Cannabis oil that Florida medical marijuana patients will commonly find as one of their alternatives when they make purchases from legal dispensaries in Florida, may be a rendering of marijuana that they are unfamiliar with.
The smoking of legal medical marijuana is prohibited in the state of Florida and so patients will not find what is referred to commonly as marijuana flower being sold in Florida dispensaries. Flower is the naturally growing portion of the cannabis plant, and for cannabis it is just like the flower portion of roses or daffodils. Marijuana flower contains the majority of the medical attributes of marijuana called cannabinoids that most people would typically recognize as marijuana. Traditionally, people would smoke flower to administer the medical properties of cannabis in that form, but again, smoking of medical marijuana is illegal as decided by the Florida legislature for health reasons.
Cannabis oil is a concentrated extraction of the cannabis plant and while it comes in many forms, it is commonly found in the vape cartridges that are for sale in legal Florida dispensaries. A vape pen has a battery that the cartridge screws into and is rechargeable typically with a USB device. The vaping of this concentrate is a cleaner, simpler and healthier alternative to smoking. Since the legal medical cannabis industry is new to many people in Florida, there are many questions. If you elect to use a vape pen to administer your medical marijuana then there are certain attributes of this variation of cannabis that you should be aware of. Have you ever wondered how long the concentrated extract in vape cartridges last?
Finding a long-lost cannabis concentrate is a bittersweet moment. Your discovered concentrate was left stranded in a pair of jeans that had been stuffed in the far reaches of your dresser, untouched since that last camping trip. For about a year, it’s been sitting in between some parchment paper, waiting for you to unearth it.
The good news: no mold. The bad news: it doesn’t look like the translucent and golden “shatter” you once had. What’s before you now looks like a collection of off-yellow sugar crystals. Has this hash oil gone past its shelf life? Can you still enjoy it?
How long a cannabis concentrate lasts depends on a number of factors ranging from the quality and classification of the starting material used to the packaging and storage of the final product. While some extracts and infusions can experience quality degradation in a very short time span, others may stay fresh and useable indefinitely.
(Julia Sumpter/Leafly) Over time, some shatters will sometimes “sugar out” as their terpenes degrade away, leaving a substance with a higher concentration of THCA behind.
The golden standard in any extraction methodology is that the quality of the end product will always reflect the quality of the starting material. “Gold in, gold out; Garbage in, garbage out.” There’s a direct correlation between the quality of the starting material and what remains post-extraction. Inferior products containing compromised cannabinoid profiles will, in every case, result in an inferior extract.
Terpenes will almost always experience degradation of some kind during extraction. The loss will not only affect the flavor and medical efficacy of the final product, it could play a role in that product’s shelf life as well. Some products, such as those purposed for dabbing, utilize extraction methods intended for terpene preservation. Extractions meant for infusions such as for edibles, topicals, and tinctures however, may not necessarily need to utilize these terpene preservation methods.
Concentrates come in a variety of forms, ranging from extracts like saps, shatters, crumbles, butters, and distillates to sifted mechanical varieties like kief, ice water extract (IWE), and dry sift. Their attributes, such as consistency, viscosity, and clarity, are all byproducts of their extraction method.
The basic principle of an extraction is to remove the many impurities from the starting material, which include plant matter, fats and lipids, and other foreign contaminants. Many fats and lipids in solventless concentrates remain because they are more difficult to mechanically remove.
Solvent extractions, on the other hand, produce “oleoresins” that contain a combination of cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes, as well as other impurities such as fats and lipids, in many cases. Through a secondary solvent filtration process called “winterization,” these fats and lipids may be removed from a product, leaving behind a more purified substance.