Potency and safety analysis of hemp-derived delta-9 products: The hemp vs. cannabis demarcation problem

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Product labeled "full extract cannabis oil"
Extract in a lip balm-sized container

Cannabis concentrate, also called marijuana concentrate, marijuana extract, or cannabis extract, is a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and/or cannabidiol (CBD) concentrated mass. Cannabis concentrates contain high THC levels that range from 40% to over 90%,[1][2] stronger in THC content than high-grade marijuana, which normally measures around 20% THC levels.

Volatile solvents, such as ethanol, butane, propane or hexane, may be used to prepare extracts, but can and will possibly lead to fire and explosion hazards in uncontrolled environments.[3][4][5] Supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction alleviates concerns of fire and explosion and results in a high-quality product.[6]

Legally produced concentrates for retail sale in legalized U.S. states are often packaged in small lip balm-sized containers.[5]

Legal status


In Colorado, the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) regulates almost every facet of the cannabis seed-to-sale process. There are heavy regulations on the containers that hold the concentrate: containers must be child-resistant, opaque, and have a multitude of legal text warning the consumer of the risks of consumption. MED also regulates the creation or extraction of cannabis extract.[7]

List of concentrates

Common types of cannabis concentrate:[3][8][9][10]

  • Badder/budder
  • Cannabis flower essential oil
  • Caviar ("moon rocks") - Cannabis buds dipped in or sprayed with hash oil, then rolled in kief.
  • Crumble
  • Crystalline
  • Distillate
  • Dry sift
  • Hashish or hash - a cannabis concentrate traditionally made by drying the cannabis plant and beating the dried female plant material over a series of screens and then sifting, collecting, and pressing the particles.
    • Bubble hash - water-purified hashish
    • Charas - a cannabis concentrate created by expressing the flower of Cannabis indica between the hands and removing the residue.
  • Hash oil
    • Fully extracted cannabis oil[11]: 80–81 
    • Butane hash oil (BHO)
    • CO2 oil
  • Honeycomb
  • Kief
  • Live resin[12]
  • Pull and snap
  • Rosin
  • Shatter
  • Taffy
  • Terp sauce
  • Tincture of cannabis
  • Wax

The major difference between live resin and other cannabis concentrates lies in the way they are produced. The manufacturing of live resin involves fresh, live cannabis either freshly harvested or flash-frozen cannabis. This helps protect plant's content matter, aroma and flavor.


  1. ^ "Safety with THC concentrates". State of Colorado. Archived from the original on May 24, 2022. Retrieved May 13, 2022.
  2. ^ Cannabis (Marijuana) Concentrates DrugFacts, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), June 2020, archived from the original on May 13, 2022, retrieved May 13, 2022, Solvent-based products tend to be especially potent, with THC levels documented at an average of about 54-69% and reported to exceed 80%, while non-solvent based extraction methods produce average THC levels between 39-60%.
  3. ^ a b DEA 2014.
  4. ^ Small 2016.
  5. ^ a b Angela Bacca (January 12, 2015), "Is Cannabis Extraction the Future of a Multi-Billion Dollar Industry?", San Francisco Chronicle, archived from the original on December 25, 2017, retrieved December 25, 2017
  6. ^ Backes & Weil 2017, p. 143.
  7. ^ "Colorado Retail Marijuana Laws" (PDF). Colorado Department of Revenue. 2018. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 6, 2019. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  8. ^ "Why marijuana concentrates are cause for confusion". The Cannabist. June 18, 2015. Archived from the original on April 23, 2017. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  9. ^ "Concentrate! Here's the Difference Between Shatter, Budder, Crumble and More". Archived from the original on October 31, 2019. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  10. ^ "Cannabis Concentrates Guide: THC Oils, Hash, Wax, Shatter & Dabs". October 9, 2019. Archived from the original on October 31, 2019. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  11. ^ Dach, J.; Moore, E.A.; Kander, J. (2015). Cannabis Extracts in Medicine: The Promise of Benefits in Seizure Disorders, Cancer and Other Conditions. McFarland Health Topics. McFarland, Incorporated, Publishers. ISBN 978-1-4766-2111-1. Archived from the original on April 20, 2023. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  12. ^ Slang Terms and Code Words: A Reference for Law Enforcement Personnel (PDF) (Report). Drug Enforcement Administration. July 2018. p. 6. DEA-HOU-DIR-022-18. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 17, 2019. Retrieved February 8, 2019.


External links

Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from What You Should Know About Marijuana Concentrates (Also Known as THC Extractions) (PDF). Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration.