Dabs are concentrated doses of cannabis that are made by extracting THC and other cannabinoids from cannabis using solvents like butane and carbon dioxide. In addition to wax, shatter, budder, and butane hash oil (BHO), these marijuana concentrates are often referred to as shatter, shatter oil, and budder. Wax and other dabs are typically heated on hot surfaces, such as nails, and inhaled through a dab rig. Since the advent of more advanced extraction methods has led to more cannabis concentrates, dabbing has become more popular.
Cannabis wax and other dabs contain a lot of THC, which makes them the fastest and most efficient way to get maximum effects in a short period of time. CBD, however, is not intoxicating, so it’s not possible to extract it. It is also possible to extract terpenes or aromatic oils that give cannabis its flavor, although it can be difficult to preserve these volatile compounds during the extraction process.
What are the perceived dangers of dabbing?
Let’s start with the bad news: dabbing can be dangerous. The main danger lies in the extraction. Although it can be tricky, thanks to online forums and videos, many amateur “scientists” think they have mastered the technique enough to try it themselves. If flammable gases and inadequate ventilation combine, explosions can occur in the worst-case scenario. No matter how well your extraction goes, you can’t be sure of the final product’s purity or quality. In dirty oil, chemical contaminants and residual solvents may be present that could be harmful to consumers.
Eliminating these production issues typically requires:
- Lab testing (to measure the purity and potency of concentrates)
- High-grade solvents
- Closed-loop extraction equipment (to prevent accidents)
- Trained extraction professionals
How dangerous are cannabis extracts from a consumer perspective? Although it can be challenging, dabbing safely is possible with the right precautions.
Most new dabbers invest in their first setup by buying the bare minimum: a nail attachment and a handheld blow torch. Heating a metal or glass nail with a tiny flamethrower may appear to be dangerous to the uninitiated. Electronic nails (enails) are products designed to allow dabbing marijuana using no torch. Consumers can use these tools to safely and efficiently dab cannabis concentrates such as wax, shatter, and oil without the use of a torch.
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Can you overdose on dabs?
All new dabbers should consider the potency of THC extracts. The THC content of cannabis extracts ranges from 60-90%, meaning not much is needed to achieve profound intoxication. You may find that the effects of exceeding your personal limit are highly uncomfortable and overwhelming. Despite the fact that you can’t die from a cannabis overdose, it’s never a bad idea to start with a small dab of cannabis concentrate to ensure a pleasant experience.
Furthermore, dabbing cannabis wax and other concentrates may have long-term effects that are still unknown. Researchers are not able to characterize any dangers associated with long-term use of dabbed extracts until long-term effects have been thoroughly examined (with consideration taking into account residual solvents, pesticides, and cannabinoids).
What are the benefits of dabbing?
In addition to its swift onset and powerful effects, dabbing as a delivery method has several advantages, particularly when done safely with clean, tested products. Cannabis concentrates can be one of the best ways for patients suffering from severe or chronic pain or nausea to get immediate and effective relief. Dabbing is unlikely to be recommended as a first course of action by most doctors.
The clean, pure product that cannabis extracts can provide can also be easier on the lungs when they’re properly manufactured. Smoking cannabis produces resin and hot smoke, but extracts remove most of this unwanted material while delivering essential cannabinoids and other compounds like terpenes.
In recent years, dabbing marijuana wax and other cannabis concentrates has also sparked scientific and technological curiosity. Several extraction and consumption technologies have coincided with the rise of dabbing: cannabis distillates, terpene infusions, hi-tech dabbing tools, oil cartridges, full spectrum extraction. The enthusiasm for cannabis wax and other extracts has pushed the limits of innovation within the industry as a whole, however not everyone will embrace dabbing as a method of consumption.
Dabbing has also created an interest in activism among young members of the community, which is a surprising side effect of the trend. In addition to being popular among twenties, extracts are under the same legal crackdown as other forms of marijuana, and more activists are getting involved.
While dabbing may still be experiencing some growing pains in the future, in the long run, concentrates will prove to be one of the most valuable options for cannabis patients and consumers.