You may know a bit about the hottest trend in weed this side of legalization—dabbing. After all, it’s been gaining in popularity for several years now. But, unless you’re a cannabis connoisseur, you probably don’t know the ins and outs—the dos and dabs—of this marijuana movement. So let yourself be swept into the flow as we get into the everything of the dab!
What Are Dabs?
Before you begin your journey on the path of the dab, you must first understand what you are about to partake in. The word dab comes from the definition of the word itself: a small amount of something. The dabs themselves are small amounts of marijuana concentrate, but more on that in a minute.
Dabbing refers to the act of vaporizing that concentrate into a smokable form that often leads to a much stronger high than normal marijuana smoke. Almost all dabs are created by the process of applying butane to the marijuana, which earns the final product the name, Butane Hash Oil (BHO).
This is then broken down into different categories depending on how the final product turns out. The key here lies in the process of creating the oil and how it rests. No matter how its done, the resulting concentrate is a highly potent form of marijuana that contains very high amounts of THC and/or CBD, the chemicals that are responsible for your high.
Forms of Concentrate
Now that you are ready to embark on your quest, you may choose your path. The most pressing concern will be what form your concentrates will take. This requires some understanding of the pros and cons of each substance, so let’s break it down.
There are several forms that this process may take, but for the purposes of this guide, we’ll go over two of them. Both are forms which the oil may take after extraction.
Sometimes referred to as “budder" or “crumble," wax is made when the oil is agitated during the extraction process. The resulting product looks like honeycomb, or a waxlike substance, giving the product its name. Wax is generally considered easier to make and to work with than its counterpart, shatter.
However, its downsides are that it doesn’t last as long, and is a slightly less pure form than shatter. It is still an incredibly potent form to smoke and more readily available on the market.
Commonly recognized as the most potent form of concentrate, shatter is the pure, glasslike substance that occurs from an extended filtration process during creation. Often boasting THC or CBD levels as high as 80%, this stuff packs a serious punch. The downsides to shatter are that is is harder to create and work with than wax or budder. The good news is that Doobdasher has several strains of shatter available for purchase here.
Please note that other oils and extraction processes will be covered in future articles, including vaping. Now that you’ve chosen your form, there is one final step.
How to Dab
You are so close now, young Padawan, to a full understanding of the dab and all it entails. Because oil requires a significantly higher temperature than normal marijuana to be smoked, you will need to choose your tool.
Lets go over the easiest ways to dab:
1. An Oil Rig
The most common way to take a dab is through what is called a dab rig. This is generally a glass contraption that resembles a bong, but filters the oil and allows for a smooth and clean dab. To smoke this, you will also need to purchase a blowtorch, and a metal piece, usually called a titanium nail. The nails often come with a rig, so do your homework first. We also recommend getting a small dabber that looks almost like a needle, but these can be improvised.
Using a rig is fairly simple. First, you must heat up the nail with the blowtorch. Once it is hot enough, you will take a small amount of wax on your dabber or needle, and touch it to the nail. Finally, you just need to inhale and repeat.
2. An Oil Pen
Sometimes you’re looking for a more portable high than a bulky rig. There are many pens available on the market that allow for an intense high on the go. Generally, wax is a little easier to work with in the pen, but you can use both. You will need to read the instructions of your specific product, but using a pen is usually as simple as putting some wax or shatter on a designated area, and hitting it.
Pens also require fewer tools than rigs, which can be helpful for the frugal dabber. The downside is that they can result in a weaker high than rigs, so keep that in mind when making your choice.
3. DIY Methods
You can still smoke BHO without a rig or a pen, it just requires a little ingenuity. Some people choose to just add it to their weed for a milder high. This is an easy way to do it, but can be a bit of a waste because much of the potency is lost with just regular flame.
Other methods include hot knifing (we don’t recommend it here) and just plain eating it. However, you’re almost always better off just getting a rig or a pen unless you’re in a desperate situation.
The Dangers of Dabbing
Like any journey, the dab does have dangers along the way. The first is that the process of creating BHO is difficult and can result in added chemicals if not done correctly. That is why we don’t recommend trying to make it at home. Make sure that you are buying your concentrates from a source that you trust. The other danger is that you are using very hot equipment including a blowtorch and sometimes metal nails. Make sure to be careful to not burn yourself or others.
With that in mind, you’re ready to become a master dabber. The way of the dab is a wondrous road full of beauty and intrigue. Choose your tools and adventure, make sure you’re safe, and go with the flow. Happy dabbing!
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