Why Concentrates should be made in Labs and Not at Home

When a supply source runs out, that doesn’t mean the demand does. If other options exist, people will sway from their normal routine to fulfill it. It is clear cannabis’ trends will follow suit in more than one way.

This includes edibles, as well as the very supply of cannabis itself.

But on the other hand exists cannabis concentrates- a field of products whose demand will not be curbed by legal flower. Yet a legal supply of concentrates will not be available until later this year, at the earliest, meaning black market and amateur home production are the only options for concentrate consumers- the latter even more so as police crack down on illegal production. Medicinal users desperately in need of more potent products using concentrated CBD will be forced down this avenue while even renowned cannabis doctors are uncertain over concentrated THC’s medicinal value, they are calling for acute doses of CBD for proper efficacy.

When you look at the test trials of dronabinol- a synthetic THC that is also known as Marinol and Syndros– and how the results contrasted to smoked cannabis, it is clear the entourage effect plays a huge role in cannabis’ medicinal benefits.

While THC in concentrates is ultra-potent, so are the terpenes and minor cannabinoids that mediate unpleasant side effects. It concentrates the flavor and full effects of cannabis in these sometimes beautifully pure entrapments of the plant’s essence. From terp sauce to shatter to diamonds.

Overall, professionally made, well dosed, cannabis extracts are just as safe as cannabis flower, so long as no residuals are present. Mixed among an illegal market now exists professional, educated producers from the former grey regulations who have made a large investment to set up even a small-scale, properly-rated facility, using certified equipment. Equipment that keeps all solvent enclosed while recycling and purifying it further in the process. It is then kept at stable body temperature for days, under the vacuum of space, using a vacuum oven.

Certain ACMPR producers, such as Liberty Farms and other Cannabis Growers of Canada producers, carry a strict zero residual policy, while Health Canada has lazily and disappointingly established a 5000 ppm across their solvent list.

It’s not just in concentrates, solvents are everywhere

If it is consuming solvents that concerns you, I would recommend putting away your lighter and getting rid of the french fries. Most cooking oils have been typically extracted with hexane, which is often extracted from petroleum and crude oil, of which an approved residual amount exists. Hexane causes reproductive issues, and other health-related problems. Whereas butane is used as an aerosol in canned cooking oil sprays, with no limit to its content.

Clean, proper, lab tested cannabis extract production will have a harder time competing with those amateur producers. Now, access to professional products are dwindling under federal pressure, pushing extracts into the hands of the amateurs who are responsible for all the concern over DIY cannabis concentrates.

Residual solvents in poorly made products aside…

Home production will fill the growing shortage of concentrates

Done by “open-blasting,” a method which uses open butane. That is typically simply dried on a tray, although many individuals will smoke this well before it is cured. Something potentially hazardous to health, which does not happen with proper, professional access. Many will go about home production safely without harm, although this still involves the use of highly flammable solvents. Those doing so in the confines of a small residential area are putting others unknowingly at serious risk if they make mistakes. Not to mention lab tests for residual solvents are far more expensive than just THC/CBD content.

By the time extracts are legalized, it is apparent, few will be prepared for demand- just look at how badly the government botched legalizing flower, with ongoing shortages that could last years. This was caused directly by product restriction by Health Canada, which was not at all prepared for legalization.

A lot of rationality exists in municipal support of local brick and mortar access. As does allowing private micro-cultivation, and a full spectrum of professionally made products. If we wish to plan for legal cannabis with a set of efficient regulations, truly dampening associated crime and risk.

At Home Solutions

Certain concentrate artists using safe, green tech have tried effortlessly to find proper solutions that meet the same effect, capable of taking over demand. Success has been found in products such as dry sift (kief) or water/ice hash. As well as rosin, made by using heat and pressure; it can be as simple as squishing a Bud in a hair straightener. These products fill a large margin of the non-medical market, but not entirely. We’re still missing a huge margin of cannabis’ therapeutic potential for medicinal users.


Featured image courtesy of CBC.