Cannabis Concentrates 101

Posted on December 8th, 2022 to Education by

When you first witness a collection of cannabis concentrates on the dispensary menu, you may find yourself quite perplexed. Even the most experienced cannabis aficionados can get confused when it comes to the difference between concentrates like badder and shatter. Yet, the popularity of cannabis concentrates continues to climb because a little truly goes a long way. Here’s an in-depth guide to concentrates to get you started.

A Closer Look at Cannabis Concentrates

Cannabis concentrates are, as it sounds, concentrated cannabis. In other words, the good stuff like terpenes and cannabinoids are extracted from the cannabis and different processing methods transform the extract into something like wax, shatter, or other concentrates. The multitude of processing techniques yields a diverse collection of concentrates that have different potencies, consistencies, and qualities. Cannabis concentrates are considered the most potent cannabis product with THC ranges that can be anywhere from 60 to more than 90 percent.

How do you use cannabis concentrates?

Cannabis concentrates are most often “dabbed,” which is a method of using cannabis that involves using a dab rig. A dab rig is a bit like a bong or water pipe, but it has a unique dab nail where the heated concentrate is held while you inhale the vapors. While dabbing is the most common way to use cannabis concentrates, concentrates can also be mingled with flower to roll a joint or added to a bowl in a pipe.

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What Are the Different Cannabis Concentrates?


Shatter looks a lot like amber glass or hard candy. As the name implies, this concentrate actually breaks off into shards, but it changes consistency with the application of heat. Shatter is created by taking a butane hash oil (BHO) concentrate and heating it to a certain point to remove impurities and cause the trademark hardness.


Wax has a pliable consistency a lot like, well, wax. Cannabis wax can be smooth and waxy or have a slight bit of granularity depending on the manufacturing process. People like wax because it burns smoothly, but can also be mingled with flower and still burn well. This concentrate can have different opacities and colors depending on the strain and the finishing method used during production.

Hash or Kief

Most people are familiar with both hash and kief because these are the two OG forms of cannabis concentrates. Hash (hashish) is basically created by mechanically separating the plant’s trichomes from the plant. The resinous trichomes are then often formed into bricks or pieces. Kief, however, is the same powdery stuff you pull from the bottom of your weed grinder. Kief is a bit less sticky but can be highly potent just the same.


Sauce has one of the thinnest consistencies of any cannabis concentrate. Sometimes called terp sauce, this concentrate is syrupy and sticky, possibly with a few noticeable granules or crystals in the mix. Terp sauce is usually smoked on a dab rig or vaporized, and people often love it because it has such a rich flavor due to its concentrated terpenes.

Badder or Budder

Badder and budder are similar concentrates that have a consistency that looks a lot like whipped butter or cake batter. The primary difference between the two is that batter can be slightly less dense than budder, and may even be slightly granular or bumpy. Both concentrates are highly potent and best used with a dab rig.

Resin and Rosin

Resin and rosin are similar concentrates, but rosin is made through a solventless process whereas resin is not. Both resin and rosin have a consistency of honey or syrup, oftentimes slightly thinner. Therefore, both cannabis concentrates are commonly used in vape carts and disposable cannabis vapes. You may also see resin or rosin as “live,” which means the extracts were taken from the live, uncured plant. Live resin and rosin are considered to be the most flavorful because most terpenes are left intact.


Distillate, which is sometimes called THC oil, is a bit like rosin or resin but has been distilled further to remove the terpenes. Essentially, what is left in the end is a highly potent THC oil that contains very few identifiable cannabinoids, terpenes, or other elements of the plant. This makes distillate one of the most potent concentrates you can find. Most often, distillate concentrate is used to make other products, such as gummies or vape oil in cannabis carts and disposables.

Sugar or Crumble

Sugar or crumble are cannabis concentrates that can look a bit like moist crumbles of brown sugar, although the color can vary. Usually, crumble is a bit drier than cannabis sugar, but this can depend on the brand. Both sugar and crumble are made by purging an extract using low heat and air pressure to eradicate solvents and achieve the final consistency.

Cannabis Concentrates FAQs

How safe are cannabis concentrates?

When purchased from a dispensary that sources concentrate from reliable manufacturers, cannabis concentrates are safe. You just have to be mindful of how much you use. With potencies so high, it is much easier to accidentally use too much and have negative side effects or experiences.

How much concentrate do you use at one time?

Because of the high potency—some as high as 99 percent THC—you literally only need a tiny “dab.” If you are new to concentrates, be sure to get with someone more experienced for your first experience to guide you through how much you need. With the most potent forms, you may only need a drop or a bit about the size of a grain of rice.

How much concentrate can you buy per day in Massachusetts?

You can purchase up to 5 grams of concentrate per day in Massachusetts.

What’s the difference between an extract and a concentrate?

The terms sometimes show up used interchangeably, but extracts and concentrates are two different things. Extracts are the initial oils that are derived from the cannabis plant, most often using CO2 or some kind of solvent. Concentrates, by contrast, are simply concentrated cannabinoids and terpenes, and solvents may not be involved in separating these valuable compounds from the plant matter. For example, hash can be made by hand; you’re simply separating the trichomes from the plant manually.

Find Your Next Favorite Cannabis Concentrates at Orange Cannabis Co.

Whether you’re looking to explore cannabis concentrates or consider yourself a seasoned pro, be sure to take a look at our collection at Orange Cannabis Co, including concentrates from Haze Cannabis Co. From kief and shatter to wax and live sugar, you can find a diverse collection on our dispensary menu.

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