The Difference Between Cannabis Concentrates

8 months ago   •   3 min read

By Juana Know Staff

The numerous types of Cannabis concentrates available can make selecting one overwhelming, leaving many people's heads spinning. Between Shatter, Wax and Sauce there are plenty of options and lots of information to take in before making a decision about which is best for you. This article looks to address some of the most commonly asked questions about Cannabis-derived products, including "What is the difference between wax and sauce?"

What is shatter?

Shatter derives its name from the fact that it is both translucent and structurally similar to glass. It typically comes in sheets that can be broken apart with a hammer or other blunt instrument. While most plant-based Cannabis has a yield of about 30% THC, Shatter extracts often exceed the 80% - 90% THC content. Shatter is most often consumed via a "dab rig" which involves flash vaporization using a specialized water pipe. This may appear similar to a bong or bubbler at first glance, but is actually quite different and involves superheating a glass bucket (sometimes called a "nail") and then letting it cool. After it has fully cooled, it is then heated up again and the shatter is placed inside of it using a special tool

What is wax?

Wax is similar to Shatter in the sense that their THC and CBD contents are roughly the same. Where they differ is in the process in which they are created. The individual particles in Wax are worked into a high state of agitation during the creation process, which makes the resulting substance much more pliable and easier to work with than their Shatter counterparts. Wax is also similar to Shatter in the sense that both substances are consumed by dabbing. One of the most common reasons for preferring Wax over Shatter is the fact that Wax is very easy to measure and ensures that users get a consistent experience, whereas Shatter can unpredictably break into varying sizes which results in a less consistent experience.

What is sauce?

Sauce is short for "terpene sauce" or "high terpene full spectrum extract" (HTFSEs for short). These extractions are somewhat low in THC and CBD but extremely high in terpene content. Terpene is important because it is viewed by many enthusiasts as the defining characteristics of the strain of marijuana it is taken from. For example, if a particular strain is noted for causing feelings of relaxation, then the terpenes taken from that strain will carry that property into whatever the terpenes are mixed with. Because of this, sauce will often be mixed with other concentrates that are higher in THC and CBD levels to compensate for the sauce's innately low levels of both.

How are they made?

Sauce is made by taking Butane Hash Oil (commonly referred to as BHO) and forcing it through raw plant material. Wax is created in a similar fashion, except that Carbon Dioxide is used instead of BHO. One important factor to consider when choosing a concentrate is what kind of solvent was used in its creation. Many enthusiasts prefer a water-based solvent as they feel it is a natural substance. On the other hand, others prefer a hydrocarbon-based solvent to aid in the extraction of terpenes and cannabinoids. Others prefer ethanol as a solvent, as it preserves pigments and usually results in a much better looking product.

How are they different?

One of the most frequently asked questions about Cannabis Concentrates is "What is the difference between wax and sauce?" This confusion is understandable, but there are a few key differences to keep in mind that should help to differentiate the two substances. The first distinction between wax and sauce is that wax is more of a solid, whereas sauce is liquid enough to be poured out of a bottle. Another important distinction between the two forms is that Wax is burned using a dab rig or a vaporizer, whereas sauce is used in cooking and is meant to be mixed with other ingredients and eaten.

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