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Turning up the heat with concentrates

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Last week I wrote about some of the current hottest edibles on the local market. This week, I’m turning the heat up a few hundred degrees and talking about my favorite form of cannabis: concentrates.  

Concentrates, often called “dabs” or “wax,” are commonly created when THC is extracted from cannabis using butane or another solvent to form a semi-solid, incredibly potent product. It can come in various textures — such as shatter, budder and crumble, to name a few — and different extraction methods can yield different results, like using ice water to create tasty hash-rosin.  

Regardless of texture, a little bit of concentrate goes a long way. Most concentrates on the market right now test between 65% and 90% THC. That’s a considerable leap from the cannabis flower, which typically taps out around 30% THC, depending on the grower and genetics.  

Orange Kush Cake Live Resin: Fresh Coast Extracts 

Fresh Coast's cornerstone product is its live resin — a concentrate created by using cannabis flower flash-frozen immediately after its harvest. This process helps preserve the terpenes in the cannabis and produces a more flavorful smoke.  

If you were to look up “live resin” in my weed dictionary, Fresh Coast’s Orange Kush Cake Live Resin would be pictured next to it. This tasty hybrid strain has a rich lineage: a cross of Wedding Cake, Sour Tangie and Sour Jilly. It has an aroma of oranges, sour candy and black pepper — a great combination, in my opinion. I am not a person who usually enjoys cannabis with sativa-dominant strains in their lineage, so I was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved Orange Kush Cake. It provides a mood-boosting cerebral high that’s euphoric and not heart-racing. 

Death Rattle Cured Resin: Redbud Roots 

Cured resin is another form of concentrate that uses dried and cured cannabis plant material. The result isn’t as terpene-heavy as live resin, but it typically has a higher concentration of THC. Simply put, cured resin tests at a higher THC percentage than live resin. That said, Redbud Root’s Death Rattle Cured Resin is a faultlessly potent indica that’s great for pain relief. This strain is incredibly gassy and hits hard, probably due to its Motorbreath lineage, so it’s an excellent choice for the veteran smokers out there who are looking to relax after a long day.  

Singapore Sling Hash Rosin: Pleasantrees  

Hash rosin is made by combining high heat and immense pressure. Terpene and cannabinoid-rich oil (resin) are forced out of the cannabis plant material using a rosin press. When done correctly, rosin is highly potent and rich in terpenes and cannabinoids. This process, and the fact that hash rosins are typically made without solvents, has led many canna connoisseurs to describe hash rosin as the purest form of cannabis concentrates. Pleasantrees Singapore Sling hash rosin is no exception. This strain crosses Tiki Cookies and Creamsicle, two strains known for their sweet and fruity terpenes. Reportedly, this eases nausea and anxiety.  

Stoner Gadget Review: Terp Timer by Octave, $99  octavehightech.com  

For dabheads looking to step up their concentrate game, I recommend checking out the Terp Timer by Octave. As stated on the California-based company’s website, the Terp Timer is a “desktop wireless thermal sensor that allows you to dial in the exact temperature when concentrating.”  

Users can adjust the Terp Timer to their ideal dabbing temperature (in Celsius or Fahrenheit) and then press another button to activate the small red light from the top of the device. After torching/heating up the banger of a dab rig, users then place the Terp Timer under their heated banger and align it with the small red light emitting from the device. The Terp Timer’s alarm will sound when the banger has reached the temperature the user selected.  

I know what you’re probably wondering: why does this matter, and why should I care? Terpenes, the part of the cannabis plant that’s responsible for the aroma and characteristics of cannabis, are delicate and can scorch easily. If a dab is too hot, it can lead to a burnt-tasting dab and could potentially hurt your lungs. Knowing the correct temperatures that certain terpenes vaporize at will ensure you get great, flavorful dabs every time while also ensuring you don’t scorch yourself. 

According to Leafly, 545-570 degrees Fahrenheit is a good overall range for most dabs, especially live resin, sugar resin, shatter, crumble and rosin.  

Dabbing these types of concentrates in this range will completely vaporize the dab, capturing its flavor, potency and essence without scorching or combusting any of the heat-sensitive terpenes. Hash rosin and other solventless concentrates, on the other hand, are a little more delicate and should be enjoyed at a lower temperature of 500-545°F. With the Terp Timer, you can perfect your dabbing experience down to the last degree.  

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