Concentrates 101 | Surterra – Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

What is a concentrate?

A cannabis concentrate is a highly potent product made by extracting key elements – like terpenes, cannabinoids and flavonoids — from the rest of the plant materials, usually under high temperatures and pressure. The resulting products are typically thick and rich with canna-goodness, which is what makes concentrates so, well, concentrated.

How are concentrates made?

That depends on the product itself. Concentrates can be made using mechanics, heat, high pressure, solvents, or a combination of processes and methods.

What is a live concentrate?

Live concentrates are made using plant material that was flash-frozen immediately after harvest. This process helps lock in the cannabinoids and flavorful terpene profile of the strain, resulting in an experience similar to consuming flower.

What is a cured concentrate?

Cured concentrates are produced using dried (or “cured”) plant material. If you’ve tried concentrates before, there’s a good chance you were consuming a cured concentrate. Curing consists of drying the harvested flower until it reaches a moisture content that is ideal for extraction (usually less than 10%).

For comparison, most whole flower you purchase is cured until it reaches around 10-15% moisture. Cured concentrates are simply dried a little longer, then processed into their desired forms.

What is a solventless concentrate?

They’re exactly what they sound like, a concentrate made without using chemical or organic solvents.

Most solventless concentrates are made by sending the plant material through an ice bath that allows the trichomes to physically separate from the buds. The extracted material can be consumed as-is (in the form of bubble hash) or pressed into rosin and other forms. Solventless concentrates can also be made using a series of screens and filters that collect the trichomes in a dry, almost dusty form known as kief or dry sift.  

What is a solvent?

A solvent is a liquid that dissolves the cannabinoids and terpenes in order to separate them from the rest of the plant material. Common solvents include hydrocarbon, C02, ethanol, and acetone.

What’s the difference between solventless concentrates and other forms?

The extraction process is the crucial difference. Solvent-based extraction requires extra processing steps to remove the solvents and any other unwanted materials. This means that the fragile terpene profile may break down a bit more, resulting in a slightly less flavorful experience.

Choosing the type of concentrate you want really comes down to personal preference. Both solventless and solvent-based extraction methods offer high-grade, strain-specific concentrates that contain a similar ratio of cannabinoids and terpenes to the plant itself.

Will concentrates get me super high?

Most concentrates are more potent than your average pre-roll, but that doesn’t mean you’ll end up lost in the stratosphere. Enjoying your experience with concentrates is all about finding the right dose for yourself.

How do I know what amount is right?

You know what they say, start low and go slow. Take it one (small) hit at a time until you achieve the feeling you want. Sometimes just a little dab’ll do ya.

What is this “dab” you speak of?

Dabbing is the recommended way to consume most concentrates. You place the product on a device that heats it until it vaporizes, then inhale the vapor.

And since you asked, we’re big fans of these devices – check them out next time you shop with us!

How do I know if I’ll like concentrates?

There’s only one way to find out! Here are a few key reasons you might want to try a cannabis concentrate:  

  • You don’t like to inhale smoke, or don’t want smoke lingering in your house and on your clothes.
  • You’re looking for a more potent experience.
  • You want a robust & flavorful product.
  • You love to see a little go a long way.

Ready to explore the wild world of concentrates? Let’s go!

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