Cannabis Concentrates Explained

I was in my 40's when I first tried Cannabis.  One of the hardest things for me to get my head around was the different types of concentrates and how to smoke them.  Often times, your local store may have daily specials that promote shatter, wax or budder, but what are they?  How do you smoke them?  Stores just seemed to busy to ask, so I had to research it and as a newbie it felt like a lot.  Here are some pictures with explanations and ways to smoke so you can go in with the knowledge that I did not originally have!!  
Cannabis concentrates are highly potent extracts of the active compounds found in the marijuana plant, primarily THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). These concentrates come in various forms, each with its own unique characteristics and methods of consumption but learning them individually can be absolutely daunting. Here are detailed explanations of some common cannabis concentrate types and the ways to smoke them:

Types of Cannabis Concentrate

Distillate Oil:

  • Distillate is a highly refined and pure form of cannabis concentrate.

  • It is usually clear and odorless, making it versatile for various consumption methods.

  • Can be vaporized, used in edibles, or applied topically.


  • Shatter is a translucent, glass-like concentrate that shatters when broken.

  • It's typically high in THC and has a brittle, snap-and-pull consistency.

  • Shatter is commonly dabbed using a specialized rig and torch or vaporized.


  • Wax has a soft, waxy texture, and it's easy to manipulate.

  • It's named for its appearance, which is similar to beeswax.

  • Wax is often dabbed or vaporized.


  • Budder is a smooth, creamy concentrate with a consistency resembling, well, butter.

  • It is made by whipping the concentrate during extraction.

  • Budder can be dabbed, vaporized, or used in edibles.


  • Crumble is a dry and crumbly concentrate, similar to feta cheese or cookie dough.

  • It's easy to break apart and works well for dabbing or vaporizing.


  • Sugar is named for its grainy, sugar-like appearance.

  • It's often rich in terpenes, providing an aromatic and flavorful experience.

  • Sugar can be dabbed, vaporized, or sprinkled on a bowl of flower.


  • Cannabis sauce is a combination of cannabinoids and terpenes in a liquid form.

  • It has a syrupy consistency with visible crystalline structures.

  • Sauce is usually used in dabbing or vaporizing.

Sand (or Diamonds):

  • Diamonds are large crystalline structures found in sauce or other live resin extracts.

  • They are extremely high in THC and can be quite potent.

  • Diamonds are typically dabbed or vaporized.

Ways to Smoke Cannabis Concentrates:

Ways to use your concentrate


  • Dabbing involves heating a concentrate with a dab rig or e-nail and inhaling the vapor.

  • The concentrate is placed on a heated nail or banger, producing vapor that is inhaled through a water pipe.


  • Vaporizers heat concentrates to a specific temperature, turning them into vapor without combustion.

  • There are various types of vaporizers, including pen-style devices and desktop units.


  • Concentrates can be incorporated into edible recipes, such as brownies, gummies, or capsules.

  • This method provides a longer-lasting and potent high, but the onset is slower.

Topping Flower:

  • You can sprinkle concentrate, like sugar or crumble, on top of a bowl of cannabis flower.

  • This method is known as "twaxing" and enhances the flower's potency.

Topical Application:

  • Distillates and other concentrates can be mixed into lotions, balms, or oils for topical use.

  • Topicals are used for localized pain relief and do not produce a psychoactive high.

    When using cannabis concentrates, it's essential to understand the potency, start with small doses, and use proper equipment and safety precautions, especially with dabbing. Always follow local laws and regulations regarding cannabis use and concentrates, as they may vary by region.


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