What Is Dabbing and How Do Dabs Work?

November 1, 2019

 

When you think of the word “dab,” what do you think of? 

 

The dance craze? 

 

A form of measurement? (“A little dab will do…”) 

 

Or a way to get high? 

 

If you said “a way to get high,” you’re not alone. Dabbing is one of the hottest topics in the weed world right now. Even though Canada legalized marijuana just over a year ago, many marijuana enthusiasts are moving from smoking flower to dabbing concentrates. 

 

Want to join in on the fun? Learn what dabbing is and how it works first. Dabbing isn’t for everyone, but it can be a great way to get high using a more pure form of THC. 

 

 

What Is Dabbing?

 

Dabbing is a way to ingest concentrates by the use of a dab rig. It’s been around for a few years, but is now starting to gain a lot of popularity due to cannabis legalization and more available information about concentrates. 

 

 

What Are Concentrates? 
 

Concentrates are made by extracting THC and other ingredients from the cannabis plant. Manufacturers use butane, alcohol, or CO2 to create concentrates - the different extraction methods come with different pros and cons, but they all have one thing in common. They’re strong. 

 

Some of these products have up to 90% THC. When you compare that to the 25% THC in a strong flower, it’s no wonder why dabs are appealing. With just a small amount of shatter, budder, or another type of concentrate, you’ll be soaring. 

 

 

Concentrates come in many forms, including: 

  • Butane hash oil (BHO)

  • Wax

  • Budder

  • Shatter

  • Honeycomb 

Concentrates aren’t just for recreational smokers. Medical concentrates may contain high amounts of CBD for a solid hit of pain relief and good feelings. 

 

 

How Do Dabs Work? 

 

Want to dab? You’ll need a dab rig. It kind of looks like a bong that wasn’t made quite right. Dab rigs are pretty convenient - you’ll never have to empty any crusty water out of a dab rig. And when you dab from a dab rig, you get to play with a blow torch. 

 

Here’s how it works. You have your dab rig. There’s a little bucket on the end of your dab rug - that’s called a banger, or the nail. Using a blowtorch, you heat up the banger. It’ll only take about 10 seconds to heat the banger up to where you need it to be for your dab.

 

Once the dab rig is heated up, you’ll need to grab your dabber and scoop up a bit of the concentrate of your choice. The dabber looks like a little scalpel, but without the super sharp edge. Pop the dabber with the concentrate of your choice into your hot nail. Remove the dabber once the concentrate starts to vaporize. 

 

Once the concentrate enters the nail, vapors will start to form and move through the dab rig. Inhale, exhale, and you’re good to go!

 

You can get a nice, long inhale from your dab rig after you apply your concentrate to the nail. Many dab enthusiasts like to add a carb cap onto their nail after adding their concentrate. It can help to contain the dab, but it’s not necessary in order to dab. 

 

 

Why Dab Instead of Smoke?  

 

The process of dabbing is pretty similar to the process of smoking. You essentially get your THC hot and inhale. But you might not know about dabbing’s many other advantages over smoking.  

 

 

Dabbing is Convenient. 

 

Dab rigs look more complicated than they really are. Scooping out a bit of concentrate and adding it to a hot nail can be quicker than grinding your weed and rolling it up into a blunt. Plus, with 90% THC, you’re going to get the high you need much faster. 

 

 

Dabbing Smells Better Than Smoking. 

 

Walking into a room with crusty bongs and smoke in the air isn’t always pleasant. Dabbing takes away a lot of the smells that come with ingesting marijuana. You don’t get that dank smell from traditional flower. Instead, you get a nice sweet smell. The better the oil, the sweeter and more pleasant the smell. 

 

 

It’s a Better High. 

 

Well...this is up to you. Some people prefer the high from dabs better than the high from joints or flower. It’s more of a body high, and it hits you faster than a joint. Dabbing is worth a try just to see how differently you feel and whether or not you prefer the new high. 

 

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should switch to dabs tomorrow. Do what feels best for you. 

 

 

Is Dabbing Healthier Than Smoking? 

 

When you light up a joint, you inhale combusted smoke. This combusted smoke contains a lot more than cannabinoids and terpenes. With each inhale comes carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and a whole lot of other dangerous chemicals. It’s one of the reasons why cigarettes are so bad for you. 

 

When you dab, you inhale vapor. You’re not inhaling all of the nasty chemicals like you do when you smoke. It’s more like inhaling a cloud or some steam. This not only makes more room for THC, but it also protects your lungs. 

 

There is still a lot of research to be done when it comes to dabbing and how it compares to smoking, but most dab enthusiasts claim that dabbing feels better and cleaner on the lungs than traditional joints or blunts. 

 

 

Is Dabbing Safer Than Smoking? 

 

Dabbing comes with risks. Inhaling concentrates is a much different high than inhaling traditional flower. Using a blowtorch in any situation sets you up for danger. (E-nails can be purchased to avoid this risk. These nails heat themselves up without the use of an open flame.) 

 

But the actual act of dabbing isn’t where the danger lies.

 

 

Want to Dab? Don’t Make Your Own Concentrates.

 

The real danger comes if you want a completely DIY dab with DIY concentrates. 

 

Don’t try to make your own budder or wax. It’s dangerous. Even if you do successfully extract THC from your bud without burning the house down, you won’t know how pure it is. Trust the professionals and grab some concentrates from a retailer that you trust. 

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