What Are Cannabis Concentrates, Oils, and Extracts?

cannabis concentrate and sign with CBD

With recreational marijuana on the map, more people are buying and using marijuana than ever. In July of 2019, Canadian marijuana sales reached $104.5 million CAD.

With the spike in popularity, more growers are discovering improved and safer methods to consume marijuana.

Concentrates are an example of this. Instead of consuming cannabis flower, concentrates pack in all of the euphoric cannabinoids in liquid or oil form. You vape this product instead of smoking it, making it safer for your lungs.

Concentrates are more potent, cleaner, and safer. This is one of the many reasons why they dominate cannabis flower sales. But what is full extract cannabis oil and concentrates? Here’s your guide.

What Are Cannabis Concentrates and Extracts?

The cannabis plant has many different aspects.

While the cannabinoids, trichomes, and terpenes contain the desirable qualities that get us high and provide health benefits, there are also undesirable parts of the cannabis plant. These aspects include the stems and seeds.

Cannabis concentrates aim to isolate the desirable qualities of the cannabis plant into an easy-to-consume concentrate.

Cannabis cultivators extract cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant, resulting in a potent, flavorful, and aromatic product.

These products are also safer to consume than cannabis flower. Most users either vape or swallow the concentrate, preventing dangerous smoke from entering their lungs.

How do cultivators extract the cannabinoids and other qualities from the cannabis plant? There are many methods, but we can break down these methods into two categories — solvent extraction and solvent-free extraction.

Solvents are liquids that dissolve another substance.

Solvent extraction is typically performed for concentrates that you consume orally. Cultivators use a food-grade solvent such as olive oil to dissolve the cannabinoids from the cannabis or hemp plant.

Solvent-less extraction uses another form of extraction that physically separates the cannabinoids from the plant. A common example is carbon dioxide. This gas is safe, non-toxic, and helps extract the cannabinoids from the cannabis plant.

The most famous type of solvent-less extract is hash.

Hash consists of THC-rich trichomes separated from the plant and compressed by high temperatures. This is why hash is extremely potent. Kief and rosin are also common extracts made without solvents.

Both types of extraction methods work by dissolving the cannabis trichomes where the bulk of the cannabinoids are found.

Aromatic and flavorful cannabis strains have powerful terpenes; these strains can also be specially extracted for more robust concentrate.

The Different Types of Cannabis Oils and Concentrates

If you’re new to cannabis oil, it’s easy to become intimidated by the options available. Here’s a breakdown of the cannabis concentrate options.


Tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as THC, is one of the most prominent cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid that brings you to the famous “high.”

Even though THC is famous for its intoxicating qualities, it also offers a myriad of health benefits. This is why both recreational and medical marijuana users can benefit from taking THC oil.

You can buy THC oil as a tincture, as a dab (or concentrate to be vaporized), and as capsules. Keep in mind, you should learn how to use THC oil because buying this product. THC oil is very potent and you don’t want to be “too high.”


Would you rather not get high? Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is the other prominent cannabinoid. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive.

To ensure none of your cannabis products contains psychoactive cannabinoids, it’s recommended you take CBD isolates.

Medical marijuana patients love CBD because of the plethora of ailments CBD treats. These range from pain relief to anxiety. You can use CBD oil as a tincture and there are other options available, such as capsules.

Vaporizer Cartridge

If you prefer vaping your concentrates over swallowing them, many dispensaries sell easy-to-administer vaporizer cartridges. These are attachments you insert into e-cigarettes.

If you already have a vaporizer, you can buy concentrates alone and stick the product onto the coils.

CBD or THC Oil vs Full Extract Cannabis Oil

From the previous section, you probably noticed popular cannabis concentrates include individualized cannabinoid extracts, such as CBD or THC oil, and full extract cannabis oil. What’s the difference?

There are over 100 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. These cannabinoids serve vital purposes, whether that’s to benefit your health or to simply get you high. These cannabinoids work together to make each cannabis strain unique.

While there are benefits of taking cannabinoid isolates, many cannabis users prefer full extract cannabis oil.

Different Textures

Another major factor of cannabis concentrate and the extract is the texture. Concentrates come in a variety of forms of textures. Here are the most common examples.


Budder is a famous cannabis concentrate type. It’s soft but sticky, similar to butter. It gets its texture because it’s extracted using solvents. This type of concentrate is preferred because it’s potent and easy to break off.


Shatter is the purest and cleanest of the extraction types. Shatter has a harder consistency, similar to glass. Shatter received its name because the whole block of concentrates “shatters” when you break off a piece.

Because it’s high-quality and potent, beginners should be careful when first using shatter.


Crumble is a type of wax with a distinctive texture. It looks similar to honeycomb and falls apart when handled. Crumble is the most versatile of all of the concentrate types.

You can dab crumble but crumble also has different uses.

You can sprinkle the crumble in a bowl and inside a blunt or joint. Unlike harder concentrates such as shatter, crumble easily ignites and burns, making it the perfect addition to your joint or bowl.


Sauce is a thicker and stickier consistency than other types of concentrate. These are usually the most flavorful type of concentrates because they contain high amounts of terpenes.


Sugar got its name because its texture is similar to wet and sappy sugar. Unlike other types of concentrate, sugar isn’t uniform. This type of wax is typically made through butane extraction.


Crystalline is a concentrate in which the textures vary between a powder-like substance to full-on crystal rocks.

Crystalline is especially high in THCa and CBDa. These cannabinoids are found in raw and live cannabis. Both are non-psychoactive, even THCa.

How to Find the Right Cannabis Concentrates

Every cannabis user is different and everyone will benefit from different cannabis concentrates. But if this is your first time buying cannabis concentrates, it’s normal to not know what to look for.

First, there are recommended cannabis concentrate types for new users. Start by looking at the cannabinoid content. Choose a concentrate in an equal amount of THC and CBD or one with more CBD than THC.

It’s also best you start with a vape oil because you have more control over the dosing.

Take a little bit of the product and put it in your vape pen. Inhale. If you need more, just add a tab bit more. If you’re using a vape pen with a pre-installed vape cartridge, inhale every so often until you get the desired effect.

The Equipment You Need to Dab

Do you plan on dabbing, or vaping, the concentrates? You’re going to need certain equipment. Here are the options you have.


Vape pens are becoming the preferred way to dab. They’re small, discreet, and easy to use. Cannabis users have two different options: you can choose a vape pen with a pre-installed cartridge or a standalone vape pen.

Pre-installed vape cartridges are easy. The cannabis is already in there — just use the cartridge until it’s out. This option is popular for beginners who may not know what type of concentrate they prefer.

Standalone vape pens are better for seasoned users. They can use the vape pen alone and buy their concentrates separately. All they have to do is break off a piece of the concentrate and place it on the coil.

Dab Rig

If you prefer a robust vaping experience, you’ll benefit from a dab rig. A dab rig is usually made of glass and resembles a classic bong or bowl. The dab rig setup includes an apparatus to hold the concentrate and a mouthpiece.

Place a piece of concentrate in the apparatus and light it with a powerful flame such as a butane torch. From here, inhale the vapor from the mouthpiece.

Price of Cannabis Concentrates

When buying cannabis concentrates, you’ll notice they’re pricier than cannabis flower.

Keep in mind you’re getting more than what you pay for. For $20-$25 a gram, you’ll get high-quality oil, hash, or kief. But you only need a little bit of product to get the job done.

If you’re a beginner, only buy a gram at first. Increase the amount of product you buy when you’re comfortable. Keep in mind, tinctures are usually measured in milliliters and dabs are measured in grams.

Will You Use Cannabis Concentrates?

From tinctures to dabs, there are many ways to take cannabis concentrates. You can also choose between cannabinoid isolates and full extract cannabis oil. Use this guide to better navigate the cannabis concentrates market.

For more cannabis facts and information, continue reading the cannabis section of our blog.