Coffee has espresso. Beer has whiskey. And cannabis has concentrates.
Tens of millions of cannabis lovers are spending billions of dollars per year on legal marijuana extracts in North America in 2020. Extracts give consumers options beyond simple flower buds.
Surging in popularity are extracts like wax, rosin, and live resin, as well as vaporizer cartridges and edibles. Concentrates enable tinctures, topicals, inhalers—the sky is the limit.
Extracts are so popular, they have their own holiday. While everyone knows 420, the 7/10 Oil Day holiday has surged in recent years as well.
“It’s a monumental holiday,” said Bradley Melshenker, founder of leading hashmaker 710 Labs of Colorado and California. “When I started seeing 710 years ago, I didn’t know what it was. A highway? An area code? And then I realized it was ‘oil’ spelled upside-down. And it was also my birthday, so I said, ‘Let’s just call this company ‘710 Labs.’ It’s been a fun ride.”
This year, Leafly celebrates the exhilarating world of extracts with daily appreciations of the most popular extract types throughout the 710 holiday: oil, wax, water hash, rosin, live resin, sauce, diamonds, budder, isolate, and more.
Dust off your high school organic chemistry skills, and join us on this mind-bending journey beyond buds. First up: oil!
Oil (aka distillate)
Found most often in vaporizer cartridges, “oil” is a generic term for a wide variety of cannabis extracts with the viscosity and consistency of a thick plant oil. It’s often used in the term “butane hash oil,” or BHO.
Oil extracts are prevalent because they can be made at industrial scales. Think of the metric tons of CBD oil made through CO2 extraction, or the famed Rick Simpson Oil—a high-THC extract made using ethanol.
Oil can be a starting point, or an endpoint for a cannabis product, said Beyond Buds, Next Generation contributing author Greg Zeman. Zeman compares the manifold types of cannabis extracts to all the different types of candy that come from playing with sugar and heat.
“If you up your temperature or lower your pressure, there’s so many different textures and viscosities you can pull out of an oleoresin—from hard crystals to light translucent ghee butter,” said Zeman.
Cannabis oil can be low quality and inexpensive, all the way up to extremely high quality, pure, award-winning stuff like The Clear‘s “Lobster Butter” distillate, which comes back this 710 in all seven Connected Cannabis Co. locations in California. Since quality can vary, be sure to buy licensed, tested cannabis oils only.
With the Canadian edibles rollout last December, Illinois’ recreational cannabis opening in January, and the medical cannabis boom in Florida, cannabis oils have never been more prevalent.