Concentrates vs flower: There’s certainly no shortage of ways to get high these days.
Head to a local dispensary, and you’ll find cannabis-infused cold brew coffee, breath mints, taffy, cooking oil, and even hot sauce. It’s in tinctures and topicals and even transdermal patches for effective relief when you need it most.
Yet, many cannabis enthusiasts will agree that there is no better way to enjoy the plant than to smoke it. Now, smoking concentrates vs. smoking flower is essentially a personal choice, but if you’re on the fence about deciding a favorite, read on.
Concentrates vs. Flower
However you cast your vote in the great debate that is concentrates vs. flower, they each hold a special place in the cannabis community for different reasons.
Sparking a bowl. Lighting a doobie. Ripping a bong.
Whichever you prefer, there is no better way to enjoy fresh herb than to grind it up and smoke it. Perfectly cured cannabis is a feast for the senses. The terpenes make your mouth water as you exhale a thick cloud of smoke.
Connoisseurs can sniff out a strain without even looking at the bud formation, which is a form of artwork on its own. Yes, cannabis cultivation is an art form, and smoking it is a celebration of its beauty. Weed will never go out of style, and purists tend to remain true to cannabis consumption in this form factor.
Concentrates, extracts, dabs—all names for the same thing. We’re talking about highly potent, high-tech hash. Things get a little wily in this category, as we explore different textures, form factors, and consumption methods. Concentrates are made with cannabis flower, trim, leaves, and sometimes the entire plant. Extraction processes involve specialized equipment, solvents, and gasses to extract only the purest form of cannabis.
When done correctly, a well-made extract is also a work of art, but more like an installation piece than a painting. It’s interactive, requiring gadgets and tools to consume it. The concentrated oil is then placed into vape pens and onto hot nails of dab rigs and vaporized into a thick, flavorful smoke that packs a punch of THC.
Smoking Vapes vs. Smoking Flower
Concentrates are also packaged into vape cartridges and have become the go-to for getting high on the go. It’s no wonder the extract market has exploded to meet the demand for this simple, non-messy alternative to dabbing or smoking weed. Vapes offer a smooth smoke with much higher percentages of THC and other cannabinoids and require nothing more than a battery charge.
Flower requires papers or pipes, grinders, and lighters and tends to leave a lingering smell on your hands or clothes. One of the biggest benefits of vapes is their discrete nature, including the limited aroma. When stored properly, vape pens last a long time.
High & Effects Compared
Aside from aesthetics and choosing your favorite for an occasion, one must consider the difference in physical and mental effects between smoking concentrates vs. flower. The high is not the same, and for many stoners, this is a determining factor in what to reach for when you wake and bake or wind down into the evening.
If you’re reading this now, you’ve probably smoked weed a time or two and are familiar with its effects. Moments after you inhale, the THC and its symphony of cannabinoids and terpenes enter your bloodstream and make their way to your soft tissues and organs.
The physical effects often begin with a slight pinch behind the eyes and a full-body relaxation, as if all of your muscles are simply letting go of tension you didn’t even know existed. Depending on the strain and how much you’ve smoked, the high might last an hour or several. Most strains contain between 10-28% THC, so there is plenty of room for getting more, or less high.
Overall, a few hits of flower will leave you feeling pleasantly relaxed, blissful, and possibly even inspire a wave of creative energy.
No one forgets their first dab. Unfortunately, that’s likely because you got so high it was slightly uncomfortable. The thing about concentrates is that it’s hard to know your tolerance level the first time. Even the most seasoned smokers are often not prepared for the intense high from a cannabis concentrate.
Concentrates typically contain anywhere from 40% THC on the low end, to upwards of 80 or even 90% THC on the high end. That’s a massive difference from smoking weed. Even one small dab of extract can have you feeling like you’ve launched off the planet or sunk into the depths of the couch.
While the effects are generally the same, the difference between a concentrate vs. flower high is quite simply that it’s more, and it’s coming on a lot faster. From the moment you inhale a dab, you tend to feel the tingly sensation behind your eyes as they pinch slightly. The rush of THC surging through your bloodstream indicates that you are about to get ridiculously stoned in a matter of minutes.
Concentrates are not for the faint of heart, but they are a refined way to experience cannabis and its many flavors. Tread lightly and start with a small dab and work your way up to enjoy this experience fully.
Vape vs. Dab High
Although vape cartridges are filled with the same potency of oil as a dabbable extract, the high is usually very different. This is because taking a hit of a vape pen is much more controllable than taking a dab. Yes, you can portion out a very small amount of extract to place on the nail of a dab rig, but it still tends to produce a fair amount of smoke and lung expansion.
You can only inhale so much at one time with a vape pen, and that tends to produce a slightly more mellow high. However, you can still rip a vape pen repeatedly and get very stoned, so be sure to take breaks in between hits. This is also good advice to prevent a vape pen from leaking or to prevent your vape pen from burning the oil.