What Are Cannabis Concentrates?

Cannabis concentrates have seen popularity in recent years thanks to their potency and versatility. These concentrated forms of cannabis offer users a more potent and efficient way to enjoy the benefits of the plant. 

This comprehensive guide will delve into the world of cannabis concentrates, exploring their definition, types, production methods, consumption techniques, potential benefits, and associated risks. We will also provide valuable tips on preserving these potent substances for long-term use.

Understanding Cannabis Concentrates

Cannabis oil concentrates are highly concentrated collections of trichomes found on the cannabis plant, containing the highest cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. These resultant products boast 60% or higher THC concentrations and exhibit variations in consistency, appearance, terpene profiles, and effects.  Manufacturers employ various extraction methods to produce cannabis oil concentrates, with all methods falling into two primary categories: solventless and solvent-based.


This extraction method involves agitation to detach resin heads from the cannabis material, followed by using low-heat, high-pressure equipment to transform the trichomes into concentrated oils. Solventless extracts do not necessitate chemicals during production and belong to the “rosin” family of concentrates. Rosin products encompass fresh press, rosin badder, rosin jam, dry sift, and 6-star hash. 


In contrast to rosin extracts, solvent-based extracts utilize solvents to separate trichomes from the plant material. Common solvents include butane, ethanol, methanol, or CO2. Following extraction, manufacturers must remove the solvents from the mixture to produce a safe, clean final product.

Types of Cannabis Concentrates

Cannabis oil concentrates have different types. Each has a different flavour, potency, and consistency. Below are some of the most common types:

Types of Cannabis Oil Concentrates






Shatter is a translucent and glass-like concentrate that is typically amber or gold in colour.

It is known for its brittle, shatterable texture.

Shatter boasts high cannabinoid levels. It is one of the most potent concentrates available.

It can be dabbed, vaporized, or used in certain edibles.


Wax concentrates have a soft, waxy texture that ranges from a crumbly consistency to a smoother, buttery texture.

Wax can be crumbly or more pliable depending on its specific texture.

Wax is highly potent and can contain high levels of THC and other cannabinoids.

Wax is consumed through dabbing or vaporizing.


Budder is characterized by its creamy, butter-like consistency.

Budder delivers a smooth texture.

Budder can be quite potent and retains the flavours and aromas of the original cannabis strain.

It is commonly used in dabbing but can be vaped or added to edibles.

Live Resin

Live resin is a sticky, gooey concentrate that often appears amber or gold.

It is known for its high terpene content. They provide an intense aroma and flavour.

Live resin is potent and prized for its rich terpene profile.

It can be dabbed, vaporized, or added to edibles.


Rosin is a solventless concentrate that resembles sticky, translucent sap.

It can vary from being more solid to more liquid.

Depending on the starting material, Rosin can have a moderate to high potency.

It is used for dabbing but can also be added to joints or vaped.


Hash is a traditional concentrate made by compressing and heating resin-rich trichomes.

Depending on the production method, it can vary from solid and crumbly to more malleable.

Hash’s potency varies depending on its source material and production method.

It can be smoked, vaporized, or used in edibles.


Distillate is a clear, viscous liquid concentrate.

It is highly fluid and lacks the solid form of other concentrates.

Distillate can be incredibly potent, often exceeding 90% THC content.

It is commonly used in vape cartridges or added to edibles.

How Concentrates Are Made

Cannabis oil concentrates are created through various extraction and refinement processes that concentrate the plant’s active compounds while removing undesirable elements like plant material and chlorophyll. The choice of extraction method can significantly impact the final product’s characteristics.




Solvents like butane, propane, or ethanol dissolve the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant material.

High yield, versatility, and the ability to produce a wide range of concentrate types.

Requires specialized equipment and poses safety risks if not done properly.




Carbon dioxide is used under specific conditions to extract cannabinoids and terpenes, leaving no residues.

Precise control over the extraction process, producing high-quality concentrates.

Expensive equipment and expertise are required.




This method uses mechanical or heat-based techniques to separate trichome heads from the plant material.

No residual solvents, preserving the natural terpene profile.

Lower yields compared to solvent-based methods.




Hydrocarbons like propane or butane are used similarly to solvent-based methods.

Efficient extraction process and the ability to retain terpene profiles.

Safety concerns related to flammable gases if not handled properly.

Once the initial extraction is complete, the resulting concentrate can undergo further processing steps such as winterization, filtration, or distillation to refine its purity and consistency.

Consumption Methods

Cannabis oil concentrates offer various consumption methods, catering to different preferences and lifestyles. The choice of method can affect the user experience, so it’s essential to choose the one that suits your needs.




Dabbing involves heating a concentrate (e.g., shatter, wax, budder) on a hot surface and inhaling the vapour.

Fast onset, precise dosing, and potent effects.

Requires specialized equipment (dab rig), which can be intimidating for beginners.




Vaporizing concentrates using a vape pen or e-rig is discreet and convenient.

Portability, controlled dosing, and minimized odour.

Initial equipment cost and potential for lower terpene retention.




Concentrates can be added to food or beverages to create edibles which offer a longer-lasting, body-centred high.

No need for smoking or vaporizing; discreet and potent.

Delayed onset (up to two hours) and potential for overconsumption.




Concentrates can be infused into topical application lotions, creams, or balms.

Non-psychoactive, targeted relief for localized issues.

Limited psychoactive effects; primarily used for therapeutic purposes.




Some concentrates, like hash or rosin, can be used in a pipe or rolled into a joint.

Familiar method for many users, and it is easy to control dosage.

Less efficient than other methods and potentially harsh on the throat.




Concentrates can be dissolved in alcohol or oil to create tinctures consumed sublingually (under the tongue).

Fast onset and precise dosing.

Taste isn’t universally accepted. 

Benefits and Potential Risks

Concentrates offer several potential benefits, both for medical and recreational users. However, using them responsibly and being aware of potential risks is important.

  • Concentrates provide a potent source of cannabinoids, making them suitable for patients seeking higher doses for conditions like chronic pain, epilepsy, and cancer-related symptoms.
  • Concentrates allow for precise dosing and is convenient for patients managing their medication.
  • Dabbing or vaporizing concentrates can quickly relieve acute symptoms.
  • Concentrates offer a more intense and immediate high than smoking or vaping flowers.
  • Some concentrates, like live resin, retain the various flavours and aromas of the cannabis strain.
  • Users can achieve the desired effect with smaller quantities, potentially saving money in the long run.

While concentrates have many advantages, they also come with potential risks that users should be aware of:

  • Due to their high potency, concentrates can lead to intense psychoactive effects, including anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations, if used excessively.
  • Regularly using high-potency concentrates can increase tolerance, requiring higher doses for the same effect.
  • Dabbing and vaporizing can still pose some risks to lung health, although they are generally considered less harmful than smoking.
  • Poorly made concentrates can contain residual solvents or contaminants, posing health hazards.

Tips for Long-Term Preservation

To ensure the longevity of your concentrates and maintain their potency, flavour, and safety, consider the following tips for proper preservation:

  • Keep your concentrates in a cool, dark place, ideally around 60-70°F (15-21°C) to prevent degradation.
  • Exposure to light can degrade cannabinoids and terpenes, so store your concentrates in opaque containers.
  • Use airtight containers, such as silicone or glass jars with a secure seal, to prevent air exposure.
  • Minimize the amount of air in the container to reduce oxidation.
  • Moisture can lead to mould growth, so store concentrates in a dry environment and avoid humidity.
  • You can place a small packet of silica gel in the container to absorb residual moisture.
  • Maintain a stable temperature and avoid frequent temperature fluctuations, as this can affect the consistency and quality of concentrates.
  • Label your containers with the strain, extraction date, and other relevant information to keep track of your concentrates.
  • Consume older concentrates before newer ones to maintain freshness.
  • Once you open a container, seal it tightly immediately after use to minimize exposure to air.

Order From a Reliable Online Dispensary in Vancouver

Cannabis concentrates offer an exciting and potent way to experience the benefits of the cannabis plant. With various types, consumption methods, and production techniques available, users can explore a wide range of options. 


For unmatched quality and consistency, trust Sea to Sky Cannabis, Vancouver’s premier online dispensary. Our team is here to guide you to our top-tier cannabis concentrates. Reach out to us today and discover the pinnacle of cannabis excellence.

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