Let’s talk about cannabis extracts.
Did you know that 7/10 has become synonymous with celebrating cannabis oil/extracts? The number 710 spells “OIL” when placed backward and upside-down, making 7/10 the cannabis extracts holiday. In celebration of 7/10 week we wanted to share with you a bit about the history of extracts and talk about how far the cannabis extraction process has come.
THE HISTORY OF CANNABIS EXTRACTION
Hash oil and dabs, shatter and budder, cured and live resin, solvent and solventless, as cannabis expands into the mainstream culture, the complex and nuanced world of cannabis extraction continues to evolve. While cannabis extraction has come a long way, many people may not realize that cannabis has been extracted in some form for literally thousands of years.
Cannabis concentrates have been used throughout history in religious and ceremonial rites around the world. Records of cannabis cultivation date back as far as 10,000 B.C. The sacred Hindu texts, The Vedas, which may have been compiled as early as 2000 to 1400 B.C., refer to cannabis as one of five sacred plants. Within this ancient text, cannabis is referred to as a source of happiness and was said to be given to help attain joy and delight while releasing us from fear and anxiety. Throughout history, cannabis was consumed in its concentrated extract form as medicine, sacrament, food, and fiber.
When it comes to cannabis extraction, Hash is said to be the oldest extraction process and dates back to the 11th century in Central Asia. Traditional hash is made by dry sifting cannabis flower to remove the “undesirable” parts of the plants and leave behind pure trichome heads. That resin is then pressed into hash.
Rooted in the ancient practice of botanical extraction, cannabis extracts, or concentrates, have been present in US history, in some form, dating as far back as the 1800s when cannabis made its way into the US pharmacopeia. Cannabis-based drugs were commonly used throughout the 19th and early 20th century as tinctures, made from extracted cannabis. These extracted cannabis tinctures were regularly available in pharmacies and highly regarded as an important medicine.
MODERN ADVANCEMENTS IN CANNABIS EXTRACTION TECHNIQUES
While cannabis has been extracted for thousands of years, with the legalization of cannabis, cannabis there have been significant advancements in extraction technology in the last few decades. In today’s extract market, we have access to some of the most sought after traditionally extracted products and some of the most cutting edge products using modern, high-tech equipment to create refined, potent products.
When considering cannabis extraction there are really two types:
- Solventless: Natural (traditional) uses only heat, pressure, and/or water.
- Hydrocarbon: High tech (modern) introduces chemical processes to further refine the extraction process.
LIVE VS. CURED RESIN
The trichomes on the cannabis plant produce both the medical efficacy and psychotropic effects found in cannabis. The trichomes can be extracted in two different states, live (frozen) or cured (dried).
- Live Resin: Live extracts are created using frozen cannabis flower, which allows the extraction process to take place while the plant is in its “live” state. To create Live Resin cannabis plants are frozen immediately after harvest. This allows the extract to maintain the terpene and cannabinoid profile from the living plant, think of this as enjoying fresh grape juice compared to aged wine.
- Cured Resin: Cured Resin is created using dried cannabis and often presents more of the flower’s profile. Cured Resin typically carries more of the aroma and flavor profiles that you would get from smelling a jar of bud vs. the aroma and flavor of the “living” plant. Cured Resin is similar to an aged bottle of wine; the resin evolves overtime.
CHOOSING FLOWER FOR CANNABIS EXTRACTION
When it comes to cannabis extraction, genetics are incredibly important. Terpene profiles play an integral role in cannabis extraction which means that certain strains are better suited for extraction than others. Not only are certain strains better for extraction than others, certain strains do better in certain types of extract (ie hydrocarbon vs. solventless) The relationship between the cannabis farmer and the extraction artist or hash maker is critical, think of it as a similar relationship as one between a grape grower and winemaker.
The farmer’s role in extraction.
Did you know that it takes 100lbs of cannabis to get only 6lbs of solventless extracts?
WHAT KIND OF PRODUCTS CONTAIN EXTRACTED CANNABIS?
When most people first think of cannabis extracts and concentrates they think of dabs or vape cartridges, when in fact extracted cannabis is found in every product we carry at Solful, outside of the raw form of cannabis, flower. From gummies and beverages to topicals and tinctures, these products are all made using extracted cannabis oil.
CURIOUS HOW TO CONSUME EXTRACTS?
Vaping (also known as dabbing), smoking, or eating, there are many different ways that you can consume extracts.
Vaping, or “dabbing”, extracts is said to be the purest way to consume extracts. This consumption method allows you to experience the full profile of your extract. When smoking extracts you can smoke your extract straight or along with your favorite flower to add an extra kick. For those of you who love edibles, you’ll find that all edibles are made with extracted cannabis, gummies, cookies, tinctures or sublinguals… bring on the extracts!
New to extracts and not sure where to start with extracts consumption?
Solful Health and Happiness Consultants are here to help! If you have questions about extracts, schedule a phone consultation and we’d be happy to walk you through the extracts experience.
TYPES OF CANNABIS EXTRACTS
While the section below serves as a good introduction to the many extracts you may find at Solful, it is by no means an exhaustive list. Extracts producers are constantly creating new products using innovative techniques. Hopefully this guide will help you become a savvy explorer of our extracts menu so that you can find out what you love most.
Bubble Hash/Ice Water Hash: The result of an innovation to add water to the oldest, most traditional form producing extract, bubble hash, is made by gently separating cannabis trichomes, the small resinous heads on the plant that contain the majority of cannabis’ active ingredients, using ice water, agitation, and a sieve. The name refers to the “bubble bags” used in the extraction process. These plastic bubble bags feature progressively smaller sieve-like holes that help to strain out the trichome heads that have been suspended in water Hole sizes may range from as large as 220 microns to just 25 microns — the diameter of the finest human hair. There are various grades of bubble hash ranging from food grade (used in edibles) to “full melt” hash that will completely vaporize at the right temperature leaving little to no residue.
Dry Sift/Kief: Powder like resin glands, made by sieving cannabis material through a fine mesh screen to collect tiny trichome heads.
Live Hash Rosin: A refinement process that uses heated metal plates and pressure to squeeze resinous trichomes resulting in a potent refinement with a robust flavor profile. Just as the name sounds, Live Hash Rosin is made by pressing Ice Water Hash made from flash-frozen flower. Fresh Press Live Rosins are packaged immediately after they are pressed and usually have a glassy appearance. Often, this style of Live Hash Rosin is simply referred to as “Live Rosin.” Sometimes producers further process these rosins using a variety of techniques that include curing in cold temperatures, applying gentle heat to crystalize cannabinoids, or mixing or stretching this concentrate to produce a different consistency. Some brands will refer to the consistency of descriptors to these live rosin such as “cold cure,” “badder,” “sauce,” or “sugar.”
Cured Hash Rosin: Cured Rosins are the same as Live Hash Rosins, but use dried and cured rather than fresh frozen flower as their input. These rosins can be processed using the same techniques described in the Live Hash Rosin section above to produce a variety of consistencies. They offer a smooth, flavorful alternative to Live Hash Rosins that is more shelf stable as it does not need to be stored in as strictly low temperatures to maintain its quality.
RSO/FECO: In the simplest of definitions, FECO or full extract cannabis oil simply refers to highly concentrated full-spectrum oil (usually made with ethanol). These highly concentrated oils are generally used by customers who need a high dose of cannabinoids at cost-effective price point. RSO/FECO is generally consumed orally.
Temple Ball: Heat, pressure, and care are applied to the powdered resin to create a single homogeneous form. This is the oldest form of hash and how it is consumed in most traditional hash production regions on the planet.
Budder/Badder: Soft in texture, malleable, and easy to handle. Budders/Badders can come from either live or cured resin.
Crystalline: An isolated crystalline compound, such as THCa or CBDa. Rather than other extracts in which many compounds in the plant are concentrated, crystallines are basically just the isolated cannabinoids in their molecular state.
Crumble: A brittle version of budder/badder, as its name suggests crumblier than budder/badder. Crumbles can come from either live or cured resin.
Distillate: Distillate is a light colored viscous oil made up of 90%+ THC content. To get to this form, there are multiple layers of refinement that occur to “distill” the oil. Given that THC as well as other cannabinoids and terpenes are volatile and have varying boiling points, they must first be separated from the cannabis plant via hydrocarbon or CO2 solvent-based extraction techniques. This necessitates further refinement through a process called winterization, whereby a solvent such as ethanol is used in order to remove these undesirable compounds. Apart from winterization, isolated cannabinoids must also undergo decarboxylation, by which the compounds are heated enough to activate the cannabinoids (turn THCa into THC and CBDa into CBD). Finally, the material is run through a short path steam distillation or rational distillation chamber in a series of multiple passes to purify the desirable compound (typically THC or CBD) to its isolated state. Distillates are typically used as input material for vape pens or edibles but can also be consumed via dabbing.
Did you know… Distillate isn’t always made using Hydrocarbon techniques, it can be made using other extraction methods.
Live Resin: Live Resin is flash-frozen cannabis extracted with a hydrocarbon solvent and purged in a vacuum oven. This technique allows the full flavor of the “living” plant to shine through in the final product.
Live Resin Diamonds: Diamonds are varietal specific terpenes and THCa crystallines made from single-source fresh frozen flowers in a hydrocarbon extraction process. These extracts are potent in THC and yet still have enough strain-specific live terpenes to create a powerful entourage effect.
Sauce: Sauce can be made using either cured or fresh-frozen flower.s It is produced utilizing a closed-loop system and allows the THCa to crystallize under various pressures and temperatures. This “sauce” like consistency is typically high in terpenes and very flavorful.
Shatter: Known for its brittle glass-like texture, Shatter is a hydrocarbon method that undergoes a dewaxing & degumming process to create this glass-like consistency. Shatters are typically rich in cannabinoids and lower in terpenes than other types of hydrocarbon extracts.
Sugar: A grainy, wet sugar consistency hydrocarbon extract created by natural nucleation and crystallization processes. Sugars can come from either live or cured resin.
Wax: A hydrocarbon solvent is pushed through cannabis to heat the plant material and pull trichomes out then purged using heat. Many times this waxy consistency is adored by “dabbers” as it’s easy to work with. Waxes can come from either live or cured resin.
THE EXTRACTION ARTISTS
While the cannabis extraction process varies greatly, there’s no denying that both traditional and modern extraction methods have their place in cannabis culture. At Solful we’ve worked hard to thoughtfully curate a selection of brands that we view as the best in their field.
710 Labs: Arguably the most sought after premium extracts brand in the world, 710 Labs focuses on rare, exotic strains. Constantly experimenting with genetics and breeding, it’s no surprise that 710 Labs has garnished international acclaim and interest. 710 Labs is known for crafting both premium solventless and hydrocarbon extracts.
Blue River: If there was a way to describe a process as extra EXTRA solventless, Blue River would be it. Using an incredibly gentle proprietary mechanical process Blue River Extracts keeps the trichomes perfectly intact. This solventless extraction brand believes in a true farm-to-table cannabis experience.
Doc Green’s: Committed to capturing the true essence of the plant this legacy brand is a respected staple in the cannabis community. Only water and ice touch the plants when making Doc Green’s concentrates. You’ll find Doc Green’s Live Rosins to be the most competitive price point on the shelf.
Frenchy Cannoli: One of the most famous hash makers in the world, Frenchy Cannoli has committed his life to studying traditional hash making techniques. Having spent decades studying and living in traditional hash making regions Frenchy has managed to perfectly blend traditional hash making techniques with 21-century equipment. Plus, we love his commitment to sourcing super-premium sun-grown flower.
Hella Dank: Committed to using sustainably sourced material with the cleanest water, ice, and methodology to represent the cannabis plant, Hella Dank specializes in working with regenerative farms. This premium grade hash is so smooth and well made many people prefer to consume it straight.
Nasha: Located in the redwoods, Nasha uses pure mountain water to gently harvest intact trichomes. Committed to supporting small farmers throughout the Emerald Triangle, Nasha works closely with many of the same farmers you’ll find on our flower shelves at Solful. Simply put, Nasha makes really good hash at a really good price point.
Papa’s Select: Focusing on solventless extraction techniques, this premium brand works closely with farmers to make their Emerald Cup award-winning hash and rosin. Committed to sourcing from small sun grown farmers throughout the emerald triangle Papa’s Select is a truly represents the art of extraction.
Talking Trees: Deeply rooted in Humboldt County, Talking Trees sustainably farms their cannabis using only organic methods. Talking Trees produces really good quality flower and bubble hash that is an outstanding value.
ABX Live: We are excited to introduce the first Live Resin products from Sonoma County based Cannacraft. ABX Live captures the essence of each season’s fresh harvest and delivers a true-to-flower cannabis experience. Located in Santa Rosa, Cannacraft is known to play an important role in the local community.
Beezle: The team behind this local Sonoma County based extraction company is said to be the pioneers of Live Resin. Known for using safe, clean hydrocarbon extraction techniques, Beezle sources flower from cultivators they have been working with for years.
Care By Design: Brought to you by Santa Rosa based Cannacraft, you’ll find consistent CBD rich rations in Care By Design’s products. Known for consistency in dosing, Care By Design has become a staple in many people’s daily lives.
Cosmic: Cosmic is known for handcrafted live resin which is flash frozen within 40 minutes of harvest. Featuring proprietary unique genetics from heritage farmers in Mendocino County. Cosmic extracts have a unique consistency that is a sugary saucy texture. Expect to find nice aromatics in these potent extracts.
Eel River Organics: Environmentally sustainable, Eel River Organics is committed to dry farming cannabis. Like dry farmed grapes, cannabis that has been dry farmed must work harder to reach water sources which result in stronger flavor and terpene profiles.
Guild: Specializing in small-batch, handcrafted “exotic” extracts, Guild is at the forefront of hydrocarbon technology. Known for pushing boundaries of what you can do with the plant, Guild was the first to craft a THCa Powder and to isolate Delta 8 in an extract. You can always expect to experience the cutting edge of science when it comes to Guild.
Jetty: Pioneers in creating clean, high quality, potent oil, Jetty is known for using cutting edge, state of the art, equipment in their Hydrocarbon extraction processes. The team at Jetty believes that Live Resin is all about the flavor, feel, and sharing the true profile of the plant.
LEVEL: This science-driven cannabis company is on the cutting edge of cannabinoid research and innovation. Committed to creating unique, targeted effects-based cannabis products by formulating cannabinoids in ratios not accessible from the plant alone.
Oakland Extracts: Specializes in a special consistency of crumble, “cookie crumble”. This waxy consistency is easy to work with but still very rich in consistency and terpenes. Oakland Extracts has partnered with Jetty to use their high tech facility to craft their unique products.
Raw Garden: Focusing on proprietary genetics and breeding, Raw Garden maintains acres of auto-flowering plants allowing them to be constantly releasing and introducing new strains. Raw Garden extracts are made using extracts grown on their Clean Green Certified estate farm.
UNIQUE EXTRACTION METHODS
Chemistry: Committed to staying true to the plant, the team at Chemistry believes that cured flower extracts present it’s truest representation. Using a special solvent extraction process, Chemistry’s extraction process is as gentle as what you’d expect to find in solventless extraction. This special process allows Chemistry to maintain the plant’s true terpene profile. Plus, Chemistry works closely with many of the same small farms that we do, which we love!
Big Sur: Big Sur extracts is committed to elevating the science of cannabis. Specializing in Delta 8 formulations, which provide the benefits of THC without psychotropic effects, this boutique extraction lab creates uniquely tailored experiences allowing you to find a balance that’s perfect for you.
dosist: Formulated by effect during consumer trials, dosist offers a special consumption experience. When you use your dosist pen it will vibrate when a precise dose has been achieved.
Wonder: At Wonder Extracts, they combine over 8 years of experience producing premium quality, California grown, licensed, and regulated Full Spectrum Cannabis Oil Extracts. Wonder is considered among the safest and most effective Cannabis Oil product lines available.
Now That You’re An Extracts Expert, Come Visit Us At Solful!
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning all about extracts, we’d consider you quite the expert. Visit us at Solful to check out our curated collection of extracts.
CURIOUS WHAT’S IN STORE RIGHT NOW?