There seems to be no end to the world of cannabis concentrates which continues to expand while showing no signs of slowing down.
A very popular way consumers have found to take their euphoric experience to the next level is by having cannabis extracts through dabbing. The one thing you will immediately notice when dabbing concentrates as opposed to having a finished product in a joint or blunt, is that concentrated marijuana contains very high amount of the psychoactive compound THC – along with a host of other wonderful cannabinoids and terpenes.
Cannabis concentrates or extracts actually have a well-established and rather extensive history, even though majority of concentrates today are extracted via modern extraction methods and technologies. In fact, cannabis concentrates first became known in Ancient China, dating back to the 10,000 BC era.
Given the legalisation of cannabis in many US states, the demand and popularity for marijuana concentrates has soared dramatically, with consumer interest shifting towards refined extraction methods and dabbing.
Concentrates are a superb alternative for experienced cannabis users who want to experience a ‘next-level’ intensity in their high, and taste the most exquisite of terpene profiles. However, cannabis extracts are not just limited to recreational use – users seeking medicinal relief through cannabis are also turning to concentrates/extracts for more direct and fast-acting remedies to their health concerns and ailments.
Dabbing Probably ‘The Best’ Way to Consume Cannabis Concentrates
Today, dabbing happens to be the most popular way of consuming cannabis concentrates all over the world. Also known as ‘doing a dab’, dabbing refers to a process where cannabis extracts are vaporised before consumption.
In most cases, consumers who dab concentrates are consuming at least 60-80% THC, in contrast to those smoking cannabis plants, which typically averages just 10-25% THC – you can imagine how much more pronounced the effects can be when you dab and consume your herb.
It goes without saying that dabbing is a far more economical method of consuming cannabis extracts – not only will you need less product, but you will also reap faster affects, which will be far more potent and longer lasting. For these reasons alone, we recommend dabbing for frequent and advanced-experienced cannabis users in particular, given the ultra-high potency.
From the outset, it’s important to understand and acknowledge that dabbing can be complicated compared to just smoking cannabis buds – however, once done correctly, it is well worth the extra time and effort.
Just to give you an idea – cannabis flowers or buds are very easy to pack into a joint, pipe or blunt and smoke away – for dabs, on the other hand, a little innovation along with specific tools are required.
To effectively consume your cannabis extracts, you typically require a rig that has a quartz nail, a torch and a dabbing tool. Rigs for consuming cannabis concentrates are more or less water pipes specifically made for dabbing. They are designed to highlight the full potency and flavour profile of the concentrate you wish to consume. So as it stands, a dab rig is the best way to vaporise and consume extracts/ concentrates.
Just to explain briefly, how dabbing works is that a quartz nail is inserted instead of a conventional sliding bowl, after which heat is applied. The right dabbing temperature is a hotly debated topic among cannabis purists, although ‘low temp’ settings are considered ideal by those who seek the most purity and flavour from their concentrate.
Some consumers have really innovated their dabbing sessions, thanks to the introduction of e-nails or electronic nails – these are heated to a set temperature by a miniature machine. However, there are more ways to dab such as a honey straw, which is a basic dabbing apparatus, allowing users to travel easily without having their rigs break. Some honey straws come with a middle chamber to allow water to collect, which induces percolation – somewhat similar to water pipes and conventional dabbing rigs.
If you’re a novice dabber, you should start with only a very small dose to initially assess the effects. Therefore, start with about half the size of a grain of rice.
Dabbing 101 – All You Need to Know
If this is your first time, it may seem that dabbing is something only left to experienced cannabis users, or that you may find it too daunting. However, we assure you it’s one of those things that only need to be done once or twice, and then you too will be doing it like a pro.
As we briefly touched upon earlier, dabbing is the vaporisation of cannabis extracts, after they are exposed to a hot surface and then inhaled. You may have heard of some of these concentrates; e.g. wax, shatter or BHO (butane hash oil). These are all significantly more potent than cannabis buds. Although the THC content is very high in concentrates, if you seek a quick therapeutic effect only without the cerebral euphoria, you should seek non-psychoactive CBD extracts.
Dabbing concentrates offer very unique cerebral effects and physical relief – something you can’t experience by smoking cannabis flowers. Since there is noticeably less plant material, you are, in fact, inhaling a lot more cannabinoids than the combusted resin variety.
Here’s What You’ll Need before Dabbing
Even though dabbing technology continues to evolve, we would recommend a traditional setup to get a basic gist of how it all works. The appearance of some tools described in this article may vary somewhat, depending on what design you buy.
With that explained, here’s what you’ll need:
Although these are available in many forms, the typical ones used for dabbing are sticky oils like CO2, BHO and rosin, the latter of which is a solvent-less extract. It is best not to dab with extracts that are alcohol based. In any case, if you have safety concerns around dabbing with a specific kind of oil, simply consult your budtender.
If you already have a pipe for smoking cannabis flowers, all you need to do is remove the glass bowl pieces and put in dabbing attachments – now your pipe is effectively a dab rig.
Get a hold of a nail which matches with the water pipe’s gauge. Even though gauges are made of quartz or ceramic, those made from titanium are the most common ones, just so you know. If you prefer a method which does not incorporate a dome and torch, you can go for an e-nail.
This refers to the glass hood which must be set up around the nail. Alternatively, you could also use a dome-less nail. However, if you stick to a normal nail, you’re going to need something to let the vapour accumulate before it is inhaled.
If you want your nail to heat up quickly, a propane-fuelled torch would fit the bill nicely, although mini-torches used for crème brulee purposes also work. There are also flame-less ways of dabbing, but even the most experienced dabbers still resort to the torch method simply because it is a straightforward and low-cost investment.
This refers to a ceramic, glass or metal tool which is used to apply your dab.
Consider How Much Oil You’ll Need to Dab
Before you can start dabbing, it’s always good to assess the potency of your oil, as not all extracts will have the same THC concentration. As a general rule of thumb, always start small, and if the effects don’t ‘move’ you too much, you can gradually increase the dose.
To reiterate, a small dose is hardly the size of a bread crumb or half a grain of rice. Even though it doesn’t look intimidating at all, the THC in that small amount can still induce you into a deep state of cerebral euphoria. The thing to remember (and appreciate) is that dabbing, even in relatively small doses, can feel really intense if you’re used to consuming cannabis flower in a joint or bong. However, once you build up a tolerance, the effects won’t be as jarring.
How to Dab
Once you’ve prepared your dab on the dabber and your rig is all set up, you’re now ready to kick off your first dabbing session. Find a comfortable spot to sit and relax because the initial rush of THC is more than most folks might be able to handle at first.
- Turn the torch on and point the flame at the nail. Keep heating it until it starts to turn red-hot.
- Turn the torch off and cover the nail with a glass dome. Quartz nails require about 45 seconds to cool off while titanium ones need about 10 seconds –bear in mind we don’t want the surface temperature to be too hot.
- Using your dabber, apply the dab onto the nail that housed within the dome, and inhale gradually. Slowly rotate the dabber tip as you inhale so that all the oil is evenly used up.
- Exhale and enjoy the physically intense rush of THC!