Refinement refers to the process of extracting out all of the good properties of cannabis and removing all of the unwanted properties. The refinement process produces a superior product that is higher in potency than regular cannabis buds. Refined concentrates or extracts are effective for use in patients that use it for medicinal purposes.
A concentrate made from a specific strain of cannabis will still contain the taste, smell, and effects of that strain, but just on a higher level. There are many different extraction methods used in the refinement process. Kief is known as the most basic of concentrates and is made by separating the trichomes from the cannabis plant and filtered through screens.
It is known to be a lower quality extract, but some producers can make a very potent product that can reach up to 60% in THC content. Dry sift is another well-known extract that is a refined version of kief. Kief is run through screens several times and the result will leave the remaining trichomes. It is one of the simplest ways to create hash. When exposed to heat, it should melt fully.
Hash is commonly made by ice water extraction and the idea of it is to isolate the heads of the trichomes. The quality of it has depends mostly on the size of the trichomes and how much it will melt when heated. Then there are cannabis oils that are made using various solvents such as butane, C02, and propane. These methods can be used to create shatter, budder, honeycomb, sap, and crumble. The THC content using these methods of extraction can reach up to 80-90%.
Use of Term
I gave a bunch of my leftover cannabis to a friend that I know and let him do what he calls a refinement process on it to create some hash for me.