The legalization of cannabis has offered people a wide variety of choices when it comes to marijuana consumption. Nowadays, consumers can choose between joints, marijuana edibles, cannabis topicals, tinctures, vapes, and dabs.
Dabbing is slowly becoming more fashionable because of its intense effect. Dabbing equipment is also getting smaller and less conspicuous, so that marijuana consumers can dab their cannabis throughout the day in a discreet way.
A significant advantage of dabbing is the potency of marijuana concentrates. To dab, you need a cannabis concentrate—which can contain up to 90% THC. That’s a very high example, most concentrates will be between 40% and 75%. Even so, with a single dab’s worth of inhalation, your body starts feeling the full benefits of marijuana.
As with everything that has to do with cannabis, buying THC concentrate from a reputable brand is always the best strategy. Trustworthy brands often use the latest clean extraction methods to produce their concentrate and deliver products that are brimming with quality THC and all the terpenes and botanical compounds found in cannabis.
What Is Dabbing?
Dabbing refers to the practice of consuming concentrated cannabis by inhaling the vapor produced from burning it.
To take a “dab,” you usually heat a nail or an electronic nail (e-nail). These nails aren’t the same thing you hammer into your walls at home, but similar, and can be made from various metals as well as glass and quartz. To consume the concentrate, you heat the nail and apply a small amount, which will vaporize because of the heat. Heating the nail often requires more than just a lighter: many use a mini-torch and some need up to a plumbing torch to heat properly.
You then inhale the THC-laden vapor, which enters your lungs and goes straight into your bloodstream. As a result, the THC, other cannabinoids, and terpenes in the concentrate start taking effect almost immediately.
What Are the Various Forms of Cannabis Concentrate?
With improved technology and increased knowledge regarding cannabis, new forms of cannabis concentrate have hit the market.
Marijuana concentrate can be bought as oil, wax, shatter, crumble, budder, and other names. The consistency, texture, and moisture levels differ between them, leading to the various names:
- Oil is the most liquid of them.
- Shatter has a glass-like texture.
- Budder is like sticky caramel.
- Crumble has the texture of crumbly cheese.
- Wax has a waxy thickness.
There are further options just beyond these: for example, you may see things like live sugar, terp sauce, distillate, taffy, and whip wax. Different temperatures and mixing techniques are used to produce these cannabis concentrates. Many marijuana consumers prefer waxes and softer textures because they have been heated less and their aromatic terpenes are more pronounced. This is purely a matter of personal taste, however, and the choice of cannabis concentrate depends on your taste, preferences, and familiarity with the dabbing process. Shatter, for instance, can be difficult to grasp with tools and portion/dose yourself properly unless heated.
Our suggestion for first-time users is to buy a small quantity of each and experiment in your own time and place. This way, you can find the product that most appeals to you and fits your needs.
Why Should I Choose Dabbing?
Maximum THC Potency
Most people choose to dab because of the high THC potency. With a single vapor inhalation, you get the full effects of marijuana.
While cannabis flowers and joints contain at the most 25% THC, marijuana concentrates can reach well into 90% THC. The same is also true of the terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids found in cannabis. The concentration of all the botanical compounds of marijuana greatly boosts their availability, and therefore you may experience even more potent effects than you may have otherwise.
Unlike edibles, which go through the stomach, dabbing passes through the lungs. THC and all the other botanical compounds of cannabis enter the lungs and are then directed toward the bloodstream through the lung capillaries. The effect is almost instantaneous.
It’s also worth noting that vaping, and by extension dabbing, preserves most of the usable plant matter in the vapor itself upon being heated. As a result, of all the means of enjoying marijuana, vaping is king for efficiency in this manner. Burning the plant via joint or bowl does not preserve many of those plant materials, catalyzing and destroying them instead.
People looking for immediate action from their cannabis product often prefer dabbing to other, slower methods of consumption.
Cannabis at Its Fullest
Because of the way concentrates are made, they intensify the botanical compounds of cannabis. Besides THC, cannabis also contains hundreds of other compounds, such as cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, minerals, and vitamins.
Terpenes, in particular, give cannabis its distinctive flavors and scent. Each strain contains different quantities of terpenes, hence the various aromas consumers get from each different cannabis strain.
You Are Not Inhaling Smoke
When you dab, you are inhaling vapor rather than the smoke produced from cannabis combustion. As a result, dabbing may be less taxing on the lungs. Accordingly, people who find smoking a joint causes them lung difficulties often opt for dabbing.
What Should I Be Aware Of When Dabbing?
Some producers might use butane instead of CO2 extraction. While butane extraction is often cheaper, CO2 extraction leaves no residue behind when the CO2 turns into gas under pressure.
Butane, on the other hand, can leave chemical residues behind. When burnt, these could be propelled into your lungs, with potentially adverse effects. Clean extraction, therefore, is a huge plus.
How Much Heat You Apply
Too much heat can destroy terpenes and other natural compounds. Cannabis contains several terpenes, such as beta-caryophyllene, linalool, pinene, humulene, limonene, and myrcene. The percentage of each terpene determines the flavor and aromas you get out of your marijuana. Terpenes are also believed to have beneficial properties.
Unfortunately, terpenes evaporate at high temperatures. For example, the boiling point for pinene is 311 degrees Fahrenheit and rises to 388 degrees for linalool and humulene. Beyond this point, terpenes disappear and you miss out on their potential effects.
Cannabis compounds have been found to be particularly helpful when they are consumed together. The compounds enhance each other’s efficiency in a synergetic way that has been called ‘the entourage effect.’ When they are all consumed together, the end result is greater than when consumed independently.
A cannabis concentrate contains boosted concentrations of THC and terpenes. If you want to make the most of them, you should limit how hot the nail or surface is you’ll be dabbing off of. Realizing this benefit, some consumers have switched to e-nails, which heat the nail in a controlled environment and at a controlled temperature.
How Much You Consume
Because of the concentrate’s boost and high THC potency, even a few inhalations can have a significant impact on you. Some people find dabbing too strong and intense for their liking.
To discover how your body reacts to dabbing, we suggest you inhale only once or twice and wait to see how your body responds. Ideally, you should be in a safe place with a friend to make sure you don’t experience any unpleasant side effects such as nausea and drowsiness. The amount of concentrate applied to the nail will be the number one determining factor, and even a very small amount of this vapor can knock a newbie flat.
While there hasn’t been any mention of a cannabis overdose, we strongly urge our customers to be responsible consumers. For example, marijuana has been associated with mental problems when consumed by the underaged and with cardiovascular problems when consumed by people with heart problems or high arterial pressure. Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome has gotten a lot of talk around Colorado, too, in reference to users of concentrates.
Even a perfectly healthy body can only metabolize a small quantity of THC at any given time. It is counterproductive to force it to metabolize more and can lead to unwelcome side effects. Pace your marijuana consumption to make the most of it for longer stretches of time. Give your body time to adjust and keep track of cannabis strains, noting how each one makes you feel.
Ask Your Budtender
If you are unfamiliar with dabbing, visit one of our Mountain Annie’s recreational dispensaries in Colorado and ask our budtenders to help you discover the right dabbing equipment and cannabis concentrates for your needs.
For first-time users, we suggest you get small quantities of several marijuana strains and concentrates. Once you have tried them all, let us know which ones worked best for you so we can narrow down the selection and give you cannabis products that match your needs.