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Cannabis Concentrates: Differences Between Hash, Oil, Tinctures, Shatter & Wax

Cannabis Concentrates Differences Between Hash Oil Tincture Shatter Wax

This one is for those of you who walk into your dispensary and ask; “What in the world is that?”

Concentrates are certainly not a new concept; however, they are becoming much more popular. It may seem more advanced but don’t fret, it’s really quite simple.

Why try concentrates?

Let’s think about the word concentrated, Google defines concentrated to be “wholly directed to one thing, Intense”.  Removing diluting agents, you are going to be using much less of your product to get your achieved high. THC and CBD are concentrated down into oils, wax, shatter, vapours, capsules, and hash to be fast acting in your system.

There are many intakes with concentrates. While there are concentrates available to smoke, vapourizing and oral intakes are options for those who don’t want to smoke.

Let’s start with an easy one we’ve all heard of, hash.

It doesn’t look pretty, definitely not as pretty as the flowers, but it will get you a good buzz. You’ve probably tried hash in your life time or even made it on your own. You can vapourize it, smoke it or ingest it orally.

Hashish (Arabic) is made from the cannabis plants by separating the cannabinoids specifically and discarding the rest. Trichomes (little sticky crystals) are compressed and then processed from the plant. An abundance of trichomes can often be found in the bottom of your grinder, some call this crystal or kief.

Separating the trichomes from the plant directly can be done with water and ice to make loose hash or collecting large amounts of kief, it can be done with machinery that controls the temperature and humidity. After being separated, the collective glands will then be pressed together to make small little balls and later in large amounts, into bricks.

Often, consumers will mix hash with their cannabis or tobacco to smoke, it can also be smoked in bongs or pipes. Some prefer to create edibles with hash. It can also be vapourized, however those interested, should do their research on the right pens or vapourizers to do so. Ask questions at your next dispensary visit.

Cannabis Oils

what is cannabis oil

There are many different concentrates made from oils provided by the cannabis plant. There are 3 main methods to extract oil from the plant

  1. Oil method- at home, consumers participate in this method most frequently. Cooking the plant in a base oil, most often olive oil extracting potency.
  2. Ethanol method- controlled usually in laboratories. Plants are soaked in high grade alcohol to extract the natural oils.
  3. CO2 Extraction method- most expensive but most potent. Using super-cooled and condensed carbon dioxide to extract oils out of plant without leaving harmful residue behind.

Oils can be produced into vapour cartridges, capsules, or simply left as ingestible oils.

Cannabis Tinctures

what are Cannabis Tinctures

Similar to the oil process, tinctures extract concentrates with alcohol, which now in liquid form, pulls through the plant’s cannabinoids.

Tinctures are often consumed under the tongue or some choose to put a small dose (2-3 drops) in their food or drink. These usually take a bit longer to kick in, but when effects are provided, they are very potent.

Shatter and Wax

what is cannabis shatter

Shatter and wax are made the same ways it’s mostly cosmetic that makes their difference. Shatter was purely untouched while being made and wax was somehow disturbed during processing. Just like dried flower, you can get different shatter strains depending the experience you’re after.

Both are usually made with butane and hydrocarbon solvents; these strip away the concentrated THC and CBD which is then collected into an oil. Further processing is done to make either the soft wax or the hard glass like shatter.

Both are usually consumed by dabbing which is flash vapourizing. Dab rigs are usually sold at most dispensaries. They are water pipes that filter the cannabis vapour through water, like a bong, however these are made for much more concentrated hits.


The list could go on and on, but these are amongst the most popular and heard of intakes. If you are a beginner, take it slow! Small amounts to start would be best for all. Do your research to find the best intake and the best concentrate for your body.

Written by
A cannabis enthusiast, writer, and dab diva who is dedicated to helping you understand the constantly evolving world of recreational cannabis.

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