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Cannabis concentrate, or extract, is exactly what it sounds like—a highly concentrated form of cannabis that is created using processes that remove extra plant material, leaving only pure, potent cannabinoids and terpenes. Because of this, concentrates are much higher in THC than flower, which results in a more potent experience for the consumer, while utilizing a smaller volume of product. The cannabis oil used in vapes is a common type of concentrate, but there are many others to explore.


Dabbing or taking a dab describes the act of ingesting concentrates and is one of the most popular ways to enjoy this form of cannabis. A dab rig, which is similar to a standard water pipe, filters the vapor using percolation for a smooth user experience.

One of the primary differences between water pipes and dab rigs is that rigs create vapor, not smoke, using a dab nail and a torch. Dabs need a higher, more consistent heat source than flower, which is why a torch is required. The dab nail fits into the rig where the bowl would fit into the water pipe.

Why dab?

Many people prefer concentrates because of the purity, potency and ease of use. Because concentrates are vaporized, they’re a great option for anyone who doesn’t like smoke. Because they’re so potent, it requires less product to achieve a desired effect.

Types of Concentrates

The cannabis industry is always looking for new, fresh ways to present products. Throw in an ever-evolving variety of new technologies and methods, and you get many different types of concentrate. Here are a handful of popular options, but if you stop by a dispensary, you’re likely to find even more.


Perhaps one of the most beloved of all concentrates, shatter is like melted hard lozenges—it’s a nectar golden color, translucent and easily breaks or shatters.

How to use: dab rig


A powdery, crumbled concentrate with a THC percentage of up to 90%.

How to use: Dab rig or vape. Can also be sprinkled in a joint or on top of a bowl.


A full-spectrum concentrate, rosin is created using a solventless process that creates its signature waxy, putty-like consistency. It’s usually slightly less potent than solvent-based extracts but is also often more flavorful.

How to use: Dab rig


Badder, batter, budder—it’s all a malleable, whipped concentrate that resembles cake batter. It’s typically a wheat blonde color and considered a type of wax concentrate.

How to use: dab rig or vape

Live Resin

Live resin is made with flash-frozen fresh cannabis flower rather than dried and cured buds. It’s known for its rich flavor and high level of terpenes.

How to use: dab rig or vape

How concentrates are made

Because there are so many types of concentrate, there are many production methods as well.

Solvent-based extraction uses solvents to dissolve the cannabis resins from the flower. The solvent is then removed and only resins remain for creating shatter, oil or wax.

Solventless extraction is a manual process of separating the resins from the flower by pressing or beating the bud. It’s often used in the creation of hash or rosin. The kief in the bottom of your grinder is caused by a solventless extraction process.

Both processes produce high-quality, potent products. Concentrates often have a THC percentage that is as much as four times higher than flower.

Buying concentrates

If you’re interested in dabbing but don’t know where to start, go to the dispensary and talk to a budtender. They’ll be able to help guide you on the best products and how to use them.

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