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Concentrates for Noobs - Q&A

Discussion in 'Concentrates' started by FlyingLow, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. FlyingLow

    FlyingLow Team NO SLEEP!

    Can you share anything further? Please post more:)

    What led you down this path? What do you find is the biggest shortcomings of current tools on the market?
  2. fogbank

    fogbank Well-Known Member

    Hi - I'm new to this thread but not to FC or to vaping.

    I've only read the last 3-4 pages of this thread, so I apologize if this has been discussed before.

    Prior to yesterday I have had limited experience with concentrates. I took a single hit of "hash oil" sometime around '84 or '85, and smoked my fair share of Nepalese black, Afghani blonde, and Moroccan green hash back in the late seventies, but nothing in the modern era.

    I'm currently a medical patient in CA, so I have access to all types of flower and concentrate products. For years I only bought top-shelf flower and vaped it with a variety of portable vapes (currently Grasshopper and Firefly 2).

    On a recent trip to CO the Pax Era caught my eye, mainly because of the low price of the battery unit (now $20), but also because the pre-filled pods seemed like an easy and convenient means of vaping oil.

    So I ordered the battery from Pax, and picked up 3 pods to go with it.

    I have been hesitant to try concentrates because I need to control my dosages. Too much at once and I tend to get a little panicky.

    Sorry for the long-winded background. So here's my question:

    I tried the Era yesterday. The pod I used tested at 71% THC and 0.9% CBD. In a YouTube review of the Era the user took a 9 second draw, so I figured I would start with a 5 second draw, at 610 degrees (pretty much in the middle of the temp range). The Era produced a nice little cloud of vapor. I waited for the effects to settle in so I could see how the dosage worked out. While I did get a little buzz, I did not get very high. After about an hour I tried another 5 second draw with the same results. I get much higher from a single large hit of flower on my Grasshopper.

    So I started wondering if I'm really getting more THC from the flower in my Grasshopper than I am with the oil in my Era. I did some research on cannabinoid content of vapor and found this:


    So is it possible that vaping top-shelf flower (let's say with 25% THC) in my Grasshopper is actually producing vapor with more active cannabinoids than vaping 71% THC oil in my Era? Since the Era will never produce vapor with more than 71% THC, but the Grasshopper may be producing vapor with more than 71% THC? If they measure THC in flower as a % of the whole, but the vapor produced by vaping the flower in the Grasshopper is "composed overwhelmingly of cannabinoids", could I be getting more from the flower in the Grasshopper than the oil in the Era?
    analytika likes this.
  3. Paka-cholo

    Paka-cholo Flaccid Member

    Hollister, Ca
    I have no Idea about the question but try those concentrates in the FF2 and report back :)

    ...if you have time Sir :)
    JCat likes this.
  4. muunch

    muunch hotboxing the cockpit

    The few things I noted were, you didn't say how much you pack in your GH for one hit and what temp level you use. This would give a better comparison.

    It's hard to compare flowers and concentrates to begin with (personally, I find concentrates by themselves to be a bit lacking... while very powerful, something is just "missing") and your test was a very small one and perhaps not the best method employed to compare. (draw time and perceived hit size?)

    I would assume the vapor the Era (or most any device really... aside from just crappy/cheap units) produces vapor "overwhelmingly composed of cannabinoids" - that's what is responsible for the vapor. Otherwise we wouldn't blow anything visible out on exhale? They were just using a scientific way to describe the properties of the vapor, is my best guess.


    I don't know about this. I'm too burnt out to continue and hope someone else has more useful insight than I did.
  5. fogbank

    fogbank Well-Known Member

    I fill the GH loosely but fully. I use temp 4. A single load will last me at least 5-6 hits, but I normally only take 1-2 at a time.

    I doubled-down on the dosage yesterday. Tried 9 second draws, multiple times. I felt the effects but I also felt something was "missing". Ironically I ended up hitting the FF2 with flower at bedtime, as I felt the Era was not getting me sufficiently medicated.

    I agree that the Era probably produces vapor that is "overwhelmingly composed of cannabinoids". Let me try to explain my thinking a little more clearly.

    The oil in the Era pod is 71% THC. When you heat the oil, the oil is transformed into vapor and is subsequently consumed. Let's assume that the vapor produced is therefore 71% THC. After enough draws the oil will be gone. All of the oil is (eventually) transformed into vapor when heated.

    The flower in the GH is 25% THC (for the sake of this argument). When you heat the flower, the essential oils are transformed into vapor, but the plant material remains...always. Since the plant material is always left behind,we don't know the THC percentage of the vaporized essential oils. We only know that the flower was composed of 25% THC before it was heated. It is therefore possible that the essential oils that are vaporized are 95% THC (as an example).

    My other thought is that the oil consists of THC and CBD that were extracted from the cannabis, with some terpenes added back in for flavor and effect. Maybe I am missing the full spectrum of cannabinoids and/or terpenes that I get when vaping flower?

    I have two other Era pods which I will be trying soon. I'll post my experience.

    @Paka-cholo I can't very easily try the concentrates in the FF2 as the Pax Era pods are a closed system.
  6. Paka-cholo

    Paka-cholo Flaccid Member

    Hollister, Ca
    Got it, thanks @fogbank

    If you do have access to good clean BHO or full melt try it out. It works pretty good and tastes great on the concentrate setting. I do the abv sandwich tec vs the included ss pad. I can't get the taste of that ss pad out despite torching it. A lot is wasted though.
  7. Krazy

    Krazy Well-Known Member

    up on a mountain
    Now admittedly I have become a fan boy; however, VapCap!
    Squiby likes this.
  8. fogbank

    fogbank Well-Known Member

    Just wanted to add an update on my Pax Era experience:

    I bought 3 Era pods, 2 from Bloom Farms and one from Guild Extracts. I have now tried all 3 and have come to the conclusion that they're just not for me.

    If I take 3-4 good-sized hits I can get some "OK" effects, but nothing like a single big hit of flower from my Grasshoppers. I don't know if it's the composition of the oil in the pods, or if I'm just not hitting it hard enough, but the effects just aren't as pronounced or enjoyable as flower in my GH.

    The Era device seems to be working right, and it is super stealthy.

    Also for some reason I can no longer activate the device with one of the 3 pods. Nothing happens when I inhale. There appears to be a significant amount of oil left in the pod, but it just won't activate. I will keep trying to see if it starts working again. The other two pods still work and produce vapor.
  9. Magic9

    Magic9 Plant Enthusiast

    Middle of the Map
    Anyone know what the shelf life of oil would be? Stored in room temp, how fast would it lose potency? A few months? A year? 2+ years?
  10. FlyingLow

    FlyingLow Team NO SLEEP!

    Click to play YouTube Video
    throwawaytre3s, Paka-cholo and Squiby like this.
  11. analytika

    analytika Well-Known Member

    San Francisco, California
    Love that word, "pyrolytic". I don't even have to look it up, it's meaning is clear. :lmao:
  12. throwawaytre3s

    throwawaytre3s Well-Known Member

    R3dband is great! So much less annoying than so many other weedtubers out there, and he focuses so much on concentrates, it's great!

    Concentrates should have no obvious shelf life. I'd had wax that was a year and a half old, kept in a sealed glass puck in a refrigerator. Unless it looks obviously off (and even then it's probably just your terps coming out and separating after a while if it's a really juicy / wet look ). They shouldn't grow mold, and as long as properly stored they're just limited by how fast the thc breaks down on it's own. That's a process accelerated by sunlight and heat, so as long as you keep them in a cool dark (ideally chilled) place, they'll be fine.
    pigfoot, Squiby and Shrike like this.
  13. analytika

    analytika Well-Known Member

    San Francisco, California
    The Era has a great base price. Pods, not so much. Really should include a starter pod with a tiny sample, to validate it's the right tool for the user.
  14. TestyCalls

    TestyCalls Time Traveler

    Well I made it. 89 pages and 2200 posts. Holy shit. I won't claim to be the guru of information retention, but some of these posts and questions frighten me.. even when 200+ posts (on this thread alone) insist, demand, beg and plead, and require that users : "DO NOT evaporate solvent inside under any circumstances", there are still people asking if they can evaporate solvents inside under different circumstances like " what if i put it by a window" or "I'm gonna aim a fan over it" or "will it be ok as long as i dont strike a flame near it." - NO. IT'S NOT OK. STOP BEFORE YOU KILL SOMEONE.

    Thank you @herbivore21, @mvapes, @DieHard, @farscaper especially. Those 4 stood out after days of reading all this thread, along with the many other helpful contributors. How much I retained, I'm not sure. I ran my first 2 Qwet runs today, one decarbed and one not.. just to see the difference in effects. I used fresh frozen trim, but it has been frozen for like 7 months.. so its far from ideal. I wanted to start off with material that I didn't care if I lost, so making a mistake that costs the product at this point is not really a loss. Just trying to get through the process a few times before moving to better starting material.

    Will attempt BHO runs later this week as well. This place has been an outstanding source of information, thank all of you for being here. I don't live in a big city and I do not have access to groups of individuals that live and breathe concentrate information and production like some of you may have access to. I have spent the last couple weeks back and forth between here and skunk pharm research.

    Thank all of you, so much, for your contributions to this forum.
    pigfoot, Vapology, DieHard and 3 others like this.
  15. TestyCalls

    TestyCalls Time Traveler

    Considering the situation described above... (poor starting material- for good reason though:inexperience)

    Both small QWET extractions gave about half a g of each, decarbed and not decarbed. I don't know the starting weights. The "fresh" run (not decarbed) is a harder, less viscous material that sticks to you less, and the decarbed is more of a runnier material that will stick to anything it contacts. I scraped both off the pyrex w/ a razor blade. Currently been under 29.5hg, at 100ºF for about 1hr. Both small extracts are on a platinum silicone pad. However, there was/is very little bubbling under vacuum and at temperature. The non decarbed is darker (but that may just be because it didn't spread out as much as the decarbed) looks like it will become some type of wax/crumble at this point, its puffed up ever-so-slightly, and doesn't appear that it will be transparent- at least not at this point. The decarbed extract had some very minor bubbling in the beginning, but not much.. and certainly none until nearly full vacuum was applied. Decarbed extract is dark amber and transparent, although it appears that a "solid" is in the middle of it, like a little mountain of nontransparent material. They both puffed up ever so slightly, but not much at all. I realize .5g is not much, and that was by design.

    (1) - Is the lack of puffing up as much as I have seen in videos (MUCH larger slabs than these), and the lack of much bubbling due to how long I let them dry on a heating pad before scraping?

    (2) Should I scrape the pyrex earlier- before it gets so ... "dry/tar-like"?

    I'm afraid to fuck with the temps too much on the chamber because at the end of the process I will have no idea what the right temperature is supposed to be if i change it throughout. (Unless suggested by someone here with a reasonable explanation) I have to know "why" to understand fully.

    Opened the chamber at 1hr time, just to check the small quantities for consistancy, the non-decarbed is considerably less sticky and starting to semi harden. The decarbed is still very sticky.

    I got other questions than this, but I have seen other posts with 15 questions in them and they rarely get them all answered when they are all stuffed into one long ass post. I just need help or reassurance.

    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
  16. TestyCalls

    TestyCalls Time Traveler

    Also, if I was gonna pull a vacuum on a SS closed column tube... Should I pull the vacuum when I pack the tube (Before 24hrs freezing), or just before filling with tane? Does it matter?
  17. DieHard

    DieHard Accessory supplier

    Try to keep your temperatures as low as possible during your purge. The object is to have the temp high enough to allow the bubbles to escape, but low enough to preserve the terpenes. Remember: water can boil at room temperature under a vacuum. The boiling point of any given substance is lowered by applying vacuum. Different terpenes have different "boil off" temperatures. Access to excellent quality meds has made it cheaper and easier to buy concentrates than to make my own. Always remember: Safety First!
    pigfoot, SSVUN~YAH and TeeJay1952 like this.
  18. TestyCalls

    TestyCalls Time Traveler

    Thanks for the reply DH. I have a chart that shows the boiling points at different vacuum's that I go by to try to keep it in "the safe zone".

    I wish it was that easy for me. I do like concentrates very much myself, but recently a vietnam veteran who has been diagnosed with lung cancer asked me to help him. He has been through three rounds of chemo via the VA. His wife has passed, his dog has passed. He knows that I vape as a temporary alternative to cigs and that i also "smoke" recreationally, and asked if I could make "cigarette cartridges like that with other stuff in it" - that he could carry around. I fear I may not be able to make a good cartridge without learning about molecular/short path distillation, which I have been doing. I dont know (but hope) that kind bud and/or concentrates are helping him medically, but I am positive that it is helping him mentally. He doesn't want to eat it (RSO) he wants to smoke it (the effects help him relax and forget about all his problems for a little while each evening- his words), although I have tried (gently) to convince him about RSO he is not convinced. This man risked everything, and would still do anything for someone he cared about regardless of the price he would have to pay. I refuse to get into a disrespectful argument with a man with such integrity. I will continue on my path to try to get him to at least try RSO, but at this point... I just want to do right for his request. I'm not positive how long he will remain with us. I have offered, free of any charge, all the kind he can use. I gave him an apparatus and everything he needs. The problem is he shakes very badly and has a hard time trying to light and hold the apparatus with any coordination, its painful to watch him struggle with it. I think a concentrate cart would be ideal for him, as he only needs a single hand to do it, no breaking up, no packing, no lighting, just press and go relief. Unfortunately we are not in a place where you can just go buy one.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
    pigfoot, DieHard and SSVUN~YAH like this.
  19. TestyCalls

    TestyCalls Time Traveler

    I hate that I read through this entire thread, anxious to see what was talked about next.. over a week or so. Lots of free flowing conversation from different opinions, then when you get to the end... its literally a ghost town. That is kind of disappointing. The content is great, but disappointing that most of the conversations have ended. :shrug: I can only hope that someone with some great questions or to show off teks (or whatever) shows up and breathes life back into this thread, it seems like an essential asset for a thriving community to continue to develop. Especially for those of us that are not in legal states, that have hundreds of others (in real life) to bounce ideas off of, and share teks, etc... like California and Colorado have. Some of us have to rely on places like FC for medical ideas because there is NO local community to bounce ideas off of, give advice, etc.. . At least not one that I am aware of locally. If I knew of one I would still be skeptical about going to local mmj events or gatherings out of fear that someone would "out me" in a non-legal state for being part of such a group of like minded people.
    tennisguru1 likes this.
  20. TestyCalls

    TestyCalls Time Traveler

    Can someone definitively answer this question? How exactly does (for example) ABX (absolute xtracts) or Bhang make their cartridges? Is making distillate the ONLY way to achieve VERY similar results in carts? I have read a ton of info here about this...ranging from 2013 posts to the present..and there seems to be many mixed opinions about success with carts. It seems to rely on what one calls “success”. I have made several cart attempts, but none of them seem to even resemble what I am looking for so far.

    I started with ejmix. Not interested in ej after one attempt. Terrible plastic taste, vapor leaves a strange “coated” feeling in the mouth. Disgusting. Used decarbed, non winterized QWET pull/snap from trim.

    Got Holy Terp pure flavorless next. Taste is better than ej. No strange coated-mouth feeling, no plastic taste. Flavor is a little off, but way better than ejmix. I can get hits off it, but they aren’t very big hits, even when putting the hammer down for all 10 seconds. Used undecarbed, non winterized BHO from buds. Fluid flows at a syrup rate when tilted in cart. Taste doesn’t even come close to ABX or Bhang. Seems weak, but I mixed at less holyterp pure than recommended. Not sure what I did wrong. Maybe winterization would help?

    As I mentioned before, my purpose is to help a Vietnam vet that has asked me for help. Diagnosed with lung and liver cancer, and recently learned they found it in his bones. He’s been through 3 rounds of chemo so far. He is more than likely not going to be with us a lot longer, but I still have hope that I can improve his quality of life while he is still here. He has taken up combustion of material, but he shakes very badly and has a very hard time medicating when having to coordinate two hands to both light and hold the apparatus. The VA has prescribed him some type of MJ pills to take, but he says the pills suck and don’t make him feel “better about life in general for a couple hours”, like combustion does.

    Can home made carts be made to be similar to ABX or Bhang? Is distillation the only way to produce similar results? I have pursued this particular method because he saw my nicotine vape cart and asked “can you make those with something different in the liquid?”..and I know the answer is yes.

    If anyone has advice, experience, suggestions, or anything else that might help me achieve my goal I encourage you to please respond.
    tennisguru1 likes this.
  21. getsoutalive

    getsoutalive Active Member

    Edibles might be a better option for this person.

    I was never pleased with the results and stopped trying as leaking expensive juice was frustrating. But my best results came from MCT oil.

    Good luck.
    pigfoot, SSVUN~YAH and TestyCalls like this.
  22. TestyCalls

    TestyCalls Time Traveler

    Thank you for replying. (I got one PM, thanks to that person also.) I feel like I'm being stonewalled, when I'm trying to do the right thing for someone that I care very much about.

    I went and talked to him yesterday, and he has decided to stop combustion because he says its starting to make his chest feel uneasy while inhaling. We discussed what could be a good middle ground, and he decided that trying edibles would be best for him so he doesn't have to inhale anything at all. He settled on brownies instead of cookies. That is the path I am headed down now. Unfortunately, I have a lot of experience consuming (smoking/vaping) concentrates of all types, but no experience with edibles. Never ate one, never made one... now that we are on the 'edibles' mission.. I'm WAY more nervous about edibles, than anything involving concentrates. I know virtually nothing about edibles except what I have read since yesterday. I know the effects are stronger and can last much longer.. which could be a good thing, but it could also be a bad thing.

    If anyone has further advice on edibles, links to methods and dosages that would be a "fairly safe" starting point, anything that will assist me in making the best possible choice that I can make for this person.. I would greatly appreciate the input. I'm not an idiot. I can understand most things fairly easily if explained. I'm not doing any of this for profit, its all charity from me to him. There are so many conflicting recipes and stories that I have read since yesterday, I feel like I am not any closer to my first attempt than I was yesterday. I need some guidance, help, suggestions... from someone that has consumed and made edibles before. If I'm asking for information outside the guidelines of this forum, or whatever the reason is that most of my posts seem to be mostly ignored.. PLEASE send me a message. PLEASE! I NEED HELP.
    SSVUN~YAH likes this.
  23. Squiby

    Squiby Well-Known Member


    What about RSO or Phoenix Tears? A small rice sized piece rubbed on the gums will keep you medicated for many hours.

    I've used it when I was very ill and it helped a lot. I've read that it is helpful for cancer treatment.


    Good luck to you and your friend.
    tennisguru1, SSVUN~YAH and TestyCalls like this.
  24. psychonaut

    psychonaut Company Rep

  25. legalizeRO

    legalizeRO Member

    Hey guys,

    I've decided to press my bud for rosin.
    Can you please recommend the type of parchment paper suitable for this activity. And please tell me what should I search on Amazon as bags to put the bud to be pressed to make rosin. Do I grind it, or just take it off the stem and that's it?

    I really appreciate your time.
    tennisguru1, SSVUN~YAH and Squiby like this.

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