What You Should Know About Marijuana Concentrates

Cannabis concentrates are extracts derived from the cannabis plant, known for their elevated THC levels, which can heighten the risk of adverse effects. This form of cannabis consumption is gaining popularity as an alternative to smoking the plant in its natural state. However, many users may not fully grasp the potential hazards associated with consuming such potent concentrations of THC. Consequently, cannabis concentrates can induce more intense and potentially distressing side effects in certain individuals.

Contents

What You Should Know About Marijuana Concentrates

What are cannabis concentrates?

Cannabis concentrates are refined substances derived from the cannabis plant, crafted to yield a highly potent, THC-rich product, typically found in the form of oil or a waxy substance. Even a small quantity of cannabis concentrate can induce intoxicating effects akin to or surpassing those of the most potent cannabis buds. High-grade cannabis usually contains around 20% THC, whereas cannabis concentrates boast a THC content ranging from 40% to 80%. These concentrates often deliver pronounced mind-body-altering effects due to their elevated THC levels compared to the usual amount consumed through cannabis buds.

Though THC concentrates have existed for a considerable time, their popularity has surged thanks to the expanding legalization of marijuana at the state level. In states where recreational cannabis sales are permitted, the cannabis industry provides a diverse array of cannabis concentrate products to the public, further fueling its widespread appeal.

What Do Marijuana Concentrates Look Like?

Marijuana concentrates bear a resemblance to honey or butter in appearance, typically exhibiting hues of brown or gold. Their consistency and color vary depending on the production process employed. Some concentrates come prepackaged in vape pens or concentrated marijuana e-cigarettes for convenient consumption.

Types of Marijuana Concentrates

Various types of concentrates exist, each distinguished by the specific marijuana strain used and the method employed for THC extraction. THC extraction denotes the process of isolating the psychoactive component, THC, from the marijuana plant, resulting in its purification.

Common types of marijuana concentrates and their street names:

  • Butane honey oil:  Butane honey oil, or honey oil for short, gets its name from its amber, somewhat honey-like appearance.
  • Butane hash oil: Butane hash oil and any name containing the word “butane” is named based on the preparation method. Butane is a volatile chemical and is implicated in several THC concentrate production accidents.
  • Dabs: Dabs are one of the most popular nicknames for marijuana concentrates. The name is derived from the application of a “dab” of concentrate to the tip of a piece of metal which is then quickly burned and inhaled through a pipe.
  • Butter wet wax: Butter wet wax, or “budder,” refers to marijuana concentrates that are slightly more viscous and moister than honey.
  • Shatter wax: Shatter wax refers to shatter marijuana concentrate that has cooled and hardened, resulting in a substance that looks similar to hard candy.
  • Live resin: Live resin refers to a type of marijuana concentrate that maintains the original properties of the plant strain (e.g., flavor and fragrance).

How Are Marijuana Concentrates Abused?

Marijuana concentrate offers versatility in consumption compared to dried plant products. It serves as a key ingredient in creating intoxicating sodas, cakes, “gummy” candies, cookies (including Gluten-free variants), and brownies, among others. These edibles often lack the strong and distinctive aroma of marijuana buds but possess comparable, if not higher, potency levels.

Additionally, marijuana vape pens have emerged as a popular means of consuming concentrate. These compact, battery-operated devices feature a reservoir containing THC oil and are highly discreet and portable. Shatter concentrate, on the other hand, is typically consumed using specialized bongs known as “shatter rigs.” Dabbing represents perhaps the most direct method of consuming marijuana concentrate. However, there’s a growing discussion regarding the potential risks associated with dabbing, which involves rapidly heating marijuana concentrate and inhaling the resulting vapor.

The Dangerous Effects of Concentrated Marijuana

Yes, there are indeed risks associated with consuming concentrated cannabis. For instance, when consuming edibles infused with cannabis concentrates (like gummies, brownies, chocolate bars, etc.), the effects may not be felt until approximately 45 minutes after ingestion, as the body needs time to absorb the cannabis through digestion. Consequently, some individuals might erroneously assume that the medication is ineffective and may consume more than the recommended dose, leading to potential side effects such as dizziness, heart palpitations, and paranoia. It’s crucial to approach consumption of cannabis concentrates with caution and adhere to recommended dosages to mitigate such risks.

The side effects of marijuana concentrate range from harmless to quite severe. Because they contain such a high concentration of THC and other active ingredients found in marijuana plants, the amount needed to feel side effects can be very small.

Some of the effects of smoking dabs & consuming edibles:

The effects of smoking dabs and consuming edibles can indeed be exceptionally potent and disorienting. Some of the potential effects may include:

  1. Intense euphoria: Dabbing or consuming edibles can lead to a profound sense of happiness or euphoria.
  2. Altered perception: Users may experience changes in sensory perception, such as heightened sensitivity to colors, sounds, and textures.
  3. Impaired coordination: Cannabis concentrates can impair motor skills and coordination, leading to difficulty in performing tasks that require precise movements.
  4. Cognitive impairment: Concentrated THC can affect cognitive functions, leading to impaired memory, concentration, and decision-making abilities.
  5. Anxiety and paranoia: In some cases, dabbing or consuming edibles can induce feelings of anxiety, paranoia, or panic, especially in individuals predisposed to these conditions.
  6. Increased heart rate: Cannabis concentrates may cause a temporary increase in heart rate, which can be alarming for some users.
  7. Dry mouth and red eyes: Common side effects of cannabis consumption include dry mouth and red eyes, which are often experienced with both smoking and ingesting edibles.

It’s important to note that the intensity and duration of these effects can vary depending on factors such as the potency of the concentrate, individual tolerance levels, and method of consumption. Additionally, consuming excessive amounts of cannabis concentrates can increase the likelihood of experiencing adverse effects. As such, it’s crucial to approach consumption responsibly and in moderation. If you or someone you know experiences severe or distressing effects after using cannabis concentrates, seeking medical assistance is recommended.

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