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What Are the Benefits of Cannabis Concentrates?

Cannabis concentrate: marijuana wax, crumble or budder.

For the average cannabis consumer, the idea of taking a hit from a dab rig or figuring out how to use cannabis concentrates can easily seem like more trouble than it’s worth. It can be confusing trying to pick the right type of concentrate, dose it correctly, and get the most bang for your buck — especially if you’re used to smoking pre-rolled joints or grams of flower.

Still, there’s a reason why cannabis concentrate sales have shot up by as much as 40 percent in recent years. And the cannabis consumers who have taken the time to figure out their optimal routine with concentrates will tell you that it’s well worth it.

Today we’re breaking down all the benefits of cannabis concentrates and why they’re worth exploring. Fundamentally, concentrates get rid of unnecessary plant materials and serve up the crown jewels of the cannabis plant: therapeutic cannabinoids and terpenes.

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What Are Cannabis Concentrates?

As a general rule, cannabis concentrates are much more potent forms of cannabis than the standard flower, tinctures, and transdermal creams you’ll find at your local dispensary.

On average, concentrates have between 50% to 90% THC levels, while flower typically contains around 10% to 35% THC. Concentrates are potent, THC-rich, and excellent for medical marijuana patients under a doctor’s care. Aromatic and flavorful terpenes are present in dense amounts, as are the cannabinoids that serve medicinal purposes.

Creating a cannabis concentrate involves distilling the most valuable part of the plant: the trichomes. Cannabinoids and terpenes thrive inside these frosty white structures that coat the whole plant surface but are most prevalent on the buds. As the trichomes go through the distillation process, the pulpy plant material is discarded.

The result is a smooth, golden-hued cannabis concentrate sky-high in psychoactive THC.

So while we always recommend that patients read the labels on any of their cannabis products, this is especially important with concentrates. Anyone who’s eaten too many edibles too quickly will tell you that greening out is no fun. To put it bluntly, overconsuming cannabis concentrates would be an uncomfortable experience for anyone involved.

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benefits cannabis concentrates

How Do I Use Cannabis Concentrates?

The traditional consumption methods of vaporizers, edibles, and topicals are all great ways to enjoy cannabis concentrates. In addition, you can experiment with dabbing, a method that delivers the most powerful hit of THC.

Start with a dab rig, which resembles a bong, and spread some of your concentrate onto the surface nail or banger. From there, heat, vaporize, and get ready for a wallop of temporary mood-altering effects. Take it slow, though, because less is definitely more when it comes to the dabbing method.

Types of Cannabis Concentrates

Cannabis concentrates come in many varieties and are made with different methods, such as those that use solvents and others that are solventless. Here are some of the most common forms of cannabis concentrates sold in dispensaries:

Hash: Short for hashish, hash is made with a solventless method that uses ice water and then compresses the THC-rich byproduct into a ball.

Rosin: Another solventless concentrate in pure form, rosin is extracted as oil directly from the cannabis plant.

Budder: Whipped waxy extract, sometimes called badder or frosting for its creamy texture, budder is yet another popular form of cannabis concentrate.

Crumble: Wax that’s not as whipped as budder is called crumble, and it commonly has a sandy consistency.

Shatter: Thin, glassy, brittle concentrates made from raw extract are called shatter because they can resemble shattered glass.

benefits cannabis concentrates

What Are Cannabis Concentrates Good For?

Cannabis concentrates provide many distinct advantages over other consumption methods. For instance, if you would prefer a smokeless experience, cannabis concentrates can be integrated into many recipes, including peanut butter and ghee. For those who are concerned with the potential health consequences of long-term vaping, cannabis concentrates may offer a safer alternative.

Because cannabis concentrates are so high in THC, they can work wonders for those seeking transient psychoactive effects. Plus, because of the condensed form of concentrates, you only need a small amount to produce a strong effect.

If your physician recommends cannabis concentrates, you may find these products beneficial to your mood. THC is known for providing some users with energy and even bursts of creativity. Beyond mood-boosting properties, THC has been shown in numerous studies to provide physical health benefits.

THC for Pain Relief

Relief from chronic pain is one of the most common reasons people apply for a medical cannabis card. While both CBD and THC have been shown in studies to have analgesic (pain-relieving) properties, the latter is of particular interest. However, levels of pain relief vary, with moderate amounts of THC appearing to lead to better outcomes than higher amounts. THC-rich cannabis products like concentrates may also help multiple sclerosis (MS) patients achieve pain reduction.

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THC for Nausea

Several studies have demonstrated that cannabinoids like THC may help regulate nausea and vomiting for some people. In moderation, cannabinoids may be especially useful for cancer patients who are experiencing chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.

THC for Migraines

Migraine headaches frequently involve both pain and nausea, which means that cannabinoids may offer double relief for chronic sufferers. The potential effects of cannabinoids like THC on serotonin in the central nervous system could spell relief for migraine patients.

Between 2010 and 2014, two Colorado-based marijuana clinics tracked the effects of medical marijuana on adult migraine patients. Physicians at the clinics reported that patient migraines were reduced by more than 50% in a given month after daily medical marijuana usage.

These are just a few ailments for which THC-heavy cannabis concentrates may be beneficial. Research has also indicated that cannabis in general, not necessarily in its concentrated form, may benefit diseases ranging from Alzheimer’s to sickle cell anemia.

Where To Start With Concentrates

Purchasing the wrong product could be the difference between keeping your symptoms in check and dealing with chronic pain or other health issues. That’s why it’s important to do as much research on the products you’re spending your hard-earned money on.

The best way to get a better understanding of a product is to talk with the budtender or patient care representative at your local dispensary. Not only do budtenders work hands-on with the products you’re browsing, but they may be medical patients themselves. Therefore, they might have first-hand knowledge about the cannabis concentrate products you’re considering and might provide helpful insights into them.

That said, everyone’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) is different, so what works for one person may not necessarily work for another. Inevitably, you may need to experience some trial and error before you find the optimal cannabis concentrate for your needs.

Getting the Proper Equipment

Cannabis concentrates aren’t like flower. You won’t be able to simply grind it up and throw it into a rolling paper or pipe. Instead, you’ll need to make sure you have the proper equipment to get the job done.

For example, you’ll want to get a dab rig that lets you have some decent control over the temperature of the concentrate you’re using if you want your dosage to be correct. That’s because, for concentrates like waxes, shatter, or crumble, you’ll need to heat it up to consume it.

To get the most out of that high-THC content, however, you’ll need to apply enough heat. If you apply too little, you won’t be getting the most out of your dab. Too much, and the vapor you’re inhaling will literally be too hot to handle.

Another aspect to consider when dabbing is using the right tool itself. Dabber tools come in a million different shapes, sizes, and styles, so getting the right one that’s a fit for you will be super important to your dosage being consistent. For example, a scooper tool would be much more effective than a pointed dabber tool when it comes to something sticky like a sap, while a pointed tool should be your go-to option if you’re looking to break up shatter into little shards.

As a general rule, a dabber tool with a broad tip, like a paddle, is likely going to be versatile and consistent enough for you to get an accurate dosage no matter which type of concentrate you’re opting for.

Alternatively, portable electric dab rigs, like the ones made by Puffco, are growing in popularity and make cannabis concentrates far more approachable for newcomers looking to get their feet wet.

Start Low and Go Slow

If you’re not experienced with cannabis concentrates — or if you’ve never used a particular product before — the low and slow approach to figuring out your proper dosage is key.

Figuring out your optimal concentrate dosage can be a complicated process dependent on several factors, such as your age, sex, tolerance level, other medications, and more. That said, always start with a tiny amount of any new concentrate product.

Rushing into things too quickly, especially with concentrates, is a recipe for a really bad time. Just make sure to check your labels, do your research, get the proper tools and equipment you’ll need, and then take the low and slow approach to make sure you have the best possible time with the least potential for regrets.

More Benefits of Cannabis Concentrates

Whatever symptom or ailment you are experiencing, cannabis concentrates may offer additional benefits over other cannabis consumption methods. For example, since concentrates are so targeted, you can apply a drop of a topical or take a nibble of an edible and feel deeply potent effects.

Using cannabis concentrates sparingly encourages a safe experience while also helping you adhere to a modest budget.

With an abundance of terpenes and cannabinoids, cannabis concentrates may be viewed as a possible preventative therapy. Cannabinoids are well-known for their anti-inflammatory properties, thus they potentially offer protection against diseases linked to inflammation. Chronic inflammation is associated with a range of serious diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune disorders like Crohn’s disease.

Of course, cannabinoids alone cannot prevent these diseases, as there are many other causative factors involved. Furthermore, scientific evidence is essential before we can make any assertions. However, under an experienced physician’s care, cannabis concentrates may be an integral part of a holistic health regimen.

Enjoying the Benefits of Cannabis Concentrates

Precise dosing is more crucial with concentrates than perhaps any other cannabis product. High THC levels mean that you need a cannabis physician to prescribe you the right individualized dosage. Then, sit back and enjoy some potent budder or shatter. Experience the benefits of cannabis concentrates by applying for a medical marijuana card with Leafwell today.

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Originally Published: August 2021

Last Updated: March 2024

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