What are concentrates?

Concentrates—also known as hash—are a popular way to consume cannabis. Concentrates are created by stripping the marijuana plant matter of its psychoactive and medicinal cannabinoid resin properties, also known as trichomes. The most popular and well-known cannabinoids are THC for its psychoactive properties, and CBD for its medicinal properties, however marijuana contains at least 66 cannabinoids. Typically, all of the cannabinoids that are in the plant’s profile are extracted and end up in the hash during the concentrate extraction process. The fresher the plant material when it is extracted, the higher the quality of the resulting hash.

Consuming marijuana in a concentrated form allows users to receive a stronger dose of cannabinoids while avoiding inhaling burning plant matter. Concentrates are growing in popularity as more consumers are recognizing the benefits of cannabis, but weary of the side effects of smoking marijuana.

Lightshade Concentrates

How are concentrates extracted?

There are multiple ways to extract the trichomes from the marijuana plant matter. Most involve using a cold process to freeze the trichomes, allowing them to easily break off from the plant.

This process uses marijuana plant material, ice and water. Once blended, the trichomes fall off the plant and are sifted through pollen-extracting screens to remove the plant matter from the concentrate. This process yields “bubble hash,” or in circumstances where the concentrate is exceptionally high quality, it is considered to be a “full melt” product. Ice water extraction is typically thought to be the cleanest and safest way to extract hash, since no solvents or extreme heat are involved, thereby eliminating byproducts that could potentially cause impurities in the flavor and quality of the concentrate.

This process of concentrate extraction uses cannabis plant material and butane as the solvent for extraction. BHO concentrate typically tests higher for concentrated cannabinoids than other forms of extraction. The extreme cold of the butane allows the trichomes to fall off the plant matter easily, breaking down the cell wall and creating a slab of trichomes.

The processor then removes the residual butane from the concentrate product using a closed-loop hash BHO machine, where a high percentage of the butane is recycled out of the product. Any remaining solvent gets removed during the purging process, when the slab of concentrate is baked in a low-temperature vacuum oven for a minimum of 12 hours. BHO extraction typically yields shatter, wax or live resin.

Concentrates extracted with PHO are made exactly the same way as with the BHO process, except the processor uses propane as the solvent instead of butane.

With this type of concentrate extraction, CO2 is used as the cold solvent. Since CO2 is not purged from the oil, it usually comes in a liquid form. This product is considered to be cleaner than BHO or PHO extracted concentrate because CO2 is not a combustible. This product is often more expensive than other forms of concentrate due to the expensive extraction process and limited market availability.

What forms do concentrates come in?

Concentrates come in the following formats:


This is typically sold as budder or crumble, depending on the consistency.


Also known as snap ‘n pull, taffy or sap, depending on the consistency.

Solventless Rosin

Ice water extract can also take on the form of shatter, called solventless rosin, when heat and pressure are applied, readying it for dabbing or vaping.

Live Resin

This is similar to BHO wax and shatter, but this product maintains a crystallized form because the concentrate is made from whole bud living marijuana product.

Pre-loaded oil cartridges

These are used for vaping.

Ice Water Extract Powder

This is a form of bubble hash.

Concentrate-infused edibles

This is achieved when extracted hash is added to butter and infused into the products. Some edible products aren’t infused with THC concentrates, but are instead cooked with weed butter (butter cooked with marijuana plant matter).

How are concentrates consumed, and what accessories are necessary?

Concentrates can be ingested a number of ways, including:

Dabbing is a method for smoking wax, shatter, solventless rosin and live resin. This process requires heating a surface, allowing the hash to instantly vaporize when it comes in contact with the hot surface. The user then inhales the smoke. Technology has come a long way since the old-school “knife hits” dabbing method of the past, when users would press their hash between two hot knives and use a paper towel tube to funnel the vapor into their mouths. The variety of tools available to dabbers now is quite diverse. Lightshade sells a complete dab kit with all of the tools needed for dabbing, including: a dab rig, a ceramic nail, a torch, a dab tool and hash.

Dabbing is achieved by heating the nail with the torch, using the dab tool to scoop a small amount of hash and place it onto the hot surface, then inhaling as it vaporizes. Since hash is concentrated and tends to be very strong and long lasting, dabbing leads to a harder-hitting, faster high than other consumption methods. New users should start with small dabs.

The European way of smoking hash is to roll it in paper with tobacco. This is known as a “spliff.” The “Colorado” way of smoking hash is to top a bowl of marijuana with a bit of concentrate to strengthen the effects of the bowl. Users can also roll their hash into a joint or blunt if it is the right consistency; waxes are typically the easiest form to work with.

Some types of vape pens allow users to vape with their personal hash, while others require purchasing pre-loaded cartridges. Visit our page about vaping for more information about this method of smoking concentrates.

What are the major features and benefits of using concentrates?

There are a number of ways to consume marijuana, including eating it, using it topically, smoking it through joints, bowls or bongs, or vaping it. In today’s fast-moving world, dabbing concentrates has become more popular because this method allows consumers to ingest a powerful dose in a short amount of time. One of the benefits of dabbing is that users can experience similar effects to smoking an entire joint from dabbing just one or two times. This can be particularly useful for medical patients who are seeking quick relief from intense pain. The traditional ritual of rolling a joint or packing a bowl is taking a back seat to this more efficient and healthier way of ingesting cannabis.

Smoking marijuana in its traditional flower form burns carcinogens, which are present in the plant matter along with the cannabinoids the user wants to ingest for their psychoactive or medicinal qualities. By inhaling a dab of concentrate, consumers avoid burning plant matter, ingesting fewer carcinogens than if they smoked a joint or a bowl. Despite the potential for minor amounts of residual solvent in concentrated cannabis, it is largely believed to be a healthier alternative to smoking flower—especially if the consumer uses a solventless, fully melting ice water extract concentrate.

The most convenient and discrete way to use hash is to smoke it in a vape pen. Users can buy the raw product and use a pen that will vape it in this format, or they can purchase pre-filled vape cartridges. This is a good option for out-of-state guests who cannot smoke in their staying quarters while visiting Colorado.

As people become more aware and cautious of the negative health effects of smoking and ingesting carcinogens, alternative forms of smoking, such as vaping and dabbing concentrates, are growing in popularity.

Lightshade - Bruce Banner Shatter

What type of concentrate products does Lightshade carry for medical and recreational customers?

Lightshade typically carries each type of hash, however concentrate products for both medical and recreational customers vary among locations, and inventory fluctuates regularly. For the most up-to-date listing of our available products, please view our product menus or call or stop by any of our locations. Some of the concentrate brands we typically carry include:

  • Wax and Shatter: Incredibles, The Growing Kitchen, Mahatma, TerpX, TC Labs, Lab710
  • CO2 Oil: OrganaLabs
  • Hash Oil Cartridges: O.Pen, Neos, Evolab
  • Live Resin: Botanico
  • Full-Melt: Trichome Heavy Extracts
Adult (21+)
  • Wax and Shatter: The Growing Kitchen, Mahatma, TC Labs, Lab710, Infinite Infusions
  • CO2 Oil: EvoLab
  • Cartridges: O.Pen, Neos, Infinite Infusions
  • Live Resin: Botanico
  • Full-Melt: Trichome Heavy Extracts
Lightshade Marijuana Concentrates

For the most up-to-date listing of our available products, please view our product menus.