Dabs, Dabs & More Dabs! Incredible Advances in Concentrate Styles

A brief review of the incredible advances in concentrate styles spawned by the nouveau dab craze.

It’s no surprise that concentrates are the fastest-growing sector of the cannabis market. After all, who doesn’t love a good dab? Concentrates capture everything that’s great about weed and amplify it to unprecedented levels. And when you consider how quickly concentrates have become such an integral part of the marijuana market, it’s a truly extraordinary rise.

Less than 10 years ago, hardly anyone had even seen a dab rig, and even fewer people had access to honey oil, the solvent hash of the day. It took a perfect storm of less restrictive marijuana laws—which led to a huge surplus of cannabis being sold at an all-time-low price per pound—combined with new platforms for sharing information, to create the explosion of experimentation and progress we’ve seen in the concentrates field.

Here are some of the different dab styles that hash makers have brought into existence over just the past few years:

Wax: In this form, the hash can sometimes resemble a honeycomb. It will usually crumble to a coarse powder if you roll it between your fingers. This style of hash contains plant waxes that give the sample its structure.

Shatter: True shatter is hash that has had the plant-wax content removed, usually through a process called “winterization.” Basically, after you dissolve THC into your solvent, you bring the saturated solvent down to an extremely cold temperature. All of the plant wax in the solution clumps together; the solution is then filtered to remove the frozen wax content, and the solvent is evaporated. The hash from this process is very stable, and it’s usually hard and can shatter like glass. Shatter tends to have a higher THC concentration.

Snap and pull: This type of hash usually looks hard and shatter-like but is actually more like taffy. It often takes a quick snap of the wrist to pull a dab off your parchment paper, which is probably why it’s called “snap and pull.” This type of hash tends to hold onto terpenes very efficiently and generally has a higher terp concentration than other varieties.

Butter: Hash made in this style has the consistency of peanut butter. It usually glistens with a little sheen of oil and appears to sweat a bit when it’s warm. Butter tends to be slightly lower in THC because it contains a lot of plant waxes. But it can be made with very high terpene concentrations, which means that it can offer a powerful flavor.

Live resin: This type of hash is made by processing plants that are freshly cut and sometimes fresh-frozen. When done at an advanced level, live resin is extremely flavorful and tastes like a fresh cannabis plant smells. It usually has a fuller cannabinoid profile too, meaning that it can be rich in secondary cannabinoids like CBN, CBG and THCa. This is a product with an expiration date, however: Live resin is not the kind of hash that you can archive and store for long periods of time.

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