Dabbing 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Concentrates

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A dab is always a cannabis concentrate – a form of marijuana that has been processed so that much of the plant material has been removed, leaving a substance that will be more potent because it’s now concentrated. Products made with water, ice, shaking or any combination of methods that don’t involve additional chemicals are considered “non-solvent” or “solventless” and if the quality and technique is right, these can be quite dabbable. Most often, dabs refer to Butane Hash Oil (Butane Honey Oil or BHO) which is made by using butane as a solvent to strip the plant material. The butane/hash mixture is then processed to purge away the butane, leaving a dabbable concentrate. Extractors also use things like CO2 and propane to make concentrated cannabis. With so many different methods,  it’s important to inquire about how the dab was made, as one experience can be completely different from the next! There are all sorts of devices that people utilize to dab but in essence it’s just fancy hot-knifing – an old technique used to smoke hash by pressing it between two hot knives and inhaling. These days, equipment is much more sophisticated than knives heated over a stove. Glass pipes known as “rigs” are made specifically for consuming hash oil. Rigs have a “nail” – a titanium, glass, quartz or ceramic surface that’s heated with a blowtorch or electric heating device to a temperature that vaporizes the hash upon contact. It’s important to use discretion with dabbing. Depending on methods and materials, each dab is a unique combination of factors. Just like with different strains of flowers, quality varies. For example, there’s high quality artisan oil made from the flowers of the plant as well as more mass-produced oil made from trim or the entire plant. There are small batches being…

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