Cannabis Concentrates

High Grade Aid offers many kinds of cannabis concentrates. It could be a bit daunting looking at all the different names and trying to figure out what they are, or how they could be helpful to you. This guide aims to solve that by teaching users about what cannabis concentrates are, the forms they are available, and how they are to be consumed.

What are Concentrates?

Concentrates are the product of applying a solvent to cannabis using a scientific process or technique, and possibly with heat. Either its buds, kief, or trimmings, any part of the cannabis plant can be used in these extractions, where its cannabinoids are extracted into some form of concentrated matter.

For each of its flavours, concentrates are defined by their texture, and their process. Some of the more popular concentrated extracts here at HGA are; RSO or Phoenix Tears, Shatter, Live Resin, and CO2 Oil.

RSO / Phoenix Tears

Called “the cure” by many, after a man named Rick Simpson, a Canadian activist, went public with his findings. He used the Tears as a method of  combating and curing his own cancer, eventually distributing the oil for free until he was raided and forced to shutdown by the RCMP [1].

Simpson makes his oil by using naptha or isopropyl alcohol to “wash” high quality cannabis Indica buds, breaking up the buds in the process. RSO strength varies dependent on the quality and quantity of buds used to solvent ratio and technique, but the first wash takes up 85% of available cannabinoids, with a second optional wash to catch the remainder.

The mixture is then drained, and reduced in a rice pot with a fan over a period of three to eight hours. The result is a dark, almost blackish- green, viscous oil, that is collected with syringes, and administered orally via droplets dosed on your finger.

Simpson recommends a 60 gram regiment to treat any ailment or illness, and insists that cannabis holds the cures that big pharma doesn’t want the people to have [2].

Mary's Medibles Phoenix Tears THC 1ml
Phoenix Tears


Shatter, most commonly made with BHO or Butane Hash Oil, is named after its glassy texture. The concentrate, usually a dark amber to a gold colour, is usually very fragile, and will shatter into fragments, just like glass. Like RSO, shatter contains 80+% of available cannabinoids when processed correctly [3].

Shatter is made using a similar process to RSO, except that the process to make Shatter is considered far more dangerous. Buds are soaked or “blasted” with highly flammable Butane, inside of a glass cylinder, stripping the trichomes and cannabinoids from the plant matter [4].

The resinous after-oil is collected, and purged, to remove any traces of solvent, leaving behind a super potent concentrate that can be dabbed vaporized, or added on top of your favourite flowers, in your favourite smoking accessory. Shatters are usually made with dry, cured buds, while other concentrates use fresh starting material.

Pull n' Snap Shatter
Buy Shatter now. Click image.

Live Resin

Live Resin is very similar to Shatter in the sense that it goes through the same production procedure, however Live Resin uses fresh plant material that has been frozen in a cryogenic freezer shortly after harvest [5]. This process preserves terpenes and cannabinoids, while also preventing the waters left behind from the fresh plant matter from impeding the extraction.

The use of fresh starting material leaves an end product that is much more rich in terms of terpene content, effecting the smell and overall taste of the end concentrate. Live Resins also have a more oily nature and ‘granular’ consistency due to the presence of different active compounds than that of a Shatter [6].

Like BHO, Live Resin is meant to be dabbed or vaporized, however you can still enjoy it atop a bowl or added to your favourite smoking medium. Easily one of our most popular products here at HGA and a definite staff favourite, Live Resin is a must try in the concentrate field, as is CO2 oil.

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Buy Live Resin now. Click the image


CO2 Oil

More commonly referred to as “honey oil” due to its golden appearance, CO2 oil is a supercritical extract. Using a machine that takes up nearly a whole normal sized room, CO2 is changed from a gas to a liquid state. Buds are added into another chamber in the supercritical machine, which pumps the liquid CO2 through the plant matter.

The mixture is then heated and forced to undergo vast amounts of pressure, turning it into a supercritical state, or a compound that can behave like both a gas and a liquid at the same time. This is extremely helpful in cannabis extractions as the machine can be dialed in to isolate certain cannabinoids and compounds, making for a more specific extraction, rather than a combination of things like the concentrates we talked about before.

The supercritical fluid that contains all of the concentrated goodness is then sent to an extraction chamber, where the cannabinoid containing oil is separated from the supercritical fluid through depressurization, forcing the liquid into another chamber to be reused, while evaporating any remaining CO2, leaving behind a flavorful, potent oil [7].

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Viridesco vape cartridge

Parting Thoughts

Concentrates come in many different forms, and from many different brands. Knowing what a concentrate is made from and the process behind it, gives you a window into a beautiful world of science and cannabis that you may not have been aware of.

Many people consider concentrates the future of cannabis. As more people begin to experiment with cannabis and explore its untapped resources, more people are finding methods and techniques to improve on what we already know.

These potent creations are a good choice for those who need more powerful medication. All of these concentrates can be used in pocket vaporizers, which adds a layer of discreetness and portability, and is perfect for medicating at work or around family, as they aren’t nearly as pungent smelling as cannabis flowers are.



  1. Message from Rick
  2. Making Cannabis Oil with Rick SImpson
  3. What is Shatter, How is it Made, and is it Safe?
  4. How to Make Shatter
  5. Cannabis Concentrates: What is Live Resin
  6. What is Live Resin
  7. CO2 Extraction: Your Complete Guide to CO2 Cannabis Oil