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No matter how well-versed you are in the world of cannabis, there’s always something new coming out. As more states legalize its use, more products and methods of consumption develop. Some products, like flowers, edibles, and vape oils, you likely know. In recent years, cannabis concentrates have become a popular option among consumers, especially those with more experience. The thing is, there are so many different types of concentrates that it can be difficult to know where to start.

What Are Concentrates?

Concentrates, as the name suggests, are concentrated cannabis products. They’ve undergone a process that extracts the good stuff and leaves you with a final product more potent than the original plant. There are a few different types of extraction processes, such as hydrocarbon, CO2, and solventless extraction. These processes separate the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant matter, leaving you with a potent product for dabbing, vaping, or adding to dried flowers to smoke.

Types of Concentrates at the Dispensary

As the world of cannabis continues to expand, new products (including new concentrates) appear regularly. Here are some of the most common types of concentrates you’ll find on dispensary shelves.


A brittle, delicate, glass-like concentrate that’s known as one of the purest forms of concentrated cannabis on the market. Liquid butane pulls the desirable compounds from the plant material. It then goes into a vacuum oven to evaporate the solvent. It’s incredibly fragile and breaks apart easily.

cannabis shatter


Wax concentrates come in a few different forms, depending upon how they’re processed. Like shatter, butane extracts the compounds from the cannabis plant. Makers then need to remove the butane to create a safe, usable product. Where shatter sits still, waxes get agitated to introduce air. The final product depends on the agitation process. A more vigorous agitation results in a dry, crumbly crumble, while gentler agitation leaves you with a creamy budder.

Live Resin

When cannabinoids and terpenes get extracted from flash-frozen cannabis buds, the final product is known as live resin. The frozen buds maintain their strong terpene profiles, which means that live resin has a robust terpene content. As such, it provides a more well-rounded experience.


Live resin sauce, also called terp sauce or sauce, is a concentrate that also has a very strong terpene profile. After the extraction process, the liquid concentrate gets jarred up and left to age for two to three weeks. During this time, THCa crystals form, and the terpenes float to the top. The two get separated before being put back together to be packaged for sale.

CO2 Oil

These concentrates made using supercritical CO2. CO2 gets pressurized and transformed into a liquid before being passed over the plant material to extract the desirable compounds. As the liquid returns to room temperature, the CO2 evaporates. The final product is a thick runny liquid frequently used for vape pens.


A distillate is a concentrate that gets refined even further so that the final product only contains the essential compounds (such as CBD and THC). On their own, they’re virtually tasteless, although some makers do add in terpenes to provide flavor. Distillates are some of the most potent concentrates, reaching upwards of 90% or more in cannabinoids. These concentrates, like CO2 oils, are generally used for vaping.


This concentrate that doesn’t require any solvents to make. It only requires heat and pressure to remove the cannabinoids and terpenes from the buds. Like other concentrates, you can use rosin as a dab. You can also apply a small amount around the outside of a joint for a stronger high.

Now that you know a little about the different types of concentrates you might find at your local dispensary, it’s time to go exploring. Take a look around during your next visit. If you’re still not sure where to start, a budtender is an invaluable resource that can point you in the right direction.