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A Brief Guide to Dabbing

Gooey THC concentrate/extract on dabber

If you haven’t experienced the pure, potent power of dabbing, you just might be missing out.

What are Dabs?

Dabs, also known as cannabis concentrates, are potent cannabis extracts that contain high levels of cannabinoids such as THC and CBD (cannabidiol). Like essential oils, concentrates are made by extracting cannabinoids and other compounds from the cannabis flower, resulting in highly potent oils. They come in different varieties—like shatter, wax, crumble, budder, rosin, and sauce—based on the extraction method used and consistency.

While dabbing isn’t for everyone, it’s becoming increasingly popular due to a range of benefits, including:

  • Taste: The concentrated amount of terpenes in dabs adds to their flavor and, with a quality extraction process, maintains the aroma of the original flower.
  • Potency: The concentration process makes dabs more potent than other forms of cannabis (the dab concentrate typically contains between 50% and 90% THC).
  • Speedy impact: Dab extract effects are delivered very quickly; a boon for those dealing with nausea and chronic or other pain (e.g., post-procedural).
  • Purer experience: With smoking, burned plant matter results in sometimes harsh smoke and resins, which can be irritating for some. Dabs tend to be purer and cleaner, producing vapor as opposed to smoke.

Concentrates may cost more than other forms of cannabis, especially flower, but you’re also getting plenty of concentrated bang for your buck. While cannabis flowers generally contain 15% to 20% THC, dabs, as noted above, are much more potent. Because concentrates are so potent, just one dab can provide the effects of an entire joint. It’s a maximum high for minimum consumption.

How Do You Dab?

Dabbing can be done in more than one way. You can get dab vape pens with pre-filled cartridges, top off a bowl, or roll it in a joint. But dab purists use a “dab rig.”

A dab rig is a water pipe, similar to a bong but a bit smaller because vapor requires less filtration and the taste of terps can get lost in a big chamber. And, instead of a bowl, a dab rig has a “nail” for concentrates. There are different types of nails, but the most common is a “banger,” which looks like a bucket. Bangers need to withstand the high temperatures needed to vaporize the dab—generally between 400°F and 600°F—so they’re generally made of highly heat-resistant borosilicate, titanium, or quartz. The rig also includes a carb cap, which is a cover for the banger that helps the concentrate vaporize evenly and controls airflow and heat for better intake.

The dab process:

  1. Use a torch (a butane lighter) to heat the banger. Each product is different, but it should only take 15-45 seconds to heat it to the desired temperature. You might want to keep a timer handy for this.
  2. Wait another 15-45 seconds for the banger to cool slightly.
  3. Use your dabber to transfer the concentrate to the heated nail.
  4. Inhale slowly.
  5. Use the carb cap to cover the rig’s opening. This allows the concentrate to vaporize evenly and controls airflow.
  6. Inhale the remaining vapor.

A word of warning: Anything that involves butane torches and open flames can be dangerous. Be careful not to touch the banger when it’s too hot, and always be mindful of your surroundings.

Finally, if you’re just starting to dab, take it slow. Because of its potency, you won’t need a big dab to get high. Start with just a small amount (think the size of a grain of rice). Once you get used to it, you’ll be able to regulate the size of dab you need. It shouldn’t be too large, regardless, as small dabs are easier to balance on the banger.

Choose Purity

If you’ll accept only the highest-quality concentrates, check out our partner, SAUS. Their goal is to create the purest extracts with the freshest flavors for maximum terpene enjoyment all day, every day. Their innovative processes yield extracts that are nearly identical to the source plant, losing none of its original integrity.

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