Lifestyle, Products and Services

How Safe Are Solvent-Based Cannabis Concentrates?

February 24, 2020 02:35 pm ET
How Safe Are Solvent-Based Cannabis Concentrates?

Cannabis legalization is not only happening in more places; it’s attracting more people than in the past. The legal cannabis industry today is much more than a place to buy some weed for a joint, bowl, or bong. There are multiple delivery methods for cannabis consumption. Consumers have access to not only cannabis flowers but other products such as cannabis-infused edibles, creams, lotions, tinctures, and concentrates. 

The last one, cannabis concentrates, has started to grow in popularity over the previous few years. Ten years ago, not very many people were familiar with what a dab was. Today virtually everyone knows about dabbing. 

The Various Types of Cannabis Concentrates

There are concerns with cannabis concentrates in particular regarding whether solventless extracts are better than BHO or PHO extracts, which use propane or butane. The common thought to cannabis extractions being so potent is because you’re consuming residual by-products such as butane or propane left behind. This is not the case. 

When cannabis extraction is performed properly, there is little to virtually no residual left behind. CO2 extraction is another form of extraction that many people prefer over BHO or PHO, believing it’s a healthier alternative. Then you have solventless extraction such as bubble hash, which is made with ice water or rosin, which is made using pressure and heat. 

The Safety of Legal Markets

One of the most significant benefits of the legal cannabis industry is the regulation of safety protocols for cannabis products. Cannabis flowers, concentrates, edibles, and other products must go through lab testing to receive approval for sale. When purchasing black market cannabis products, a consumer never knows what they’re actually buying. 

There’s no telling if dangerous chemicals were used in the cultivation process or during the curing or extraction processes or if shortcuts were taken that could potentially cause health problems. This is a problem, though, when consumers purchase illegal cannabis vape cartridges from the black market. Black market sellers are thickening up cartridges using vitamin e acetate to give consumers the appearance of buying a quality product. This has grown to be an epidemic in the eyes of some.

It’s an Intense Process to Make Concentrates

There is much more to creating cannabis extracts than just running butane or propane over some plant material and squeezing out cannabis concentrates from the other end. The process involves a heat bath to help remove residual chemicals as well as a purge process that takes place in a temperature-controlled vacuum-sealed environment. When the product is made correctly, there are no concerns about residual chemicals in them. When the products are also backed with lab testing, you can ensure that the product you are vaporizing contains no residual solvents. 

safety-of-solvent-based-concentrates-infographic

So, are Cannabis Concentrates Safe?

The popular consensus says yes! Cannabis concentrates have been on the market for years in various legal markets. When it comes to the safety of cannabis concentrates, there isn’t much difference between BHO, PHO, CO2, and others. However, when it comes to purity and potency, what extraction process was utilized can play a much more significant role in the end product. That, however, is a whole other article!

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