DC's 10 Types of Cannabis Concentrates
10 Types of Cannabis Concentrates – Which is Your Favorite Way to Dab?
Getting baked these days involves way more than a Ziploc of schwag, a Bic lighter, and an apple. So when someone asks you if you’d rather have a glob of Budder, a shard of Shatter, or a dunk of some Diamonds, you might feel a bit lost UNLESS you read this guide on the most popular types of dabs, and what makes them each unique! Dabbers up, homies, this terp’s for you!
Slabs of shatter make for amazing pictures and even more amazing concentrates. For years, the term “shatter or it doesn’t matter” permeated the dabbing scene as parchments packed with the brittle, potent dabs could be found at every sesh.
More often than not, Shatter is a form of BHO, so it is most often butane-extracted. It is then processed in a vacuum oven in order to purge the unwanted solvent and achieve the desired glass-like texture.
Though it is not as popular as it once was, Shatter can still be found on the shelf at almost any dispensary, and it’s not going away anytime soon.
PULL N’ SNAP
Similar in strength, aroma, flavor, and effects to Shatter, Pull n’ Snap is also often packaged like Shatter and to the untrained eye will often look a lot like it as well. The main difference is in the texture, as the name implies. In this case, the name is literally a concise set of instructions as to how to load your dab onto your dabber.
Unlike Shatter, Pull n’ Snap doesn’t always break off from the main slab as easily as you’d like. Instead, you cut off the size of the dab that you want, then quickly pull the tool away from the slab, “snapping” off the desired dose. Move too slow and you’ve got a stringy, sticky, expensive mess on your hands (and lap, and table…)
Pull n’ Snap is almost always a form of BHO (Butane Hash Oil).
Budder starts its lifespan much the same way as Shatter or Pull n’ Snap, however, after the initial extraction of the oil from the cannabis plant material, and then throughout the purging and curing process, an aggressive stirring or “whipping” technique is applied.
This action introduces air into the material and disrupts the chemical compounds that would otherwise harden into the glassy texture of Shatter. Now the end product will be a waxy, soft substance that is usually very easy to load and keep on a dabbing tool, as well as being very easy to load into a vape pen tank.
Most Budder on dispensary shelves is butane extracted, but there are more and more CO2 based extract companies producing this type of concentrate as well.
HONEYCOMB / CRUMBLE
Very similar in process and potency as Budder, the Honeycomb texture is often more strain-based than technique based, but there are certain methods that can be applied to achieve this texture intentionally.
Due to the fact that it is more difficult to handle than Budder, Pull n’ Snap, or Shatter, and since it seems to lose its terp profile quickly, Crumble or Honeycomb is not the 1st choice for most dabbing connoisseurs.
Like Budder, the Crumble you find is most likely BHO, but may be a CO2 extraction as well – ask your budtender!
Consistently testing at 99+% pure THC-A, this crystallized form of cannabis extract is extremely popular these days due to the pleasing aesthetic is produces, as well as the sky-high effects it delivers as well.
These Diamonds range in size from grains of sand, like a clear/white kief, to chunky boulders the size of an actual ring-worthy gem.
Often added to already potent Shatter or Budder to crank up the headiness of the effects, or soaked in Sauce for a flavor boost, a quartz banger full of properly prepared Diamonds will blast you off to a whole new world.
“Sauce” or Terp Sauce is essentially THC distillate.
Distillate is a post-processing technique for less-than-desirable BHO that cleans it up and turns brown sludge into gold goo.
But since THC distillate tastes like a cross between nothing and/or ass on its own, natural terpenes from cannabis are then derived and reintroduced, creating a hyper-flavored, high THC oil that is ideal for marinating your Diamonds in.
It can certainly be dabbed on its own, just like McDonald’s Sweet n’ Sour sauce CAN be eaten on its own, but it’s better to dip a Diamond Nugget in them!
Very similar in appearance and texture to Diamonds, but most often more granular like sand, CBD isolate can supplement a THC and terpene rich dab to add the welcome and soothing pain and anxiety relief effect that CBD is revered for.
CBD is pushing the limits of legality these days, with many companies and products shipping to all 50 states and/or worldwide. Much of the gray area has to do with what the CBD was extracted from - cannabis or hemp.
There are pro’s and con’s to both, but until you do the proper research it is safe to say that the CBD isolate you can get from your local frontline dispensary or trusted head shop is probably MORE legit and MORE effective than the stuff popping up at mainstream outlets like Whole Foods who are cautiously tiptoeing into the CBD market.
BUBBLE / ICE WAX
Instead of using a solvent for extracting the precious trichome heads that carry the oils we all love, Bubble Hash, or Ice Wax, uses a process referred to as Mechanical Separation. Using just ice, water, cannabis, and agitation, the trich heads are frozen then broken from their stalks using anything from a wooden spoon to a specialized "washing machine".
The water (technically a solvent, but let’s not start that debate here) carries the heads through a series of mesh filter bags, each one with a tighter micron screen then the one prior. The various sized heads remain trapped by the bags where they are collected like wet beach sand to be dried and cured properly.
The result – IF done in an expert fashion - is a totally solventless, dabbable water hash that carries a decent representation of the original flavor of the flower used, along with a fuller spectrum of effects than the average Shatter or Budder offers.
Due to the long and difficult processing time, and the lower yield percentages, top shelf Ice Wax can cost well over $100/g. But when you get the right stuff, you quickly realize why!
Like Bubble or Ice Wax, many dabbers prefer Rosin over Shatter, Budder, or other butane-extracted concentrates, due to its complete lack of residual solvents since none are used in the process – not even water this time!
Heat and pressure, baby!
Using temperature controlled heating plates attached to an industrial strength hydraulic press, pre-loaded packets of high grade cannabis flower or ideally Bubble or Ice Wax are placed between the plates. Flip the switch and the plates press together, squeezing the essential oils from the cannabis material, like juice from a ripe orange.
The golden drips that appear from between the plates are collected onto a non-stick surface and cured to be packaged and distributed.
Technically it is possible to pull off this technique at home with a decent hair straightener and a vice grip, but for one thing your results will not be as ideal as the process by the pros described above, and for another thing your lady is going to probably kick your ass!
Appreciated for its lack of flammable and residual solvents, CO2 oils often lack natural terpenes as well. Most dab-ready CO2 oil is used to fill cartridges for vape pens, where its high THC content and proper viscosity make it an ideal vehicle for such an application.
The gooey texture of most CO2 oils makes it difficult to load and dab traditionally, though many extractors package it in handy plastic syringes to make it a bit easier to handle.
For research, we took 3 dabs of every type of concentrate listed while writing this article. We had a favorite, but now…we forgot which one it was…
What’s your favorite type of dab?
Tell us in the comments!