Pros and Cons: Are Cannabis Concentrates For You?

Most people have a grasp on how a marijuana joint or how edible gummies work. But for many, the world of cannabis concentrates can be a little confusing, especially for the super-casual user. Concentrates may be a little intimidating, but by researching the various styles, methods of consumption, and after-effects, you can decide if investing your time in concentrates is for you, or better off left to others.

What Are Concentrates and How Are They Consumed?

A cannabis concentrate is exactly what it sounds like — a highly-potent mass of THC. The most popular version can look like a batch of honey, or butter. While the THC levels of normal high-grade marijuana can range around 20 percent, concentrates can go anywhere from 40 to 80 percent. It is known by several names including wax, budder, honey oil, butane honey oil (BHO), shatter, dabs, etc.

There are any number of ways to consume concentrates. Many use small amounts in their cooking, while most find vaping to be an efficient way to get a quick high. Some old-school consumers may also do what’s called dabbing. This process involves vaporizing the concentrates on a hot surface such as quartz or ceramic and inhaling them through a specialized pipe. This method is said to be controversial, but is also known to be the most efficient way to obtain a deep and lasting high.

Pros: Why You Should Think About Concentrates

Potency and Efficiency
In the majority of cases, one can consume concentrates faster than you can smoke marijuana. Depending on the individual, concentrates may be comparable in potency to the users preferred strain, but concentrates enable a more efficient high.

Better Flavor
In the beginning of concentrates, flavor loss was inevitable during the extraction. But as the process of extraction has changed, makers have be able to recapture flavor and give a fuller, and some say cleaner, experience.

Acts of Discretion
It’s no secret that marijuana smoke has a lingering odor. The smell of marijuana smoke can last anywhere from 2–5 days, depending on potency and ventilations. Lingering odors can lead to embarrassing situations and sometimes legal consequences. With no resin or smoke, the smell does not cling to fabric, hair, or skin.

Cons: Why You Should Stay Away From Concentrates

Costs Can Be An Issue
Not only are concentrates more expensive than traditional marijuana, the initial startup costs of proper equipment such as vapes, pure butane and lighters, etc., can be very cost prohibitive.

Potentially Hazardous Side Effects
As stated, most concentrates range around 40–80 percent THC, but some have been known to clock in at 95 percent. This can exacerbate the known side effects of THC such has panic attacks, anxiety, and hallucinations. Users can also experience uncomfortable and a sometimes dangerous increase in heart rate and blood pressure.

Tolerance May Vary
Consuming concentrates may change your tolerance levels for the worse. Meaning over time it will take more and more to obtain the desired high.

Lower Quality Standards
Quality standards with concentrates are much lower than that of other marijuana products. It’s important to seek quality concentrates from trusted sources. Basically, if it’s not sold in a dispensary, stay away.

May Be Explosive
Some amateurs have caused explosions leading to injuries and in rare cases fatalities. Combining flame and butane (used while dabbing) should only be handled by experienced and careful users.

Whether you decide to use concentrates or not, always be sure you are using a quality and trusted product as well as having a safe method of consumption.

Are you a user of concentrates? Have you had a not-so-pleasant experience with concentrates? Let Medical Marijuana know the good, the bad, and the ugly on our Facebook page, or @mmdotcom.

This article was originally published on August 22, 2018 at MedicalMarijuana.com.