By now, we’re sure you have heard everyone talking about dabs. It’s not quite that new anymore, since it really has been around for a few years but it has really taken everyone by storm in the past year or so. For those who are still new to the dab game, here’s a little background on the new kid on the block.
Dabs, as defined by Leafly, are concentrated doses of cannabis that are made by extracting THC from the plant by using a solvent such as butane, carbon dioxide or ice water. There are many ways you can make it, but either way, you end up with the same result – a sticky oil with a concentration of THC anywhere from 70-90%. That’s way stronger than any hash your parents smoked. Dabs have many names, like BHO (butane hash oil), wax, shatter, and budder. These names have a lot to do with the consistency of the actual dab which is dependent on how it’s made. Taking a dab induces an instantaneous, powerful high, much like the first time you smoked cannabis. This, and the fact that you need a smaller amount than if you were smoking the actual flower, are big reasons why it has become so popular over the past few years. Those who reside in the West Coast or Colorado were on the forefront of this new form of cannabis, but it is making its way across the country for everyone to enjoy.
There’s really only one way to take a dab and that is with a rig or water pipe, a dab tool, a nail and a heating element. A rig is a water pipe specifically designed for dabbing, much like a regular water pipe, it consists of a glass chamber that you fill with water, a male or female downstem where a nail rests. A dab tool is what you use to place the dab on the hot nail, these are usually made from stainless steel or titanium. The nail you need isn’t the type of nail you hammer in, it’s actually like a skillet for your rig. The nail will either be made from titanium or quartz. You want to heat that up with your heating element, which is usually a torch, then place the dab on the nail with your dab tool and start to inhale as soon as your dab touches the nail. You can also have an e-nail (electric nail), which heats your nail to an exact temperature. If you want to take your dabs with you, or if you are not a fan of water pipes, you can use a vaporizer. There are many vaporizers out there that are specifically for wax and are perfect for those on the go.
Dabbing is the new way to medicate that can appear a little dangerous, especially when you see someone using an open-flame torch. The biggest safety issue comes from trying to actually make BHO. A lot of people forget to take the necessary precautions and have been known to cause a few explosions. For that alone, it should be left up to those with extensive experience. Another concern from home made BHO is residual solvents, whether they be the butane or any additional contaminants from the equipment used. We also face the issue of burning oneself with hot nails sitting around while dabbing, which can be avoided if you’re paying close attention to what you are doing or by using an e-nail that allows temperature control, like the Excape E-Nail 2.0. As far as we know, BHO still has a lot of medical benefits that outweigh these concerns, especially because of the high dose of medicine that provides immediate relief for those who really need it.