Clear container of cannabis concentrate next to blue rocks

What Are Solventless Concentrates & How Are They Different?

Once you start exploring the world of cannabis concentrates, you’ll hear different opinions on the methods used for creating the concentrates. For some cannabis enthusiasts, there’s no preference between solvent-based and solventless concentrates. For others, the difference is an important one. In this guide, we’ll share everything we know about solventless concentrates, including:

  • What Does ‘Solventless Extract’ Mean?
  • What Are the Different Types of Solventless Concentrates?
  • Solvent-Based vs. Solventless Concentrates: What’s the Difference?
  • Solventless vs Solvent-Free: What’s the Difference?
  • Why Are Solventless Concentrates So Popular?
  • Answering FAQs About Solventless Concentrates

What Does ‘Solventless Extract’ Mean?

Solventless concentrates, or solventless extracts, are concentrates made without the use of any kind of chemical solvent, like CO2, butane, or ethanol. Rather, solventless concentrates utilize heat, pressure, and patience during the extraction process. The methods used for extraction include sieving, pressing, or using ice water.

By avoiding the use of solvents, solventless extraction aims to preserve the natural integrity of the cannabis plant and retain all of its aromatic and flavorful qualities. Cannabis enthusiasts who wish to preserve and experience the terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids in their marijuana tend to hold solventless extraction techniques as the pinnacle of concentrate consumption.

What Are the Different Types of Solventless Concentrates?

There are a few different types of solventless concentrates, one of which you may already have sitting at the bottom of your grinder. They include:


Kief is one of the simplest and most traditional forms of solventless concentrate. It consists of the resinous trichomes that naturally accumulate on the surface of cannabis flowers. These trichomes are collected by mechanically sifting or grinding the plant material. If you have a grinder with a kief catcher, chances are you’re used to seeing the fine kief silt.

Bubble (Ice Water) Hash

Bubble hash is created using a cold-water extraction method. The cannabis plant material is mixed with ice-cold water, agitated, and then filtered through a series of screens. This process separates the trichomes from the plant matter. From there, the moisture is removed from the trichomes using a press, and the remaining hash can be used or stored for later use.


Rosin is produced by applying heat and pressure to cannabis flowers or hash, causing the trichomes to release their resin. The resulting concentrate is rich in cannabinoids and terpenes. Rosin can be made at home using a simple setup, making it a popular choice among DIY enthusiasts.

Solvent-Based vs. Solventless Concentrates: What’s the Difference?

Solvent-based concentrates and solventless concentrates differ primarily in the methods used for their extraction. Solvent-based concentrates, such as BHO (butane hash oil) or ethanol extracts, rely on the use of solvents to dissolve and extract the desired compounds from the cannabis plant material. These solvents are then purged or evaporated to leave behind the concentrated extract. 

Solventless concentrates are extracted without the use of solvents. Instead, they utilize mechanical or heat-based methods like sifting, pressing, or ice water extraction to separate the trichomes from the plant material. The absence of solvents in solventless concentrates appeals to cannabis enthusiasts who are seeking a more natural form of cannabis extract.

Solventless vs Solvent-Free: What’s the Difference?

While the terms "solventless" and "solvent-free" are often used interchangeably, they have slightly different meanings. Solventless concentrates are produced without the use of solvents, relying on mechanical or heat-based methods. On the other hand, solvent-free concentrates refer to extracts that have undergone additional processing to remove any residual solvents used during extraction. All concentrates are solvent-free, but not all concentrates are solventless.

Why Are Solventless Concentrates So Popular?

Concentrates are popular, and for some cannabis connoisseurs, solventless concentrates represent the cream of the concentrate crop. Here’s why:

  • Flavorful: Solventless concentrates are highly regarded for their flavors, as the absence of solvents allows the natural terpene profiles to shine through.
  • Chemical-free: Some cannabis enthusiasts simply prefer the idea of zero chemical interaction with their marijuana.
  • OG experience: For canna-connoisseurs who want to have an authentic, old-school experience of consuming their marijuana, solventless concentrates scratch that itch. We haven’t always had the modern extraction methods that we do, and solventless concentrates represent that potent, flavorful, OG marijuana experience.

Answering FAQs About Solventless Concentrates

As more people take interest in how their favorite cannabis product is made, solventless concentrates are growing in popularity. Check out the answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions below:

Can I make solventless concentrates at home?
Yes, you can create some solventless concentrates at home using various methods, such as dry sifting, ice water extraction, or rosin pressing. These DIY methods let you experience and control the way you make your own concentrates. 

What is the best solventless concentrate?
The best solventless concentrate types are the ones you like the most. Ultimately, each type of concentrate offers unique qualities in terms of flavor, potency, and texture. Giving each a try is key to finding the concentrate that aligns with your personal preferences.

What dabs are solventless?
Solventless dabs encompass a range of marijuana concentrates, including kief, bubble hash, and rosin. These concentrates can be dabbed using the dabbing device of your choice.

Purchasing Solventless Concentrates

With various types of solventless concentrates to choose from and the ability to produce them at home, solventless concentrates have been loved by both seasoned enthusiasts and newcomers. To find out if you like solventless concentrates, and if you have a favorite type of solventless concentrate, visit your local dispensary and talk to your budtender. They’ll point you to what they have in stock and can help you buy the tools you may need to consume them. Of course, if you want to make your own, ask to see the flower they have available so you can pick out your favorite strain. 

Recreational cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and certified patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.