Beginners Guide to Concentrates: What is Dabbing?
Tribute | Feb 18, 2013 | Comments 11
Taking a dab is the latest and some say greatest way to consume cannabis concentrates these days. But what is ‘dabbing’? Simply put ‘dabbing’ is a slang term used to describe taking single dose hash hits of concentrates that are referred to as oil, errl, earwax, wax, budder, or shatter using pipes and bongs that are made specifically for smoking these cannabis extracts. The pieces are designed to have a skillet or nail that made from glass, quartz or titanium that is heated with a handheld torch, the user then ‘dabs’ a small of the extract onto the hot nail causing the concentrate to flash into a vapor that you inhale.
Concentrates that can be dabbed are made using various methods some of which included butane, CO2, or isopropyl alcohol . These extracts are made by blasting the solvents through the plant material then the chemicals are purged out. There are also solvent-less methods that use ice water or dry ice to extract the euphoric nectar of the stoned Gods. Just like there are many ways to grow your weed, there are many different ways people are finding to concentrate their product and it is taking medicating to a whole new level. These concentrates are what you hear referred to as oils, waxes, budders,and shatters and each one has its own consistency and method of being made.
Oils usually have the consistency of molasses and are most often amber in color though you can get some really beautiful golden oil if you are looking to spend a few more duckets. It is becoming more apparent to me that dispensaries are starting to shy away from oils more and more because they are typically made using butane and the dispensary would prefer cleaner methods like Co2 or even better solvent-less and that is why you’ll see them focus more on other concentrates like waxes, butters and shatters.
Waxes I’ve notice can range in a appearance more so than other dabable concentrates. You can get a wax that looks like crumbly candle wax and has a creamy color but you can also get wax that looks like wet sugar with a transparent amber color to it; it all depends on the method used and of course the strain that the concentrate is being derived from.
Budders are usually creamy in color and have a texture similar to butter that you would spread on your toast. This concentrate is almost like a paste; it won’t crumble into little pieces when pressure is applied like waxes do when you poke it with your dabber.
Shatters can range from dark amber to very light yellow in color and are very transparent like glass. When cold, shatter will flake off into little shards when scraped with your dabber but when a little warmth is applied it becomes malleable like taffy.
When buying concentrates that you can dab you should know that a gram of wax is going to cost much more then a gram of bud. Depending on the quality and method used to make the concentrate you can expect to pay anywhere from $35 to $60 a gram. Now you may be saying to yourself that $60 for a gram is absurd but it really isn’t. I would estimate that a gram of a high quality extract would be equivalent to a quarter or maybe even a half ounce of bud, a little dab will do ya and a gram goes a long way. On average these concentrates contain anywhere from 70%-90% THC and typically have a higher CBD content ranging from 1%-4% which is great for pain relief.
So what do you need to have in order to take a dab? First, you need your extract of choice obviously but you also need a piece that is commonly referred to as an ‘Oil Rig’. An oil rig is just a name for a pipe that is made specifically for taking a dab. These pieces come is two main style; the skillet and the nail. A skillet and dome rig is a small metal plate that is attached to a swing arm with a dome above it that leads to the down stem of the piece. The nail and globe rig consists of a nail made of either glass, quartz or titanium and a glass globe piece to encase the hot nail and contain the vapor. You will also need a tool referred to as a dabber which is a small rod that is made of either glass or metal and it is used to scoop your extract dose and dab it onto the hot nail or skillet which you heated using small handheld torch.
The effects from taking a single dab could be equated to smoking a full bowl to yourself in one hit or depending on your tolerance it could be like smoking 5 joints to the face. Regardless of your tolerance the high from taking a dab kicks in instantly. If you are dabbing a Sativa dominant extract you will have an incredible head high and be ready to take on the day, but if you are dabbing some strong Indicas you can expect to be sleeping soundly in a short time. The best part of taking a dab is it is a healthier alternative to smoking a bowl because you don’t inhale the butane from the lighter or smoke from the leafy material, just the vapor from the trichomes.