In a world where marijuana legalization has taken reality by storm, it is important to know what cannabis consumption options are available to you. One of these options is learning how to dab cannabis.
Dabs are an ultra-powerful way to enjoy potent cannabis products. If you feel like you are ready to take the dab journey, you need to arm yourself with knowledge as potent as the substance itself.
This comprehensive guide will help prepare you for what is sure to be a wild THC-addled ride. Learn what a dab is and how to dab cannabis here.
What Are Cannabis Dabs?
Cannabis dabs are a potent form of concentrated cannabis. To make dabs, cannabis engineers or enthusiasts of varying levels of prowess and professionalism isolate desirable compounds.
The compounds targeted are cannabinoids such as THC or CBD as well as aromatic terpenes. Isolating these compounds from the raw marijuana flower involves one of a few complicated processes.
The process chosen by the dab engineer will influence the final product. There are many different forms of dabs, but they all come from the same raw marijuana flower. Their processes of creation refine their uniqueness.
Regardless of which form of dab you choose, all of them are guaranteed to knock your socks off with an earth-shattering high when compared to traditional marijuana.
Many dab’s have THC contents over 50%, with some getting into the 90% range. A potent form of marijuana flower maxes out around 35% THC.
This means that the average dab is anywhere between twice and three times as powerful as your strongest marijuana flower. In some cases, taking a single dab can be stronger than smoking a whole joint of marijuana flower.
Dabs are often brown or yellow. Most look like a sticky paste or goo, while others are more solid in nature.
Dabs can be consumed in a variety of ways. Some examples are using a specialized dab rig, coating traditional cannabis, smoking it, or using a vaporizer.
We will dive into the different forms of consuming dabs later. For now, let’s focus on the individual dab production methods and the types of dabs they produce.
But first, to understand dabs, you need to understand the concept of concentrates. Concentrates are not limited to the world of marijuana; you can find concentrates everywhere.
What Are Concentrates?
A concentrated substance is an isolated version of something that still retains its most favorable characteristics. You can find concentrates in the culinary world quite often.
Take the concentrated lemon juice in your fridge, for example. Inside the tiny green or yellow bottle you purchased at the store lies the power of hundreds of lemons.
A single drop of lemon juice concentrate can provide the same flavorful bounty as an entire lemon. Fruit juice concentrates are everywhere.
If you look at most of the juices at your local store, they only contain a small percentage of actual juice. The way they can do this and still retain their flavor is by the use of concentrates.
Making concentrates of fruit juices and other culinary things isn’t a complex process. There are a couple of simple methods you can use to make concentrates from almost anything.
Understanding the idea of a concentrate is important in understanding what a dab is. This is because a dab is a form of marijuana flower concentrate. But how are dabs produced?
Dabs are either concentrates or extracts. Extracts are a form of concentrate where a solvent isolates and removes the desirable cannabinoids and terpenes from the raw marijuana flower.
Examples of solvents that are ideal for the production of dabs are alcohol, carbon dioxide, isopropanol, butane, propane, hexane, and ether. These are a few of the solvents you can use.
New solvents are applied to unique production processes each day, leading to new forms of dabs. Each solvent has its positives and negatives for the production process and final product.
The type of dab concentrate produced has to do with which solvent you choose to use and the production method you apply it to. In short, the solvent washes all of the THC crystals from the bud and consolidates them.
But using solvents to create extracts isn’t the only way to concentrate THC into a dab-able form. You can also use physical means to consolidate and isolate THC and other cannabinoids from raw marijuana flowers.
If you look closely at a marijuana bud, you will see that it is covered in a white crystalline substance. This substance is the THC and its trichomes.
This is the meat and potatoes of the cannabis plant, and it is also what gets you high. Trichomes come from the greek word trichōma, which means hair.
If you examine a marijuana bud, you will see exactly what they are: fine hairs coated in a psychoactive crystal substance. You can use physical means such as a grinder or sift to separate the THC from the plant itself.
This will produce a different form of THC concentrate free from solvents and other chemicals. Unlike an extract, these concentrates are more natural. The purest form of non-extract concentrate is kief.
Kief is a powder of pure THC that any user can easily make using a specialized kief grinder. It is the backbone of non-extract concentrates.
If you take kief a step further and press it with a specialized piece of equipment, you get a crude form of hash, which can also be dabbed with the right equipment.
Kief and hash can be turned into a more dab-friendly form known as rosin through an extended production process that involves melting down the substance into a more consolidated form.
While this all may sound confusing, it is quite simple. Extracts are concentrates made by use of chemical solvents, while non-extract concentrates are made by physical means.
Most non-extract forms of THC concentrates start as the powdery substance known as kief. Kief can either be sprinkled on weed and smoked or further manufactured into various other forms.
Forms of Dabs
Now that we have gone into the weeds about what a dab is, the different processing techniques, and the difference between extract-based dabs and concentrate-based dabs, we can further examine specific forms of dabs.
In this case, a dab’s “form” pertains to its composition as either a solid or viscous liquid. The following are some common examples of different forms of dabs.
Snap-and-Pull or Shatter
Both of these names are synonymous with a brittle and sticky form of semi-solid dab. Shatter looks like a form of amber or brown glass and pulls apart like a sticky candy such as caramel or taffy.
Crumble is another semi-solid form of dab. Unlike snap-and-pull, it is more of a crystalline solid that resembles wet sand or cookie crumbs. Crumble often breaks apart into smaller pieces, hence its name.
Wax, also known as butter or batter, is less viscous than shatter. It is often put in a small circular container and has roughly the same consistency as a lip balm. Wax is more oily than solid concentrates.
Wax’s consistency makes it ideal for coating joint papers or blunt wraps. It can be melted and applied to marijuana flowers or consumed in a dab rig. Wax is one of the most popular forms of dabs available to consumers.
Oil is the least viscous form of dab. Like its name implies, cannabis oil is liquid. It is often dark brown in color and very sticky. The best way to dab this form of concentrate is with a cannabis dab pen.
How to Dab Cannabis
Now that you have had a crash course in dabs, it is time to get into the details about the act of dabbing itself. The variety found in the different dabs and their production process also extends into its consumption methods.
To begin dabbing, you need some specialized pieces of equipment. To select which pieces of equipment you need, you first need to choose which method of consumption works best.
The three main ways of consuming a THC concentrate are: smoking, vaping, and direct dabbing. You can also consume the concentrates in an edible form, but we will focus on this method because this article is about dabbing.
The Process of Dabbing
For this, you will need your chosen THC concentrate, a cannabis dab rig of some sort, a blow torch, and a scraper for harvesting your dab. You will also need a high enough “stoner level” as you will get very, very stoned.
This last point cannot be stressed enough. Dabs will take you to another world of intoxication, and if you are not physically and mentally prepared, you will not have a great time.
Only dab if you are an experienced stoner. Also, remember, a dab will do you. Start small, and don’t try to over-do it by taking a huge dab your first time. As you grow more comfortable, you can begin doing larger dabs.
The best concentrates for a traditional dab rig are the more viscous ones such as snap-and-pull, crumble, or wax. Oil can also be dabbed, but it works far better in a vape pen.
Prepare your dab by using the scraper to harvest a small amount of your chosen concentrate on its end. Set this aside for later. Next, heat the “nail” on your dab rig.
Dab rigs can have different forms of nails, such as a hood or a traditional nail. The nails are attached to some pipe, usually, a water pipe, which cools the dab vapor before it reaches your lungs.
Use the blow torch to make your nail red hot. Be extra careful not to burn yourself as the nail can cause serious harm if it comes in contact with your skin.
Before the nail cools, take your dab-covered scrapper and apply the dab to the hot nail. Inhale the vapor as it is produced and prepare to cough your brains out and get very, very, high.
Other Methods of Consumption
As stated before, you can consume dabs by smoking them. You do this by mixing in the concentrate of your choice with your marijuana flower or coating a rolling paper in oil.
You can also vape dabs utilizing a cannabis dab pen. These pens are very user-friendly and only require you to refill their chamber with the concentrate of your choice.
For most pens, all you need to do is inhale from the mouthpiece to consume dab vapor. Others require you to depress a button and inhale that way. Some pens are disposable and don’t require refills but are one-time use.
Where Can I Find Dabs?
Dabs can be found in marijuana dispensaries all across the nation, both medical and recreational. You can also find dabs online on a variety of websites. Check out 3chi.com for some great deals.
Ensure that you live in a state where marijuana is legal before ordering dabs online to your home. Needless to say, states that don’t have legal marijuana also don’t have dabs. Ordering them online there is still illegal.
Don’t consume or possess dabs in states where marijuana is illegal, as this can result in hefty fines or even jail time. Also, never drive or operate machinery under the influence of dabs.
Dab Will Do Ya
The world of THC concentrates a hazy one full of powerful substances. If you are ready to enter it, make sure you are prepared with the right amount of stoner experience, equipment, and the right mentality.
The first time you dab cannabis, start small and don’t try to take on a massive dab. Work your way up, or you may find yourself a bit too high.
If you are ready, try a dab today to take your stoner discipleship to the next level. For all your other news and information, make sure to check out the rest of our blog.