Your Cannabis Extract Guide: Sources, Types and Uses

By admin / May 24, 2021

As states around the country begin to legalize everything from CBD to THC, it’s becoming harder to ignore the amazing properties that hemp has to offer.

Today, extracts are one of the most popular ways to use the recreational and medical benefits of marijuana.

But with all the varieties of cannabis extract floating around, how do you know what to use? We know getting into extract can be daunting, so we’ve put together this brief guide.

So if you’ve been wanting to learn more about hemp products, you’re at the right place! Keep reading for a breakdown of the important info about cannabis extracts you need to know.

Chemical Varieties

Extracts vary greatly, just as all hemp and marijuana products do. It’s important to know the difference, so let’s take a look at the chemicals that make each one unique.

CBD Isolate

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical in hemp with no psychoactive properties. While CBD is great for relaxation, sleep, and pain relief, you won’t get high from using it.

In a CBD isolate extract, CBD is the only chemical from marijuana present. This makes isolates different from other forms of CBD extract, which often contain THC, the main psychoactive ingredient of marijuana.

Because of this, CBD isolates are a great choice for someone who wants to try CBD, but can’t ingest any amount of THC.

You should note that while a CBD isolate extract won’t get you high, it can still cause you to test positive on a drug test.

Delta 8 THC

A common assumption is that there is just a few types of chemical in marijuana, but there are actually over 400 recognized components to this amazing plant.

One of those chemicals is THC. You may be familiar with Delta 9, the most popular chemical in marijuana and the one responsible for the most intense high.

But there is actually another type of THC called Delta 8, which differs from its cousin in some key ways.

While Delta 8 THC can still cause a high, it won’t be as strong as one caused with Delta 9. Delta 8 users also report that they suffer fewer side effects than when they use Delta 9.

For many, the most important aspect of Delta 8 is that it’s federally legal. While states have their own regulations, you can purchase Delta 8 legally in most states as long as you are of age.

Delta 8 is a great alternative for those who are looking for stronger relief than CBD can provide, but less of a high than Delta 9 is known to cause.

Full Spectrum CBD

As you may assume from the name, full-spectrum CBD is a type of CBD that contains all three major chemical types found in marijuana.

That means that a full spectrum product will contain THC, thought typically not enough to cause a true psychoactive effect.

Many users report that full-spectrum CBD is more effective than CBD isolate, which is supported by a growing body of study.

Research suggests that CBD is more effective when paired with additional hemp chemicals. This is called the entourage effect.

Because Delta 9 THC is federally illegal in amounts greater than 0.3% full-spectrum CBD products won’t contain more than this amount.

Just like with CBD isolate and THC, using full-spectrum CBD can cause you to test positive on a drug test.

Cannabis Extract Types

Depending on the method used, the above chemical compounds can appear in a variety of forms. Below, we explain a few of the most types of extract you’ll see as well as how to use them.

Live Resin

Live resin is produced early in the extraction process, and its often further processed to create more products. Resin is made from frozen rather than fresh flower.


This type of extract made from cured or dried flower and sets into hard, thin sheets. Shatter gets its name from its habit of breaking into small pieces.

Pure shatter should be gold or amber-colored, and you should avoid very dark shatter. Dark shatter is often unpure and may contain trace amounts of harmful chemicals.


Lighter in color than other types of extract, wax has the exact consistency you would imagine. Wax also comes from live resin.

Many users report that both wax and shatter typically have higher amounts of THC than other types of cannabis extract.


Unlike the above forms of extraction, distillates are made by using ethanol alcohol.

This type of cannabis extraction is very versatile and can be used to create everything from tinctures to edibles. If you aren’t interested in smoking, distillates could be a good option for you.

Using Concentrates

When you search online for methods of using cannabis extract, you may be intimidated by some of what you see. But don’t worry, using extract isn’t nearly as complicated as it looks.

For most extracts (except distillates), you’ll be using flash vaporization. Most choose to use something called a dab rig to do this.

A dab rig looks similar to a water pipe (also known as a bong), with a slightly different attachment. You simply place the desired amount of extract into the attachment and vaporize it under extreme heat using a small torch.

As you inhale, the smoke from vaporization will flow into the rig and through the water in the base. After that, it will move up the neck of the rig into your mouth.

While this may also seem complicated, you should get the hang of it with just a few uses.

As with any cannabis product, speak to your doctor before using extracts, and be sure to purchase legally and from reputable suppliers.

The World of Cannabis Extracts

Cannabis extracts come in all types, each with its own uses and benefits. If you’ve been looking for a new way to use CBD or THC, cannabis extracts could be a good option for you.

While they may not be as convenient as a vape pen, cannabis extracts are pure and powerful for both recreational and medical uses.

If you’re interested in using cannabis extracts, get in contact with your local dispensary and primary care provider for more information.

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