Cannabis concentrates have been on the rise ever since proposition 215 in California in 1996. Before then, the idea of industrial labs used to extract the oils from cannabis plants seemed all too fictional. But with increasing popularity in dabbing, the concentrate extraction industry has been ramping up its output. With all the hype surrounding this form of cannabis consumption, the associated risks with solvent-based concentrates should be discussed.
Testing is key
When properly extracted using butane or CO2, cannabis concentrates can arguably be the best way to consume cannabis. With tonnes more flavour and higher THC levels, dabbing can be a cannabis connoisseurs dream come true.
The problems arise when the labs that produce the oils aren’t properly regulated. The producers can ship their oil to dispensaries without official and unbiased testing. This could result in a mystery oil, that in turn could have residual pesticides, mycotoxins, or even leftover butane.
Calling out California
This testing issue is the biggest priority for the state of California. Colorado and Washington have much better practices for analyzing and controlling the production of concentrates. Considering California is famously known for only legalizing medical cannabis, then why are they allowing the people that are seeking medicine to consume possibly dangerous concentrates?
California definitely needs to step up their testing protocols for when cannabis is recreationally available. You may be wondering what can you do as a consumer to help change the ways dispensaries order concentrates. The most important thing you can do as a cannabis customer is to ask questions.
How to spot solvent-based concentrates
When purchasing oil, try and ask for terpene profiles, THC levels, and most importantly, a summary of the lab tests. If the dispensary hasn’t gotten the oil tested, then DO NOT purchase it. Buying untested oil informs the dispensary that consumers don’t care about what they are buying. And in turn, the dispensary will continue to purchase untested oil.
So with a change in consumer behaviour and a little bit more legislation from the state of California, the West Coast oil industry could continue to be one of the best on planet earth.
Do you make sure that your wax is tested? What state, in your opinion, produces the safest and most flavourful cannabis oil? Join the discussion on social media or in the comments below.