Cannabis concentrates are a type of medical marijuana product that is known for its high potency, often exceeding 80% THC content. While not all states have legalized concentrates, the majority now have and they can be found at licensed dispensaries. Cannabis concentrates can be an option for individuals who suffer from debilitating conditions such as intractable pain, Epilepsy, Alzheimer’s Disease, and more.
Extracts and concentrates are technically the same thing, but there may be a difference in the formal definition depending on the state and dispensary. Extracts are often cannabis oils collected using solvents like alcohol or butane gas, while concentrates can be made without solvents using methods like dry sifting, ice water, or hot press.
Cannabis concentrates are typically priced according to THC potency and are higher priced than lower-potency products. However, because of their high potency, “just a dab will do” and the quantity that a patient may use is far less when THC levels are higher.
There are three main ways to consume cannabis concentrates: using dab rigs, adding concentrates to your cone or pre-roll, or cooking with concentrates. While dabbing can be complex to use, easier options include adding concentrate oil to joints or making cannabis-infused foods.
On average, cannabis concentrates have 50% to 69% THC content but in some states that average can exceed 80%. Vermont and Connecticut limit THC content in concentrated cannabis to 60%.
The six main types of concentrated cannabis products are badder/budder, cannabis caviar, crumble wax/honeycomb, shatter/BHO (butane hash oil), distillate, and dry sift kief.
Patients use cannabis concentrates for severe intractable pain, hospice or end-of-life care, moderate to severe epilepsy or muscle spasms. Many doctors suggest using cannabis concentrates sparingly and only if standard potencies are not effective for symptom management.
While there are potential risks associated with heavy and frequent use of cannabis concentrates, they can be an effective option for patients who otherwise have not found relief. Talk to your doctor about your symptom management goals and find out if cannabis concentrates are the right choice for you.