As you may have heard, extracts can now be sold legally in Oregon’s recreational marijuana market. Like edibles, however, they are being sold in more limited quantities and at lower doses than their medical equivalents. Rec market extracts must contain less than 1000 mg of THC, and can be purchased once per day. In light of the recent changes, we have answered some common questions about extracts below.
What are extracts?
The terms ‘extract’ and ‘concentrate’ are roughly equivalent. These products are produced when solvents strip away much of the cannabis plant itself, leaving behind high concentrations of those sought-after cannabinoids, like THC and CBD. Some concentrates can be produced either without solvents or with organic solvents like ice water, as opposed to butane, carbon dioxide, or ethanol.
What are the different types of extracts?
Extracts are typically categorized according to their extraction method and their appearance. The first distinction made for the extraction method is usually the type of solvent used. Two of the most common are butane and carbon dioxide, referred to as butane hash oil (BHO) and CO2 oils, respectively.
Among BHOs and CO2 oils, distinctions are usually made based on the appearance of the final product. Waxes look and feel like wax, oils like oil, sugar wax like sugar, and so on. Some distinctions, however, have more to do with the final product’s actual content. Live resin, for example, extracts cannabinoids from whole cannabis flowers instead of dried and cured bud, saving terpenes and giving the product a more full flavor profile.
Other concentrates use different solvents and extraction methods. This oftentimes leads to different effects. Rick Simpson’s Oil (RSO) has been used by some to help fight cancer. It typically uses isopropyl alcohol or pure naphtha as its solvent, drawing out more of the plant’s therapeutic compounds.
How can I consume different extracts?
The options for consuming any given extract depend on its consistency. Kief and some hash, for example, can be used as a bowl topper, while many waxes and shatters are better suited for dabbing.
An increasingly popular choice are vaporizers and vaporizer, or vape, pens. Vape pens typically come with refillable CO2 oil cartridges. Some more advanced vaporizers can process a variety of extract consistencies, from oils to waxes to shatters.