Distillate: The cannabis concentrate of the future

distillation | dis·til·la·tion | noun

a: the purification or concentration of a substance, the obtaining of the essence or volatile properties contained in it, or the separation of one substance from another, by such a process.

You may only remember this word from high school chemistry class, but distillation is quickly changing the cannabis industry. Concentrate producers are using innovative distillation techniques to create potent, pure, and clean cannabis distillates that can be dabbed, vaped, eaten, dropped under your tongue… the list goes on.

Where Does A Cannabis Oil Distillate Come From?

Pure, potent cannabis oil distillate does not just appear in the wild. There is a specific scientific process that takes place before users are presented with what may very well be the future of cannabis concentrates. In order to extract THC, terpenes, and other cannabinoids from the cannabis plant a solvent-based (butane, propane, CO2) extraction must be performed first.

The solvent-based extraction removes valuable compounds from the plant itself, however many other compounds remain in the extract. In order to distill down to a more pure form, further refinement is done through the processes of winterization and decarboxylation. Finally, the oil is run through a distillation chamber multiple times to refine the desirable compound (THC or CBD) to its most pure form.

Consuming Cannabis Oil Distillate

As we mentioned above, cannabis distillates have a wide variety of applications that can appeal to just about any type of user. Pure cannabis distillates contain virtually no flavors or aromas, which makes them perfect for practical applications where the cannabis “flavor” is not needed or wanted (think edibles and drinks!). Additionally, these powerful distillates have great medicinal potential because of the small amounts needed to produce strong effects.

With a potential potency of nearly 99%, cannabis oil distillate should not be taken lightly. Check out this simple graph below to get an idea of how potent distillate is compared to flower.

distillate-potency

Final Word

While cannabis distillate may be somewhat new to the concentrate market, this well-developed, scientific extraction technique looks to be the next gold standard for cannabis extraction and refinement. While we still love our BHO, CO2, and PHO dabs… cannabis oil distillate is certainly worth trying if you’re looking for the most pure, clean, and potent concentrate.

Cannabis Oil Cartridges: Are they for me?

The Good Kind Of Oil

As cannabis consumption continues to enter mainstream society, personal vaporizers are becoming more popular by the day. Vaporization is, essentially, the point at which solids turn to gas. In the cannabis world this means heating a product, but not to the point at which it burns.

There are many different types of vaporizers that allow users to vape dry herb, hash or wax, and oil via a pre-filled cartridge. Today, we will be discussing the increasingly popular oil cartridges.

Oil cartridges are pre-filled, ready to use, and are made with just about any strain you could want. The cartridge is connected to a battery and voila, you’re ready to vape! You might be asking yourself, “how did a leafy green flower turn into this golden oil, and how did it get into this cartridge?”

How Does A Flower Become An Oil?

Other than strain, the main consideration when choosing an oil cartridge is the method of extraction. Currently, there are two widely used solvents for extraction: carbon dioxide and butane. Each of these steps could be expanded on for pages, but the basic process is as follows:

  1. Flower is loaded into an extraction chamber.
  2. The chosen solvent (CO2 or butane) is used to perform the initial extraction which produces a “crude” oil.
  3. That “crude” oil is refined multiple times to filter out any unwanted materials and extract THC.
  4. Cartridges are filled either by hand or by a machine.

Carbon dioxide and butane both have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to creating oil cartridges. At this early stage in the oil cartridge industry, comparing the two is like comparing iOS to Android – both camps have strong feelings and good points to make, and both are great options.

runny-honey

Benefits of Cannabis Oil Cartridges

Vaporizing cannabis via an oil cartridge has become a popular method of consumption for many users due to its ease of use, quick onset, discreteness, and medicinal benefits. Rather than fumbling with hash or wax and trying to reapply a dab of oil, a cartridge is always ready to go. Rather than eating an edible, which could take up to an hour to feel the effects, oil cartridges produce a vapor that is inhaled through your lungs and absorbed quickly for an onset time of less than 10 minutes. If being discrete is what you’re after, oil cartridges produce a light, nearly odorless vapor. Perhaps most importantly are the medicinal benefits for users who need to carefully control their dosages and cannot physically handle smoke or sugary edibles entering their bodies.

How To Use Cannabis Oil Cartridges

To use an oil cartridge you need three things: a battery, a battery charger, and a cartridge. 510 thread batteries have become the most popular form of battery, but be sure to ask your budtender about compatibility between a battery and cartridge. Once you’re home and ready to try out your new cartridge read the instructions on the battery. Battery functionality such as temperature control varies across brands, so be sure you’ve read the instructions and understand how to use your battery.

Come see us at either our Empire or Division locations to speak with a staff member about which cartridge is right for you!

Pro-tip: Don’t over do it. Short, repeated rips will offer better flavor, a reduced risk of burning the oil, and an overall better experience.

Happy Vaping!

cannabis oil cartridges

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Know Your Type: Cannabis Classifications

If you’re familiar with cannabis basics, you may have heard of two common terms used to describe different types of weed: indicas and sativas. These terms refer to two different species of marijuana, cannabis indica and cannabis sativa. Indicas and sativas look, smell, and taste different. Indicas tend to grow shorter and stockier, while sativas grow taller and thinner. Indica bud may have a purplish appearance.

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More fundamentally, these differences refer to the plant’s easily observable traits, or its phenotype. While they do correlate with certain effects — indicas are known for their stoney body highs, sativas for their more cerebral high — we’ll have to dig deeper to get a better understanding of what lies behind the many psychoactive effects and therapeutic benefits of the cannabis plant.

Phenotypes, Genotypes, and Chemotypes

We mentioned that a cannabis plant’s phenotype — its easily observable traits — tends to correlate with certain effects. But correlation doesn’t imply causation, so what causes those pleasing, therapeutic benefits that we associate with marijuana? To get a better understanding of what some of those causes may be, we’ll have to explore two additional terms: genotype and chemotype.

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A genotype is a living being’s genetic makeup. While phenotype refers to external, observable traits, genotype refers to the genetic, internal blueprint that a being inherits from its parents and ancestors. A genotype outlines the set of possible characteristics that a being could have or pass on to its offspring.

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Image Source: http://www.honest-essential-oils.com/eobbd-essential-oils/botanical-definition/

While a plant’s genotype refers to its genetic makeup, its chemotype refers to its chemical makeup. That is, what chemical compounds are most prevalent and in what combinations.

Cannabis Types

As noted above, indica and sativa refer to different phenotypes of the cannabis plant. More accurately, they refer to different phenotypic expressions. The plant’s genotype is what outlines the possibilities of what it can taste, smell, look, and feel like, and its phenotype is what actually shows up. That means that even if a plant has a strongly indica-like appearance and smell, it may still be storing some sativa genetics, or vice versa. This can lead to unexpected effects. With the ever-expanding range of hybrid strains out there, mixed genetics are also becoming more and more common, and mixed effects along with them.

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Image source: http://www.bestfriendsamsterdam.com/wp-content/uploads/indica_vs_sativa.png

Chemotypes in cannabis refer specifically to its THC versus its CBD content. These are two of the better-known cannabinoids, one of the main “active ingredients” in cannabis. Cannabis comes in three different chemical variations, or chemotypes. Type I refers to the so-called “drug type”, meaning that its high THC to low CBD ratio induces psychoactive effects, as well as other therapeutic benefits. Type III refers to the “fiber” or “non-drug type”, also often called hemp, because its high CBD to low THC ratio means that it induces little-to-no psychoactive effects, although it can still offer many therapeutic benefits. Type II is a sort of intermediate.

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A hemp field. Photo credit: Barbetorte – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7558724

While these basic chemotypes are helpful for understanding some of the effects a particular strain may have, it is important to remember that there are at least 85 different cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, and that they produce different therapeutic benefits. Cannabinoids are not the only factor at work, either. Terpenes, the essential oils of the cannabis plant that give it particular smells, also play an important role in cannabis’ psychoactive effects and therapeutic benefits.

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Image source: https://s3.amazonaws.com/leafly/content/cannabinoids-101-what-makes-cannabis-medicine/PLUe6NdETsirqg7Y9Hkf_Cannabinoid-Wheel-(Final)—English.jpg

We hope this breakdown has helped you understand what you’re getting with any one strain, and will help you find what works for you.

Cannabis Ingestion Methods: Dabbing

In our previous two posts, we covered two of the more common methods of consuming cannabis: smoking and vaping. Today, we’ll be moving in a newer and more powerful direction: dabbing.

What is it?

If you have heard of dabbing, you probably know something about its potency. For cannabis, the word ‘dabbing’ comes from ‘dab’, as in, “A dab’ll do ya”. Dabbing has much stronger effects than either smoking or vaping. Dabs hit considerably harder, and they tend to last much longer, too.

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Image source: https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/how-to-dab-cannabis-concentrates

Part of the reason dabs are so potent is because of what they are made of. Dabbing refers to a particular way to consume extracts, also called concentrates. These products are so strong because they have high concentrations of cannabinoids — what might be considered the main ‘active ingredient’ in weed. They are produced when solvents strip away much of the cannabis plant itself, but leave large amounts of the cannabinoids behind (and hopefully some terpenes, too).

How do you consume them?

Dabs are consumed using a dab rig. This contraption usually looks something like a bong (though not always). To smoke from a dab rig, a ‘dab’ of extract is lowered onto a super-heated nail — this is where one would find the ‘bowl’ when smoking flower from a bong.

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Image source: https://www.smokecartel.com/pages/infographic-anatomy-of-a-concentrate-rig

The extreme heat of the nail causes the concentrate to vaporize, rather than combust. The consumer then breathes the vapor in from the pipe. Combined with the already highly concentrated cannabinoid content, this method tends to hit harder than just about any other.

Dabbing vs other methods

The main difference between dabbing and smoking or vaping is that dabbing is simply stronger. That does not mean, however, that your tolerance or how high you want to be are the only factors at work. For those with severe medical needs, such as chronic pain or severe nausea, dabbing may be the only method capable of delivering effective relief.

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Additionally, a high cannabinoid content does not exclusively mean a high THC content. Many concentrates focus on high CBD content instead, and some shoot for a more balanced cannabinoid profile, creating different therapeutic effects and serving different medical needs. Of course, whatever your preference, it’s important to be sure that you know what works for you.

Cannabis Breakdown: Bud, Extracts, Edibles

As anyone who’s visited a dispensary can tell you, there are a myriad of ways to consume weed. So, for those of you new to cannabis, we’ve prepared a short introduction to the various preparations of the plant.

Bud

What is it?

Bud is the literal flower of the cannabis plant. It contains all those lovely cannabinoids and terpenes that give cannabis its therapeutic and psychoactive effects.

Indica Strains of Cannabis

How do you consume it?

Bud is typically smoked. It can also be vaped, although vaporizers that can handle flower tend to be a bit more technologically advanced, and pricier.

Image Source: https://thejointblog.com/d-c-council-votes-unanimously-to-prohibit-pre-employment-drug-testing-for-cannabis-use/
Image Source: https://thejointblog.com/d-c-council-votes-unanimously-to-prohibit-pre-employment-drug-testing-for-cannabis-use/

What are its effects like?

When bud is smoked or vaped, the onset is almost immediate. You should begin to feel the effects of flower within 30 minutes at the longest. However, bud is generally not as potent or as long-lasting as extracts or edibles. Your high should be mellower, and should not last for much more than two hours.

Extracts

What are they?

Extracts, also called concentrates, are a product produced when solvents strip away much of the cannabis plant itself, leaving behind high concentrations of cannabinoids.

Concentrates can be produced using a variety of solvents, from butane to carbon dioxide to ice water. They also come in a variety of consistencies, from hash:

hash

to shatters:

to wax:

 

PageLines- Concentrate.jpgand more.

Topicals are also a type of extract. They are applied to the skin, however, and produce no psychoactive effects. Rather, they are usually used for treating localized pain and inflammation.

How do you consume them?

Extracts are usually consumed using either a dab rig or a vape pen. A dab rig looks and acts something like a super-charged bong:

'Anatomy of a Concentrate Rig' from www.smokecartel.com, explaining the apparatus used for dabbing

‘Anatomy of a Concentrate Rig’ (also called a ‘dab rig’) from www.smokecartel.com explains the apparatus used for dabbing

while many vape pens intended for concentrates come with refillable CO2 oil cartridges.

What are their effects like?

Because extracts have such high concentrations of cannabinoids, they tend to be extremely potent. While it is relatively easy to control your high by sipping on concentrate in a vape pen, dabs tend to get even the most seasoned veterans quite stoned. Similar to flower, onset should be near immediate.

Edibles

What are they?

Edibles are cannabis-infused food and drinks. They come in a variety of forms, from savory snacks to tasty beverages.

PageLines- Edible.jpg

How do you consume them?

To consume an edible, simply eat or drink it.

What are their effects like?

Edibles are extremely potent, and, to the surprise of many first time users, slow to take effect. For this reason, we always recommend starting low and going slow until you get a handle on your appropriate
dosage. Just how long edibles take to set in depends on the kind you are consuming.

Those consumed sublingually, such as tinctures, lozenges, and hard candy, take effect relatively quickly, usually around 15 to 30 minutes.

Photo: Theryn Fleming/flickr, Creative Commons

Photo: Theryn Fleming/flickr, Creative Commons

Gastrointestinal edibles, such as savory snacks, baked goods, and most drinks, can take up to about two hours to reach their full effect.

Dab Review: Gorilla Glue #4 by OM Extracts

OM-Extracts-Gorilla-Glue-#4

Hello again everyone!

As always I’m very excited to bring you this review, and if you’ve been reading along you know I’m a bit of a fan of @OMExtracts but I try not to play favorites.

If you like to dab like I do, you’re going to be really happy with what you see coming from OM these days. This golden sugar wax looks so good you’ll want to eat it, and consistency of candy. I do have to say this extract is so terpy, it did bleed through the parchment paper but put it in a @BudderBlock and you’re all good!

I do have to stay honest here and say that the smell and flavor were both a little difficult to pick up, but the smell and taste that I did receive were very good.

Were the crew @OMExtracts does always shine is in the sensation and experience categories. This Gorilla Glue #4 does not disappoint in the slightest. Nice smooth rips on the lower temp nail and Super comfortable head blast with a hot nail. Along with a ride that lasted a decent amount of time with good strength for myself. As a heavier dab smoker I appreciate an Extract that keeps my mind right for an extended period of time.

You won’t feel as strong as one, but this stuff will make you feel like a Gorilla is holding you down to the couch for sure!

Happy and Safe Dabbing Everyone!

Steve

Extract FAQs

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.

1280px-Butane_honey_oil_being_evaporated

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.

Live resin from Om Extracts
Live resin from Om Extracts

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.

'Anatomy of a Concentrate Rig' from www.smokecartel.com, explaining the apparatus used for dabbing
‘Anatomy of a Concentrate Rig’ (also called a ‘dab rig’) from www.smokecartel.com explains the apparatus used 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.

Dab Review: Pure White BHO by Jollybees

Steve is back at it with another review. See what he has to say about Jollybee’s, Pure White BHO!

Jollybee's-Pure-White-BHO-Review

Seems like everyday, Science is taking the guess work out of the Cannabis Industry, and me personally I couldn’t be more excited to see what Scientist like team at Jollybee has for us in the future!

Their Pure White BHO is on a whole other level, and if you’re like me and have been seeing those 99% floating around the web, you’ll be very excited to see what’s on the shelves today!

The name says it all, this stuff is beautiful Pure White Crystals that really have the look of table salt almost. It is also very dry and crunchy, so you’ll want to be careful with it. I would recommend a spoon-like dab tool if you have one for this stuff.

There were some minor down sides, but if we’re going to have down sides, for me these are the ones to have, and really as you would expect there wasn’t much of a smell or a taste to this Pure White BHO. I can’t say there was absolutely no smell or taste, but it was very hard to pick up any fragrance or change on the pallet.

If you’re like me and you enjoy a really nice solid cerebral punch, the stuff delivers with a little extra. Like a rocket ship to the brain, you’ll feel this stuff immediately, but you won’t feel it in your chest if your smoking it alone. 

First dab, I felt like I just took a deep breathe of air. No cough, no tickle, just smooth air. But surely I felt that first dab in the head right away. Second dab I went in for the kill and boy oh boy was I up there. Although I do have to say the experience was very short lived, and I almost fell from the sky as fast as I shot up there.

As I continued through my Pure White powdery gram, I found it most enjoyable and a better longevity if I used this Pure White BHO as a “Dab Frosting” if you will? I really liked taking a normal size dab of concentrate and then dipping/coating that dab in the Pure White BHO creating a Dab Fun Dip for mind pleasure for myself!

 

Great work again Steve!  Substance is super excited about limited recreational sales of extracts available now.  Recreational marijuana users are allowed to purchase 1g of CO2 or BHO extract per day.  Check out our Menu Now! 

Dab Review: Headband Gold Label by Om Extracts

Here’s what Steve has to say about his recent experience with Headband Gold Label from Om Extracts —

5-12-16-OM-Extracts-Headband-Review

I really have to give it up to the guys over @OMExtracts for their quality lately, and this Headband Gold Label was another brain stopper.

Visually speaking this stuff looks like bright fish eggs, and when you easily pull away exactly how much you’re looking for, you’ll enjoy the sticky crunch consistency.

As usual I went for a low temp flavor dab first, and the flavor was a little on the light side, but definitely got that Headband lemon flavor.

Second dab I went in for the kill, and it was executed. I do have to say it was a little on the harsh side, but I immediately got the “Headband” feeling around the top of my head, and had a decently long lasting experience for me.

So if you’re looking for some stylish new headwear, I think the OM Extracts Headband Gold Label will look nicely on you.

-Steve Hubbard

Thanks, Steve!  Substance is super excited about limited recreational sales of extracts starting on June 2nd.  Recreational marijuana users will be allowed to purchase 1g of CO2 or BHO extract per day.  Start making your wish list today! 

Dab Review: Chem Dawg and Dutch Treat Rosin

Sterling Gold’s Rosin is the first Flower Rosins (SHO) I’ve personally had the pleasure of trying, and they were delightful!

I’ll admit, I was one of the skeptics in the group about people using hair straighteners for science. But now with the industrial presses we are seeing around, I see the light!

The looks of these two really speak for themselves, and the smell matches the flowers amazingly! That was my first big surprise with this rosin, the smell literally smacks you across the face.

The consistency of both were very manageable. I would even say you could use your hands, but I was pulling and snapping with my dab tool.

The second surprise with these Rosins was the flavor. Simply put, it’s delicious! Reminds me of fresh “greens” from some sweet chronic back in the day. I think we all remember our first, fresh delicious “greens” rip?

Along with amazing flavor, these rips were super smooth. Easy to puff tough and not kill yourself. Even higher temp nail rips weren’t bad, so that’s a real win in my book.

Experience, well let’s just say it took me 2 weeks to finish this review 😉

-Steve Hubbard