Cannabis Concentrates vs. Extracts: What’s the difference?

on December 10, 2021

No matter what your experience with medical cannabis, you’ve more than likely heard about both concentrates and extracts. 

Many marijuana users are guilty of using these two words interchangeably; even you have possibly thought they were the same thing at some point. Turns out cannabis concentrates and extracts aren’t the same and have a significant difference. 

Keep reading to find out the differences between a concentrate and an extract. 

What’s the difference between medical marijuana concentrate and extract?

  • Concentrates are made without the use of solvents. Methods used to make rosin, dry sift, and kief are ways used to make concentrates without solvents.
  • Extracts are a specific type of concentrate made using a solvent.

In other words, extracts are concentrates; but not all concentrates are extracts.

How concentrates and extracts are made

Let’s take a step back and talk more about concentrates.

This variety of medical marijuana has everything to do with the way it’s made. Cannabis concentrates are made by collecting the trichomes on the flower. There are many different ways that this can be achieved, which is what separates an extract from a concentrate: using a solvent versus solvent-free process.

The solvent-free process occurs when the trichome glands are gathered from the plant using a physical action. 

Dry sifting is an example of solvent-free concentrate creation. The cannabis is shaken through screens in several different sizes allowing the trichomes to fall through. This method leaves the technician with just the trichome heads alone.

Meanwhile, rosin is a method of concentration using heat and pressure. This solvent-free method creates a THC-rich product.

Extracts take concentrates one step further

While concentrates are certainly stronger than your traditional flowers or herbs, the extract process takes this form of medical marijuana one step further. 

Unfortunately, concentrates can literally concentrate everything in the cannabis plant, which may have some undesirable parts. Extracts keep all of the wanted effects from concentrates, and remove any unwanted chemicals using solvents.  

That way, extracts allow for a much smoother and desirable experience for the user.

Medical marijuana users love concentrates (including extracts), as they don’t need to be smoked, offer an efficient experience, as well as a smoother and cleaner experience.

Both extracts and concentrates have given medical cannabis users far more options for consuming marijuana in the way they prefer.

At Hive Medicinal, we’d love to help with your medical marijuana needs as your local Maine dispensary. Take a look at our current medical cannabis products or, better yet, stop by in person!

Hive Medicinal

Hive Medicinal is a medical marijuana dispensary with two locations in Maine. You can visit us at 65 River Road in Chelsea, Maine or 210 College Ave in Waterville, Maine.