Heard this term used lately and wondered what it refers to? You’re not alone. ‘Dabbing’ is now a widely used term to describe a concentrated dose of cannabis. By using a solvent, like butane, you can extract the cannabinoids such as THC with the end result being a sticky oil-like substance. Other names reference the finished cannabis product such as shatter, wax and hash oil. Dabbing vaporizes cannabis extracts for a highly concentrated dose of cannabis. A "dab" of the concentrated form of cannabis is "dabbed" onto the hot surface which produces smoke-free vapour and is inhaled.
This method of consuming cannabis is trendy (yes, we said trendy) among young adults, and the setups - commonly referred to as "dab rigs" - can resemble a SpaceX creation. Many companies sell this form of cannabis in overseas markets such as North America and it’s considered more of a ‘lifestyle’ product than a medical cannabis product. Dabbing does have its benefits, however. If you’re in need of an abundant cannabinoid hit with a quick onset, then dabbing could be an option for you.
Is dabbing safe?
Firstly, let's look at the extraction methods used to make this concentrated form of cannabis. Extraction is the most dangerous part as it involves gases and should be conducted in a laboratory with the correct equipment and ventilation. Cannabis extraction can occur a number of different ways and the internet is awash with various methods to try. It's vital to ensure minimal chemical residue remains in the finished product as this can be harmful to personal health. This is why it’s highly recommended to leave the extraction process to professionals and just enjoy the finished product - knowing it’s safe and of high quality. Always check that the final product you purchased has been 3rd party tested and shows minimal chemicals remaining. Consuming concentrated forms of cannabis can allow users to consume an extremely pure version of cannabis without inhaling the burnt plant material. This can be considered healthier as dabbing will still deliver good stuff such as terpenes and cannabinoids, without harmful smoke.
Consuming dabs the accurate way is key to maintaining safety and the best end result. Because the process involves using a heated surface - in some cases a blow torch - it easily becomes dangerous if set up incorrectly and in the wrong environment. Luckily, technology is catching up to the cannabis world, and you can now purchase products such as an ‘eNail’ - an electronically heated coil which both takes out the need for a flame and ensures elongated and consistent heat - or consume the cannabis concentrate in a vape pen to reduce the risks associated with ‘DIY Dabbing’. Cannabis dabbing is efficient and requires less overall cannabis to be inhaled in comparison with smoking regular cannabis flowers.
Start slow, really slow.
Building a tolerance to cannabis with dabbing can have side effects such as psychosis by consuming copious amounts of THC. Patients that dab will usually experience a sense of euphoria and may experience adverse effects such as panic attacks, hallucinations and paranoia.
What can dabs help with?
Patients that need a quick onset of cannabinoids, such as those with chronic pain and joint-related issues will benefit from this delivery method. Dabbing allows cannabinoids to enter the bloodstream quickly with almost instant effects because you are only inhaling vapour. Smoking dabs could save you money as you may need less cannabis concentrate to get the same effect; this is partly why dabbing has become so popular over the last ten years.
Cannabis concentrates can be up to 90% THC, compare that with ordinary cannabis flower of up to 25%, and it's advised to always start slow with dabbing cannabis.
What are the different dabbing products available?
- Shatter:Amber and translucent in colour shatter is brittle, which makes it less malleable.
- Wax:Highly malleable, has a buttery appearance and is a widespread choice for cannabis enthusiasts.
- Oil:Sticky and not as consistent as the others but thicker than liquid. Perfect for vape pens.
- Crumble: Sugar Crumble is crumbly and sticky with a crystallized surface. Was crumble is generally creamier.
- Live Resin: Different from other extracts as they are made from recently harvested buds that are cryogenically frozen during extraction.
Dabbing is an advanced method and is only recommended for experienced cannabis users. From our understanding, no doctors in Australia would recommend this technique as it requires an in-depth knowledge of cannabis extracts and the process.
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