What are cannabis concentrates?
Cannabis concentrates are medical cannabis products comprised of cannabinoids and terpenes extracted from the cannabis plant using a variety of extraction methods. Cannabis concentrates can have anywhere from 60-90% THC content and are considered among the most potent forms of cannabis medicine available. Extracted using chemical solvents or CO2, cannabis concentrates are able to be ingested, vaporized or smoked depending on the extraction process used. The effectiveness of a cannabis concentrate is determined by the quality of the cannabis used to create it, as well as the accuracy of the extraction process.
What types of cannabis concentrates are there?
Cannabis concentrates come in many different forms, and the term “concentrates” is indeed becoming more ambiguous throughout the cannabis industry. A concentrate could be a wax that is smoked or vaporized, a tincture placed under the tongue, or even a CBD-rich cannabis oil like Charlotte’s Web, which is changing the public opinion of cannabis worldwide. Cannabis has a bright future in these potent concentrates, and the variety of extraction methods and consistencies consists of any product produced through an extraction process. Cannabis concentrates come in several forms, including hash (which can be extracted with ice water or ethanol), butane honey oil (extracted with butane then purged), CO2 oil (extracted with pressurized carbon dioxide), tinctures (extracted with alcohol) and more. CannLabs works with growers and dispensaries to produce new effective cannabis medicine for patients suffering from a variety of ailments.
What makes cannabis concentrates different from smoking traditional cannabis?
In short, potency. Cannabis concentrates are different from cannabis flowers because of their potency and the process used to obtain them. Concentrates are a compound extracted from the original cannabis plant, like orange juice concentrate is an extracted byproduct of oranges. To create a concentrate from the cannabis plant, a solvent or CO2 extraction method is used to strip the cannabis of its cannabinoids and terpenes and isolate them from the plant material, chlorophyll and other plant waxes. This significantly increases the potency of the cannabis and makes it much more effective for use as medicine for patients with serious issues.
You said cannabis concentrates are extracted using solvents like butane. Are they safe?
Cannabis concentrates are safe when they are produced using proper methods. However, the methods for making cannabis concentrates are precise & complicated. These scientific processes require flawless execution to procure quality concentrates. Should an extraction method not be up to the standard, residual solvents can be left behind in the final product. Inhalation or consumption of cannabis concentrates that contain solvents can be harmful to the consumers and patients who use them. Concentrates can be produced without solvents to ensure there are no contaminants, but the potency of solventless concentrates is generally not as high as the potency of BHO and other solvent-based extractions. At CannLabs, we help keep concentrates safe by offering comprehensive residual solvent testing; we can detect solvents at the ppm (parts per million) level, allowing for the most precise residual solvent testing possible.
How are they effectively used for treatment?
Cannabis concentrates, when used properly, are making revolutionary contributions to the field of cannabis-based medicine. Cannabis oil (cannabis concentrates with the consistency of oil or honey) has even been shown as one of the only effective treatments for Dravet’s syndrome (one of the most debilitating types of epilepsy). In August of 2013, CNN reported on a young girl named Charlotte who was diagnosed with Dravet’s syndrome. The report was intended to shine a light on the miraculous positive impact that cannabis oil has had in the life of this young child, and it did exactly that. CannLabs is proud to offer our support through potency testing for caregivers and dispensaries who treat patients with cannabis oil.