Making Concentrates: What Is Removed and What Remains (Part 2)
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Converting cannabis flowers into concentrates is an interesting subject. With the variety of methods available, it comes down to a mechanical extraction or extraction method without using solvents. These processes include beating, rubbing, or pressing the plant. Many consumers prefer this because of the natural process and safety with the lack of added chemicals that could taint the original cannabinoids. Below is a list of the most popular types of concentrates, ways to make and use them, what the concentrate consists of, and what was removed. Overall, cannabis flowers or leaves contain up to 25% THC, while concentrates carry 60% to 80% THC.
Kief: The Potent Crystals of Cannabis
When looking at a cannabis plant, crystallized resins and trichomes are visible on the leaves and buds. The crystals have the most THC and cannabinoids in the quantity that any part of the plant itself. Known for having the most concentrated THC levels, kief is also the least processed of all concentrates. Kief is generally further processed into a hash from the ice water method is very popular for a high-quality, exceptionally pure hash. It is also pressed into rosins, rolled into moonrocks, and other cannabis treats. Many consumers also use kief to enhance joints or bowls for greater potency.
Whether you shake, sift, dry-sift, or grind, kief will be accumulated. When using a grinder with dry buds, kief is the residue left in the grinder’s bottom. Another common way to convert flowers into concentrated kief is first to grind the plant. Then all the ground cannabis is run through a silkscreen machine or a hashish drum. An easy tried and accurate method is to shake the plant through a fine mesh. The key is that the more refined the mesh, the purer the kief. The second type of kief is extracted using ice water to then press into bubble hash.
Cannabis Oils: Pressed Edibles, Lotions, and More
The natural oils from cannabis plants can be extracted through pressing buds, leaves, or seeds. Of note, many types of cannabis oil are also made using solvents. These oils are further refined for their CBD content, use in lotions, topical oils, vapes, and edible oil products. There are both CBD and THC oils used in medical-related products for a variety of conditions.
Rosins: Flavorfully Sticky
Presses using heat to remove trichomes from buds and leaves (cured or uncured), kief, or hash create the concentrate known as rosin. The quality of the rosin, aroma, and taste is dependent on several factors, including the strain of cannabis and the method of extraction. It is generally considered the most flavorful form of concentrate. Rosin ranges from very clear to very dark colors, as a viscous, thick sap used in this form. It is also used in a variety of edible products. Rosin contains high-potency trichomes pressed and extracted through a low-heat process (150-180 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher heat (200-350 degrees Fahrenheit).
Pure, unadulterated concentrates are an easy process of conversion from cannabis flowers, leaves, and seeds. The primary goal is to obtain the high-potency kief, oil, or resin to consume as-is for making other cannabis-based products.