The difference between cannabis flower and cannabis extracts and how to consume them
By: Herbert M. Green
In your search for your ideal desktop or portable vaporizer, there is a good chance you often came across phrases like ‘dry herb’ and ‘concentrates’. Those phrases seem to be important and distinct. But, what do they mean exactly? And why is their distinction so important? What does it mean for your quest in finding your perfect vape? No worries, Dispensr is here to help and explain all you need to know on the subject, without going into unnecessary details or lengthy explanations, just the ‘need-to-know’.
What are dry herb and concentrates and what is the difference?
Let’s begin with the term ‘dry herb’. With that, we vape-experts mean the cannabis flower. The raw and dried flower of the cannabis plant, to be exact. Nothing more, nothing less. Easy right?
Most online vape shops have to skirt around the word ‘cannabis’ due to legal reasons (sigh?), so they have to use synonyms like ‘herb’ or ‘flower’, in the hopes that those ‘in-the-know’ understand what they mean. It might be good to know that this monicker also includes CBD-rich flower.
The expression ‘concentrates’ (sometimes called ‘extracts’ or ‘dabs’) is a bit more complicated because it’s a catch-all term for all the different end products that can be made from the cannabis flower after being processed (i.e. extracted). I’ll cover the different kinds of end products in a bit, for now, the takeaway is that when the raw cannabis flower is processed to extract all the active compounds (cannabinoids and terpenes) you end up with a purer form of cannabis. In other words, the end product is more concentrated and thus more potent.
What different kinds of concentrates are there?
Okay, now you know what the terms ‘concentrates’ and ‘extracts’ mean, but what about all the different forms of concentrates? Well, concentrates come in all shapes and sizes, depending on what kind of technique the active compounds are extracted with. There is Rosin, Shatter, Budder, Wax, Crumble or Crystals, even good old Hash, they are all extracts from the same plant.
These are some of the wider known forms of concentrates
The main difference between all these types of extracts lies in the viscosity of the end product. In the end, most extracts provide, more or less, the same potency. There is one caveat, however, and that is the flavour.
When cannabis is extracted using the gas-extraction method, whether it is through butane or CO2-extraction, they change the flavour or terpene-profile, due to the volatile nature of terpenes (i.e. they dissipate more easily).
In my (humble) opinion, the best form of concentrate is Rosin. That’s because Rosin is created by simply applying pressure and heat to the raw cannabis flower under a Rosin press to extract the resin from the flower that contains the active compounds and terpenes. The end result is a gooey, honey-like substance that leaves the pure flavour intact. Hmmm, yummy!
Rosin dripping out of a rosin press
How do I consume dry herb and/or concentrates?
Some purists may say you need a ‘dab rig’ to enjoy extracts or concentrates, but that isn’t true any more. Nowadays almost all vaporizer brands offer accessories for the consumption of concentrates. For most desktop vaporizers, like the Volcano Hybrid, you can buy ‘concentrate pads’. Simply apply your concentrate on the pad, insert it into the filling chamber and turn the device on. Easy peasy!
The same goes for portable vaporizers like the PAX 3 and the DynaVap VapCaps. For the PAX 3, there is a dedicated ‘concentrate insert’ that lets you load up the extracts where the herb normally goes. DynaVap has the DynaCoil insert that lets you vape almost any concentrate, such as CBD-extracts in pure crystal form, like the ones Dispensr offers.
Rosin dripping out of a rosin press
Is there anything else you like to know about dry herb or concentrates? Which is your favourite form of cannabis? And which vaporizer do you consume them with? Let us know in the comments below or on our social media channels.
Peace out & vape on!
Herb M Green