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Dab of This, A Dab of That

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13/03/2023 Yabba Dabba Doo! What are Dabs and Are They For You?

Dabs, concentrates, nails, straws, caps, what does it all mean? What is dabbing? Are dabs too strong for me? An investigative plunge into dabs and methods of consuming will help sort it out.

So if you have heard the term 'dab' or 'dabbing' let's demystify it all. There are very simple ways to dab and more complex tools to use to achieve the euphoria of the high you might seek.

It is an experience you won't soon forget. Dabbing is a method of consuming cannabis that can create an intense high. The 'concentrates' used are just that; concentrated, strong, and spirited. 


What is a Dab?

According to the Oxford Languages dictionary, a dab can be a noun meaning a small amount of something. As a slang term, a 'dab' or 'dabbing' can refer to a certain body pose. 

In cannabis culture, it in no way refers to posing as anything. It is exactly what it sounds like; a small amount of something. In this case, a small bit of concentrated cannabis. 

Concentrated cannabis can come in many shapes, textures, and potencies. Depending on the methods used to extract the THC, cannabinoids, and terpenes from the dried whole cannabis bud(s) determine what form it ends up in for sale. 

Shatter, wax, and crumble are some of the most popular forms to create a dab. Dabs are heated up to create a vapor that is then inhaled for an intense experience.

What to Expect When Doing Dabs

Dab's effects are strong and hit hard almost immediately. Concentrates should be consumed sparingly. Dabs are robust, and powerful and can be overwhelming to the senses. Even the most experienced cannabis lover can have an adverse reaction. Remember to start small, slow, relax and enjoy.

Concentrates To DAB

Let's break down popular cannabis concentrates to dab. 

What is Shatter?

Shatter is made from Butane Hash Oil (BHO). (My personal favorite!) Most shatter is clear and of a glass-like consistency. Others will have a slightly sticky feel. It is easily broken into tiny pieces or "shattered" to a good-sized dab amount. 

Shatter is very popular and considered to be one of the purest forms of cannabis concentrate. It is one of the most potent as well. The tiniest piece about the size of a quarter grain of rice is plenty to dab. 


What is Wax? 

Wax can be very sticky and resemble beeswax. Everything sticks to it and vice versa. I recommend not touching it with your hands. Only use a tool specifically dedicated to working with the wax. Start with a tiny dollop of wax about the size of a (sewing) pinhead.

What is Crumble?

Crumble is made when butane hash oil is extracted and stirred (whipped). Wax will transform into a brittle, crumbly texture. Try thinking of it like a piece of beeswax if most of the moisture was sucked out of it. A crumbly shell of what was once there. Crumble a smidge off for a dab session.

What Else Can be Dabbed?

You might hear the terms Rosin, Live Resin, Oil, or Hash. Most concentrated forms of cannabis can be dabbed. All are extremely potent. Each is associated with extraction methods (water, ice, pressure, butane, Co2) and the result in texture, flavor, cannabinoid, and terpene profiles. 

These products are increasing in popularity due to the spread of legalization in the United States. Most people that use concentrates have a preferred type of dab and dabbing method. It is a personal preference.

Handy Dab Supply List:

The items listed are a result of personal trial and error. Try the basics first and see what works for your unique cannabis journey. 

Dab (cannabis concentrate) - visit your legal dispensary for available cannabis choices and strains that come in concentrates.

Dab Mat- silicon mat, good for keeping dab area tidy.

Dab wand- usually a metal tool used to handle dab concentrates.

E-Nail (electronic nail) or torch - an enail has built-in temperature control to achieve perfect vaporization. A butane lighter (torch) can be used instead and will achieve a good effect.

Storm Lighter

Dab Rig- I prefer a water pipe/ bong with a quartz banger (cup) and cap (to capture vapor). It seems to have a smoother throat/ lung hit no matter what concentrate is being consumed. Another method would involve inhaling vapor through a quartz glass 'straw'.

If you find concentrates are your cup of tea, then by all means experiment with dabbing products, tools, and various techniques. 

How Does it All Work?

Put it all together and now what?! Ok, one step at a time. Once you do this a bit, you'll get the hang of it. Just keep in mind the words 'tiny portion' if you are a beginner, though.


4 Easy Steps to Dab:

Step One: Gather your supplies. 

Step Two: heat your enail to the right temp. Or torch (light) the quartz cup til the spot where you will place the concentrate is glowing red/ orange.

Step Three: Carefully, place a small bit of concentrate on the nail with the wand or in the heated quartz cup.

Step Four: the concentrate will start vaporizing. You can inhale, slow and steady through a water pipe or quartz 'straw', bring it in your lungs, and exhale.

Alternative Dab Consumption Methods:

Concentrates can be added to ground cannabis in a joint, into a bowl, or bong, or vaporized in a vape pen. Because of the large amount of THC, terpenes, and other cannabinoids within marijuana concentrate products, moderation in any application is suggested.


Is Dabbing Expensive?

Price points for each concentrated product across all legal cannabis markets can vary. Depending on the labor/ technology intensity of the extraction method, the quality, and the potency, prices for concentrates can swing widely. 

Techniques and tools, to dab, can be very simplified or involve expensive and beautiful pipes made of intricate glass chambers and filters of all sizes. The choice is yours. 

If you are a beginner to cannabis, dabbing may be something that you'll want to try after building a higher tolerance to levels of THC through dried cannabis. Take baby steps. 

Later on, you can learn how to make certain concentrates at home with a basic hair straightening tool. Learn to crawl before walking and you will enjoy your dabbing experience tremendously.