May 14, 2020

What are Cannabis Extracts?

Cannabis concentrates, commonly referred to as cannabis extracts, are significantly more potent than your standard cannabis buds. Extracted expertly, and your cannabis concentrate will smell, taste and offer effects that capture the very best of the strain from which it was extracted. 

How a concentrate is extracted will drastically influence everything from its potency, to flavour and price. The following offers a breakdown of what types of products and purity you can expect from a variety of legal, professional extraction methods.

Cannabis Concentrates and their Extraction Methods


We start off with one of the most simple concentrates. Generally considered to be one of the lower quality extracts (composed of the crystalline trichomes that coat the dry flower material) all that is required to make it is some specialized screens and some good old fashioned hard work. 

Dry Sift (Dry Sieve)

This non-solvent hash is basically a refined variation of the kief described above, that’s been run through a complex series of screens that ensures only the trichome heads remain. This relatively simple process makes this form of concentrate extremely popular, and it’s end quality is connected directly to the quality of the plant being extracted. 


Hash can be made a variety of ways, but ice water extraction is one of the most popular. This extraction method separates the essential-oil packed trichome heads from the relatively useless stalks, stems and leaves of the cannabis plant. Quality is determined by the size of the isolated trichome heads, and how much it melts when heated; the more the better. Drying the final product properly is crucial, as it can be susceptible to mould or rot.  

Butane Hash Oil (BHO)

BHO uses butane as the primary solvent to create some of the most recognizable extracts, including: shatter, badder/budder, crumble, caviar and honeycomb.  Temperature and post processing of the extracted material influences the final products purity and consistency, and all can reach THC potencies as high as 80-90%. The legal market shines in this category as the strict regulations and testing surrounding this process ensures that no traces of butane, pesticides, or other unhealthy ingredients/contaminants remain in the final product.

CO2 Oil

Unlike BHO, CO2 is a pure chemical substance that occurs naturally and leaves behind no residues, and converts naturally into a liquid when pressurized. Used as a standard extraction method for the food, dry cleaning and herbal supplement industries, the CO2 extraction process allows compounds to be extracted with high pressure and low toxicity. 

Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)

Also referred to as Phoenix Tears, Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), whole-plant cannabis oil can be orally administered or applied directly to the skin. True whole-plant oil derived from the cannabis plant, utilizes the buds/flower of cannabis and includes a variety of cannabinoids including THC, CBD, CBN, and more. Most commonly, RSOs are used to treat a variety of common health issues including multiple sclerosis, depression, inflammation and more.


Rosin is a solid form of resin made using a heat press capable of vaporizing volatile liquid terpenes. This process is quick, simple and more affordable than other processes, which makes this a popular form of extraction for both small and large batches.

To discover more about concentrates – check our blog for a wide variety of posts on the subject.