In our last article, we described some of the more popular solvent-extracted concentrates on the market today. Non-solvent extraction methods use more natural elements, like water, pressure, and heat. They are considered safer by many cannabis users because there are no residual solvents or chemicals left in the final product.
Kief is the result of trichomes being agitated away from the ground cannabis flower. Using a filtering screen and tumbler to isolate the trichomes, a fine and highly concentrated version of the original plant remains. Anyone can create kief over time using a three-part grinder with a screen in the bottom compartment. Live kief is the name given to trichomes separated from a flash-frozen flower, which preserves the flavors and has a much stronger aroma.
Bubble hash is arguably one of the safest extraction methods for cannabis concentrates. Ice water is used to agitate and isolate the trichomes from the plant matter. Then “bubble bags” are used to separate the trichomes from the plant matter. Those are then drained, leaving a patty of trichomes behind. The exact details of the process vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Depending on the equipment and methods used, bubble hash can be very pure and sandy or more thick and patty-like. Pure melt bubble hash is created when the flower used was flash-frozen before being washed in the ice water. The purer the bubble hash, the more suitable for dabbing.
Rosin is considered one of the most flavorful forms of concentrates, and if made with high-quality materials, the purest. Made by applying high amounts of heat and pressure to cured cannabis flower, rosin is a refined and robust resin extraction method. There are also sub-varieties of rosin, such as live rosin, rosin jam, and rosin sauce. All require a different finishing method, and in the case of live rosin, flash-frozen flower to start.
If you are using cannabis for medical purposes, non-solvent extracted concentrates might be a healthier and more natural way to get the power of concentrates. They also retain the flavor and terpenes of the original product. Try asking your budtender about non-solvent concentrates at your next visit to the dispensary.