Kief is the residue left over after cannabis flower has been ground or shaken. Kief has a similar appearance to flower pollen. When collected, and consumed through burning, vaporizing or made into hash, kief is much more potent than unprocessed plant matter.
Hash is made from compressed collected kief. Likely the oldest form of concentrate due to the relative ease of production, hash has the potential to lead to hallucinations. Hash can be smoked on its own by superheating it with glowing hot nails, a glass rod and even kitchen knives (known as hot knifing). Hash can also be added as a topping to a bowl of ground plant matter to give it an extra kick.
Butane Hash Oil (BHO)
Butane Hash Oil (BHO) is the extraction of cannabis trichomes using butane. The butane helps to remove trichomes from the leaves while under pressure and evaporates leaving a glass-like concentrate. This method yields a very high concentration of cannabinoids, 70-90%. This extraction method is one that can be done at home, however it can be very dangerous. Using liquid butane can ignite in a closed space causing an explosion so don’t do this inside your house. Another danger is the residue that comes from the butane itself often containing heavy metals and traces of the butane.
CO2 Oil get’s its name from the process of using cold water to extract trichomes from plant matter under pressure. Unlike BHO, CO2 extraction has no carcinogens because the process involves pressurized, frozen cannabis trichomes. This type of cannabis oil is highly sought after because of its natural ingredients and its high potency, similar to BHO’s 70-90% concentration.
Rosin has gained popularity because it uses pressure and heat rather than solvents to make the concentrate. The plant matter, kief or hash are placed on a heated press where the highly concentrated trichomes are squeezed out of the pressed material. This method is popular because it can be done at home with a hot iron or in an industrial press in a cannabis processing facility. The rosin has a similar potency to if not higher than the 70-90% achieved by BHO or CO2 extraction.
Rick Simpson Oil (RSO)
RSO was made famous by a man named Rick Simpson, who treated his cancer with a concentrated oil made from 50% THC and 50% CBD cannabis compounds. Rick Simpson shared his recipe with the world and others fine tuned it and made their own similar concentrates. RSO has quite a bit of anecdotal evidence for curing cancer but has few scientifically peer reviewed studies so it’s too early to put all of your faith in RSO over conventional cancer treatment. Ask your doctor about RSO for cannabis treatment because the medical industry supports cannabis therapy but their knowledge is still limited. Asking questions of your doctors and therapists will pressure them to do their own research and fund studies that are desperately needed for cannabis research.