You can go to any of the cannabis dispensaries in Santa Monica and find a cornucopia of choices. The abundance of products today can overwhelm many, and then a constrain stream of technological and cultivation advancements widen the confusion even further. Bud lovers see new hybrids and strains every day, and in the concentrate sector, there are various potencies, flavors, and equipment.
Flowers vs. Concentrates: Overview
With all this choice and innovation, where does a newbie even begin when deciding which is best? Of course, experimenting is necessary, but it is wise to gather information first. Concentrates, such as bubble hash or the older Afghani finger hash, are favorites among connoisseurs and usually someone’s first foray into concentrates. These days, the world of marijuana extracts is far more complicated.
Just visit any Santa Monica marijuana dispensary. You will find newer, fancier-sounding names for concentrate, like wax, shatter, honeycomb, distillate, crumble, live resin, and even budder, which refer to texture, consistency, and extraction method. Therefore, depending on the method of processing, a concentrate may have a crumbly, waxy, or even hard candy-like consistency.
Deciding will depend on your preference. For some, their health. To remove trichomes from buds during the extraction process, many manufacturers use solvents, such as hydrocarbons, alcohol, propane, and butane. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, residual solvents can have harmful effects, which is why newer technologies use heat or water to make solvent-free concentrates instead.
Then, there is a potency to consider. When directly compared to buds, concentrates are notably stronger. When talking concentrates, potency and flavor are your two biggest choices. Concentrates commonly contain at least 50 percent tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Some measure as high as in the 80-percent range. For newbies that do not plan their session or go slow, it can be too much, even horrible.
When talking of flowers, there are mainly a strain’s medical effects and growing methods to consider, such as whether it is indoor or outdoor-grown weed. THC levels range from 15 percent to 25 percent in quality strains, which is more than sufficient for most people. Buds are also natural, unprocessed, although you must actively check for chemicals possibly used during its cultivation.
Flowers vs. Concentrates: Effects
The extraction process for concentrates is one of its biggest drawbacks since much of the flavors and aromas of cannabis are lost that way. The chemicals used to obtain THC strip crucial terpenes and flavonoids, which add their own medicinal value to marijuana. This is why manufacturers are now reintroducing these compounds. The result is a flavor and aroma revolution in the concentrate market.
Still, ganja connoisseurs may feel the lack of full-spectrum benefits in today’s concentrates. According to the British Medical Journal, the natural abundance of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids in flowers have added medicinal value when they all work together to maximize healing. Buds still contain all of their original smells, tastes, and cannabinoids, making them more effective for treatment.
As an example, Linalool, a common terpene found in many different strains, enhances the sedative effects of Indica strains, but limonene boosts the energizing effects of Sativas. As far as full-spectrum products and their effects go, flowers remain the undisputed winner in the marijuana industry. However, because inhaling organic material is increasingly taboo, concentrates are rising in popularity.
Flowers vs. Concentrates: Convenience
For many people, the equipment required to use concentrates can put them off. However, dab rigs are not as complicated as they look, which is like something that belongs in a science laboratory. Compared to bongs, pipes, and rolling papers, dab rigs are not particularly convenient, but that is not their purpose. Dabs are one-hit wonders, sending you to the fridge and couch almost immediately.
For most, concentrates should knock you out. They are prized for this characteristic, and when combined with their purity, the attraction for many becomes obvious. You do not need a big dab rig, however. A simple vape pen will work just as well, and they offer convenience, discretion, and precision dosing. Vape pens also combine the effects of both buds and concentrate, just more compactly.
Vape pens are now especially popular in the concentrate world, catering mostly to busy, on-the-go folks. A competitive market has broadened the variety, scope, and pricing structure of concentrates available to consumers today. Still, despite this, buds still reign supreme when it comes to the wide selection on offer, as well as comparative convenience over most concentrates, if not all.
Flowers vs. Concentrates: Economics
Pricing is another factor to consider when visiting cannabis dispensaries in Santa Monica. Because of the expense of processing and their increased potency, concentrates are notably pricier than buds will ever be. In terms of potency, one gram of concentrate equals around an eight of bud, or a small dab to a joint. This depends on the THC level, supplier, and strain, but competition is closing all pricing discrepancies.
Additionally, the more THC you consume, the higher your tolerance for it will become. You will need more to feel the same, which will certainly make whatever weed you choose more expensive for you. Fortunately, this is easily fixable if you just use less and take breaks from it every so now and again, but even with these bankrupting drawbacks, the value of concentrate cannot be overemphasized.
The medicinal value of the pure, potent, and fast-hitting effects of concentrates are important for patients treating epilepsy, cancer, and other serious and chronic conditions. Even the occasional user will notice the benefits to value and cost, which is why the popularity of concentrates continues to skyrocket unabated. Visit a Santa Monica marijuana dispensary to try them both out yourself.