Slow and Low: Control is the key to concentrates

click to enlarge Slow and Low: Control is the key to concentrates
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The entourage effect is the synergistic action between cannabinoids and terpenes resulting in greater therapeutic effects than individual cannabinoids.

Academic science is struggling to catch up to state legalization of marijuana. The industry seemingly pushed full steam ahead as popularity grew. Yet, what has been discovered in recent years is the cleanest methods for consuming or burning concentrates.

The versatility of concentrates in the cannabis industry is a revolution in high-end marijuana consumption. Sauce, shatter, wax, crumble, rosin, hash and kief are just a few varieties that typically have higher concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

The methods to smoking concentrates can seem intimidating and first-time users should consider a few bells and whistles before diving headfirst into concentrate products.

“I think when concentrates first came onto the market, it was something really exciting and different for patients to utilize, especially for someone like myself, who has a higher tolerance,” Adriana Tysenn said.

Tysenn is the compliance and education director for Downtown Dispensary, 221 E. Sixth Street, Suite 105, and its sister store, D2 Dispensary, 7105 E. 22nd Street.

Tysenn considers herself a concentrate aficionado. Tysenn uses a PuffCo concentrate vape pen for her personal products, but she also recommends one of the newest products to come from local brand iLava, the Dablicator - Entourage Day.

Tysenn said this is a great option for beginners. The product is fully activated; meaning it is edible, can be used for vapes, tracking and dabbing. Tracking is a way to customize joints by infusing them with concentrates while rolling.

“When I first started using concentrates, it was like a dab and what is the dab? How big is a dab? How small is a dab?” Tysenn said. “So, this is a really reliable way to medicate and knowing that it is a 10-milligram metered dose every time.”

The Dablicator is designed to twist, click and push for a precise 10 mg measured dose every time.

For parties interested in smoking concentrates or “dabbing,” there is key research that suggests having control of your temperature settings is most important to safely ingest concentrate. According to a 2017 Portland study, burning concentrates at high temperatures can release toxins called methacrolein (MC) and benzene.

The study titled “Toxicant Formation in Dabbing: The Terpene Story,” showed the toxins were significantly reduced or not present when the concentrates were burned below 322 degrees Celsius or 611 degrees Fahrenheit.

With this data in mind, users should remember to go low and slow with burning concentrates or buy products that help control temperatures.

The Puffco vape pen that Tysenn uses has different temperature settings to allow for full temperature control and the brand also produces an electronic dab rig called the Peak Pro. In addition to electronic tech tools, lab technician Gabe Partagas from Earth’s Healing said customers can find inexpensive infrared temperature guns on Amazon to use with the traditional dab rig-blow torch combination.

“We usually like to go in the realm of 450 to 550 degrees (Fahrenheit) for our solventless products and with hydrocarbons, we typically go to the neighborhood of 475 to 600 degrees,” Partagas said.

Earth’s Healing offers a multitude of concentrates with unique extraction processes. Their lab has three different techniques for cannabis concentrate extraction. Hydrocarbon extractions use solvents like butane to extract the resin, which then get separated from the butane. They also have solventless extractions and distillation extracts. The distillation process refines crude oil into highly concentrated THC oil for vapes and edibles.

“We’re very excited about our solventless hash rosin that we’ve been releasing,” Partagas said. “Solventless has definitely been gaining popularity recently.”

Lab Director Eddie Saavedra at Earth’s Healing added that it is important to keep their concentrate tech clean. Saavedra recommended using 99% isopropyl alcohol and cotton swabs to keep things fresh.

“If you’re using a PuffCo, it’s very important to Q-tip after every hit because after so much time, those leftover bits can actually turn into carbon and become harmful for you,” Saavedra said. “So, it’s best to just vaporize them and then clean out your vaporizer or whatever you’re using to vaporize, whether it’s a banger, or like a quartz banger, or the Puffco and clean it with maybe a little bit of ISO and Q-tip.”

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