Many commercial marijuana concentrate products often use solvents, such as butane, propane, or carbon dioxide, to separate resin glands from the rest of the plant. Butane Hash Oil (BHO) is one of the most common concentrates. For those who are seeking to avoid harsh solvents, however, there are other options.
What are Solventless Concentrates?
Concentrates are growing greatly in popularity, due to their convenience and fast-acting effects. There are many medical marijuana users who are seeking alternatives to the typical concentrates, which rely on solvents to remove resinous trichomes. Trichomes are miniscule protrusions on the surface of marijuana flowers and leaves, which produce the cannabinoids and terpene that gives marijuana its many effects.
Solventless concentrates, use mechanical agitation to remove the trichomes from the rest of the plant matter. Despite their recent popularity, solventless concentrates have been around for thousands of years, and were the original way concentrates were made. Moroccan hash and Himalayan charas are two examples of ancient forms of concentrates that still enjoy considerable popularity in many parts of the world. Some other examples of solventless concentrates include water or bubble hash, kief, hand-rolled hash, and rosin.
Sometimes called bubble hash or ice water concentrate, this concentrate is made using ice water to chill and agitate the trichomes. Often, consumers use a Bubble Bag or similar product which uses a very fine screen at the bottom to filter plant matter and prevent it from mixing with the trichomes as they fall to the bottom of the bag. A bud or trim is soaked in the icy water, and then gently agitated. The trichomes, which become brittle in cold water, are knocked off the plant matter and fall to the bottom, where they pass through the screen to be collected.
When dried, water hash resembles kief, and has a crumbly texture. If produced properly, this product is frequently labeled “full melt,” since the purity allows it to melt and bubble when a flame is applied.
This, along with hash, is one of the oldest forms of solventless concentrates. Kief is made by rubbing marijuana flowers against a fine screen or shaking them over a collection plate to separate the trichomes from the plant. Once collected, the trichomes will be gently compressed until they burst and comingle their resinous interiors. Kief isn’t compressed to the same extent that hash is, however, and has a rather sandy texture.
Kief can be added to a bowl or smoked alone, however, those who are new users or who are heavily affected by cannabis should be aware that it is considerably stronger than smoking regular buds. The potency is due to the fact that the trichomes used in kief contain all the cannabinoids of the plant.
Hash, or hashish, is an Arabic word that means “grass.” Along with kief, hash is one of the most ancient forms of concentrates. It still is highly popular throughout the Middle East, Asia, and Northern Africa. Hash still is used in celebrations and for social gatherings throughout these areas, where it has enjoyed a long-standing status as a spiritual substance.
Hash can be difficult to obtain, due to the lack of demand and the difficulty to make it. Most of the world’s hash is made by hand, using 6,000 year old methods. Like kief, hash is great for crumbling over a bowl or smoking alone. It is also very strong, and not recommended for casual or new users. It can contain 30-60% THC, making it highly effective for nausea or pain relief, as long as you are an experienced user.
The newest solventless cannabis concentrate, rosin is a much easier way to extract trichomes. This method uses heat and pressure to separate the trichomes. It can be done using flowers only, which can make it easier to obtain. The temperature and the amount and duration of applied pressure plays a critical role in the quality and consistency of the rosin produced.
Commercially Made Solventless Concentrates
While solventless concentrates are often a DIY product, there are also a number of commercial manufacturers who are producing these concentrates for users who wish to avoid harsh solvents. If you are a casual or new user, or simply don’t enjoy the preparation process of a concentrate, these products can be a great option.
At The Station, we proudly carry Essential Extracts and Concentrate Supply Co. for all your solventless cannabis concentrate needs. Stop by our Boulder marijuana dispensary today to learn more about our products. Our friendly, professional dispensary staff are knowledgeable about our stock, and they can help you find just the right cannabis product for you!
Contact our team today by calling 303.625.6521.