As more states move towards regulating both medical and recreational cannabis, the demand has pulled away from raw cannabis flower and moved more towards extracted cannabis concentrates. Cannabis concentrates have increasingly cultivated popularity because of their wide variety of uses in vaping, edibles, topical ointments, capsules and medical applications.
Although concentrates have had a steady progression in popularity, first time users often have a less than desirable experience. Most complaints stem from a residual taste left in their mouths or the actual concentrate effect being pretty sub-par. With concentrate and extraction industries continuously growing, there’s really no excuse for this type of experience. Aside from finding a vape cartridge filled with a superior extract, we’ve compiled a few tips for better vaping with cannabis concentrates:
Know Your Terpene Levels
Terpenes are the fragrant oils that give cannabis its aromatic diversity. Terpenes are responsible for the pleasant, or not so pleasant, aromas of cannabis, along with the psychological effects associated with those aromas. As cannabis strains can vary greatly between sources, those with high concentrations of specific terpenes are known to be easier to identify than other strains.
Typically, a concentrate will contain about 1-2% terpenes, but some can contain up to 10%. Generally, a higher terpene percentage means a better taste. Aside from the taste, a higher terpene percentage also lends to the idea that the manufacturer is using a higher-grade raw material, and most likely using a gentle method of extraction, such as Supercritical CO2. Supercritical extraction using liquid carbon dioxide allows terpenoids to be reintroduced from the bud back into the extract, giving it a much higher terpene level than a butane extraction method.
Know if your concentrates are mixed with any additives or diluting agents. Depending on the additive, many are known to affect the health, taste and effects of your concentrates. Typically, manufacturers incorporate additives, such as glycerin, to reduce their overall cost. Although Glycerin is GRAS (generally regarded as safe) by the FDA, it reacts differently when vaporized and leaves behind an unwanted taste or smell. Find and stick to manufacturers with clean concentrates so you know what is and isn’t included in your concentrates.
With Co2 extraction technologies continuously growing and innovating, there’s no longer a need to wonder what solvents are left behind in your concentrates. Butane, hexane and propane are just a few of the solvents that can effect the health, taste and effects of your concentrates. And depending on what state you live in, concentrate testing can be very loosely regulated. To avoid high solvent levels, stick to concentrates made with clean Co2 extraction. Co2 extraction is GRAS (generally regarded as safe) by the FDA, and is free of all butane, hexane and propane solvents.
Like everything with vaping, taste is subjective, and people often like different levels of terpenes and aromas in their concentrates. If you’re not sure what works best for you, do some research and stick to high grade raw material with a supercritical extraction method. If you’re looking for more information on CO2 extraction, vaping equipment or tips, please contact us here.