What is the Difference Between a Cannabis Extract and a Concentrate?

Cannabis extracts are a rapidly growing and complicated topic. There are so many types of extracts and methods of extraction that it would take a book to explain all of them in detail. But we can still give you some solid basics upon which you can build a respectable knowledge base for the subject. 

Read on to learn more about how extracts are made, what types of extracts you can find on the market, where to buy cannabis extracts, and how they’re used. 

What is the Difference Between a Cannabis Extract and a Concentrate?

There are two main methods for removing and concentrating cannabinoids from cannabis: solvent-based extraction and mechanical, or solventless extraction. 

Solvent-based extraction uses volatile chemicals to dissolve the trichomes from the plant material. Then, the solvent is then removed, which leaves behind an extract like shatter, wax, or vape oil. These are called extracts.

Solventless or mechanical extraction methods don’t use chemicals. Instead, the trichomes are beaten, rubbed, or pressed from the plant, resulting in a concentrate like kief, hash, or rosin. These are called concentrates.

Both of these methods have advantages and disadvantages. 

One of the advantages of solvent-based extraction is that it can be manipulated to isolate specific cannabinoids. These can be used to target specific effects, such as extra THC for a body high or CBD for relaxation. 

But some people prefer to use solventless extraction methods to make concentrates because they see them as more natural. 

The solventless processes also leave more of the original cannabinoids intact, unaltered by chemicals used for solvent-based methods. This has led to a growing interest in these solventless extraction methods, including the use of commercial rosin presses.

There is a growing interest in solventless extraction methods, including the use of commercial rosin presses. These solventless processes leave the original cannabinoids intact, unaltered by the chemicals used in solvent-based processes. 

Another extremely important consideration is safety.

  • Solventless extraction processes are mostly safe to do at home, but solvent-based procedures can be extremely dangerous if done improperly and have even resulted in deaths by explosion or fire. 
  • Dangerous amounts of solvent can be left behind if the product isn’t properly purged after manufacturing. 
  • It’s even illegal to use certain solvents in many districts without a specialized license and equipment.

So those who are thinking of manufacturing their own cannabis products at home, solventless is the way to go.

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