Cannabis Concentrates

Mastering Cannabis Concentrates: Potency, Use, & Storage

March 15, 2024

The world of cannabis concentrates is rich and varied, offering users a spectrum of potent products that deliver intense effects and nuanced flavors. These concentrates, including shatter, wax, oils, and resins, have become a cornerstone of the cannabis industry, appealing to both medicinal users seeking relief and recreational users looking for a more profound experience. This comprehensive guide explores the answer to the question, what are concentrates? It focuses on their potency, methods of consumption, and best practices for storage to ensure longevity and quality.

The Essence Of Potency In Concentrates

Cannabis concentrates are renowned for their high levels of THC and CBD, achieved through an extraction process that isolates these active compounds from the plant material. This process results in a product that is much more potent than traditional dried flower, making concentrates an efficient and powerful means of cannabis consumption. The potency of a concentrate is typically measured in percentages, indicating the concentration of cannabinoids present. For instance, while a high-quality cannabis flower might contain 20-30% THC, concentrates can reach levels of 60-90% THC, offering a more intense and immediate effect.

Understanding the potency of different concentrates is crucial for users, especially those new to this form of cannabis. The high concentration of cannabinoids can produce strong effects with just a small amount of product, making it essential for users to approach the concentrates with caution and respect for their strength.

Diverse Methods Of Consumption

The versatility of cannabis concentrates extends to the numerous ways they can be consumed, each offering a unique experience.

  • Dabbing is a widespread method for consuming concentrates like shatter and wax. It involves vaporizing the concentrate on a hot surface, known as a dab rig, and inhaling the vapor. This method delivers rapid and potent effects, making it a favorite among seasoned users.
  • Vaporizing with vape pens is another common method, particularly for oil-based concentrates. Vape pens offer a discreet and convenient option, allowing for easy dosage control and a cleaner consumption experience compared to smoking.
  • Edibles and Tinctures provide an alternative to inhalation. Concentrates can be incorporated into edible products or dissolved in alcohol to create tinctures. These methods offer longer-lasting effects and a smoke-free experience, ideal for medicinal users or those seeking a more gradual onset of effects.
  • Topicals are concentrates infused into products applied directly to the skin. While not psychoactive, these products leverage the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids for localized relief.

Navigating Dosage With Care

Given the potent nature of concentrates, proper dosing is imperative. For newcomers, the mantra “start low and go slow” is particularly relevant. A dose as small as a grain of rice can be sufficient to experience the effects of a concentrate, making it important, to begin with minimal amounts and gradually adjust based on personal tolerance and the desired outcome.

Preserving Quality Through Proper Storage

The manner in which concentrates are stored can significantly impact their longevity and efficacy. Exposure to air, light, and heat might degrade cannabinoids and terpenes, diminishing the quality and potency of the concentrate.

  • Airtight Containers: Using containers that are airtight is essential for protecting concentrates from air exposure. Glass containers are often recommended for their non-reactive nature, ensuring the concentrate’s flavor and potency are preserved.
  • Cool and Dark Storage: To further protect concentrates from degradation, storing them in cool, dark places helps prevent the breakdown of active compounds. Drawers or cabinets away from direct sunlight are ideal storage locations.
  • Refrigeration: Some concentrates, particularly those with a softer consistency, may benefit from refrigeration. However, it’s crucial to protect them from moisture, which can introduce contaminants and affect the quality. Using airtight containers in conjunction with desiccant packs can help maintain an optimal storage environment.

Embracing Safety & Legality

Compliance & Licensing

  • Purchasing from Licensed Retailers: To ensure safety and legality, consumers should buy cannabis concentrates from licensed retailers. These establishments are regulated, and their products are tested for purity and potency, minimizing the risk of contamination.
  • Producing Concentrates: In regions where it’s legal to produce cannabis concentrates at home, it’s important to comply with safety regulations and licensing requirements. This often involves using approved extraction methods and adhering to guidelines designed to prevent accidents.

Prioritizing Safety In Use & Production

Safe Consumption Practices

  • Dosing Guidance: Given the high potency of concentrates, beginning with a low dose and gradually increasing is advised, especially for those new to concentrates. Understanding how to measure doses and recognizing one’s tolerance level are key.
  • Educating on Methods of Consumption: Different methods of consuming concentrates (e.g., dabbing, vaping) require different equipment and knowledge. Providing education on how to safely use these methods is essential for preventing accidents and ensuring an enjoyable experience.


To answer the question, what are concentrates? Cannabis concentrates are a potent and versatile option for both recreational and medicinal cannabis users. By understanding the intricacies of potency, familiarizing oneself with the various consumption methods, and adhering to best practices for storage, users can ensure a safe, enjoyable, and effective experience. As the cannabis landscape progresses, the appreciation for concentrates is likely to grow, further solidifying their place in the rich tapestry of cannabis culture.

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