Ahhh dabs, that beautifully THC concentrated lung filling delightful substance that most stoners have grown to love over the last few years. We've learned how to smoke it but do you know how to distinguish between the different types of concentrates out in the market? Most stoners would describe their dabs as sticky but are you aware of crumble or the hard shatters? Can you identify the sticky saps from the drippy oils?
Alcohol Hash Oil
The easiest at home hash oil extraction method is made from the cannabis flower that is mixed with a strong alcohol like Everclear or an isopropyl alcohol. It is debated whether the cannabis should be decarboxylated or not before being mixed with the alcohol. Once the plant material is strained and the alcohol is evaporated you are left with hash oil. The potency is greater than if you smoked the cannabis flower alone and varies with the cannabis flower THC levels that you started out with. This is a great method if you got stuck with shitty weed. Store your hash oil in a silicone dab container and keep in a cool dark place.
Butane Hash Oil is made from when the THC is extracted from the cannabis plant using butane as the extraction solvent. Butane is thicker compared to the CO2 and is easier to use with a dab rig than the more liquid CO2 option. Whether you choose to use the BHO or CO2 oil storage is best in a silicone dab container that is stored in a cool dark place.
Budder was created back in the 90's by the "BudderKing" and some of his friends in Vancouver that started by leaving some shatter in a window (another reason I love my neighbors to the north!). When Shatter is exposed to heat and breaks down it turns into the concentrated budder form transforming the shatter into a peanut butter consistency. Budder that has more of a lighter golden color is generally more potent. If your budder is too liquid toss it in the freezer for a few minutes to make it easier to work with in a more solidified state. Store your budder in an airtight glass jar or silicone dab container and keep it in a cool dry place.
Oil that is made using a method called supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) extracts the THC from the cannabis by using the strange properties of gases that have been compressed beyond their critical point. CO2 is best used for this method due to it reaching its critical point at 90 degrees. The low temperature is great because it does not denature the terpenes and cannabinoids. CO2 oil is more liquid in its consistency and will usually come in a syringe and is best if used in a vape pen. Cannabis oils made with CO2 are generally more flavorful and has the benefits of having no dangerous chemicals used in the extraction process. Store your CO2 oil in a syringe or a silicone dab container in a cool dark place.
Crumble is the least sticky of all the concentrates and you should be able to handle the crumble dabs by hand when breaking into the desired amount of dabs for your smoke sesh. Avoid parchment paper to store these dabs and opt for the silicone or an airtight glass container and keep in a cool dry place.
Try to avoid using parchment paper and instead keep your crumble in a silicone or glass container with a lid.
Shatter is a less sticky and more manageable type of concentrate out in the concentrate market. The slightly sticky glass like dab lives up to its name if dropped being more likely to actually shatter than to melt into our carpet. The quality of your shatter can be easily identified when you hold your shatter up to the light. If you can see through your shatter with minimal swirls or blotches of color your shatter was purged well. If you see lots of discoloration it means your shatter was not purged properly and you have a lower quality with a higher chemical contamination. You can store your shatter in some parchment paper or even better a silicone dab container. When smoking shatter you can easily drop a piece of it using your fingers or use a dab tool to place the shatter on the dab nail.
THCa Crystalline is the holy grail of cannabis extracts with a godly purity of 99.96%, if made correctly. THCa Crystalline starts out as an oil and is chemically fucked with to create the crystalline form. These chemicals are purged during the process so you are getting that crazy purity level without all of the nasty chemicals.
Wax is some serious sticky icky cannabis extract that should never be handled with anything but a clean dab tool. If you think using your hands to handle your wax is a good idea be prepared to waste a whole lot of your precious wax and have an expensive sticky mess. Avoid storing your wax dabs in a plastic jar. Storing wax is best in a silicone container with a lid or wrapped well in some parchment paper and placed in a ziploc plastic bag.