How Are Cannabis Extracts Made?
What’s an extract? Shatters, resins, budders, caviar, budders, isolates, and more — there is a big wide world of cannabis extracts for sale, but it’s a confusing one. Every cannabis extract on the market today is unique in its own way, starting with how it was made. Most of the time, the difference between shatter and wax or any other concentrate starts with the cannabis extraction process.
A long time ago, people used traditional methods for cannabis extractions. But these days, the booming cannabis market demands exciting new products, from high tech processes. All cannabis extracts for sale today come from certified, inspected, and high tech laboratories. As such, most of us can only grasp the basic premise of these techniques.
But even if it’s impossible to make shatters and distillates at home, maybe it’s time you learned a thing or two about the process. Essentially, if you love concentrates, shouldn’t you know how companies make them?
5 Common Extraction Methods
How is Rosin Made?
Out of all the cannabis extracts for sale, rosin is the simplest and doesn’t use any solvents or additional ingredients. Rosin extracts cannabinoids and terpenes from raw plant material by applying extremely high pressure and heat. It requires a device, usually a rosin press (although in the old days they used a t-shirt press, and you can use a hair straightener at home).
Many people love rosin because its one of the purest concentrates available. The combination of heat and high pressure forces the valuable oils out from the cannabis flower or hash. The hot rosin drips down a piece of parchment paper, which cools into a sticky mass before collection.
Rosin sits at the lowest end of the potency spectrum, and always represents the cannabinoid profile of the original material. If a typical strain contains between 10 to 20 percent THC, rosin can contain between 50 to 70 percent THC. The original material, temperature, and heat combination and technique of the producer will all play into final potency
How is Butane Honey Oil (BHO) Made?
Butane Honey Oil (BHO) continues to be the most popular extraction technique, although it originally came from the black market. As the name suggests, cannabis extracts for sale under the BHO label use butane in the extraction process.
BHO relies on a highly volatile petrochemical to pull the cannabinoids away from the organic plant material. It essentially pushes liquid butane through a column filled with weed, under intense pressure. In a highly controlled environment, technicians use heat to evaporate the solvent (butane) from the equation. The leftover material is thick, molasses-like, and highly potent. When done correctly, BHO is free from solvent remnants.
Although technically, it is possible to make BHO at home, it is hazardous and not recommended. You’ll enjoy much better quality, flavor, and purity by sourcing BHO online in Canada. Plus, you won’t risk blowing up your house.
How is Rick Simpson Oil (RSO/Phoenix Tears) Made?
Rick Simpson Oil, also known as Phoenix Tears or RSO, was so named for the man who pioneered the method. Rick Simpson, a now world-famous Canadian, created this technique and product way before medical cannabis was legal in Canada. He used RSO, to the tune of one gram a day, to treat his cancer. He is still around and claims daily doses of RSO cured his disease.
It is possible to buy phoenix tears online, but you can also make it at home. Making RSO requires Everclear or another high-grain pure alcohol. First, combine the alcohol with the plant material and infuse it for several hours or overnight. Strain out the cannabis, so that only the liquid remains. Then, it’s necessary to evaporate the alcohol so that only a thick syrup remains using a safe heat source (no open flame). The final product ranges in color from black to dark brown to green.
You can make this at home with a slow cooker, but technically Everclear is still flammable. Its easier, cleaner, and far less dangerous to buy phoenix tears online then to attempt to make it at home.
How is Shatter, Budder, or Wax Made?
Many cannabis concentrates like weed shatter, budder, waxes, sugars, and more are all riffs off the same basic formula. So what influences the final color, consistency, and texture? It comes down to the original strain, solvents used (butane, ethanol, etc.), and the purging method. It can also depend on the experience and skill of the technician.
Shatters are generally allowed to settle following the extraction process, while budders and honeycombs are whipped or stirred somehow to inflate the texture. Sugars and crumbles tend to require something in between.
How are Isolates and Distillates Made?
Isolates and distillates sit at the extreme end of the concentrate spectrum. Some isolates contain upwards of 99 percent THC or CBD. They are so concentrated they have lost all visible connection to the plant they come from, and often look more like sugar or crystals than cannabis.
Making isolates and distillates begins with crude extractions, which is a cannabis oil that is already slightly concentrated. Producers use high tech laboratory equipment, like mass spectrometers, as well as gas and liquid chromatography. These highly technical laboratory tools separate individual cannabinoids (and sometimes terpenes) into a precisely isolated state. Lingering waxes, flavonoids, and other undesirable compounds are completely removed.
A Big Wild World of Cannabis Extracts for Sale
Everyone who loves cannabis concentrates has a personal preference. Whether it’s a lightly whipped budder, perfect for dabbing, or a distillate for mixing into a baked good, there is a potent product out there for everyone.
How do you choose between the dozens of options, brands, and formats? BHO, RSO, distillates, and isolates are all taken orally (or used in edibles). Other extracts, like shatters and honeycombs, are better for dabbing. With the right vaporizer, suitable for concentrates, you can also vape extracts. For the grab and go option, the vape pens available today, are all based on concentrates. Finally, when the need is urgent, you can always pack a bowl and add many extracts on top.
However you choose to enjoy cannabis extracts, strap in for a powerful and fast-acting high. Remember, all concentrates are anywhere from three to four times stronger than a straight flower. Start low and go slow.