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Extracts

What are extracts?

A few years ago, if someone asked about cannabis extracts there were only 2 or 3 popular options, the original Hash and for cooks bud butter. Medicated brownies have been around a long time. 

Why should I care about extracts?

If you hate smoke or feeling high, extracts can be helpful. Extracts unlock far more uses than smoking raw flower and we are just now seeing all the benefits of controlling the individual compounds in cannabis. Some like CBN can be used for sleep. Some like THC-A offer pain relief without effects on mood. Extracts can offer more precise dosing and isolations of specific molecules to better dial in effects.

Extraction Mediums

The average home cook making an extraction at home will use fats to extract the cannabinoids for use in cooking. Not all oils are created equal. Your medium will depend on how you plan to use the extract. Comparing the most common oils used for extracting for cooking:

  • butter,
  • olive oil,
  • coconut oil,
  • avocado oil and
  • animal fats (bacon fat)

Are they all equal? No.

The folks at High Times recently tested different oils and published their results here.

There are other extraction methods available, however most require either specialized equipment or are too volatile to safely attempt at home. Alcohol is one of the other common options to extract cannabinoids. There are a few alcohol extraction methods. You can decarb your cannabis and soak it in some high proof alcohol to create a tincture. This method requires a few weeks to complete, however in Ontario you can not purchase 95% Everclear, the 151 proof (75%) version maybe available. 

The final alcohol extraction produces what is commonly known as RSO (Rick Simpson Oil). This method uses 99% isopropyl alcohol to dissolve the oils on the flowers, separating it from the plant material. The downside to this method is the alcohol MUST be completely evaporated. Alcohol fumes (caused by evaporation) are HIGHLY flammable, you will be working with a bomb until the alcohol is all gone. Alcohol if it catches fire produces a flame that is almost invisible. This is a dangerous method to do at home. Please research before going any further.

The internet is a wonderful resource. The MacGyvers out there have come up with lots of DIY projects to make wax, shatter, rosin, and just about anything else you can think of. Go surfing and see what you can find out there on the WWWaves.

What do extracts look like and how do they differ from marijuana?


Kief

powder of raw trichomes
Kief is a powder of raw trichomes and trichome stalks that fall off or manually get removed and collected by sifting cured buds through mesh or screens (sometimes called dry sift). Kief can be sprinkled onto buds when smoking or compressed into balls or blocks called pressed kief, or hashish. Hashish made from live cannabis plant resin is called charas.

Bubble Hash

can be made at home
Ice-water and special narrow screens can be used to create so-called “bubble hash.” After it’s dried, bubble hash can be consumed as a fine powder or compressed into hash balls. Hash’s quality depends on the proportion of plant material to trichomes; the less plant material, the better. These varying qualities can be visually measured when the hash is heated —it will either bubble (good) or melt (better) after it’s heated. The color of bubble hash also indicates quality. High-grade bubble hash is light blond. The lowest grades tend to be black, brown and green.

Rosen

Uses heat and pressure to squeeze out and collect the plant’s resin. This method can be used with either buds and/or trim (flower rosin) or hash (hash rosin).

Waxes & Oils

Leave it to the pros
These highly potent concentrates are produced using a complex process involving solvents and lab equipment to extract the resins from the plant. Waxes and oils can come in many different options usually named for their extraction process and/or overall consistency, including: wax, shatter, budder and so on. This group also includes Shatter

Distillate

an odorless, tasteless extract
Distillation is a technique for creating cannabis extracts that are pure on a molecular level. It is possible to isolate specific cannabinoids. It is also possible to create odourless and tasteless THC (or CBD) that is 99% pure concentrate.

Terpenes

The essence of the plant
Terpenes are what you smell, and knowing what they are will deepen your appreciation of cannabis whether you’re a medical patient or recreational consumer.

Inevitably someone is going to ask"But what's the best one to get me fucked up?", that's not really the point of this site. There is a ton of information out there, we've gathered some of it and put it together here to get you going on the right path. 

Cannabis extractions have their uses and because of the numerous methods and final products available (eventually in Canada) how you chose to infuse your foods is a personal choice.  The good news is not only is it getting easier to get cannabis, if you choose to cook with it, you can tailor your cannabinoids to your audience. 

I highly recommend checking out Bong Appetit for ideas on how these high tech extractions can be used to elevate your cooking. Access to refined cannabis products, which show the potency of the various cannabinoids and some knowledge gleaned from sites like this one will result in safer eats for everyone. 

Always remember that THC and CBD go hand in hand. THC is the psychoactive component that gets you high. If you over do the THC, CBD will reduce the effects. CBD on it's own will not get you high, but will reduce your anxiety, help with pain and sleep.

All information provided is sourced from around the WWW and while we try to verify everything it is important to understand that this information may be incorrect or incomplete.

We do not promote illegal use of cannabis. Please adhear to the laws in your area.

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