If you are new to dabbing, there are so many different terms you will encounter. If you’ve never heard them before, you’re likely going to be severely confused – especially if you’ve been dipping into them ;). For instance, HCFSC, HTFSE, SHO, BHO, IWE, and so on. With so many acronyms it’s easy to stick with “WTF I just wanna have a puff”. Hash nerds tend to get a bit OCD when it comes to proper labeling and giving descriptions. Think of it as wine connoisseurs wanting to know about a product, but much more in-depth.
While we’ve covered some different concentrates before – we want you to know what to expect from just about any of the new fangled or classic concentrates.
BHO, Shatter, Budder, Wax
Variations on a theme
Old school stoners will know it as “Butane Honey Oil” or “Pull n’ Snap Hash”. But the Amber Shatter we have available to us today is in a whole different league from the BHO of yesteryear. Typically made using a solvent like butane or carbon dioxide – then purified.
The producer packs their chosen cannabis into the material chamber in the extraction system, and the solvent is chilled. The solvent is run through the material chamber removing almost all of the cannabinoids, and is moved into a purge chamber. The purge chamber is put under vacuum and slightly heated to remove the solvent over the next 8-24 hours. The end result is the glassy chunks we call shatter.
Budder and wax are made with a similar process, but the finishing is slightly different which leaves you with a crumblier texture and opaque material. It’s a little harder to work with but the puff is usually a fair bit smoother.
High Terpene Cannabinoid Full Spectrum Extract
High Tech, High Terpene - High Time
High terpene cannabinoid full spectrum extract or HTCFSE is made by using full-spectrum extracts of the dominant compounds of the cured flower. They are characterized as a rather high-temp dabbing concentrates, and the term full spectrum refers to a full range of compounds developed in the trichome glands of the plant-without most of the undesirable leftovers such as waxes, fats, and lipids that can be found in other methods of extraction.
The extra work involved in properly producing a tasty HTCFSE causes the price for to often be higher than that of most of the more common concentrates like shatter or hash – but if you like a well rounded dab with an entourage effect that will make you feel like Vinny Chase, you owe it to yourself to try some out today.
Solventless Classic High Purity Hash
Bubble hash is made through what’s called Ice Water Extraction (IWE). This process extracts trichome heads using ice, water, and progressively finer meshed “bubble bags”. The flower and trim is frozen and agitated in super cold purified water and ice. The resulting liquid is squeezed out of the main bag and run through a series of finer and finer meshes. What you end up with is varying grades of Bubble Hash. The lowest grades can pressed and made into some tasty live rosin rather than be made into a low grade hash. The finest meshes give the best hash, capturing only the trichome heads and stalks.
While your average scale of bubble hash goes up to a 5 star – there are some rare, ultra fine sift varieties that are usually called 7 star. They’re very low yield and labour intensive so you usually won’t find any of this ultra rare concentrate for less than $120 CAD a G.
You want to get a “full melt,” which results in a high purity hash, which melts on your banger or nail with minimal residue. The ratings are based on these factors, so:
- 1-star bubble: This refers to bubble hash that simply catches fire instead of melting.
- 3-star bubble: This refers to a bubble that melts but leaves residue behind.
- 5-star full melt: This refers to a large dome, fully dabbable product that melts with no residue left.
- 7-star bubble hash: This is the highest rating, referring to hash that melts so clean you can barely tell it ever existed. Ultra Rare.
Walters Bubble hash I’d definitely put at a 5 star, with the bubble brownie a little lower. Very high quality for the price and from my own experiences making bubble hash in the past, it’s a 25 micron hash. It stinks like straight gasoline when you smoke it despite no hydrocarbons ever touching it.
All Looks, No Personality
Distillate is a much loved, yet commonly panned form of cannabis concentrate. It is EXTREMELY potent, and often very pure. With distillate being in the 90 to 99% THC range, a dab or two will be enough for most people. But since it’s devoid of any other terpenes, there’s very little smell, taste or other identifying characteristics. It’s already activated – so it’s ready to make into an edible without any additional heat processing.
The biggest drawback is there’s no entourage effect to colour your high. It’s just pure THC. So by itself many find it leaves a lot to be desired. You aren’t getting the subtle differences to make it feel like an energizing sativa, or a narcotic indica. You get high, but it’s often short lived and and kinda dull
During plenty of experimenting with Walters Golden Goo, I’ve found the best use for distillate is “dessert” to a main course of some nice flower. Either by dabbing it after or amping up a joint or bowl with a smear of it – The purer THC in the distillate is going to take advantage of the entourage effect from the flower, and deliver a more well rounded high.
Terms to Know:
- FF: Fresh Frozen
- WPFF: Whole Plant Fresh Frozen
- IWE: Ice Water Extraction
- Rosin: Refers to a popular process that uses curling irons to make instant dabs
- Flower Rosin: Rosin produced by squishing buds with heated plates and extracting the cannabinoids.
- Hash Rosin: Bubble hash + dry shift
- Live Rosin: FF bubble hash
- BHO: Butane Hash Oil
- HTFSE: High Terpene Full Spectrum Extraction
- HTCFSE: High Cannabinoid Full Spectrum Extraction
- C.R.C. Tek: Color Remediation Cartridge – Controversial technique used to further purify.
I hope this has helped give you at least the basics of the different concentrates available. If you find it confusing at first, you are not the only one, just keep educating yourself, have fun trying the different variations and soon enough, you’ll be able to tell the difference between your concentrates like a pro. If you just need to know a little bit more about how to use them – check out our article on The Perfect Dab to get the most out of them.