing involves using a rig and a nail (not the type used for construction) to heat the cannabis concentrate to a temperature that will not burn off the terpenes. There are various tips and techniques that people use for dabbing, such as “cold starting” or heating the concentrate in the nail, or heating the nail first so it’s red hot and letting it cool to the desired temperature before dropping the concentrate in. Dabbing may take a while to get used to, but there are a lot of video resources available that will show you how to figure out the process and best temperature for your concentrate.
When you’re purchasing concentrate but don’t have the right tools to consume them, your purchase will be useless. Make sure your medical cannabis dispensary shows you the available tools like vaporizer batteries, dab rigs, nails, and torches at different price levels to find tools within your budget. However, with cannabis tools, quality matters!
Concentrates can also be used for edibles, such as gummies, however, you’ll want to use proper methods to ensure that the concentrate is soluble and mixed thoroughly with your edible product. One popular way to use concentrates for edibles is to mix distillate into gummie mixture or to spray gummies with distillate. See our blog for more cannabis infused food and beverage ideas.
How Much Concentrate to Buy
The best thing about concentrates is that a little goes a long way, which can make it an economical choice for people who want to stretch their dollar and get maximum benefit from the medical cannabis experience. Most concentrates will come in quantities of one gram (1g), which can be stretched over a few weeks, depending on frequency of use.
When using concentrates, “a little dab will do you” is a great thing to keep in mind. We recommend starting with just a tiny quantity, no larger than the size of an ant to experience the potency to find what your tolerance level is with concentrates.
With this in mind, there is no need to buy more than a few grams at a time, unless you consume frequently and want to experience a broad range of products and possible effects.
Now that you’ve learned a bit about how to buy concentrates as a medical cannabis patient, it’s important that you also take the care to store them properly.
If concentrates are kept in a warm place or in the sun, they may run the risk of terpene degradation or even the loss of THC potency, especially if they melt. Most concentrates will come in a glass, plastic, or silicone jar, and they’re best stored in a cool, dry place. If your home or environment runs hot, they can also be stored in the fridge or the freezer for longer-term storage.
If you purchase a larger amount of concentrates at one time, they can be vacuum sealed and should keep for 6-12 months in a fridge or freezer. You will want to let your concentrate thaw out before use.
Get Your Medical Cannabis Certification & Discover Concentrates
At Compassionate Clinics of America, we love that there are so many available products available for our medical cannabis patients to choose from at the medical cannabis dispensaries that serve them.
Looking for a medical cannabis certification to explore the medical potential of cannabis and cannabis concentrates? Compassionate Clinics of America is a supportive team of physicians and Patient Care Specialists who are there to help you explore cannabis medicine. We serve patients in Illinois, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Oklahoma. Stay tuned to our blog as we continue to release more educational information to help patients maximize their cannabis medicine experience.