What is Terp Sauce and How Do You Smoke It?
July 7, 2020 in General Education
I had never heard of Terp Sauce before I was tasked with writing about it. The Terp stands for Terpenes and sauce is one of the newest and most potent cannabis extracts on the market today. In this article I will define sauce and explain briefly the importance of terpenes. I will give a step by step description of how terp sauce is produced and recommendations on how to smoke it.
What is Sauce?
Sauce is the term used to describe the most flavorful of extracts containing large amounts of terpenes in which the texture is not uniform. It is sticky and liquid like juice or marmalade. Due to its inconsistency of textures when it is produced, it can be thin, thick or gritty or it may look like large diamonds floating in golden syrup. Sauce refers to the texture, appearance, color and malleability but not the quality. The goal is to allow the major cannabinoids to form crystals and to separate them from the terpenes. Terp sauce preserves the terpene profile of the cannabis plant better than any other type of extract. This makes it one of the most potent extracts available.
What Is A Terpene?
I have written extensively about the function of terpenes in cannabis. They give cannabis its flavor and aroma and provide some of its psychotropic effects. They also provide many benefits along with cannabinoids and other compounds as part of the Entourage Effect. They occur in many other plants besides cannabis. Here is the link to an article I wrote about Terpenes.
How Is Terp Sauce Produced?
- A high-quality strain with high levels of THCa and large amounts of terpenes is chosen as it will yield a better end product.
- Fresh buds are used to make live resin, flash-freezing them before the butane extraction process. Propane is also commonly used. Both solvents have low boiling points which preserve the terpene profile.
- With the Butane Hash Oil (BHO) extraction method, an extraction tube is filled with cannabis plant matter until it is free of air. A mesh screen or fine filter is placed over one end of the tube. The tube is suspended over a dish and butane is forced through the tube until a goldish liquid comes out the other end into the dish.
- The solvent extraction process removes the fats and lipids from the cannabinoids and terpenes.
- Gentle heat to remove the majority of the solvent is applied to the resulting extract.
- The extract is poured into a mason jar while it is still viscous and stored in a dark place with the temperature just above room temperature.
- As the pressure builds inside the jar, THCa crystals will begin to form. This process, which takes 2-3 weeks, is called nucleation, where the compounds separate into the following:
- The heavier crystals sink to the bottom. It isknown as “diamond mining” because the THCa crystals look like very small diamonds.
- The lighter liquid terpenes known as “mother liquor,” forms a fluffy liquid which rises to the top.
- The terpenes and crystals are then separated and the solvent is removed. It takes 60 hours for the terpenes and 72 hours for the crystals to be purged of the solvent. This is known as a closed-loop extraction process that requires the use of a low-temperature purge to rid the resin of the trapped solvent.
- The crystals and the terpenes are then recombined and placed in containers.
Terp sauce is considered to be a High Terpene Full Spectrum Extract (HTFSE). That requires it to have a minimum terpene content of 13% and a cannabinoid content of 45% to 70%.
Terp Sauce Lack of Consistency
Unfortunately, because of its volatility, it is very difficult for dispensaries to maintain the bona fide terp sauce. There seems to be no good explanation as to what makes the best terp sauce completely change its texture to something unidentifiable. It is not uncommon for an aging shatter or some other extract to change its consistency, especially during the warm weather which mimics terp sauce.
How Do You Smoke Terp Sauce?
You smoke terp sauce as you would any other extract, concentrate or oil. For new users, it is highly recommended that you begin with a small glass dab rig, a torch, a dabber tool and a carb cap.
You can also add terp pearls, made from sapphire, to your banger which helps with more consistent and efficient heating of the terp sauce.
Other choices include portable and desktop vaporizers, a dab or terp pen, a vape cartridge known as a sauce cart or simply add it to your joint or blunt.
You can also choose an E-rig or an E-nail which use some type of electric heating element and power source to heat your extract. The most important advantage in using electricity over a torch is consistent temperature control.
- E-Nails are battery-powered and rechargeable which make them very portable.
- E-Rigs require the use of a wall outlet which converts your dab rig or water pipe into an electric rig by replacing the dab nail with an electric nail.
The Importance of Dabbing Temperatures
As I have previously mentioned, terpenes are very volatile, delicate and subject to variations in temperature. In order to get the most benefits of flavor and potency from terp sauce, it is important to use equipment with temperature control capabilities. The use of lower temperatures is crucial in retaining the terpene profile.
Remember that terp sauce is incredibly potent, so start out very low and slow and work your way up! Enjoy!
dinafem.org, Terp Sauce, The Terpene Concentrate That Is Taking Over the Cannabis Extraction Industry, June 27, 2019, D. Civantos
yodabbadabba.com, What Is Terp Sauce and How Is It Made?
caliconnected.com, Cali Classroom: What The Hell Is An ENail? Jan. 7, 2019