Cannabis is a plant that belongs to the genus Cannabis in the family Cannabaceae. It can be classified as three species, namely Cannabis indica, sativa, and ruderalis, or one variable species. Typically, it is an annual plant that is dioecious, meaning each individual plant is either male or female. Sativa and Indica strains tend to grow tall, with some varieties reaching up to 4 meters or 13 feet. Female cannabis plants produce tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as the season changes from summer to autumn. THC can make up to 31% of the plant’s weight. On the other hand, Ruderalis is a short plant that produces only trace amounts of THC, but it’s rich in cannabidiol (CBD), an antagonist to THC, which may be up to 40% of the cannabinoids in a plant.
One common misconception about cannabis distillates is that they are produced from the same flower that is sold for smoking. In fact, during the cultivation process, the main flower cluster, or “bud,” is typically removed and packaged for sale, while the remaining leaves, stalks, and stems are considered cannabis biomass. Although biomass may have a lower potency of desirable compounds such as terpenes and cannabinoids than buds, a skilled extractor can still produce a high-quality cannabis distillate from it.
There are two main types of cannabis concentrates extracts and solvent-free varieties. Extracts are obtained from the plant through chemical means, using a solvent to pull out the active ingredients. While other types of products also have their benefits, cannabis extracts are popular due to their purity, potency, and bioavailability, especially when taken in tincture form. Additionally, evolving production regulations ensure that cannabis extracts are safe and legal.