Different methods of extraction carry with them a variety of pros and cons but all have the same end goal in mind, to get high. With that being said, budder is another form of concentrate that sits somewhere between cannabis oil and shatter in consistency.
With such a close similarity to already existing types of concentrate, what actually is budder?
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Budder is a form of cannabis wax. However within the cannabis wax category you also have; honeycomb and crumble, not to mention a few others. Confused yet? The trick to understanding what budder is is by understanding the consistency and the texture of budder. Imagine that budder sits in the middle of the other two waxes listed.
Honeycomb is light and airy in consistency. It almost looks like it has been whipped and filled with air, breaking apart very easily.
Crumble does exactly what the name suggests; crumble. This makes it relatively easy to use as it can be broken apart by hand.
Budder is not quite as light and brittle as the honeycomb but neither does it break apart into chunks like the crumble. You would need a dabber to divide a portion to smoke properly rather than being able to break it by hand. This is largely due to its slightly waxy texture.
One thing that all three forms of cannabis wax share is the same broad production process, with all three developed using butane or CO₂ extraction.
As we have already alluded too, the process involves using chemical solvents (butane and CO₂) to 'blast' through marijuana buds to extract the cannabinoids like THC and CBD. The next stage involves removing the potentially harmful solvents within the concentrate by purging with heat and air pressure. All that's left behind are the concentrated compounds of the cannabis plant.
Variations in the different stages of production lead to the different consistencies and the subsequent varieties of concentrates.
Budders texture is achieved when the cannabinoids that have been extracted start to crystallize during the extraction process. These cannabinoids are purged at a higher temperature whilst being whipped like a batter.
With very careful management of temperatures during the purging process and some focused whipping, very fluffy and visually appealing budder can be made.
Budder can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, most commonly using a dabber and taking dabs. The beauty of concentrates is that they are still very versatile.
A relatively straightforward approach. Whilst preparing your joint, break apart your budder with a dabbing tool or similar small utensil. The budder can then be sprinkled along the length of the joint. For the best smoking experience ensure the budder is spread evenly along the joint and when rolled sits within the center.
Budder, as with any other concentrate, will burn slower than your buds. If any of the budder comes into contact with the rolling paper it can lead to runs on your joint and uneven burning.
Many cannabis users will be used to adding buds to the bowl of their bubbler or bong. The weed is then lit and the user inhales the smoke. Adding a concentrate to this process is actually no different. Dependent on the bong you are using, the concentrate is simply added to the bowl, lit and inhaled.
The difficulty with bongs and bubblers is that concentrates have a higher melting point than raw buds. Failing to heat the concentrate properly can lead to a poor quality hit and a lack of flavor.
Easy to use and carry around with you (if you opt for a portable one), vaporizers are fast becoming one of the most common ways to enjoy cannabis concentrates.
Not all vaporizers work with every type of concentrate though, especially as cheaper vaporizers can fail to heat the concentrate properly. This leads to the same problems when using a bong or bubbler - poor quality hits, lacking flavor.
One of the reasons vaporizing has become so popular is the lack of need for tobacco or inhalation of burning materials, i.e. rolling paper.
Vaporizers heat cannabis to the point where its active compounds, such as cannabinoids, boil and vaporize out of the herb as a vapor, as opposed to combusting them and inhaling them as a smoke.
This is typically preferred as it is seen as a healthier option. All the desired effects of the concentrate are still absorbed so there's no need to worry that you are missing out.
Finally, decent vaporizers with sufficient heating capabilities and the ability to cater for different types of concentrate can be expensive. It is definitely worth researching the vast myriad available to make sure you get a vaporizer that suits your needs.
Last but by no means least is dabbing. Actually 'dabbing' is basically vaporizing your chosen concentrate on a heated surface. This surface is often referred to as a nail, similar to the bowl on a bong.
The vapors are then inhaled through a dab rig. Again, basically, just a specialized bong. To heat the concentrate you typically use an electric heating element or a blow torch. Because of the increased temperatures, the dab rigs are usually constructed to a higher standard than standard bongs.
The higher standard also means higher cost. If you then opt for an electrically heated element or e-nail, then the cost can start to climb quite significantly. Again, something to consider when weighing up the options for enjoying your concentrate.
Just like every other type of concentrate, there is one benefit that supersedes the rest. The strength of the high.
This is due to the unique way in which the THC is extracted from cannabis when making concentrates. With high-quality buds and high-quality equipment, THC content can be as high as 80%. This outshines regularly grown strains that can sit anywhere between 10-26% THC content.
Having a stronger concentration of THC means users need less product to feel the effects and the the effects can be felt almost instantly.
Advancements in the extraction process have even led some manufacturers being able to produce budder that's rumored to have a THC content in the 90% bracket.
There is one final benefit that is often overlooked. Terpenes. The is a compound of cannabis retained during the extraction process, and the main compound that provides the aroma. Terpenes also help to define the type of high received from any particular strain.
Choosing a strain that for instance contains the terpene Linalool, will give a sweet aroma, like cotton candy. It also provides a sedative like quality when high.
Linalool is just one example of hundreds, but the point is that with careful manipulation of the extraction process, the level of terpenes retained can be adjusted to taste.
From a users point of view, the experience of vaporizing concentrates is more desirable because of the increased aroma.
This is the million dollar question. There is no denying that the production of butane cannabis concentrates brings a significant risk, especially when compared to traditional farming methods.
Butane is highly volatile, and if handled incorrectly can explode and cause serious harm. Amateur concentrate enthusiasts attempting a homemade extraction process have not helped this stigma as several stories of extraction 'gone wrong' have hit the headlines some time ago.
Not to mention any impurities left after the weed has been dosed in butane could be harmful when inhaled.
Expert knowledge and top of the range equipment are a must when considering the production of butane concentrates. From a users point of view, buying from a reputable vendor is a must.
Aside of the actual process of making concentrates, the fact still remains that concentrates are significantly more potent than just smoking a regular joint for example.
This means that with such high concentrations of THC prevalent in the vast majority of cannabis concentrates, moderation and careful consideration are needed from the end user. Take it slow, take it easy and enjoy.