Know your dispensary menu: What are cannabis extracts? – GreenState

This ‘shatter’ type of extract is brittle and translucent at room temperature. | Photo: David Downs

Legal cannabis is in full bloom in nine states and Washington DC– a modern market where we no longer have to settle for any old grass. There is no clearer evidence of this change than the expanding world of cannabis extracts. Taking up one-third of most dispensary menus, extracts can offer the best of cannabis’ effects and flavors, without the plant matter — allowing users to get the same impact from a fraction of smoke or no smoke at all. Extracts also offer all manner of effects, from the soaring, heart-racing mood lift of purified THC, to an intangible sense of wellbeing, courtesy of a CBD vape pen. Let’s dig in.

What are extracts of cannabis?

People used to call it “hash,” or “hashish” or “keif.”  Today, we call them all cannabis extracts. They can take solid, semi-solid or liquid forms. All extracts contain concentrated amounts of cannabis’ main active ingredients — cannabinoids.

The active ingredients in cannabis come from trichomes — tiny, crystal-like resinous external plant glands. Manufacturers produce extracts by literally “extracting” the molecules in trichomes using a variety of mechanical or solvent-based processes. The results are among the most potent forms of cannabis available and come in a variety of forms.

Why should I care about extracts?

If you hate smoke or feeling high, extracts can be helpful. Extracts unlock far more uses than smoking raw flower and we are just now seeing all the benefits of controlling the individual compounds in cannabis. Some like CBN can be used for sleep. Some like THC-A offer pain relief without effects on mood. Extracts can offer more precise dosing and isolations of specific molecules to better dial in effects.

What do extracts

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