Badder, Budder, Shatter, or ROSIN? It's 7/10/2017, which means it's time to celebrate with a few extra dabs! As 710 fans head down to their local dispensary/shop in search of their favorite concentrates, others are contemplating where to begin their quest.
Crumble, Crystalline, or Distillate – regardless of their modern-day nomenclature, contemporary concentrates are available in a plethora of varying textures, consistencies, and forms. Generally considered sticky and viscous, today's concentrates can also seem parched and crumbly. Or, in the case of extracted distillates, liquefied and oily.
Whether hard and brittle or soft and malleable, the primary difference between the consistency of concentrates on sale at your local dispensary generally depends on a handful of variables: the quality of the nug-run flower; the solvent/mixture used during the extraction process; whether or not the concentrates were whipped or physically agitated after being extracted, and at what temperature the striped cannabis compounds were vacuum purged.
Intended as a helpful guide for those about to celebrate, the below summaries are a brief look at the difference between the consistencies of today's marijuana extracts – identifying how they typically appear and are produced.
From Shatter to creamy goodness: This agitating technique takes your average slab of terpene-rich Shatter and turns it into a creamy pile of psychotropic Badder/Budder. With the help of a simple heating pad and some Pyrex glassware – plus a few minutes of whipping – the Shatter is quickly converted into a pile of impressive extracts. By utilizing the 'low and even' temperature achieved on a heating pad and a constant whipping of the cannabis sap, a creamy, peanut butter-like consistency is quickly achieved. Once solidified through the whipping process, it will be time to break out the daily driver ( oil rig) and take those dabs for a spin.
Crumble is another temperature sensitive byproduct of cannabinoid alchemy created from the plant's extracted sap. Discounting Crystalline and solid Shatter, Crumble is generally considered one of the driest forms of cannabis concentrates on the market today. Dryish, beige, and opaque, Crumble could easily be confused with a smashed up pile of Honeycomb wax. Ultimately, as is true with Badder and Budder, the quality of these concentrates are directly related to the quality and consistency of the Shatter, as well as the strain's pre-run potency used to make the solvent-extracted cannabis sap. Best preserved when purged by skillful hands under vacuum pressure at a temperature of no more than 110°, the integrity of the terpenes (think, flavor) are generally maintained through this process.
Thought to be some of the purest concentrates on earth, a batch of THC-A Crystalline recently tested at a staggering 99% THC. White, crystallized and rocky, at first glance, it would be easy for someone to mistake Crystalline for a slightly more sinister substance. But according to Southern California's Guild Extracts and Marijuana.com, “When THC-A is activated through heat in a process called decarboxylation, the acidic carbon atom (the “A” in THC-A) is removed leaving behind the psychoactive THC that so many of us know and love. Now, remember, this pure THC does not contain terpenes (the magical compounds that give cannabis strains their distinctive aroma and flavor profiles while contributing to their therapeutic effects). To make up for the lack of flavor, Guild Extracts has become famous for the “dip n dab,” dipping the crystalline concentrate into terpenes extracted from strains like Goji OG, Tangie, and Sherbert.”
Highly versatile, distillate concentrates can be produced from existing extracts or through the “short path distillation” process. Used in the production of edibles, vape pens, and other cannabinoid-based products, distillates produced at a high level follow a predetermined path: Create the extract, decarboxylate the extract, winterize the mixture so particulates can be filtered out, recover the desired solvent, and distil the solution for purification and potency. After the solution has been properly distilled, the concentrated distillates will generally have flavoring added – dependent on the intended use of the distillate.
Probably the hottest variety of concentrate in this year, Live Resin is extracted using BHO from a freshly harvested plant that's flash-frozen at a very low temperature. Live Resin typically has a sappy consistency due to the high terpene concentration. Cannabis aficionados appreciate Live Resin for its high terpene content, though it has a lower THC yield as compared to other concentrates. This concentrate earned the name Live Resin as a result of the fresh aroma and taste of the harvest used to produce this tasty product.
Easy to make, solvent free, and tasty to dab, I'm a little confused that Rosin hasn't become more popular. Easily made with a simple flat iron (typically used for straightening hair), creating Rosin requires a combination of pressure and heat to squeeze resinous sap from the plant material. Depending on the type of strain you start with, the Rosin produced can vary in color from a light yellow to deep amber sap. Interesting side note: per Walmart.com, the national megastore now sells a “Pneumatic Rosin Heat Press Dab Machine.” Listed for $499, a manual version of the Rosineer can be found on eBay with a current bid price of $269.
Everybody appreciates a nice relaxing “Shatterday!” Sometimes Amber and sometimes golden, it's hard to find an extract artist that doesn't have a warm spot for these shiny slabs of extracted cannabis sap. Similar to the field of computer science, Shatter is subject to the GIGO paradigm. As a means of assuring they're making the highest quality Shatters available, today's extractors have typically focused on isolating and removing the active compounds from the plant's cured flowers. Known as “Nug-Run,” extracted concentrates made from pure flower typically yield the second highest retail price from dispensaries. Second only to Live Resin, Nug-Run Shatter is the next best thing.