Extracts are a type of concentrated cannabis. They have higher levels of certain chemicals. Examples of extracts include hash, oils, wax, and shatter.
Extracts can have up to 80-99% THC. That is very high compared to dried cannabis. Dried cannabis has about 10-25% THC.
The effects of smoked or vaped extracts can be felt within seconds or minutes. It may take up to 10-30 minutes to feel the full effects.
The effects of cannabis extracts that are inhaled can last up to 6 hours. Some effects, like drowsiness, can last up to 24 hours.
Extracts can make you very intoxicated very fast. They can also increase the chances of taking too much, or over-intoxication. (See Is it possible to overdose on cannabis?)
Extracts have higher levels of THC. This increases the risks of addiction and withdrawal.
Regular use of cannabis products with high levels of THC can increase the risk of psychosis. This is a condition where a person's thoughts become confused and they may feel, see, or hear things that are not real.
It is better to avoid extracts if you are new to cannabis or only use it occasionally. This is because the higher amounts of THC can increase the risks of negative effects.
If you decide to use cannabis extracts:
- Buy legally and always read the label. This will help you to use it in the correct way. It will also help you understand the strength of what you are taking.
- Use products with low levels of THC and high CBD (See What are THC and CBD?).
- Avoid taking more than one to two puffs of an extract with 100 mg/g (10%) or less of THC. Wait to feel the full effects before deciding whether or not to have more.
- Label and store it in a safe and secure place. This is very important to make sure that children and pets can't see it or get to it.
To prevent the risks, it is safest to avoid using extracts. If you decide to use, consider following the lower risk guidelines outlined in this section. You can also find more information about how to reduce the risks of cannabis use here.
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7 Things You Need to Know about Cannabis Extracts