If you’ve noticed the rising trend of dabbing and dab bars, here is a basic intro to the types of concentrates available on the market.
First of all; What are dabs, and what is dabbing? Well, dabs are concentrates of THC and other cannabinoids made by extraction. There are various methods of extraction and processing, which will be explained below, but concentrates are generally made with the intent of preserving all the cannabinoids while removing all plant matter and extraneous material. Instead of being smoked, concentrates are vapourized at extremely high temperatures, allowing the fastest and most efficient way of medicating. This allows for a very strong and very fast acting effect.
There are four main types of concentrates available for dabbing; Shatter, Wax, Budder, and Rosin.
Shatter or Butane Hash Oil (BHO) is an extract created with the use of solvent, typically butane. The resulting product is generally between 60-90% THC and allows the flavours of natural terpenes and cannabinoids to come through. Shatter should have the consistency of hard candy, and should snap or shatter when pulled, with consistency much like a hard taffy. Shatter is more flavourful than budder or wax, and has a stronger effect than either. The quality of shatter can vary– in general, high-quality shatters have lighter colours and more pleasant scents.
Once extract has been collected, it heated and purged in a vacuum, creating a solid product with bubbles, similar to the inside of an Aero bar. This product is called Wax. Wax can then be whipped again to create Budder, which has a dry, crumbly texture. Wax is a stable product which can be stored for long periods.
The newest type of concentrate available is Rosin, which is made with only heat and pressure in industrial or laboratory conditions. Rosin extraction process does not use solvents or chemicals, which results in the purest method of extraction. The golden extract is similar to shatter in texture, with the same pull and snap, but with a pale golden appearance and a natural, pleasing scent. Rosin, while currently quite costly, is the purest extraction of THC available to the average consumer.
So, how do we dab? Dabs can be consumed through bongs or through e-cigs and vaporizers, but the most common low-tech method involves the dab kit. The dab kit is similar to the well-known ‘hot knife’ technique favoured by hash smokers. In dabbing, a lighter is used to preheat the nail, which is usually made of titanium or glass. Once the nail is heated, the concentrate is “dabbed” on the surface, resulting in a vapor that can be inhaled.
Dabbing and vapourizing (vaping) is growing increasingly popular as cannabis consumers seek to avoid the harsh burn of marijuana smoke and the hours-long commitment of edibles. For patients with severe symptoms or acute conditions such as seizures or migraines, dabbing can provide effective and immediate relief from the pain, nausea and stress. Of course, caution should be exercised in all cannabis consumption, and even more so for dabbing. Due to the high heat and fast effect, first time patients should be careful of over-medicating in order to avoid risking an uncomfortable experience. Although not physically dangerous, high doses of cannabinoids can be disorienting, and frequent dabbing can lead to increased tolerance due to the powerful effect. We strongly recommend you find your ideal dose using small dabs at first.
I hope this information helps you to understand the latest trend sweeping dispensaries and allows you to try some new methods of medicating. We’ll be doing a different spotlight on products every week. Please comment below with any products you are curious about or questions you may have!