The 5 Most Common Types of Cannabis Concentrates

Cannabis concentrates have become all the rage in recent years. More flavorful and potent than regular old cannabis buds, concentrates get the job done and then some. But not all concentrates are created equal. Keep reading to find out more about different types of cannabis concentrates!

What Are Cannabis Concentrates?

Cannabis concentrates are exactly what they sound like… super concentrated cannabis extracts. Just like there are different types of dried flower, there are also different types of concentrates. Concentrates are extracted from the plant using a variety of different extraction methods resulting in a range of different concentrates.

Types of Cannabis Concentrates

Does the type of concentrate really matter? Sort of. There are definitely some differences between them and experienced stoners tend to have their favorites. Here are some of the most common types of cannabis concentrates you will come across.


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Shatter is likely to be the most popular cannabis concentrate around. Being one of the first concentrates on the market, it has established a following of dedicated dabbers.

Shatter gets its name from its thin consistency that often results in it shattering into lots of little pieces. Shatter is a thin sheet of extract that is usually clear or amber in color. Shatter that is dark is considered to be of lower-quality and to possibly contain impurities leftover from the extraction process.

Shatter is made using BHO (butane) extraction before going through a filtration process designed to strip it of any remaining impurities. However, some traces of BHO may still be present in the final product. Since BHO is potentially harmful when ingested, it’s important to buy shatter from trusted brands that produce pure and clean shatter.

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Rosin is a concentrate that is prized for its purity, potency, and flavor. Unlike other concentrates, it is not extracted using a solvent (like butane). Instead, rosin is meticulously squeezed out of dried flower, kief, trim, and hash using heat and pressure.

Because no solvents are involved, rosin also tends to retain more of the natural terpenes and flavonoids found in the cannabis plant. Because of this, it is more flavorful than other concentrates and many people find it more enjoyable to dab. If purity and flavor are priorities, you can’t go wrong with rosin.

CO2 Oil

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CO2 oils are produced through an extraction process that uses CO2 gas. These oils are commonly found in the pre-filled vape cartridges and vape pens sold in dispensaries across the country. Because the CO2 extraction process takes place at a lower temperature, more of the plant’s natural terpenes and flavors are preserved. Like rosin, CO2 oils are considered to be more pure and flavorful than most other concentrates.


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Distillate is a concentrated oil that is completely devoid of any waxes, terpenes, flavonoids, or other compounds found in the cannabis plant. Instead, it contains only a specific cannabinoid (usually THC) at a very high concentration. Distillate undergoes a complex extraction, separation, and purification process that results in a unique and potent oil that has been systematically stripped of everything but THC.


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Wax concentrates are less oily and more waxy in texture. Like shatter, wax concentrates like crumble are made using a BHO extraction process. Also like shatter, wax concentrates contain a high THC content and produce a powerful, long-lasting high. Apart from their look, texture, and consistency, these two concentrates are actually very similar.

You can explore concentrates even further—stop by our Des Moines dispensary or check out our online menu to see what’s in stock.

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