Cannabis concentrates can be divided into two main categories: solvent and solventless extractions. A solvent is a substance that dissolves a solid, resulting in a liquid solution. When we talk about cannabis concentrates, popular solvents include: butane, propane, CO2, and alcohol. Although water is technically a solvent, ice-water extractions are typically classified a non-solvent extractions in the cannabis world. Solventless extractions do not introduce any foreign substances (except for water).
Many people refer to concentrates by their consistency, i.e. shatter, budder or wax. However, the consistency of a concentrate alone does not indicate which extraction technique was used. The same extraction method can deliver a variety of final-product consistencies. The method of extraction and the starting material is far more important than the concentrate's final consistency, as there are several variables that manipulate the consistency.