Cannabis concentrates are a well-loved weed product with many aliases and forms, including “sauce”, “slab”, “tincture”, “shatter”, “wax”, and “resin”, to name a few. But what exactly are these sticky, high-potency globs? They have taken the cannabis world by storm, but where did they even come from? The story of concentrates is one well worth telling, so sit back and read on to learn all about our fine gooey friend.
Concentrates are exactly as their name implies - concentrated forms of cannabis. There are a few different processes for creating concentrates, and all of them include the cannabis plant undergoing distillation to extract the most potent parts of the plant. Separating from the excess plant matter, you are left with a product that is rich in cannabinoids and terpenes.
Cannabinoids like THC and CBD are strongest in the trichomes of the flower, THC creates a euphoric, psychoactive effect on users, and CBD provides a more physically relaxing effect with zero psychoactive properties. Trichomes are the small, sparkly, wiggly arms scattered throughout the cannabis flower, and inside of them are the components that make weed, weed. Terpenes are also found in trichomes and are what house the lovely aromatics and flavors of the cannabis plant we’ve all come to know and love.
Concentrates allow the user to experience the best parts of the plant almost immediately upon consumption in a variety of ways. Getting right to the point, as most concentrates contain an average of 55-70% THC per gram.
The history of concentrates is as rich as the product itself! Hashish is a compressed form of extracted cannabis trichomes that has existed for thousands of years, originating in India, Persia, and China, originally serving medicinal and spiritual functions. Hashish oil extracted from butane, also known as BHO (butane hash oil), made its way to the United States government in the 1950s and 60s, where it was used by the CIA in biochemical interrogation methods. That’s right, prisoners and other persons of interest were given tobacco cigarettes laced with BHO in order to elicit a calming and out-of-head feeling while being questioned.
The modern-day BHO made a public appearance in the states during the 1970s through the drug distribution organization The Brotherhood of Eternal Love. The Brotherhood imported a large supply of BHO from Afghanistan but was quickly foiled after an explosion at their lab headquarters. Since then, the craze has only grown as users discovered the many benefits of concentrates.
Given that concentrates are highly potent you need far less product to get the desired effects you are looking for, which is beneficial for your time, energy, and wallet. Because they are so high in THC, the effects of concentrates are a lot stronger than other cannabis products and are great for users looking for immediate pain management, or those seeking a palpable psychoactive experience.
Likewise, if you are a user who might prefer other methods over smoking, concentrates are the main ingredient in edibles and topicals. Lesser known than their smokable alternatives concentrates in topical treatments deliver a targeted, nearly instant relief to the area of discomfort.