When cannabis concentrates first came on the market, they were made in unsafe at-home operations. As marijuana and its various products have become legal in more places, the industry and marijuana growers have started learning more about marijuana extracts and producing them in safe environments.
Today, many cannabis users are starting to turn to full-spectrum products. Those who enjoy using concentrates may start to see the term (or letters) HTFSE thrown around as they shop for their products.
What Is HTFSE?
HTFSE stands for high-terpene, full-spectrum extract. These extracts are created to preserve not just the cannabinoids of a marijuana plant but its full terpene profile.
Traditionally, when making extracts and concentrates, producers will work to extract a single or select cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD. All other parts of the flower are left behind. Full-spectrum extracts, like HTFSE, go through the extraction process with a different goal in mind. That is to preserve the full range of compounds found within a raw cannabis flower.
The process to make full-spectrum extracts pulls out the valuable parts of the flower’s profile while leaving things like fats and waxes behind. Once complete, HTFSE will contain about 50 percent THC and 13-40 percent terpenes.
If you are looking for an HTFSE extract, not all concentrates and extracts are of good quality. Live resin and sauces are the two extracts most commonly considered to be high-spectrum.
What Are the Benefits of HTFSE?
If traditional extracts and concentrates contain higher amounts of THC and CBD, which are proven to give users quality effects, why should users consider using an HTFSE? The answer: the entourage effect.
This relatively new term was first coined by Raphael Mechoulam, an Israeli researcher. He used the term to describe the combined effect that cannabis compounds have when working together. Typically, when all the compounds in a plant work together, the overall effect is greater than if they work alone.
For example, while a pure THC product will get users high. The experience would be more potent and therapeutic if the THC were combined with other cannabis compounds. Think of a movie star, while they are fantastic on their own, the members of their entourage, from their stylist to makeup artists and beyond, all work together to keep the star looking their best, giving fans a better overall impression of them.
So, why do some users prefer HTFSE over other products? Because they find it offers them a better, more complete experience. The product a user chooses is a matter of tolerance and preference.
How Is HTFSE Made?
When it comes to making HTFSE, there are four main components required:
- Sub-zero temperatures
- A hydrocarbon solvent with a low boiling point
- A high-quality marijuana flower
Producers will often use frozen cannabis flowers as their base material. Growers will look for a high-quality plant with a rich terpene profile to use as their base for HTFSE. Throughout the process, they will maintain a low temperature to preserve the compounds in the chosen flower.
The extractor will then dewax the plant. This process removes any non-valuable compounds from the concentrate, such as waxes and fats. Sub-zero temperatures allow producers to quickly separate the elements they want to keep.
Next, low heat will be gradually introduced, which causes the solvent and the concentrate to separate. Choosing the right solvent when making HTFSE is essential. The boiling point needs to be low enough that it protects the valuable compounds that make a product full-spectrum and high in terpenes.
Once made, HTFSE will take on a liquid texture that may have some grittiness to it.
Can I Make My Own HTFSE?
HTFSE extraction requires highly specialized equipment. Because of this and the dangers of working with some solvents, it is not recommended that people make their own HTFSE product at home.
Instead, leave the making of HTFSE to professionals who have the necessary equipment and environment (not to mention knowledge) to create this product safely.
How to Use HTFSE
Most people consume HTFSE via dabbing. Because HTFSEs need to go through decarboxylation (which is essentially heating the product to activate the effects of certain compounds like THC), dabbing is an excellent option.
How to Dab
Dabbing can be a longer process than many people realize, and it requires the use of special equipment. This process will be worth it, though, when you get to realize the full effects of HTFSE extracts.
To dab, you’ll need:
- A dab rig, which is a water pipe designed specifically for concentrates
- A dab tool (or dabber) used to remove the concentrate from the container and place it on the nail
- A nail, which is what the product is heated in
- A butane torch to heat the nail
- A carb cap, which is an important tool that helps users dab at lower temperatures. This prevents scorched products or ruined terpene profiles.
Once you have your dabbing equipment, it’s time to get started:
- Fill the dab rig with enough water that the downstem is submerged.
- Heat your nail using your butane torch.
- Wait for the nail to cool slightly (about 30 to 60 seconds, on average).
- Use your dab tool to place the product on the surface of the nail.
- Start to inhale the vapour using slow, deep breaths.
- Apply your carb cap to help the nail better vaporize the product.
- Exhale the vapour immediately after you inhale it.
- Clean your dab rig when you are done.
HTFSE in Summary
HTFSE is a high-terpene, full-spectrum extract. Created with the goal of not just preserving one specific compound, HTFSE works to preserve the full array of compounds, including the flower’s terpene profile. This allows users to experience a fuller, more complete experience when using extracts.
Whether HTFSE or a more traditional extract is the better option for you is a matter of preference, so enjoy trying some to figure out what your favourite extract option is.