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In a nutshell, dabbing is defined as inhaling the vapour of highly concentrated concoctions with cannabinoid percentages of 75%+ and a purity that "regular" hash could only dream of. So, what do you need to "budder up" and have a dab? You need a concentrate, a dab tool, a blowtorch, and what is commonly referred to as an oil rig or dab rig. This contraption is simply the apparatus that has been made specifically for taking a dab.

These devices come in two main styles: skillet and nail. A skillet and dome rig consists of a small metal plate attached to a swing arm and a dome above, which leads to the downstem of the rig. A nail and globe rig utilises a nail made of either quartz, titanium, or glass, and a glass tube or sphere to encase the nail and vapour. The dab tool is a small rod made of either glass or metal that is used to dab the concentrate on the hot skillet or nail you heated using the torch.

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Dabbing: Read All About It!

What Is Dabbing?

What is Dabbing?

The use of cannabis concentrates is not really something new, but there is new hype forming around new types of concentrates—dabs. These substances appear in numerous forms and commonly go by names such as oil, wax, budder, BHO, or shatter. Interest in dabbing has grown significantly, especially in regions where cannabis is legal. Dispensaries now boast an equally impressive array of dabs as they do flowers.

2012 is often viewed as the year where concentrates really took off, and have since continued their ascent to dominance. Some say this is a quantum leap forward in stoner evolution, and that dabbing is a healthier alternative to smoking a bowl or blunt because you don't inhale the butane from the lighter or smoke from the leafy material—just the vapour from the concentrate.

But with each passing month, the controversy around dabbing grows in kind. Some admonishers point out the potential dangers of the new concentrates, mentioning the hazards involved in both making and enjoying them. In terms of their production, some concentrates are created via highly flammable chemical solvents like butane. When it comes to the dabbing process itself, some believe that the intense-looking nature of the dab rig and blowtorch will put-off the mainstream from continuing to support cannabis.

Others warn about the oxides of the metal nails and skillets, but these are usually made of titanium, which can be found in many food and cosmetic products. And although it does oxidise, it is no real hazard because the water in the rig filters almost 100% of it.

What Do You Need To Have A Dab?

So, what is the dabbing experience like? As soon as the concentrate hits the hot surface, it vaporises quickly and the vapour is inhaled. Depending on the concentrate, one long, hard hit can feel as if you’ve had an entire blunt in one puff, which means dabbing is not for newbies and should be approached with caution. A sativa-dominant extract will trigger an incredible head high that will prepare you to take on the day, whereas a dab of some strong indica can send you to bed in a matter of minutes.

HISTORY OF DABBING

History Of Dabbing

Hash is an archaic form of "concentrated cannabis" and is as old as the use of cannabis itself. But the THC level and strength are in no way comparable to the concentrates of today. Along with how it has assimilated itself in such a short time, it is a bit of a mystery where, when, and who invented the dab.

Alas, the first archived article about it was published by Cannabis Culture in 2005, and according to that, the first "dabs" were, in fact, being smoked as early on as the ‘60s.

By that time, modern methods to extract cannabinoids involved alcohol, chloroform, butane, and other solvents, and the outcome was traded as "honey oil", "red oil", "jelly-butane hash", or similarly named concoctions. The purity and cannabinoid levels were usually higher than those of hash, but the concentrates were often polluted by solvent residues. Not to mention, the process of producing extracts with chemical solvents was quite dangerous.

According to BudderKing, “budder" is the outcome of ten years of research, and its roots lie in the production of liquid cannabis oil or “honey oil”. He and his colleagues in Surrey, British Columbia took honey oil manufacturing to a new level when they created a product named "glass". BudderKing explained that "It was a refined oil that was manufactured in a multi-step process that involved alcohol... we then took it further and it hardened into something that had the look and feel of amber. We liked it because it was extremely strong and much easier to smoke than oil".

Some prominent people in the medical marijuana industry state that the first time they ever heard of such high-octane concentrates was around the summer of 2010. They also suppose that concentrates first took form in the United States, either in Northern California or Colorado. From there, dabs began to spread like wildfire, picking up momentum particularly in the areas in and around Denver and Boulder, CO.

In 2012, the process of manufacturing concentrates became much more industrialised and prominent amongst growers, and at the High Times Cannabis Cup of the same year. There were actually more people smoking concentrates than marijuana at the event, and in excessive amounts. The debate on whether dabbing is healthier than traditional methods of cannabis intake continues to be tossed back and forth. Only time will reveal the intricacies of this issue. But one thing’s for sure; for the time being, concentrates are king.

HOW ARE DABS MADE?

How Are Dabs Made?

First off, let's get this straight: Strictly speaking, hash is a "dab"—but one with a much lower cannabinoid percentage than the next-gen dabs we mentioned above. One of the main differences between the substances lies in the manufacturing process.

Basically, the process of producing budder, shatter, BHO, and the like usually involves stuffing cannabis buds into a tube, then running a liquid chemical solvent through it. The solvent "washes" the cannabinoids out of the plant material and eventually drips out of the tube, where it forms a liquid stream in the colour of, well, urine. This liquid is collected in a glass dish (the best material to allow for easy cleansing) and gently warmed to remove the excess solvent. The result is a cannabinoid-rich dab. The quality of the dab depends on several circumstances, but the most important variables are the feedstock and the quality of solvent used.

DON'T DO THIS AT HOME!

We are talking about producing dabs; but before you even think about it, read about it, talk to people who have done it before (successfully!), and be cautious! The chemicals involved can have fatal effects! Butane is highly combustible, and careless use can cause an explosion, whereas CO₂ in high concentrations can cause death by suffocation. Bottom line: Get wise before you try it, and stick with smoking dabs instead of making your own if you have no 100% secure setup.