Cannabis Extracts and Concentrates: What Are They and How Are They Made?

Cannabis Extracts and Concentrates: What Are They and How Are They Made?

Cannabis enthusiasts started noticing a significant shift in the industry over the years. Regular users began heating oily extracts to inhale large quantities of cannabis rather than smoking. These extracts included shatter, wax, batter, dabs, and honey. They were more potent, easier to use, and cleaner than other cannabis consumption methods. This heralded the start of a brand-new age.

Initially, people manufactured cannabis extracts in their garages and backyards using flammable hydrocarbons. It was a dangerous method with a high risk of explosive proportions. The good news is that the technology and methods to extract cannabis have evolved significantly, and so have the uses of cannabis extracts.

If you’re a cannabis enthusiast and want to learn about cannabis extraction or differences between cannabis extract vs cannabis concentrate, we have got you covered here.

What are Cannabis Extracts and Concentrates?

Cannabis concentrates come from hemp plants or cannabis, leaves, and flowers. There are plenty of methods of cannabis extraction that use cannabis flowers. Some methods include alcohol/solvent-based extraction, solventless extraction, and supercritical CO2-based extraction.

Extracts are a subset of concentrates produced by solvent-based and CO2 procedures. However, cannabis concentrates are a byproduct of solvent-free extraction. We will go in-depth on the various concentrate extraction processes and the numerous types of concentrates and extract products.

How are Cannabis Extracts Made?

Many cannabis components are condensed into extracts. THC is the cannabinoid that is most frequently extracted as it is present in abundant quantities in cannabis and gets people euphoric. Users can dab or smoke solely extracted THC rather than smoking cannabis flowers containing cannabis terpenes, flavonoids, cannabinoids, and other chemical components. Extracts are much stronger than buds.

Cannabis Extraction and Cannabis Concentrates | Methods and Processes

There are generally three methods of cannabis extraction. Let’s delve into the details to learn how to make extracts from cannabis.

» Hydrocarbons (Butane, Hexane, Propane)

Butane hash oils (BHO), which include budder, sauce, wax, shatter, and crumble, are made from hydrocarbons. Both open-looped and closed-looped techniques are common methods to extract cannabis. But open-loop systems are exposed to the outside world. They can cause fire when flammable substances are present.

On the other side, closed-loop systems are more expensive to construct, but relatively safer. Securing the equipment for an average-sized model could reach $30,000. Manufacturers also need to use hydrocarbons to make the premises blast-proof.

» CO2 - Supercritical CO2 Extraction

As the name suggests, the cannabis extract method uses CO2 to separate the various chemicals from the cannabis plant's substance. The supercritical conditions in this method cause CO2 to alternate between gas, liquid, and solid form. After extracting the chemicals from the cannabis plant material using a closed-loop system, the CO2 is released into the air. This approach yields a comparatively harmless extract, because CO2 is a green gas.

» Alcohol

Ethanol is a common solvent for producing highly concentrated Rick Simpson Oil. It uses the same methodology of creating BHO. The cannabis plant's buds and flowers are exposed to drops of ethanol, which dissolves the chemicals. The solvent is removed, leaving only the cannabis extract, in the next stage.

How are Cannabis Concentrates Made?

Cannabis concentrates are made through solventless or mechanical extraction. There is no use of solvents in this method. Instead, it presses, beats, or rubs out of the cannabis plant. It produces rosin, kief, or hash.

Non-Solvent-Based Methods to Make Cannabis Concentrates

Solventless extraction is one of the most common methods when producing concentrates for medical use. It is because the method produces safer concentrates.

» Sifting, Shaking, and Dry Sifting to Make Kief

Kief is a form of cannabis concentrate. There are different mechanical processes to create kief. Using a mesh is one method that has survived the test of time and is extremely safe. The manufacturers pass cannabis plant material through a mesh. As a result, kief gathers at the bottom. After that, the kief is rated according to its degree of purity.

» Ice Water Extraction

A common cannabis extract known as "bubble hash" is created from kief undergoing an ice-water extraction process. The cannabis is stirred in a simple jar or bubble atop water and ice in this procedure. The resin is split by mechanical force, and it is collected. This process is one of the safest and cleanest ways to create pure, high-quality hash that is free of contaminants because it employs water. Also, this wholesome cannabis extraction method can keep cannabinoids intact.

» Heat and Pressure - Rosin Press

Rosin is a sticky sap whose appearance ranges from clear to dark. You can use it as the foundation of cannabis food or in the extracted form. People also use it as a base for cannabis edibles. Rosin bag and rosin press use heat and pressure to force the pure trichomes out of the cannabis buds and leaves.

How Do Cannabis Extracts Differ From Cannabis Concentrate?

The terms ‘extracts’ and ‘concentrates’ are often confusing for many people. You may have seen many cannabis enthusiasts using the terms interchangeably. However, understanding the difference between the two is important. Cannabis concentrates, on the other hand, use mechanical processes to isolate quality resin heads.

Cannabis Extract Vs Cannabis Concentrate

» Cannabis Extracts

As said above, extracts use solvents that chemically extract the THC. Butane, CO2, propane, and ethanol are just a few of the common solvents. The finished extract has a unique appearance, potency, and flavor depending on the solvent employed. The quality and type of plant material utilized and modest adjustments in the procedure can significantly impact the flavor and consistency of the results produced by the same processes.

» Cannabis Concentrates

Cannabis concentrates, on the other hand, use mechanical processes to isolate quality resin heads. For instance, hash (also known as hashish) has been here since at least 900 AD. Several cultures developed their methods for making hash.

It is composed of compressed trichomes that have been cut off from the plant's main body. The cannabis plant's resin glands, or trichomes, are extremely potent. Although many old methods are still in use, technology has given hash manufacturers creative new ways to refine cannabis.

How to Use and Consume Cannabis Extracts and Concentrates?

Several different concentrates and extracts have higher cannabinoid and cannabis terpene concentrations than a flower, but no plant material.

For instance, a concentrate may contain up to 90% THC, but a smoking flower may only contain 10–25% THC. With a lesser dose and higher price, concentrates can provide you with equal advantages. That is why many people prefer marijuana concentrate to cannabis extracts.

While concentrates are affordable and understated, they don't produce the same intense feelings as a smoking flower. But they can assist medical patients in achieving certain benefits more quickly and easily, such as pain or depression treatment, because they contain more terpenes CBD. You'll typically feel more head high from them than a body high.

Once you find the extract or concentrate that suits you, you can use or consume it in numerous ways. Here are a few ways to consume and use cannabis extracts:

» Smoking Concentrates

Smoking is the easiest way to consume marijuana concentrate. You can sprinkle some of it onto your joint or bowl and smoke it. This way, you can try out many different concentrates.

» Dabbing

Dabbing is another popular way to consume concentrate and is great for wax, taffy, shatter, resin, budder, and rosin.

» Vaping Extracts

Everyone likes vaping these days. It is perfect for athletes and professionals, as it isn’t harsh like smoke.

» Cannabis Edibles

Edibles are chocolates, candies, and baked goods made with butter and cannabis-infused oils. For an extra kick, you can purchase cannabis-infused syrups. They create a pleasant and satisfying body high if you eat them in the correct amount.

» THC Capsules

An easy and covert way to consume cannabis is through capsules. The usual capsule filler is THC oil. They provide a similar effect to edibles without calories, sugar, or fat. The majority of dispensaries sell these. You can also make capsules at home in your Crockpot.


Cannabis extraction is still in its infancy. With time, we anticipate seeing the development of purer, more effective processes for creating therapeutic cannabis extracts. This post gives you further insight into the production of cannabis concentrates.

However, if you’re looking for high-quality cannabis extracts and concentrates, buy from renowned and reliable weed cultivators and certified cannabis strain growers. You can buy premium quality cannabis products from HOTBOX. Browse our online collection or if you’ve got any questions, contact us by filling out our online form or emailing us at!