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Concentrates 101: Dabbing for Dummies

Posted by Canna Randa on Apr 19, 2022

What are Dabs?

The term “dabbing” will have different meanings depending on the context, but when it comes to marijuana speak, dabbing is the act of consuming a cannabinoid concentrate (often THC). Not entirely different from smoking marijuana from a bong, dabbing involves heating up cannabis extract (called dabs) in a bong-like rig.

For first-time tokers, you may want to hold back on the dabbing until you’re more comfortable with more traditional marijuana products. Dabbing weed tends to provide a significant high that many newbie stoners may be unfamiliar with.

But if you’re interested in expanding your smoking portfolio (smokefolio?), here are a few notes about cannabis concentrates and dabbing weed for beginners.

What You Need to Dab

Dabbing is centered around the use of a highly concentrated cannabis extract, which comes as an oily or waxy substance. Compared to weed, THC dabs can be extremely potent, usually having 4-5 times the THC concentration than their plant counterparts. There are, of course, different types of dab concentrates to experiment with, but you’ll find the experience to be generally more momentous than with a joint or blunt.

Instead of rolling paper, the best way to smoke concentrates is with a dabbing rig, which is reminiscent of a bong. Dabbing rigs typically consist of a water pipe or bong with a nail made of metal, glass, or ceramic. The rig is shaped differently than a bong, but utilizes a similar technique of heating up the glass, adding your preferred product, and breathing in from another tube.

Using a torch, the nail is heated until it becomes hot enough to vaporize the concentrate. Next, a small amount of the marijuana concentrate is placed onto the hot surface, immediately vaporizing and turning into a thick vapor or smoke. If you’re not sure how much to dab for your first time, try to play it safe and use the tiniest drop (less than a grain of rice). At this point, the user places their mouth on the dabbing rig’s mouthpiece and breathes in the vapor.

Alternatively, many stoners also use electronic dabbing pens to get the same result with the hassle of heating up the rig on their own.

Benefits of Dabbing

The most obvious difference between smoking weed and dabbing is the increased potency of THC dabs. As we’ve previously mentioned, with much higher THC concentrations, weed dabs will allow the user to reach a significant high more quickly than you would by smoking most flowers.

Another advantage of dabbing cannabis is that, in some ways, dabbing is healthier for your body. Smoking marijuana can put some strain on your lungs, while dabbing doesn't actually produce any smoke. Instead, dabbing vaporizes the concentrate, which leaves less residue in your lungs.

Something else worth noting is that dabbing cannabis tends to accentuate more flavors than traditional marijuana. Cannabis concentrates often retain a more pronounced taste profile and aromas compared to the dried version of the plant. The process of producing dab extract retains terpenes, which give marijuana products their unique flavors.

Drawbacks of Dabbing

While dabs are safe for people that know what they’re doing, it’s worth noting that there are a few risks for first-timers. Due to the general potency of THC dabs, they are not recommended for individuals that aren’t already familiar with smoking weed or consuming THC in other manners. In extreme cases, the significant high achieved from dabbing cannabis can result in anxiety attacks or increases in heart rate. Furthermore, safety precautions should be followed when handling torches and hot surfaces.

Additionally, while some forms of weed motivate and help individuals become more productive, THC dabs tend to be more of a “time to relax” kind of high. Dab at your own risk if you have other plans that day. Dabbing marijuana also requires specialized equipment, such as a dab rig and torch. If you’re not sure how to dab concentrates, these tools can be intimidating.

Something else to consider before dabbing cannabis is that the process of getting high is much faster than smoking. This can be seen as a benefit, but to many stoners, getting high is an experience to be shared around friends, and is not explicitly about reaching the final euphoric state. If you're looking for something you can try and still go about your day, you can give cannabis tinctures a try. If you prefer to joke, laugh, and mess around with your pals while getting high, there’s nothing wrong with sticking to joints or bowls!

Overall, dabbing marijuana concentrates is quite similar to smoking, but with a little more kick. So next time you hear the term “dabbing,” the conversation may not be about the dance move!

Do you dab? Hit me up on social media, and let's spark up a conversation and trade tips!

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