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The Straight Dope on Terp Sauce

Posted by Eric Van Buskirk on

There has never been a better time to be a cannabis user. It wasn’t so very long ago that our choices were limited to smoking weed or baking it into a batch of brownies. Many users still swear by these classic methods, but as far as the new generation of marijuana enthusiasts is concerned, they’re relics of a bygone era.

Today, the world of weed is all about innovation. New and interesting ways of ingesting bud are being invented all the time. Vape, wax, oil, shatter … it’s expanding so fast that it can be hard to stay abreast of the latest developments.

Case in point: terp sauce. What is it? How is it made? How does it differ from live resin? Most importantly, how do you smoke it? In this post we’re going to answer all of these questions and more. Let’s get to it.

What is terp sauce?

Terp sauce is a high terpene full spectrum cannabis concentrate with—you guessed it—a sauce-like texture. Interest in marijuana terpenes and their effects is pretty widespread these days.

For those who don’t already know, the cannabis plant has hundreds of different terpenes in it. These naturally-occurring aromatic compounds are the reason different strain profiles smell and taste the way they do.

Researchers have also discovered that terpenes play a considerable part in the entourage effect; by interacting with cannabinoids and other marijuana ingredients, they contribute to the overall user experience.

In other words, these little organic hydrocarbons are indispensable. Of course, terpenes are not unique to cannabis—far from it. They’re found throughout the natural world where, in addition to imparting flavors and aromas, they repel predators and attract pollinators. Such is their versatility.

Traditionally, terpenes haven’t featured very prominently in cannabis concentrates, most of which place the emphasis on THC. But times are thankfully changing. Now that we understand the significance of terpenes, cannabis users are keen to include them wherever possible.

Cannabis concentrates are potent, and terp sauce is no exception. But along with producing a powerful and fast-acting high, terp sauce has a complex flavor profile. Depending on which wholesale terps you use, there might be notes of earthiness, citrus, musk, spice, and more. That’s not something that can be said of the majority of extracts.


How to make terp sauce

To begin with, select a strain rich in terpenes and THCa and procure some fresh buds. The terpenes—and thus the flavors and aromas—are first preserved via a flash-freezing process.

Then the desired ingredients (i.e. cannabinoids and terpenes) are extracted from the plant material using a solvent. Butane is favored by most people because of its low boiling point. With that said, it’s also quite volatile and needs to be handled with extreme care. Don’t mess around with butane unless you know what you’re doing.

The result of the extraction process is butane hash oil (BHO), a viscous, gold-colored liquid with all of the non-essential stuff (lipids, fats, etc.) filtered out. Since they have been purified and concentrated, the cannabinoids and terpenes are much more potent than they were in plant form.

The texture of the oil will depend on how heavy the terpene content is: more terpenes equals a runnier extract.

Next, heat is applied to remove most of the solvent. Then the extract is stored in an air-tight container (usually a jar) in a cool, dark environment for a period of several weeks. During this time the terpenes begin to separate from the THCa, the latter forming into little crystals.

After “purging” the remaining solvent, the separate pieces are reintegrated, and voilà—you’ve got your terp sauce.


What’s the difference between terp sauce and live resin?

They’re very similar; in fact, live resin typically serves as the basis for terp sauce (the BHO mentioned above is, for all intents and purposes, live resin).

As with terp sauce, the central appeal of live resin is that it preserves the spectrum of flavors and scents imparted by marijuana in its natural form. That’s because live resin is made from fresh flowers.

Unlike terp sauce, however, live resin is not dried or cured.

Essentially, the process for making live resin ends at the point of extraction. When terp sauce is going into the jar to be cured and separated, live resin is more or less a finished product ready to be dabbed.

In general, terp sauce will have richer, more robust flavors than live resin. It is also more potent.


How to smoke terp sauce

Terp sauce is an extract that functions like any other. If you’re an experienced dabber and have a preferred method, you can use that to consume terp sauce, no problem.

If you’re new to extracts, your best bet is to get yourself a dab rig—a sort of specialized bong designed specifically for concentrates. You can purchase them online or at your local head shop.

Alternatively, you could try using an oil vaporizer, also known as a vape cart.

Regardless of which delivery method you go with, you should keep in mind that terp sauce isn’t for the faint of heart.

It’s a big-league concentrate that will knock you right on your keister if you’re not careful. Until you know how it affects you, try to pace yourself.


Why does terp sauce cost more?

If you’ve ever shopped in a marijuana dispensary, you might have noticed that terp sauce is priced a little higher than its fellow extracts. This turns some users off. But remember, it’s more expensive because a) the production is more complicated and b) it really packs a wallop. To paraphrase Lance from Pulp Fiction, when you dab it, you will know where that extra money went.

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