What Are Dabs?
Its dabs this and dabs that nowadays, but what the heck are dabs anyway?
Well, somewhere along the line a bunch of stoners decided the humble joint didn’t have enough power for their high tolerances and sought out a purer method of consuming their cannabis. Enter the marijuana concentrate containing as much as 90% THC, made from those gorgeous little hairs you find on the buds. The trichome has evolved into all sorts of concentrate incarnations we now refer to as “Dabs”. One-upping the peace signs, tie-dye of the 60’s stoners, the dabs culture boasts dabs pins and dab sculptures and a plethora of new ways to turn your smoking ritual into serious business.
“Dabbing” is the process of using a water pipe or vaporizer pen to heat marijuana concentrates such as shatter, waxes, or oils which can be made using three different extraction processes; butane, CO2, and isopropyl alcohol.
If using a water pipe, you will also need a complete dab rig which includes a water pipe (of course), a blowtorch, and a heating surface (a “nail” which is made of titanium or glass; glass usually lasts about three months before it breaks as opposed to the more durable titanium). Once the surface has been heated, the concentrate is “dabbed” lightly onto the scorching surface which results in vapor being emitted and consequently inhaled. Sounds simple enough, right?
Now it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of the types of concentrates you can use for “dabbing.” One of the most popular concentrates and the one with the most THC content (up to 80% sometimes) is a concentrate known as shatter because of its fragile nature when you break off a piece of the thin and solid substance. Shatter is typically made using a double extraction process using a pressure vacuum that purges all the chemical solvents resulting in an amber-colored substance. If you are an avid pot connoisseur then this is the concentrate for you.
AHHHHHH To get more in depth, shatter is one of the most refined forms of concentrates since the extraction process ends up removing all plant matter including the “terpenes” which are basically compounds that give your marijuana flower you favorite type of smell. Terpenes are also present in many of your favorite fruits, vegetables, spices and other plant matter.
The second type of concentrate is wax which is also referred to as a “crumble” and is a result of a butane oil extraction process and a whipping process that occurs while it’s heating. This process leaves air inside the concentrate and also fats, lipids, and sometimes the ever dangerous butane (if done improperly). Nowadays, lab-tested methods are careful to remove all butane but there are the horror stories of burned down garages or hotel rooms because the person wasn’t properly trained to make the wax.