The word is out: concentrates are the here and now, and anyone who doesn’t at least try them is definitely missing out. More potent and sometimes of higher quality than any but the best buds, concentrates are more efficient, more convenient, and provide a cleaner high.

Casey Jones Shatter
Casey Jones Shatter

Concentrates are made from extracting the active ingredients in cannabis. They typically come in oil or wax form, with each having its own advantages. Here’s a rundown of the most common types of concentrates that you could typically expect to run into.


Also called erl or sexy oil, shatter is the highest quality form of oil that you can get. It is typically made by experienced makers from the finest trim. Shatter is characterized by a rich amber color, and it is much easier to handle than other types of oil. By taking a little between your fingers and pressing it around for a while, you can warm it up sufficiently to soften it and place a dab on a dabber. It is also the most flavorful type of oil by most accounts.

Hash oil

This type is a much lower quality of oil, and it is likely to be sold by amateur makers. Also called butane oil, hash oil is characterized by its extremely sticky feel and almost totally black color. Some types of hash oil may also be quite runny. The color and texture of hash oil is usually due to the use of old or lower quality trim, also it is just as often the result of improper extraction using excessively high heat.



Also called earwax, wax is a type of concentrate that can vary in consistency from a paste-like mass to something more like peanut butter or Play Dough. In some cases, it can be quite creamy in consistency, and some batches may even feel like actual candle wax.

Wax isn’t exactly new, and it was actually widely available in the form of “Third Eye Wax”, which was popular a few years before the current popularity of concentrates. Another early version of wax was marketed as “Buddha’s Earwax”. When made by an expert, wax can be quite potent. The flavor characteristic is somewhat clean, although it isn’t exactly known for being the most flavorful type of extract.

Rock Candy Wax
Rock Candy Wax


Budder is by far the highest quality of wax that you can get… if you can actually find some! Keep in mind that because of the high-quality ingredients and the skill required to process it, genuine budder is quite rare. In fact, most of the ‘budder’ that you will be sold will likely be wax of varying degrees of quality.

True budder is made from high-quality buds expertly whipped into a very high-grade product. The process requires expert technique and timing, and precise temperature control. When done right, budder will have a nice even consistency with firm yellow chunks.

Keep in mind that true budder is not the least bit sticky. If you are sold budder that looks and feels more like paste, what you are getting is probably earwax.


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