Cannabis Concentrates

Concentrates are an extract of the most sought compounds from the marijuana plant. Learn more about the different types of cannabis concentrates and the forms they take.

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What Are Cannabis Concentrates?

Cannabis concentrates are concentrated forms of marijuana, specifically the cannabinoids. Cannabinoids and terpenes are removed from the cannabis plant using extraction methods to create a crude extract.

Concentrates take many forms based on how the resulting crude extract is manipulated; shatter, crumble, distillate and rosin are common forms, but there are many more. The final form ranges in texture, but the dose remains the same across types.

Cannabis concentrates are 5 times more potent than the dose of a vape—each grain of rice-sized piece holds approximately 25mg of THC. For this reason, marijuana concentrates are considered a macrodose option.

Common Types of Cannabis Concentrates

For a novice, it may seem like all extracts and concentrates are just as potent. That much is true—the most potent products contain high levels of cannabinoids such as THC. In addition to similarities, there are many differences between the various types of concentrates, including texture, taste, color, and extraction process.

We’ve created the ultimate guide to everything you need to know about all the various types of concentrates, the differences between them, and your top FAQs.


Shatter is a cannabis extract best known for its stunning appearance. Often referred to as shatter weed, marijuana shatter, or shatter wax, shatter is unlike any other marijuana product on the market. It’s reminiscent of stained glass—not quite opaque, not quite transparent. It has a brittle consistency that tends to shatter when dosed, hence the name, and varies in shade from dark ambers and honey-like tones to lighter shades of yellow like vegetable oil.



How is Shatter Created?

Shatter is an extract created from a solvent, most often ethanol, BHO, or CO2. The resulting extract is poured onto slabs and then placed into a vacuum oven to purge the excess solvent and stabilize into its final form: semi-opaque, light to deep golden in hue, and a brittle texture that shatters like glass.

What are the Benefits of Shatter?

Shatter delivers a potent and effective high, with almost instantaneous effects. Dabs, or vaporizing shatter at high temperatures, allow cannabinoids to enter the bloodstream extremely quickly, and brings immediate therapeutic and psychoactive effects. Because cannabis extracts are so much more potent than normal cannabis flower, consumers are able to use much less product, and enjoy the “less is more” idea.

How do you Consume Shatter?

Most people use shatter in one of two ways: combusting or dabbing. Shatter can be dabbed (using a concentrate pen like the Puffco Plus or Terp Pen, or with a traditional dab rig) on its own. It can also be added to smokable flower to combust—just be sure to layer your shatter in between your flower to maximize the concentrate’s benefits.

How do you Store Shatter?

Like cannabis flower, shatter should be stored in an airtight container away from direct sunlight or ultraviolet light. Shatter should always be stored at room temperature in a cool, dark room, such as a cupboard or under the bed. When stored improperly, cannabis shatter will sugar, or become grainy in texture. Sugared shatter is still dabbable, it just may be a little more harsh.


Rosin is a form of concentrate that uses no solvents for extraction.

Creating cannabis rosin starts with collecting the trichomes, or the resinous glands, from the cannabis plant. These mushroom-shaped hairs are where the treasured cannabinoids and terpenes are produced and give bud its prized frosted appearance. After the trichomes are collected, they are sifted through mesh screens to isolate solely the trichome heads, then pressed using only heat and pressure.

The resulting oil is set aside to solidify. Taffying is required, or the twisting and pulling of the concentrate, to ensure a homogenous distribution of cannabinoids and terpenes, as well as to perfect its texture.


What are Dry Sift and Bubble Hash Rosin?

Dry sift and bubble hash denote the ways in which the cannabis’ trichomes are collected.

Dry sift rosin is created by sifting dry flower. By sifting on metal sieves, the trichomes are physically knocked off to be collected and pressed.

Bubble hash rosin is crafted using an ice water bath. Whole cannabis bud is placed in water and ice—the water softens the flower, while the ice gently removes trichomes. Ice water extracted rosin is often preferred, as it’s believed that fewer plant material makes its way into the final product.

What are the Benefits of Rosin?

Rosin is a preferred concentrate by many as no solvent is used to create it. This makes rosin the most true-to-flower experience of concentrates, as solvents do lend notes of their own.

How do you Consume Rosin?

Smoking rosin is one option. If you choose to smoke rosin via combustion, it’s recommended to put a little flower, your desired dose of rosin, and then add more flower on top to avoid burning all of the rosin at once. You can also heat the concentrate to the point of vaporization using either a dab rig or a dab pen.

What does Rosin Smell and Taste Like?

Rosin tastes and smells like the strain of flower it was extracted from. It can appear golden, tan, cream-colored, or even green or purple due to the terpene profile of the strain. Note: As the product ages, it may become dark if not stored properly.

What is Live Rosin? What are its Benefits?

Live Rosin is a full spectrum product because the plant is flash frozen shortly after harvest, preserving the chemical fingerprint of the plant. This means that most cannabinoids and terpenes are still present in the final Live Rosin product, providing the full entourage effect. The idea with live concentrates is that the living chemical profile of the plant is captured, hence the term “live.”

How Should Rosin Be Stored?

Store Rosin in a cool, dark place. If your home tends to be warm, placing Rosin in the refrigerator will ensure it retains its consistency


Rick Simpson Oil, or RSO, is a marijuana concentrate that was created by Rick Simpson. The concentrate is a full extract cannabis oil, or FECO—in addition to cannabinoids and terpenes, RSO contains the fats, lipids, chlorophylls, and more plant compounds.  One syringe-full of RSO may contain around 600 mg of THC. The RSO has a dark appearance and is viscous, so it should be warmed slightly in the crook of your elbow prior to dosing. Users in the know will buy their RSO from a dispensary and dispense minute amounts from a special plastic oral syringe with a plunger.


What are the Benefits of Rick Simpson Oil?

RSO, a concentrated form of marijuana, is known for its pain-relieving properties. Its high levels of THC make it an especially effective medication for people suffering from chronic pain. Anyone who has to endure the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, arthritis, or migraines may benefit from RSO’s pain relieving properties. It also has many other functions. Because of the way it interacts with your body, it may help reduce seizures, fight off loss of appetite, and soothe your asthma and glaucoma. Additionally, the maker of RSO used it topically and claimed it treated his skin cancer.

Can RSO Be Used as a Cancer Treatment?

In an attempt to treat his own cancer naturally, Rick Simpson created his own cannabis extract with high THC levels. He began following his own health regimen, which included placing a few drops of the oil directly onto the cancerous growths on his body. According to Simpson, the growths entirely disappeared in just a matter of days.

While research is still ongoing, some of it with mixed results, there are encouraging signs that cannabinoids may have efficacy in treating cancer. At the very least, recent early-stage trials suggest that cannabinoids are safe for use in cancer patients and assist in increased appetite during cancer treatment.

How do you Consume Rick Simpson Oil?

Rick Simpson Oil is a form of cannabis oil that is consumed orally or applied topically. It should never be inhaled, for very good reason. RSO falls under the “FECO” umbrella because the chlorophyll, fats, lipids and more from the plant are present, making it not suitable for inhalation.

Patients should be aware that, as with edibles, orally consumed RSO will be metabolized. THC will convert to 11-hydroxy-THC, which is five times more psychoactive. As such, patients should start low and go slow when beginning an RSO regimen.

How Does Rick Simpson Oil Make You Feel?

Just as with cannabis, the sensations induced by RSO vary from person to person.


Budder, a concentrate that ranges from slightly runny to thick like cookie dough, and badder, a concentrate with a runny, wet appearance slightly thicker than sauce, are intensely aromatic and flavorful macrodosing options.

These forms of cannabis concentrate are derived by melting down Shatter. The extract is whipped to achieve a homogenous texture. Budder looks fluffy, like butter, hence its name, while badder is slightly runny and similar in texture to cake batter.

Budder or Batter


How are Cannabis Budders and Badders Created?

The Budder process begins by isolating the beneficial parts of the plant (major and minor cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids) using either ethanol or hydrocarbon for extraction. This extract is placed into the vacuum oven to stabilize it as Shatter. Once it has solidified and cooled, it is then melted down before being whipped to achieve the creamy texture known as budder or badder.

How do you Consume Cannabis Budder and Badders?

Budder and badder can be added to smokable flower as a concentrate (using a concentrate pen like the Puffco Plus or Terp Pen, or with a traditional dab rig) or consumed on its own. When adding to flower, do so in layers – for example, packing a bowl with a small amount of flower, adding your desired dose of Budder, and layering more flower on top – to prevent burning through the concentrate prematurely.

Is Budder Or Shatter Better?

The debate over which consistency of cannabis extract is best—“budder” or “shatter”—is one of personal preference. Budder is a soft concentrate that can be easily scooped, and it’s ideal for dabs at low temperatures. Shatter is a hard concentrate that’s easy to dose, and it can be dabbed at high temperatures because of its rigid consistency. Some people prefer dabbing shatter over budder.

How Is Budder Different From Live Rosin?

Live rosin and budder, though similar in appearance, are vastly different products. Budder uses cold ethanol to isolate the desired cannabinoids from a cannabis flower. Rosin uses only heat and pressure to extract those same cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis flower, and results in the truest-to-flower flavor profile.


Cannabis can be distilled to create a highly refined extract that contains cannabinoids and terpenes, or one cannabinoid only in an isolated form. Terpenes are responsible for the final product’s taste and smell, so removing them provides complete control over the final product and produces an odorless, flavorless, translucent, and amber-colored product.often used in topicals and edibles.



How are Cannabis Distillates Created?

The process of making cannabis distillate involves heating a solution to a specific temperature in order to vaporize a specific compound within the solution without destroying it, then re-condensing the vaporized compound back into a liquid effectively separating it from the rest of the “undesirable” compounds in the original solution.

How do you Consume Cannabis Distillates?

Distillate is incredibly versatile, as it can be smoked, vaped, dabbed, used in cooking, or applied to the skin with lotions and creams. It is already a base ingredient for many edibles and vape cartridges.

Distillate can be used on its own or infused in other cannabis products for different effects.

Is Distillate an Oil?

While both distillates and cannabis oils are made from oil extracted from the cannabis plant, not all cannabis oils are distillates. Distillates contain up to 98% cannabinoids, making them much stronger than other cannabis oil extracts. One of the drawbacks of distillation is the loss of some of the therapeutic benefits that terpenes provide. Distillates are found in a huge array of cannabis products, including vape cartridges, edibles, and topical products.

What is Better: RSO or Distillate?

The question of RSO vs. distillate comes down to your use of the concentrate.

If you’re seeking an odorless, tasteless product with high potency for infusing edibles, distillate is a great option as there is little to no taste. Too, if versatility is important to you, distillate is ideal as it can be eaten or vaped or dabbed.

RSO is an ideal option for those seeking full spectrum benefits and the entourage effect, or the suite of cannabinoids working effectively and synergistically together. Rick Simpson Oil, too, is great for edibles for those who do not mind the taste of cannabis.


Crumble is a potent, strain-specific ethanol extract, reminiscent of a honeycomb. With a light and airy texture, this extract is ideal for dabbing.



How is Cannabis Crumble Created?

Like badder and budder, cannabis crumble is made by first melting down shatter. The extract is then agitated by intensely whipping it. The whipping creates a homogenous concentrate, but also adds air pockets. The whipped extract is then poured onto a slab and placed into a vacuum oven to solidify into a souffle with a honeycomb-like texture.

What are the Benefits of Crumble?

Many cannassieurs love crumble because it is so easy to use. A slight touch to the extract can make it quite literally crumble like a cookie, allowing you to scoop up your desired amount, or even add it easily to flower.

How do you Consume Cannabis Crumble?

Though you can consume crumble in a variety of ways. For those looking to take a more traditional route, Crumble can be vaped with a concentrate pen like the Puffco Plus or Terp Pen, or it can be added to smokable flower. It can also be vaporized in a traditional dab rig on its own.

How Should Crumble Be Stored?

Crumble should be stored in a cool place, with a fairly constant temperature and low humidity. Parchment paper and an airtight container can help you preserve your crumble for a few weeks, up to a few months.


Sugar is a textured collection of small THCA crystals, created from cannabis flower. The hydrocarbon extraction process is most often used to craft sugar, as it preserves a high percentage of terpenes from the strain extracted. The grainy texture makes it easy to use for vaporizing dabs.



How is Cannabis Sugar Created?

Cannabis sugar is created using hydrocarbon extraction, which is the process of using a solvent like butane, propane, or a combination of both, to collect cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids from cannabis. The crude extract is then placed in a vacuum under low heat and pressure, allowing THCA to aggregate together, forming tiny, potent microcrystals.

Is Live Sugar Already Activated?

No, to activate the medicinal properties you must heat the concentrate to 450 degrees Fahrenheit or more. This is generally done by using a dab pen or traditional dab rig, or by adding the concentrate to a joint or bowl along with fresh flower.

What are the Benefits of Cannabis Sugar?

Many consumers prefer cannabis sugar concentrates as its texture makes it easy to scoop and dose.

Are There Different Types of Sugar Concentrates?

People often mistake sugar for shatter because they are created using the same extraction method. Sugar has a grainy texture, and its consistency is what makes it different from shatter. Because it is thicker, sugar is rich in flavor and easier to handle than other concentrates.

Cannabis Concentrates FAQs

How Potent Are Concentrates?

Concentrates are a macrodose product. Each grain of rice-sized piece is roughly 25 mg of THC, which is five times more potent than a dose of vape or flower. Because of their high doses, concentrates are not for beginners.

How Do You Consume Cannabis Concentrates?

As with many cannabis forms, you have a few options. Dabbing is the most common form of concentrate use. Dabbing utilizes high temperatures to vaporize the cannabinoids and terpenes to be inhaled, done so either with a dab device or traditional dab rig.

You can also add concentrates to cannabis flower, just be sure to place the concentrate between layers of flower to avoid directly burning the concentrate.

How Should I Store Cannabis Concentrate?

Store your chosen cannabis concentrate in a dark, cool, place so as not to compromise the consistency. Concentrates not stored properly will oxidize, or darken in color, over time.

What Do Solvent-Free and Solventless Cannabis Concentrate Mean?

Some processes use a solvent to extract the cannabinoids. And, others do not. A solvent-free process DOES initially use solvent to extract sought ingredients. However, the solvent is then removed through an added process called purging.

A solventless process, such as creating rosin, uses no solvent at any point. Sought after THC, CBD, and terpenes are extracted using only heat and pressure to extract the THC, CBD and other cannabinoids, providing a true-to-flower dab experience.

What is Cannabis Resin?

Resin is the sticky substance found on the trichomes of cannabis plants. This sap-like plant byproduct delivers the prime majority of the psychoactive compound THC and is considered the most valuable part of the plant. Resins can be harvested in several different ways to produce concentrates such as butane hash oil, live resin, and rosin.

What Makes a Cannabis Concentrate “Live”?

Liive cannabis products are produced using a unique extraction technique that involves freezing fresh cannabis before the extraction process, skipping the drying and curing phases. The terpene content of live cannabis will vary from strain to strain and even plant to plant, but freezing the live plant preserves the plant’s living terpene profile, which lends the term “live.”

What Are Types of Live Concentrates?

The most common consistencies of live concentrates are rosin, resin sugar, badder, budder, diamonds, and sauce. Shatter is another very common and popular type of cannabis concentrate, but live resin in shatter form can be harder to find.

What are Nug Run Dabs?

“Nug run” refers to the starting material used to craft cannabis concentrates.

It is not uncommon for trim to be used to craft concentrates as it maximizes the amount of cannabis used per harvest, but results in less-than-desirable concentrates.

Nug run concentrates, like Verano extracts, are made from extracting cannabinoids and terpenes from whole bud flower.

What is Ethanol Cannabis Extraction?

Ethanol extraction describes the use of ethanol as a solvent. Cold ethanol is selective in what it extracts; it is ideal for extracting cannabinoids and terpene profiles for concentrates such as shatter and crumble. Room temperature ethanol, on the other hand, captures everything – the fats, the chlorophyll, and the lipids of the plant, making it an ideal solvent for RSO.

What is BHO or Hydrocarbon Cannabis Extraction?

Hydrocarbon or BHO extraction describes the use of butane, propane, or a combination of the two to isolate the desired cannabinoids and terpenes. Due to their nature, butane and propane solvents must be used in what is known as a closed-loop system, which ensures no air comes into contact with the solvent or the extraction process.