What Are Cannabis Concentrates?
As new cannabis products reach the Florida Medical Cannabis marketplace, inexperienced and experienced patients alike are finding themselves with a few, “what the heck is that?” moments. This rings especially true when in comes to the varied world of cannabis concentrates. Concentrates are an extremely popular medication, especially for experienced cannabis users. They are potent, offer large doses of medication efficiently, and are cost effective. For patients with a high tolerance or requiring macro doses, concentrates are a quick and easy way to dose their medication. Because of the high doses they should be used with caution.
Cannabis concentrates are cannabis derived extracts that are comprised of extremely high amounts of THC, CBD, other cannabinoids. They come in a variety of forms and appearances, with the earliest use of concentrates dating back to ancient China. With the legalization of medicinal and adult use cannabis over the last 20+ years in US, traditional concentrates blossomed into a world of innovative and flavorful extractions. Higher end concentrates offer superior flavor and intense effects, allowing medical patients quick acting and effective relief. Many of these high end concentrates require a unique blend of art, science, and love to make and have developed a bit of a ‘craft’ like following.
This post contains affiliate links. if you purchase through one of these links I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Your support is appreciated and helps me to continue creating free educational content.
Types of Florida Concentrates
There are many forms and varieties of cannabis concentrates available around the world, but I’m keeping this post limited to the concentrate forms that are currently offered in Florida. I will update the post as new concentrates become available on the Florida market.
Distillate is popular due to its potency, often upwards of 80-90% cannabinoid content. It’s also extremely versatile. Distillate is decarboxylated or “activated,” meaning it can be consumed orally or sublingually without needing to be heated or otherwise cooked. It can also be consumed via inhalation or topical methods.
Distillate is a highly refined, thick, near transparent viscous oil. It is typically pale yellow in color. It’s sometimes referred to as “clear” and commonly used in pre-filled vaporizer cartridges. Cannabis terpenes are degraded during the extraction process so they must be added after the fact. Distillate is often enhanced with food grade or cannabis derived terpenes to simulate a strain profile and flavor. Not everyone does well inhaling food grade or non-cannabis terpenes, so if you notice irritation after using these products you may want to switch brands or delivery methods. Because distillate is lacking these original terpenes and other phytochemicals many patients find that they have a bit of a hollow feel when compared to dried flower or high spectrum extracts.
Distillate was the first concentrate to reach the Florida market, released as Trulieve’s Truclear. It’s sold at a variety of other MMTC’s including Surterra, Curaleaf, Liberty Health Science, Muv, and Grow Healthy.
Shatter is a smooth, clear, and solid concentrate that resembles glass. It is meant for inhalation and is not activated. With a cannabinoid content typically over 75% and some original plant terpenes preserved, many patients report a fuller and richer experience when compared to distillates. Like its name, shatter is fragile and easily breaks into tiny shards. The consistency and adhesiveness of shatter varies based on extraction method, cannabinoid content, and temperature. Since Florida heat and humidity can be a bit harsh, I keep mine in the fridge or freezer. It’s best wrapped in parchment or stored in a silicone nonstick container. If you don’t go with the fridge, keep your shatter in a dark cool place. Shatter is currently available at Muv and Trulieve dispensaries.
Crumble is a form of cannabis wax that has a texture similar to that of a soft baked cookie. It doesn’t have the same sticky quality as shatter, so it can be a bit more difficult to handle. Crumble quickly breaks apart when handled, usually turning into a paste or dust. Like shatter, the THC content of crumble is typically greater than 75% - three times the amount found in high quality dried cannabis flower.
MUV is the first and currently only Florida MMTC to offer crumble to the Florida market. Unfortunately, the Florida’s Department of Health would not allow them to dispense it under the the name crumble. Instead it carries the name ‘Blue,’ referencing the color of the packaging.
Crumble and other forms of cannabis waxes are intended for vaporizing or dabbing. While illegal in Florida, crumble can also be used by sprinkling on top of dried cannabis flower and smoking. Crumble should be stored in a sealed silicone or glass container.
Like Crumble, Muv’s Gold is named by the color of the packing and not the concentrate’s common name. Inside the gold packaging is a golden cannabis concentrate commonly referred to as sauce. While sauce can be a form of live resin, Muv’s Gold is made from dried cured cannabis flowers instead of the fresh frozen plant material used when making resin. Composed of THCA crystals and terpene sauce, Gold is a high terpene and high cannabinoid spectrum extract meant for inhaled use. It packs intense flavor and is often more potent than shatter or crumble. Sauce is a high end product that is sought after by cannabis connoisseurs and patients with severe and debilitating pain.
How to Use Florida Cannabis Concentrates
Concentrates are just that - concentrated, meaning that very small amounts of oil contain high doses of medication. This makes it important to exercise caution when dosing concentrates. They are a potent medication that’s best used when quick and high doses are needed to achieve symptom relief. Always start low and go slow. If you are new to cannabis concentrates you may want to start with a vaporizer oil a more controlled dose.
Each type of concentrate can be used differently. Distillate is an extremely versatile product that can be vaped, dabbed, ingested, or applied topically. It’s also a great medicine choice to use for a little save your money DIY. Here are some links to help you better understand these options.
Shatter, Crumble, and Sauce are best vaporized or dabbed. Devices are a little out of my wheel house, so I partnered up with pal Chris from Green Street Vapor for an overview on the best devices for getting started.