Cannabis concentrates are a diverse group of highly potent marijuana extracts that are increasingly popular among medical users due to their high levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and other cannabinoids.

These products offer a more intense experience compared to traditional flower buds and are used in vaporization, dabbing, and as additions to edible products.

What Are Cannabis Concentrates?

Cannabis concentrates are products created by the accumulation of cannabinoids and terpenes extracted from cannabis plants. The term "concentrate" can encompass a wide range of products including oils, shatter, waxes, live resin, and more.

These products generally contain a much higher concentration of cannabinoids and terpenes than found in raw cannabis flowers. Concentrations of THC can vary significantly making these products much stronger than the traditional flower.

Production Methods

The production of cannabis concentrates involves several methods, each yielding a different type and quality of concentrate. The two main categories of extraction are solvent-based and solventless techniques.

Solvent-based Extraction

The following are some solvent-based extraction methods:

  • CO2 Extraction: This method uses carbon dioxide under high pressure and low temperatures to isolate and preserve cannabinoids and terpenes. The result is often a cleaner, more terpene-rich product.
  • Butane Hash Oil (BHO): This is one of the most common methods of extraction. It uses butane as a solvent to pull out the valuable cannabinoids and terpenes. The mixture then undergoes a purging process to remove all butane from the final product. The result can be a variety of textures such as honeycomb, budder, or shatter.

a dropper bottle and marijuana leaves

Solventless Extraction

Here are some solventless extractions:

  • Rosin: Produced by applying heat and pressure to cannabis flowers or hash, rosin is a popular solventless concentrate. It’s prized for its purity and potency without the use of chemical solvents.
  • Dry Sift: This method involves using screens with varying microns to manually separate the trichomes from the flower. The result is a sandy or powdery product rich in cannabinoids.


The following are some other methods:

  • Kief: Kief consists of tiny crystals found on cannabis flowers, rich in cannabinoids and terpenes. Using a multi-chamber grinder can help collect kief, which can then be sprinkled on a bowl or joint for enhanced potency.
  • Powdered Hash: Powdered hash is concentrated kief, created by collecting kief through mechanical agitation and then pressing it into bricks. This form is crumbly and potent, used similarly to other cannabis concentrates.

Types of Concentrates

Here are the various kinds of concentrate:

  • Wax: Wax concentrates have a soft, wax-like texture. This form is easy to handle and is favored for its ease of use when dabbing.
  • Shatter: Known for its glass-like transparency and brittle consistency, shatter is a popular choice for its aesthetic, purity, and ease of storage.
  • Live Resin: Produced from fresh frozen plants to preserve all terpenes, live resin is highly aromatic and is considered by many to be the premium choice for flavor enthusiasts.
  • Distillate: This is a translucent, runny oil devoid of the undesirable compounds or waxes from the original plant. Distillate is often used in edibles, creams, and vape cartridges.

person dropping oil into their hand

Usage and Effects

The high concentration of cannabinoids in cannabis concentrates means that these products can deliver very potent effects very quickly. For medical users, this can mean more effective relief from symptoms such as pain, inflammation, and anxiety.

However, the potent effects of concentrates also come with risks. The high THC levels can lead to stronger than expected psychoactive effects, which can include anxiety, paranoia, and dizziness. As with any medical cannabis product, moderation and adherence to medical advice is key.

Benefits of Cannabis Concentrates

Cannabis concentrates offer the following benefits:


Concentrates are highly potent, containing a higher concentration of cannabinoids like THC and CBD compared to traditional cannabis flower. This means users can achieve stronger effects with smaller amounts, which can be particularly beneficial for those using cannabis for medical purposes to manage pain, nausea, or other symptoms.


Due to their potency, concentrates can deliver desired effects more quickly and efficiently. This is especially useful for people who need immediate relief from symptoms such as chronic pain or acute stress.

Flavor and Purity

Many concentrates, especially those produced through solventless methods retain a rich profile of terpenes. This can enhance the user experience, providing more pronounced and diverse flavors.

Less Combustible Smoke

When vaporized, concentrates produce less smoke than traditional flowers, which means less inhalation of combusted plant material. This can be easier on the lungs and is considered by some to be a healthier alternative to smoking.

cannabis leaves against a white background


Concentrates can be used in a variety of ways. They can be vaporized using a vape pen or dab rig, added to joints or blunts to increase potency, or incorporated into edibles. This versatility makes them appealing to a wide range of users with different consumption preferences.

Like all cannabis products, the legality of concentrates depends on the laws of the individual state. Where legal, they are usually subject to strict regulations regarding their production, distribution, and sale.

Health-wise, while vaping concentrates is often seen as a safer alternative to smoking, it’s not without risks. The high potency of concentrates means they should be used with caution and under the advice of medical experts.

Bottom Line

Cannabis concentrates are an advanced segment of the cannabis market, offering diversity in both product types and methods of consumption. They provide potent effects and have the potential for both recreational enjoyment and significant therapeutic benefits. However, they also require a good understanding and respect for their potency to ensure safe use.

If you need help gaining access to a medical marijuana card, reach out to the team at Malie Cannabis Clinic today!