Cannabis Concentrates: What You Need to Know
Cannabis concentrates are celebrated for their potency, flavours, and aromas, making them quite popular. While desired and exciting, the world of cannabis concentrates can also be overwhelming, just like any other cannabis product —we’re here to make things easier.
History of Cannabis Concentrates
Clocking in at around 10 thousand years ago, the mountainous areas between China and the Himalayas were home to many tribes that appreciated the value of the cannabis plant. They harvested the plants and primarily used it to make textiles, but it wasn’t long before these ancient farmers discovered the many wonders of hashish—the OG cannabis concentrate. After that, Chinese doctors began prescribing it for everything from epilepsy to gout and, according to Hindu texts, smoking hash became part of religious services throughout India.
Once hash hit the Silk Road, though—a famous trade route in the 2nd century BC — there was no stopping it. Everyone who got a taste wanted more.
Throughout history, many countries—like our own — have flip-flopped between loving cannabis and banning it. We think we’re quite fortunate that the former is currently true.
The Difference Between Concentrates and Extracts
People often use the words concentrates and extracts interchangeably, but that isn’t entirely accurate. All extracts are concentrates, but not all concentrates are extracts. The easiest way to understand this is to categorize and discuss cannabis concentrates as non-extracts and extracts.
Non-extracts (also referred to as non-solvents)
Non-extracts are concentrates that are created by applying heat or pressure to plant material. Because cannabinoids are hydrophobic (water-hating), water is not a solvent here. Examples of this category of concentrates are kief, hash, and charas.
Extracts (also called solvents)
Cannabis extract is concentrates where a solvent was used to separate active ingredients from plant materials. Our APL Black Cured Badder is a concentrate, but more specifically, an extract because a solvent called butane is used to extract the desired cannabinoids and terpenes. Some examples of extracts are shatter, crumble, and budder.
As the name suggests, cannabis concentrates boast higher concentrations of cannabinoids than the raw plant; consuming them will be a more powerful experience than when consuming the traditional marijuana flower. Consuming cannabis concentrates are popular with many cannabis users because not only are they fun, but many studies have shown them to have medicinal and therapeutic benefits. Much like the traditional cannabis flower, though, it’s important to store them properly if you want to keep your products in pristine condition.
How to Store Your Weed Concentrates
Whether you choose an extract or non-extract concentrate, knowing how to store them properly will help with quality maintenance and longevity.
- Parchment Paper
If you don’t plan on storing your concentrate for very long, parchment paper on its own is a great short-term option. It won’t preserve the moistness of the concentrate, but it should hold up well as long as it’s kept in a cool, dark, dry place.
Fold your concentrate into parchment paper and place it into a silicone container. This should keep your concentrate in good condition and will preserve a bit more moisture than parchment paper alone—so long as it’s also kept in a cool, dark, dry place. Concentrates stored this way should have an optimal shelf life of a week or two.
If you’re looking at a time frame of more than a week, fold your concentrate up into parchment paper and store it in an airtight glass container. Some concentrates are a bit too sticky for parchment paper. That’s ok. Placing your concentrate directly into an airtight glass container works well too—just make sure the rim is wide enough that you can get your hand in there to scoop out and savour every last drop.
For long-term storage, you can freeze your marijuana concentrate. It’s best if you can vacuum seal it, but alternatively, you can fold the concentrate into parchment paper, place it into an airtight plastic bag and then place the bag into a glass jar. Be sure to fully thaw the cannabis concentrate before using it.
(We should note that when you freeze concentrates, you risk damaging the quality and moisture levels of the product. It may be worth considering buying less volume more often to keep your cannabis concentrates in tiptop shape, but we realize that this isn’t always possible or ideal.)
Fun fact, if your cannabis concentrate gets stuck to the parchment paper while using any of these storage methods, stick the parchment paper in the freezer for at least an hour and the concentrate should break right off.
Cannabis concentrates have come a long way since the hashish of ancient China and India. Modern science and technology has diversified extraction methods and created a whole new and exciting world of potent, hard-hitting, tasty treats.
Contact Acreage Pharms today to learn more about our full range of cannabis products.