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May 2, 2021

Does flower quality matter when making cannabis concentrates?

The rising demand in the concentrate sector of the industry has growers struggling to keep up with demand. Some resort to using shake and trim to make their extracts. Is this damaging to the quality of the final product?

Cannabis concentrates, or extracts, are becoming the fastest-growing segment of the marijuana industry. Don't get me wrong, the majority of stoner still prefer a good old joint, but legalization has put a massive spotlight on marijuana concentrates. 

The plethora of different extracts available and the rapidly growing demand put a constant strain on producers. It could be very tempting for extract growers to take a few shortcuts during the delicate process. The result would be a subpar product, with flaws that a novice concentrate user may overlook. 

Think of it like baking a cake. If you used spoiled milk and rotten eggs in your mixture, the end result may LOOK like a cake, but it certainly won't taste like joy. 

Let's explore how weed concentrates are made and why the flowers' initial quality is crucial for obtaining a pure and clean final product.

First off, what are marijuana concentrates?

Cannabis concentrates are terms that envelop every product made from processed cannabis. This process consists of removing impurities from the plant and keeping only the good stuff: That spicy THC and that sweet CBD!

These products include shatter, oils, wax, live resin, rosin, HTFSE and the world-famous hashish.

Plant matter, mould spores, pet hair, debris and other contaminants are removed during the purging stage.

An interesting dilemma

When selling flowers, you can't hide what your selling. If the customer looks at a bud through a magnifying glass and finds cat hair, they'll have every right to complain. If the bud is leafy and dry, they'll know it right away. With concentrates, it's a little trickier. 

Since the final product is so different from the initial flower, it is nearly impossible to tell the quality of concentrates just by looking at them. You have to trust your seller when they say that quality flower was used during production.

The problem is that while cannabis growers used to focus on the overall quality of flowers, with emphasis on the looks to maximize sales; Now they focus on quantity to supply the growing demand. Since you don't see the initial products, many of them use trim or shake to make their concentrates. 

Others use low-quality outdoor weed that costs them pennies per gram, process it, and sell it as high-grade extracts. This is a foul practice, one that we do not condone.

Cannabis extracts should be made using only the best flowers with the biggest and most numerous trichomes.

How to tell if my marijuana concentrates are good quality

As stated earlier, it is hard to tell by eye if your extracts are pure. A common belief was that lighter concentrates were of better quality, but we now know that this far from being always true. Colour can vary depending on the form, strain or solvent used during extraction, so this is not a reliable way of telling good dabs from bad. 

The only way to be 100% sure of what you're smoking is to have it lab-tested. Otherwise, this is something you will learn to taste and feel the more dabs you smoke or vape. You'll learn to differentiate flavour profiles and highs, and you'll know instantly if you've taken good or bad quality concentrates.

Our best advice: Just ask!

Ask your budtender for a lab report. If they don't have one, ask them what flower the concentrates were made from. Was it outdoor, indoor, trim or nug?

Another important question to ask is what solvents have been used in production. Ideally, concentrates like hash can be made without a solvent, but when making shatter, for example, solvents are usually applied. Pure butane must be used when creating any consumable. If the grower bought his stuff at Canadian tire, it's not pure!

As you can see, making good concentrates is somewhat of a delicate process. From the initial flower to your dabs, everything has to be made with high-quality items. If you’re looking for a reliable source for premium concentrates, come down to CAMMP and we’ll get you sorted.

Article written by Stoney the Ghost
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