How to get every last drop of your concentrate out of its container

Published Jul 4, 2020 11:00 a.m. ET
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No matter where you go, the price of high quality concentrates is relatively high, and that’s because they take a lot of work and precision to make, but it also means that we will all face a moment in time when our sticky and gooey BHO, THC wax, shatter, or some other concentrate is going to frustrate us to no end when it’s impossible to retrieve from its container. Some will just toss them out and take it as a worthwhile loss to avoid the task, but if you really need that last little bit of cannabis concentrate, then you’ll have to get creative and logical.

Luckily, you aren’t the first one to deal with struggle, and in a true stoner-like fashion, ingenious tokers everywhere have worked towards solutions, because even if you can comfortably afford the loss, it still seems like a massive shame to let such a good product go completely to waste. Since this is such a common problem, we thought it’d help if we could bring you some of the best ways to salvage your cannabis concentrate according to consumers who have tried and succeeded.

1. Use a rounded metal nail file or dabbing tool for scraping

When it comes to cannabis concentrates that are a liquid like BHO, a mess is almost certainly inevitable, and even if you manage to keep it all inside of the container, it will surely be a struggle to retrieve every last bit no matter how perfectly shaped for access its container may be. The best way to gather larger amounts of cannabis concentrate is to scrape all of the edges with a thin and durable scraper tool that can slide into every nook and cranny.

For most smaller containers, a small metal nail file, dabbing tool will have a nice flattened edge that should do the trick, especially if it’s colder than the concentrate, which will make it stick effectively. However, since these small tools have a short surface area, you’re going to need a new glass container to scrape it into as it’s gathered. Otherwise, it will just keep running off the edges, and that will really slow down your speed.

2. Apply heat

With harder concentrates like shatter or hash, this idea won’t work because the warmth will make them melt, which makes them more difficult to completely remove from a container. However, runny concentrated cannabis extracts such as BHO, terp juice, or distillate will often run if they are heated enough and tip the container on an angle so that you can make it pool up in one area, which makes it even easier to scoop it out with a dabbing tool.

How you accomplish this will heavily depend on the type of materials the container is made of. With glass, applying some heat with a small lighter or torch to all sides of it will force the liquid to run down the sides and pool in the bottom, but materials like silicone or plastic can’t withstand this kind of treatment. The best way to heat one of these more fragile containers is by using your hands and holding it for a little while, and no matter which way it’s done, you should always hold it on an angle so that it pools in one side as that will make it easier to scrape out and use.

3. Use papers

This method works wonders once you’ve passed the stage where there is enough cannabis concentrate to actually pool in the bottom of the container. However, it’s only good for consumers who love to smoke a joint. It’s that last little bit that you can only see because it gently tints the glass with a hue of yellow, but it’s still a perfectly good product that could likely provide you with at least a few more hits if you’re willing to put a little elbow grease in then you can enjoy a good joint roll every now and then.

To use rolling papers in the most effective way, they need to be combined with the power of heat, as it will help to release all of the sticky bits that are starting to harden from age. Once the container is warmed up with your hands, a lighter, or a torch, you can then take a few rolling papers (one at a time) and coat one side (glue strip up) with the sticky cannabis concentrate. Once they’re coated, they are dangerously messy to handle, so you may want to fill them with either flower, or a little bit of tobacco right away, and then roll them up to store away for later.

4. Other concentrates

When we say other concentrates, we mean the ones that aren’t normally a thick and sticky liquid like shatter, or hash, both of which are terrible for sticking to the bottom of a container over time. If you've ever tried to pry that last little bit out of a container only to fling it halfway across the room, then you already know that’s not the ideal way of doing things, but other options here like heat and papers will only go so far with these hard cannabis concentrates, because they are more likely to spread it around rather than help you to scrape it all together.

Luckily, there is one trick that you will hardly ever hear about, and it works so well because shatter and hash might stick to just about anything, but nothing can fuse with these goods quite like themselves. That’s right! If you want to gather that last stubborn piece of shatter, then your best bet is to grab a larger piece and stick it to it, and then pull. A faster ripping motion is the most effective because you don’t want to handle the shatter for too long, or it’ll melt, and with it, you’re sure to get that last little bit out.

5. Apply cold

Now, this one might sound counter-intuitive, especially since two of the other ideas here include heat to make things easier, but sometimes, the cold is just better at the job. One example of this is during the scraping of liquidly concentrates that may just run right off of your tool if they’re too warm. Another is shatter, which will always leave behind a sticky puddle of waste if it’s heated at all, and with these things, sometimes it’s most effective to combine the two in different variations with cold first, and heat used last.

How a cannabis concentrate is cooled is entirely up to you. You can stick them in a cool spot in your basement, the fridge, a freezer, or outside if it’s still cold enough in your region. The amount of cold that you need may vary from one situation to the next, so don’t be afraid to experiment until you find tricks of your own that make this job easier, which will help you to cut down on wasted products and money in the long run.

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