Maybe you’ve noticed over the last year there are more marijuana concentrates for sale than ever before in Canada. With the updates to the Cannabis Act in 2019, concentrates were finally legal to buy and use for medicinal and recreational purposes. As a patient, are you already familiar with bud’s therapeutic power? Maybe you might be curious about the potential of cannabis concentrates.
Dried bud and concentrates are both products produced from the same plant, and they contain very similar properties. But there are notable differences between their potencies, effects, and applications. If you are a medical cannabis patient, the flower versus concentrate question is a big one.
Over the following post, we aim to clarify all the confusion about the differences between these two cannabis products. By the end, you’ll be able to determine if you want to smoke flower or dabble in concentrate (or both) for your medical needs.
Flower vs. Concentrates: What’s the Difference?
Before you can make any informed decisions for your health, you’ll need to know the key differences between straight dried cannabis flower and the more refined cannabis concentrates. There are also dozens of different marijuana concentrates for sale, which we will cover briefly.
All About Cannabis Flower
Cannabis flower comes from a species of plant called cannabis sativa L. This plant is entrenched in human history, and we have grown it all over the world for thousands of years. It holds spiritual, medicinal, and cultural value across many regions of the world.
The flowers of the female plants contain high concentrations of compounds called cannabinoids. These include THC and CBD, which you may have heard about before. Cannabinoids have immense therapeutic potential for pain relief, mood disorders, and more. The THC content also creates a fun recreational experience, as it’s intoxicating.
Once harvested, the flowers are trimmed, dried, and cured to perfection. This process captures peak potency and preserves the bud for storage. The most popular way to enjoy marijuana flower is to smoke or vape it. But, you can also infuse oils and butter with flower for an edible experience.
All About Cannabis Concentrates
As the name suggests, concentrates extract the valuable compounds from the plant into a more concentrated form. Cannabis flower naturally can produce up to 30 percent THC in some strains, but when concentrated, that same flower can make a product with up to 99 percent purity (known as a distillate). In between, there are dozens of other concentrates with a variety of potencies.
The simplest concentrate is hash, which has been made by humans for a millennia or more. Traditionally hash is made without solvents or intensive processing, just with two hands rubbed together. These days, producers often work with ice-cold water, butane, or CO2 to pull the valuable cannabinoids from the flower.
Depending on the extraction technique, producers get different final productions. If you have already explored marijuana concentrates for sale in Canada, you may have encountered hash, oil, budder, wax, kief, shatter, live resin, rosin, sugar, and many more. The name of the concentrate often describes the consistency and texture.
Concentrates are beloved by the cannabis community because they are highly potent and deliver a long-lasting high. They are typically vaped (or dabbed), but may also be smoked (like hash). Brands also use concentrates in edibles, like gummies, cookies, and teas.
The Benefits of Medical Cannabis Flower
People worldwide have been relying on the medicinal value of dried cannabis flowers for thousands of years. With modern scientific study, researchers have established several important medicinal properties, like pain relief. But why would you want to choose flower over cannabis concentrates?
Mild and Mellow
Compared with concentrates, which some people find overwhelming and uncomfortable, cannabis flower has lower cannabinoid concentrations. On average most strains contain between 10 to 25 percent THC, but there are always outliers. You can also seek CBD-rich strains for an even mellower experience.
Not everyone wants or needs a super-charged dose of marijuana to relieve their symptoms. In fact, research tells us that low to medium doses of THC often works better for symptom relief than extremely high doses. In this case, flowers are the best choice.
Natural and Pure
Many patients turn to cannabis to get away from pharmaceuticals. Maybe they don’t like Big Pharma’s moral integrity or prefer natural solutions to their health issues. Either way, the cannabis flower is as natural as it comes — especially if you can source organic bud.
Variety of Strains
Depending on what you are looking for, there is likely an ideal strain. With more than 100 known cannabinoids and 400 terpenes, every strain has a unique strain profile. Different combinations lead to a variety of medical benefits and recreational experiences.
The Benefits of Medical Cannabis Concentrates
In recent years with the legal cannabis sector booming, concentrates have become increasingly popular. Patients love the precision and potency, and recreational consumers love the high. Why would you want to explore the big world of cannabis concentrates?
Chronic health conditions sometimes demand stronger medicine than what bud can provide. Many patients rely on concentrates when they experience flare-ups or series pain. Other patients who have a higher tolerance to THC will also appreciate more potent concentrates that can finally reduce the symptoms.
When you smoke or vape flowers, the benefits kick in after five to ten minutes. After only four hours, the effects will begin to dissipate. But what if you need a medicine that will provide much longer relief? That’s where concentrates come into play – especially edibles. Edibles may take upwards of two hours to come on, but they also last for upwards of eight hours. That’s long-lasting relief for patients who need it most.
Many terpenes and cannabinoids evaporate during the extraction process because they are more volatile after exposure to heat. Usually, concentrates have a narrowed cannabinoid profile containing just THC, CBD or a combination of the two. That means brands can get creative and design their own unique combinations, sometimes with some tasty flavourings added. This may be ideal for patients that prefer a precise dose of medicine, curated around THC and CBD.
Flower VS. Concentrates: How to Choose
Ultimately the choice is up to you as the patient. If you need gentle, natural relief of symptoms, flower is the ideal candidate. With a shorter duration of effects and lower intensity of intoxication, smoking bud is perfect for mild health issues.
But for those patients with more chronic concerns, bud won’t cut it. Some patients need big doses of THC and CBD, and they will get the most value out of cannabis concentrates.
If you choose to investigate the powers of marijuana concentrates for sale, start low and increase slowly. They offer intense relief but can take some patients a bit unawares. The beauty of cannabis as medicine is that you get to decide.