First-class potency, wider availability, and the advent of dabbing and vaporizing has made cannabis concentrates the consumption method of choice for consumers across North America. Concentrates sales surged 125 percent in Colorado the first quarter of 2016, and in Washington, it's estimated about 10 new extracts hit the market every month. San Bernardino is even playing host to a concentrates-only cannabis competition this summer.
Most people know about BHO (aka honey oil) and Rick Simpson oil, the risks associated with producing solvent extracts, and the possibility of accidentally ingesting dangerous chemicals from an improperly-made batch, has generated a massive demand for extracts made without solvents.
Here are 4 solvent-free extracts you need to know about.
Rosin - which gets its name from the stuff violinists use to lubricate their bows -has been a game changer in the world of non-solvent extraction. Rosin basically utilizes heat and pressure to squeeze the resin out of the flower (or hash, or kief) to make a fully meltable hash oil. The look varies from sappy and see-through, to solid and shatter-esque - and you don't need any chemistry background to make it yourself - in fact, one of the best at-home methods uses only a hair straightener, and the product is ready in minutes.
Anyone who's ever used a multi-chamber grinder knows what a treasure kief can be: the fluffy, whitish crystal shed by pulverized cannabis flower are easy-to-collect, extra-potent blast of THC. The quality of your kief is, of course, largely contingent on the quality of your cannabis: good weed has better and more trichomes, naturally. If you're a regular consumer of high-quality bud, a well-made three-chamber grinder can reward you with a gram or two of kief whenever you check the reservoir in the bottom.
3. Bubble Hash
Everyone across North America was smoking this a few decades ago. Also known as water hash, or ice water concentrate, this is another one a lot of people make at home using either trim or bud. Just soak the cannabis in ice water and shake it around gently until the trichomes, made brittle by the temperature change, to fall to the bottom of the bag and get filtered through a fine mesh screen. If it's made well, it instantly melts when it hits the flame, and produces a potent high.
4. Freeze-dried hash
While most non-solvent extraction techniques involve heat and friction, this super-nascent extraction process involves employing super-cold temperatures to keep trichomes from degrading as they typically do during extraction, preserving their delicate chemical composition. Freeze-dried hash is still a new product, and fairly uncommon - hence, the machines used to create these products can be expensive. Expect to see that change as the demand for solvent-free products continues to increase.