- Posted by agency-it
- On October 3, 2018
Methods of cannabis consumption have come a long way since the humble joint. For many users, concentrates are the wave of the future, possessing a potency that is impossible to match with dry flower. Although concentrates have been around for centuries (looking at you, bubble hash), they have only entered the mainstream consciousness in the past few years with increased legalization across the nation leading to expanded availability of diverse forms of cannabis. If you are new to marijuana dabs―one of the most popular ways to ingest concentrates―here is what you need to know to fully enjoy the experience.
How Are Concentrates Made?
The main goal of extraction is to remove carbon and other materials from cannabinoids and terpenes in the starting plant material, with as little residual solvent as possible in the end product. This is often done through super critical extraction, which uses a closed loop system and very low temperatures to liquify a solvent that passes through a tube filled with plant material. The solvent, typically a hydrocarbon such as butane or propane, or CO2, washes across the plant material and binds with the polarity of cannabinoids. Once it has absorbed these oils, it flows to a collection bucket at room temperature, sublimating the solvent to a gas and leaving the residual oil to be collected and further refined. Oils are usually refined in vacuum ovens that lower the boiling point of the solvent, allowing it to be removed with light heat that doesn’t destroy cannabinoids or terpenes.
What’s a Dab?
Weed dabs are any concentrate that can be vaporized with little to no residual content. Most solventless bubble hash does not get to this grade of purity as it does not use a chemical solvent. The apparatus used to consume, called a dab rig, is a waterpipe that has been fitted with an element that allows for vaporizing concentrates, often called a nail. Nails come in varying shapes, sizes and materials, but often we find dome-less quartz nails or “buckets” to be the most common and price effective. Propane torches (crème brulee torches) are commonly used to heat the nail, though advanced set ups can do so with a soldering iron like attachment with a digital temperature controller. When the nail is heated to approximately 500-700 degrees farenheit, the cannabis concentrate placed on the nail with a dabber (similar to a dental tool) vaporizes and can be inhaled through the rig’s mouthpiece. Although the set-up is pretty simple, getting the nail to the right temperature and using the right amount of wax can take some practice.
Smaller versions called dab pens condense the whole setup into a portable form that’s indistinguishable from a standard vaporizer. These are much easier to use and provide an easy form of entry for curious would-be dabbers. We’ve taken it upon ourselves to make a dab pen attachment for our Flux by Infinite Capacitor battery that makes this process easy and convenient.
How Strong Is It?
While dry flower tops out at around 34 percent THC, dabs have THC content of up to and sometimes exceeding 90 percent. Our recent batch of DJC Wax from Flux by Infinite tested at 96% THC! Whether it is your first time getting high or you are an experienced smoker, you can expect intense effects quite different from those created by your basic bowl. Many users report immediate euphoria without the mind-clouding effect sometimes caused by smoking cannabis. Some also report that the hallucinogenic properties inherent with some strains of marijuana are enhanced when you do a dab. Tolerances can quickly build up with cannabis concentrates, so we recommend that a little goes a long way. Beginners may want to start with a size no larger than the head of a pencil.
How Long Will It Last?
In contrast to smoking, which can produce a high that lasts an hour or two depending on your tolerance, new dabbers often report a strong high for two hours with another two hours of milder effects. However, this varies based on factors like how often you use cannabis and your physical makeup. There is no inherent difference in the active cannabinoids between flower and dabs, though the concentration and removal of other parts of the plant produce noticeably different effects. The higher the purity of the concentrate, the more “one note” some effects can become, with a strong head buzz through the temples being a key indicator.
What Are the Benefits of Dabbing?
In addition to the mind-blowing impact of dabs, fans of concentrates appreciate their smooth taste and enhanced flavors. Because dabs pack a much greater punch than dry flower, most users find that dabs are more cost-effective. Despite their potency, dabs are easy to carry because of their small size and don’t give off the noticeable odor associated with dry flower.
For those with chronic pain and other severe ailments, dabs can provide the long-lasting relief that’s not always possible with other forms of cannabis ingestion. These patients are also more easily able to dose their medication correctly and have it work more quickly than with smoking or eating marijuana products.
Additionally, the concentration of terpenes can provide enhanced medical benefits that are not achievable in flower. Top tier buds can contain up to three or four percent terpene content by volume, where concentrates can easily exceed ten percent and some specialty products being nearly 80% terpenes and little to no cannabinoids.
What Should I Keep in Mind My First Time?
If you’re new to dabbing, take heart. With a bit of research, you’ll be a pro in no time. Here are some of our best tips for first-time dabbing:
• You’ll probably cough a lot your first time, so take it slow and start small.
• Follow dispensary instructions for storing your concentrates, since it’s sensitive to heat and can break down if left in your car’s glove compartment.
• Use less than you need. The amount of concentrate that should go on your rig is just that–a dab. If it looks too big, cut it in half. You can always go back for more.
• Drink plenty of water.
• Get high with trusted friends who are dab-experienced.
• If the effects are too intense, remember that they will pass with time.
• You’ll probably feel sleepy as the dab begins to wear off, so make sure you’re at a place where you can safely relax.
• Use the lowest temperature possible when dabbing to reduce the amount of carcinogens produced – never dab off a red hot nail.
What Are the Drawbacks of Dabbing?
Because the effects of this form of consumption are so potent, it’s easy to build a tolerance. If you dab more than once in awhile, you’ll probably notice that smoking, edibles or even vaporizing don’t have the same impact they once did. Additionally, negative side effects like paranoia and anxiety may also be more intense with dabs than they are with dry flower.
Although explosions caused by attempts to make butane hash oil at home have been reported, this safety risk is absent when you purchase your concentrate from a professional dispensary. Our laboratory environment, 0 ppm sensors, high tech equipment and licensing and permitting with local government (police, fire department, etc) make our extraction process as safe as possible and protect both workers and consumers.
To explore dabs in the Fort Collins area, visit the team at Infinite Wellness to ask any remaining questions you have. Contact us about our diverse selection of cannabis concentrates and choose the right strain and consumption method for your first―or maybe fiftieth―time.