If you're new to cannabis concentrates, one of the most confusing things about them is how they're dosed.
Experienced users will wax lyrical about different strains and their potency, terpenes, and other properties that contribute to the overall effect of a strain. Newbies are usually left wondering 'Am I high?', 'Are they all this strong?', and 'How strong is a dose?' before quickly Googling for a chart that tells them how to smoke or vape safely.
But what if there was an easier way to understand the strength of concentrates? What if you could use something that's familiar to estimate your intake, rather than just smoking blindly until you feel the desired effect?
In this article, we're going to explore factors that contribute to the strength of cannabis concentrates and how you can use them to dose yourself more effectively.
What are cannabis concentrates?
Cannabis concentrates are a broad classification that includes extracts made from the plant, such as CO2 oil, BHO, wax, shatter, and rosin. They can also include kief and hashish, which are made from the resin of the cannabis plant.
Concentrates are generally more potent than cannabis flower because they contain a higher THC or CBD concentration. This makes them a popular choice for medical users who need a stronger dose, as well as recreational users who want to experience a more intense high.
Factors that affect the strength of concentrates
There are a few factors that contribute to the overall potency of cannabis concentrates. The most important one is the THC or CBD concentration. Other factors include the terpenes and flavonoids present in the extract, as well as its purity.
THC and CBD concentrations
The THC and CBD concentrations of an extract are the most important factor in determining its potency. THC is the psychoactive compound that produces the 'high' associated with cannabis, while CBD is non-psychoactive and has a range of therapeutic benefits.
The THC and CBD concentrations of different strains can vary significantly. For example, Sour Diesel has a higher THC concentration than Harlequin.
The THC and CBD concentrations of different concentrates can vary significantly, too. Hashish has a higher concentration than dry-sift, which in turn has a higher concentration than bubble hash. Concentrate producers are becoming increasingly sophisticated at testing the cannabinoid content of their extracts to create more consistent products that have an accurate label.
Terpenes and flavonoids
Terpenes are aromatic compounds that contribute to the flavor and smell of cannabis. They also have therapeutic benefits, such as reducing inflammation and pain.
Flavonoids are a group of plant-based molecules that have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants protect cells from damage, which can lead to diseases such as cancer.
The terpenes and flavonoids present in an extract can also contribute to its potency. For example, a strain that has a high Myrcene concentration will be more potent than one with a low concentration.
The purity of an extract is another factor that contributes to its potency. A pure extract will have a higher cannabinoid and terpene concentration than a contaminated one, so it will produce a stronger effect.
The purity of an extract is determined by factors such as the presence of residual solvents from the extraction process, as well as particles from the original cannabis plant. Residual solvents can be removed through washing with alcohol or other solvents, while particles can be removed through filtration.
Using Familiar Objects to Estimate Dosage
Now that you have a basic understanding of the factors that affect the potency of cannabis concentrates, you can use them to estimate your dosage more effectively.
Many people use a technique called 'eye-drops' to estimate their cannabis dosage. It involves using objects that are visually similar to a drop of cannabis oil, such as a small amount of liquid from an eyedropper or similar object.
Using your finger to apply the extract is another way of accurately estimating your intake. However, you need to be careful not to touch your eyes or other sensitive areas after doing so.
A more accurate way of estimating dosage is to use a cannabis concentrate calculator. These calculators take into account the THC and CBD concentrations of the extract, as well as your weight and the amount you plan to consume.
How to Dose Concentrates Safely
When it comes to dosing cannabis concentrates, you should exercise caution. It is important that you start with a low dose and work your way up if needed because it can produce extreme effects that range from overwhelming to unpleasant.
Using the above information, you should be able to dose your concentrates safely and effectively. Always start with a low dose to assess its potency and avoid wasting expensive cannabis extracts. You can always add more to increase the effects if required.