Let’s discuss a little about the difference between concentrates.
Anytime a product is made it should be considered that the end patient is the one who supports the system. The gradient scale generally is as follows:
clear fractional distillate
Wax compromises of anything from 20-50%+ in inactive compounds that consist of waxes, fats, lipids, solids, aldehydes, inactive compounds, and contamination. The actual process is very simple. Either open-loop where all the compounds are flushed out with turbulent phases of gases and liquids, or with high psi or “hot-loop,” which is a close-loop scenario where over extraction has been done. Normally people would tell you how fire, or terpy wax is, but the actual compounds you are smoking or eating are highly carcinogenic; they are burning and or reacting with the body like standard paraffin waxes similar to those found in candles. The lack of education and knowledge in this should be recognized with the highest alarms and should be avoided. Education is not needed to extract and whip under temperature a mixing pot of who knows what with your compounds. Often the consistency of these products are attributed to the amount of toxic 3 in 1 oils left behind.
Butter is just what it is, basically as bad as wax, but really it has high levels of water, or degraded compounds that have no stability in their natural state; furthermore, high levels of mystery oil can be present to create this effect.
Crumble can come two ways:
a. It can be a dry and deceiving product like wax. It may consistent of highly inactive compounds and taste good, but really it just has a crumbly less stable final product. This is due to the lack of moisture and typically hard to clasp as the paraffin in the crumble has a nonstick effect. I recommend to avoid it, but it can be hard to identify.
b. It can be a completely dewaxed product, with little to no inactive compounds. The producer was unable to stabilize the product and or it contained lots of moisture, which made a tacky and non-stable product that wasn’t stable in sheet form. They will whip this up and create forced enucleation. By using deep vacuum and high temps, they can convert a shatter to what is known as OVERSHATTER and then beyond. This leaves a very floral odor behind as the residual terpenes in solvent form coat to the outside from vacuum pulling outwards. This product is pleasant and not bad at all. We would like people to know that properly de-waxed product that is merely unstable can appeal to another market, and that market can consume a higher quality “wax” or “crumble” but really, truly, at heart, isn’t a actual wax. It’s just terms and how they are misused.
Live resin is a very interesting product, it has been arguable that the time when it is processed does not allow the plant to properly breakdown organic compounds and methane gases are subject to being taken in during the process. The presence of such gases and organic decomposition processes allow the plant to deteriorate the aldehyde levels which aren’t all that bad on their own, but when concentrated, they can be bad. Many plants produce aldehyes which are an isomer of formaldehyde. We are talking here about the production of fresh material that hasn’t fully cured and is wet and moist. This extract if handled properly, under ultra low temp post-filtration, can be sufficient. However the current rate at which producers make it, it is not. The hydrocarbon fluids and gasses used in extraction, along with even high bp solvents, tend to not entirely operate at full efficiency when extracting. This causes a lot of carry over with water. Live resin has so much water in it, and it is impossible to remove at this state. Live resin is ran and distributed as is, which is basically very very wet wax. The strong terpene content and carry over with moisture allows even what would normally look like a poor product to look slightly stretched and slightly clear, like shatter. It can be very hard to tell as sometimes unstable product, even enucleated product, is resold as live resin; however, it was just improperly handled and processed.
Shatter is the preferred medicine of many. Simply put the product is extracted minus inactive compounds and done under low pressures to relate colors beautifully, as well as low temps to ensure no over extraction is done. Shatter can be post-cleaned up from wax, and it can be sheeted on trays to resemble a glass like product that is nearly clear and a off-tint of color based on the oxidized molecular compounds. Earlier extraction results in lighter colors (as long as compounds aren’t already heavily oxidized) and later extractions result is less stable and less appealing colors. Shatter can be around 1-8% inactive compounds even when fully de-waxed, but most product sits around 1-3% on average and is a lot healthier than wax by far.
Overshatter is simply put, over shatter. It can have a live resin look, waxy look, and even sometimes crumbly look. It is when a product is de-waxed and the moisture content is so high (improper extraction, and poor equipment/hardware management) that the compounds homogenize and then destabilize between the separated parties, for example water and oils. It isn’t all that bad to medicate with since it has been stripped and destabilized after filtration, but the water content can throw you off. We would say this is as well suitable for medication as water is nearly harmless and its just a product of improper management of hardware when extracting. Also, fresh material can cause this, or on rainy days moistures in the air can get sucked up when material is being transferred. Surface condenses and typically absorbs many components around it. In this case, it can be moisture in the air.
Alcohol rinses, if done right, are just as good or better than gas washes. This is because the alcohol can be manipulated in ways better than gases. The impurity level can be very low while still having a great terpene profile , but certainly should not be smoked unless properly produced. We can attack this complex topic at a later date.
Clear fractional distillation to obtain a clear concentrate is where temperature and vacuum are used to achieve a solvent-less extraction. By using vacuum pressure and heat to boil out components by the boiling point, you can remove all impurities before and after, which leaves the center core fraction of what is desired. Due to the nature of this topic, it will have a section on its own soon. Clear fractions, are basically where everyone will go once education is common.
Isolate is a useful product but its near 98-100% pure of a simple compound, and is used for special needs. We won’t be talking much about this here just yet,
Rosin is different in that We take the flower or sifted trichome heads, and press it under temperature and pressure. This sweats the product and forces the product under pressure to release the organic compounds held in trichome’s that are all over the plant. From center out it will find the path of least resistance and sweat outwards. The filter’s are generally 100u or above and do not posses any biological filtration capacity. Its just for dust and particulate. Lets take a step back and discuss a very important concept used in fractioning components.
When we fraction a solution the components that are actually medicinal are in a certain location in the fractioning bandwidth. Simply put you can separate the components in fractions. the first thing past the emulsifier is the volatile compounds like terpenes, and cannabinoids. The remainder is made of dissolved fats, waxes, lips, inactive chemical components that all serve no purpose.
Much like water hash, rosin has its “cream” or best bags. As such, Rosin producers are able to achieve shatter level purity by mechanical means, while “Organic” is the idea behind the tech, the yields are extremely low and so the costs are higher to all .