The widespread legalization, you can now find a slew of weed concentrates and extracts for vaping or dabbing. When exploring your options, it can be easy to get lost in the sauce. Shatter, wax, crumble, rosin, sauce, and budder are all types of cannabis concentrates.
Let’s dive into the similarities and differences between three of the most popular forms: budder, shatter, and crumble.
Concentrates vs. Extracts
There is a lot of language in cannabis culture that gets used interchangeably. For example, the word ‘concentrate’ can have a different meaning depending on who you are talking to. Generally speaking, it is an umbrella term used to describe a highly concentrated form of cannabis. This applies to ‘extracts’ because all extracts are made with some kind of marijuana, and are then processed and concentrated.
However, it’s essential to know that these two terms can have separate definitions.
Concentrates are often used to describe products like hash, Rick Simpson oil, or rosin. These are made by concentrating cannabis and are produced without solvents or the use of a closed-loop extraction machine. Concentrates are sometimes made with the whole plant, like in the case of Full Extract Cannabis Oil (FECO).
Extracts are made with a solvent of some kind, usually a hydrocarbon like butane or propane. Typically, only the buds, leaves, and sugared trim are used to create extracts. There are many types of extracts, and they are aptly named for their final texture, or how they were created. Each is a highly concentrated form of cannabis, hence why they are often lumped into the same category.
Types of Weed Concentrates & Extracts
Cannabis extraction is a mix of science and art. Without a strong understanding of chemical processes, extraction can be quite dangerous. However, although there are standard operating procedures for obtaining a high-quality cannabis concentrate, there is room for proprietary processes.
Often, these little adjustments along the way give a brand its unique products. Some of these processes happen during extraction, and some take place in post-extraction. The differences are expressed in each extract’s texture, flavor, and physical appearance. Here are some of the most common types of extracts and concentrates.
What is Budder?
Budder is made with a closed-loop extraction machine with a hydrocarbon solvent like butane, propane, or CO2. a super potent extract that often tests at over 80% THC. The starting material dramatically determines the quality of the end product when it comes to extracts. Whole flowers with trichome density will undoubtedly produce a much more potent and flavorful extract than one made with only trimmings.
After extraction, the oil is put into a vacuum oven to purge any remaining residual solvents. This process is used to produce shatter and crumble as well, but it’s what happens during and after purging that makes budder so unique. With the help of higher vacuum oven temperatures and a strong hand tool, the extractor will whip the oil until it begins to “butter” up, much like the process of churning butter, hence its name. The color also resembles butter, and the potency impresses, often surpassing 80% THC.
Budder is great for dabbing or adding to a dab pen.
What is Shatter?
Shatter is an extract most often made with dried cannabis trimmings and sometimes whole buds. It’s extracted much like budder, though butane seems to be the most common hydrocarbon in shatter production. It’s during post-processing when the texture sets in. Shatter is named for its thin, sheet-like texture that will easily break if dropped.
It is usually golden or translucent and has very high potency, although not the most flavorful extract as some terpene content is lost during extraction. It is said that the more transparent the extract, the less flavor it has.
What is Crumble?
Just like budder and shatter, crumble is named for its textures. Produced very similarly to budder, crumble is whipped during post-processing until it takes on a crumbly texture. However, the oven temperature is slightly lower than used for the budder, allowing for this thick, sand-like texture.
Crumble tends to preserve more terpene content because of these lower temps, so the resulting extract is quite flavorful. It’s very golden, ranging from marigold to amber, and is excellent for dabbing, but you’ll need a dab tool to shovel it into the rig.
What is Rosin?
Rosin is a weed concentrate made with either whole bud or kief. Rosin is a popular concentrate that you can easily make at home with a small rosin press or even a hair straightener and parchment paper. To make rosin, place your buds inside a piece of parchment paper and fold it in half. Then, either place in your rosin press and clamp down, or squeeze the hair straightener together. As the buds are pressed and heated, oil begins to trickle out.
Rosin is beloved by cannabis fans because it is solventless, and tastes incredibly true to its strain. It can be brown, yellow, or even a little greenish. It’s ideal for dabbing and can be put into a dab pen or topped on bowls.
What is Water Hash?
Water hash, or bubble hash, is made with ice and water. Bubble hash was famous long before anyone attempted hydrocarbon extraction and is another weed concentrate you can make at home. While not necessary, bubble bags are beneficial for sifting. The easiest way to make bubble hash is to put the weed in mesh bags or bubble bags and agitate them in a large container of icy water. The cold temperatures freeze the trichomes and separate them from the plant matter.
The mesh screens filter out all the unwanted material, leaving behind a dark soupy substance that dries into a dark, chunky substance. This is an old-school extract, and it can be dabbed, topped on a bowl, or smoked alone.
What is FECO?
Full Extract Cannabis Oil (FECO) is often confused with Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), but there are some significant differences between the two. FECO is a true weed concentrate, made with all parts of a cannabis plant. It’s made by soaking the plant material in a solvent like alcohol until it completely evaporates off, leaving behind all of the essences of the whole plant. As a result, not only are terpenes and cannabinoids preserved, but vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, and fatty acids remain intact.
FECO is not typically used recreationally but has tons of therapeutic and medicinal value. It’s dark black or dark green and very thick like tar. It is usually sold in syringes and is best disguised with food or beverage. You don’t want to smoke or dab FECO.
FAQ: Concentrates & Extracts
Are weed concentrates safe?
The only way to ensure a safe product is with test results. Buy from companies that test every batch of product and provide the Certificate of Analysis from an accredited laboratory. This ensures that the product is free from toxins and contaminants that may be harmful if ingested or inhaled.
Which weed concentrate is best?
This is entirely the preference of the cannabis consumer. Each type of concentrate offers a slightly different user experience, and some people prefer the most flavorful, most potent, or most versatile type of extract. Texture, price, and origin of starting material may also play a role in the purchasing decision.
How do you smoke weed concentrates?
Concentrates are often vaporized with the use of a dab rig or oil pen. However, they can also be rolled into a joint with flower or placed on top of a bowl or bong for added flavor and potency. Many concentrates can also be used in edibles or stirred into drinks.
How long are weed concentrates good for?
When concentrates are stored properly, most extracts remain fresh for six months to a year. Be sure to seal in an airtight container and do not expose it to direct sunlight or heat for extended periods. Concentration may last even longer if stored in a refrigerator or freezer in a dark, airtight container.