Dabbing: The Good, the Bad and the Groovy

Most people think of consuming marijuana by smoking a joint or pipe or else nibbling a baked good or gummy. Yet, the truth is that there is a near-infinite number of ways to get cannabinoids into your system. One of them, dabbing, isn’t well-understood by marijuana beginners or amateurs, but it isn’t one that any weed user should overlook. 

Dabbing is one of the best ways to consume cannabis concentrates, which have exceedingly high cannabinoid content. Users who need large amounts of THC or CBD to manage health conditions as well as experienced stoners looking for a more efficient way to meet their tolerance should learn more about how dabbing works and why it can be beneficial. 

Dab 101

The main component of dabbing is the dab rig, also sometimes called an “oil rig,” which is a specially made glass bong designed to collect the vapors emitted from dabs. Essentially, dabs are small bits of cannabis concentrates, which come in various forms: wax, shatter, amber, honeycomb, budder, etc. While you can use concentrates in various ways — by twisting them into a joint or sprinkling them on top of a pipe bowl — dabbing is much more efficient.

Using a short metal implement, you pick up a minuscule amount of the concentrate and place it into the well of the rig, called the nail. Then, you use a blowtorch to superheat the nail, causing the dab to produce a vapor. The vapor travels down a channel, called the vapor slide, past a 90-degree joint and into a chamber with water, where it cools down before being inhaled.

Where Concentrates Come From

In the past, dabbers made their own concentrates with the intention of increasing the cannabinoid content of individual hits. Teens, particularly, could homebrew some hash oil and dab it, vastly improving a product with a low investment. However, the process of extracting THC and CBD from raw cannabis can be extremely dangerous. It requires complex equipment and combustible solvents like butane and propane. Because you don’t want your home to explode as a result of dabbing, you should opt to buy concentrates from your local dispensary, or from trustworthy online providers. 

Not all cannabis concentrates are created equal. As the marijuana industry explodes in North America, users have already discovered a handful of unscrupulous companies that don’t focus on quality. You should purchase only highly rated concentrates, like Fuego Extracts, to dab to avoid negatively impacting your health. 

To Dab or Not to Dab?

Every marijuana user needs to make the decision whether dabbing is a smart practice for them. Here is a bit more information to help you decide:

Dabbing Pros

  • High cannabinoid content. If you rely on THC or CBD to manage a health condition, you can take in more cannabinoids in less time by dabbing. 
  • Swift high. Dabbing allows the effects of cannabinoids to kick in almost immediately, as compared to smoking, which can take several minutes, or edibles, which can take hours. 
  • Clean smell. Dab vapor does not emit the same noxious smoke as marijuana pipes or joints. However, most dabs do provide an intense marijuana flavor. 
  • Lung safety. Vapor is much better for the lungs than smoke, especially if you buy a high-quality concentrate. Admittedly, marijuana smoke is not nearly as bad for the lungs as tobacco. 

Dabbing Cons

  • Addiction. Though marijuana is not physically addictive, like cocaine or heroin, it is psychologically addictive, affecting the dopamine receptors in the brain. High levels of cannabinoids increases the likelihood of this psychological addiction and can worsen withdrawal symptoms. 
  • Overdose. THC overdose is essentially a really intense high, with exacerbated symptoms. Instead of feeling relaxed, you might feel confused; confusion can lead to delusions and panic. These symptoms often lead users to unintentional injury, like a disastrous fall or a motor vehicle collision. 
  • Expense. The costs of dabbing add up fast. Extracts are not the most affordable cannabis products — though they do offer a favorable cannabinoid return for the price. Plus, quality oil rigs are several hundreds of dollars. You might need to maintain a dab budget to avoid overspending on this hobby. 

There are good and bad aspects of this method of cannabis use — but you have full control over almost every dabbing downside. If you know your tolerance and can manage your use responsibly, you are ready to try dabbing.

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