A new concentrate is making its way through the cannabis market, and it’s called terp sauce. Terp sauce is an inhalable product innovated to optimize the health, flavor, and potency of the cannabis flower.  Terp sauce gets its name from terpenes. While science is still trying to understand the truth about terpenes, many customers are buying terpene-heavy products because they believe they contain therapeutic compounds that give cannabis its flavor.  However, terpenes are volatile. This means that they easily evaporate when exposed to high temperatures.  Savvy extract technicians can extract cannabinoids in a way that preserves cannabis’ terpene content while creating an extremely cannabinoid-rich and aromatic concentrate. 

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How is Terp Sauce Made?

If you’ve seen terp sauce on the shelves of your local dispensary, you’ve probably noticed their cost. Terp sauce is an expensive product because creating it is a complex and time-consuming process.  Great terp sauce begins with quality cannabis flower. Bud containing high levels of the desired cannabinoids will produce the most effective medicine. To make a potent psychoactive product, extract technicians will choose bud containing high levels of THCA.  The THCA will convert to psychoactive THC once it is smoked or decarboxylated. The CBD and terpene profile should also be considered as these compounds work alongside THC to provide therapeutic relief.  Quality raw (uncured) cannabis flower is then extracted to produce live resin. Extracting live resin involves flash-freezing uncured flower to subcritical temperatures. Unlike other extraction techniques, this one does not rely on heat. It preserves the terpenes by freezing them.  Once the freshly harvested flower is frozen, the cannabinoids and terpenes are extracted with butane. The cannabis remains frozen during the entire extraction process. The resulting concentrate is a terpene and cannabinoid-rich, honey-colored substance with a wax-like consistency.  The live resin is purged of solvent with gentle heat. Before the purified extract solidifies, it is poured into airtight containers. The containers are stored for about 2 weeks. During this aging period, the sauce undergoes a process called nucleation. Nucleation involves the cannabinoids forming into crystals at the bottom of each container. Meanwhile, a light terpene-rich solution will rise to the top.  After the crystals are formed, they are manually separated from the terpene solution. Both the crystals and terpenes are purged once again. The terpenes are purged for about 60 hours. The crystals are purged for about 72 hours. The purified products are combined again to create terp sauce, a cannabinoid and terpene-rich concentrate containing a range of 30 to 50 percent cannabinoids and 10 to 40 percent terpenes.  

How to Smoke Terp Sauce

Terp sauce is best consumed by dabbing. Dabbing involves using a torch and a dab rig. The cannabis product is placed on a metal plate. The plate is heated with a nail (which is heated by the torch). This heat is enough to create a vapor off of the cannabis product that can be inhaled. Because dabs do not set the cannabis product on fire, it is considered to be a form of vaping rather than smoking.  No matter your cannabis experience, it is important to go low and slow when dabbing terp sauce. Don’t expect to have much time between consuming a dab and experiencing medicinal effects. You should dab in a safe place where you can enjoy your experience for a few hours. Don’t plan on driving or operating heavy machinery until your high subsides.  In addition to experiencing rapid effects, dabbing terp sauce will result in a potent high. Don’t consume too much. Talk to your doctor or budtender about an ideal dosage. The combined effects of terpenes and cannabinoids can be extremely powerful. To avoid overconsuming THC, the primary culprit behind cannabis’ adverse reactions, start with a low dose. 

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How Does Terp Sauce Compare to Other Cannabis Products?

Terp sauce is a concentrate. This distinguishes is from cannabis flower. While the maximum THC content for cannabis flower is about 30 percent, concentrates can contain up to 99 percent THC. Terp sauce will be much more potent than cannabis flower. If you are satisfied with the relief you experience with flower, there is no need to consume higher potency cannabis products like terp sauce. However, medical users consume cannabis frequently. This can lead to a high THC tolerance. Concentrates can be beneficial alternatives for cannabis consumers who have a high tolerance but are seeking powerful and quick relief.  Now let’s compare concentrate to concentrate. Terp sauce is a high-terpene full spectrum extract (HTFSE). This means that it contains significantly higher levels of terpenes than other concentrates. Additionally, it is created from the whole plant. This means that it contains a chemical profile similar to the one found in the unprocessed cannabis flower. This is what the term “full spectrum” is referencing. Other concentrates may isolate cannabinoids. These extracts are intentionally processed to contain only one cannabinoid—usually THC, but sometimes CBD. These concentrates lack other cannabinoids and terpenes.  Now that pot is legal, customers are allowed to concern themselves with quality. More accessible research and information about the health impacts of cannabis consumption have led to a demand for extracts that are solvent-free and as close to the whole cannabis plant as possible. Terp sauce could be one answer to those demands.