Last Updated on November 4, 2021 by Marie Kathleen
GREAT EXTRACTIONS | All You Need to Know About Cannabis Extracts
Struggle is the enemy,
But weed is the remedy.
These days, cannabis aficionados have access to all manner of products derived from the Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica plants. Along with the traditional “weed”, people can now choose from an array of different substances extracted from or based on cannabis.
Chief among these are cannabis extracts: products that are created using various techniques to obtain the active ingredients from the cannabis plant and turn them into forms that can be more easily used.
But what, exactly, are cannabis extracts? Let’s squeeze out a bit of the juicy information and compress it into a block of usable knowledge.
What are Cannabis Extracts?
Cannabis extracts, also known as concentrates, is an umbrella term that refers to any form of concentrated cannabis product. This could be anything from the traditional forms of cannabis extracts, such as hash, to more modern concoctions such as cannabis oils, shatter, waxes, distillates, sauces, and diamonds.
Many Extraction Methods
Cannabis extracts can be created and consumed in a number of different ways. Some are produced using only heat and pressure; others utilise chemical solvents such as carbon dioxide, butane or ethanol to distill the active ingredients from the plant matter and then condense it into different extracts and concentrates.
However, all of these extraction methods serve the same purpose. They are designed to separate the essential active compounds that users want, that is to say, the cannabinoids and terpenes, from the leafy plant material of the cannabis plant.
The Good Stuff
The result is a product that contains all of the compounds that people love about cannabis, concentrated down into much smaller units. Some extracts can be smoked like traditional cannabis; other consumption methods are much more efficient and deliver rapid results.
Cannabis concentrates such as oil, for example, are often found in vape pen refills. They can also be used as ingredients in edibles. Thicker extracts, such as butter and live resins, are often used in dab rigs as well as vaporizers.
Types of Cannabis Extracts
There is a broad range of different extracts available on the market today. However, the three main varieties that you are likely to come across as you explore the world of cannabis are CBD oil, THC oil, and ingestible oils.
CBD oil (short for cannabidiol oil) is a non-intoxicating product that is usually used to treat a variety of medical conditions. CBD oils are most commonly sold as a tincture or in capsules.
THC oil (the TCH stands for tetrahydrocannabinol) is an intoxicating or psychoactive oil that can be used medicinally but is more commonly used to deliver the euphoric effects that cannabis is famous for. THC oils come in many forms but the most popular ones are compressed solids that can be dabbed such as shatter and diamonds, liquid vaporizer cartridges, and in the form of tinctures.
Ingestible oils (sometimes known as Hemp Oils) refer to non-intoxicating oils that you can mix with food or drink, or take in capsule form, as a supplement to your diet.
Making Sense of the Extract Jargon
At first glance, the world of cannabis extracts may seem confusing. There is a lot of jargon and a lot of terms that you may not have come across before.
But don’t worry, as you set out on your cannabis journey, and discover exactly the right products to suit your needs, you will soon come to understand the terminology. Here are a few examples of cannabis extracts that you will encounter as you explore.
The simplest cannabis extract is kief, which is a powdery residue that accumulates when you grind up fresh cannabis leaf. Kief is mainly composed of trichomes, tiny hair-like glands on the surface of the cannabis plant that contains the active ingredients.
These glands are simple to shake off the flower during the grinding process and they contain all of the psychoactive and health-giving compounds contained within the cannabis plant.
Another cannabis concentrate, one with a long, long history, is hashish. Hash is simply compressed chunks of cannabis resin that can be smoked like traditional cannabis, heated up in a dab rig, or even added to food and or drinks. Hash is generally 3 to 4 times more potent than ordinary cannabis leaf.
Bring on the Vapes!
Science and technology have ushered in a whole new world of products that are extracted from the cannabis plant. Cannabis oils, extracted using various physical and chemical techniques, often come in vaporizer cartridges which are a popular first step for people who are new to the world of cannabis.
Vaporizers allow you to sample different strains and potencies of cannabis oil, and let you figure out exactly which strain and which strength best suits your needs. Vape pens make it very easy to manage the dose that you are taking, which makes them a particularly good choice for new consumers.
Tinctures and Capsules
If you’re not looking to take up vaping, another less common variety of cannabis extract is Rick Simpson Oil. This variety of cannabis oil can be ingested via capsules, added to food directly, or rubbed onto your skin as a topical treatment for various conditions.
To Get High or Not to Get High
Before you try any cannabis extract, it’s important that you have a think about what it is that you want to achieve on your cannabis journey.
If you’re seeking a traditional euphoric cannabis high, concentrates that are rich in THC will be the sort of thing you’ll be looking for.
On the other hand, if you are looking to enjoy some of the health benefits of cannabis products, without the euphoric highs, then you might want to check out a CBD-heavy extract of some sort.
These are your three alternatives:
- Potent and euphoric high. Choose an extract that is high in THC.
- Balanced and gentle high. Look for concentrates or extracts that have an equal mix of THC and CBD.
- Therapeutic relief without and psychoactive effect. Choose extracts with a low THC content and a high CBD content.
When you are setting out on your cannabis journey, it is important to take small steps. This is especially important if you are trying out THC-based extracts for the first time. Once you are comfortable with the way that the concentrate affects you, then you can gradually ramp up the dosage or the extract’s potency.
When it comes to dosing with concentrates that are high in CBD on the other hand, getting “stoned” isn’t so much of a problem. However, it may still take some time, and a little bit of trial and error, and order to dial in the correct dose for your particular body type, physiology and the health result that you desire.
Where to Buy Cannabis Extracts in Canada
To help you make the best decisions, you will want to choose a cannabis dispensary that not only stocks the best quality and range of products but can dispense information and advice in a way that you can understand.
The staff at Matrix Extracts are extremely knowledgeable about cannabis extracts, how they are administered, and the sort of benefits that you can expect from using them. They can explain the jargon and answer your questions in ways that are helpful, non-judgemental and positive. Contact them today and they’ll be happy to help you set off on your cannabis extract journey.