The world of cannabis and cannabis extracts has vastly expanded in recent years due to the increasing number of states that are legalizing the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana. With these vast strides comes not only the advancement and expansion of medical uses, but also different ways to enjoy it and the verbiage and abbreviations that go along with, thus making it easier and easier to fall behind the urban dictionary. You may have heard the phrase “weed dab” or the word “dabbing” in conversations or in passing and wondered what it is and what the difference is between dabbing and smoking, and now you’ve come to the right place to find out.

A dab is a form of cannabis extract that is highly concentrated and versatile, meaning when you smoke it or ingest it you get a stronger effect for longer than the normal duration you might otherwise get. This means you don’t have to smoke as much to get the same effects and you don’t have to dab as frequently. This gives your lungs a break, and for those who don’t particularly like the sensation of smoking this is a very good alternative. There are many different types of dabs made from cannabis extract including wax, sugar, and budder, among others. They are often named after the texture the dab has or the extraction process by which they are made. For instance wax has a very waxy and sticky consistency, whereas budder looks akin to peanut butter. Most dabs will have a sticky quality and have a color palette ranging from yellow, gold, orange, brown, and white.

When you smoke in general, most people use a bong, pipe, or roll a joint. Dabbing is similar and can even be added to those aforementioned methods to give your experience an extra kick. The implementation of a dab-rig is usually regarded as the best way to partake of dabs. A dab-rig is very reminiscent of a bong, however a dab-rig as the name suggests is made specifically for dabbing. Traditionally made from glass, the parts consist of a “nail” where you place a very small amount of your dab (a little goes a very long way) to be heated with a hand torch. When heated the smoke is pulled through a pipe and through a chamber of water, and is delivered to the mouthpiece where you inhale. Since dabbing requires higher temperatures to smoke (hence the hand torch), be sure to wait for a little while before inhaling in order to allow the smoke to cool down.

Wax extract has a few different methods by which to smoke that can be implemented. You can use it with a dab-rig and smoke as normal, or alternatively you can use a very small amount of it on top of an already packed bowl. This will greatly raise the potency and give you a stronger experience that lasts longer. In doing this method do keep in mind that the dab is very flammable and can cause more flare ups, so keep the bowl as far away from your face as possible and in the event a flare-up occurs be ready to blow it out. Another way to enjoy wax is to apply a thin, even line of wax to the side of your joint when rolling. It helps to seal the joint, while also adding an extra kick, strengthening the potency of it. Do your best to get a thin even coating since wax is prone to flare up, doing this will decrease both flare-ups and side-burning. Other weed dabs can also be implemented similarly, however wax is the best for coating and sealing a joint.

Not everyone is going to like dabbing, especially if you are newer to smoking it is something you want to ease yourself into and see how you like it. Start off with a ridiculously small amount and see how that affects you, then slowly up your dose from there until you get to a comfortable zone that works best for you. A little bit of a dab goes a very long way. They are incredibly concentrated and potent and are geared towards people whose tolerance for weed is already high. Dabbing allows you to smoke less and less often which gives your lungs a break.

weed dab

When properly made, dabs will be more pure and more clean and in general easier on the lungs because they have been processed so much. When you burn cannabis, the plant matter becomes resin and produces hot smoke which when inhaled can cause damage over time. Dabs have less of what you don’t want and more of what you do. Because of the potency of the dab, it is easy to inhale too much and become anxious and paranoid like you would if you smoked too much from a bong, but on the bright side, it is impossible to overdose on cannabis extracts. To put the potency in perspective, the average cannabis bud generally has a THC strength ranging from 15%-25% however cannabis extracts usually range from 60%-90%. If you’ve never dabbed before it is highly recommended to be in a safe comfortable environment with someone who has dabbed before and who can show you how to properly use a weed dab.

Safety First

Procuring your weed dabs from a legal and regulated source is always the way to go. Solvents need to properly be extracted from the plants and legal, regulated sources will have very strict regulations on them ensuring that you get a safe, clean product that will give you the best results. 

Using your dab-rig properly is very important and being aware of the possible dangers will keep you and yours safe. The nail on the dab-rig gets intensely hot in order to properly heat up the dab. That being said it can reach temperatures up to 600 degrees fahrenheit, so touching it with your bare skin won’t be fun, so don’t.

Enjoy Your Weed Dab

Dabbing is an excellent alternative for heavy smokers who want to smoke less but still have the same effects. For those who have a medical condition and use cannabis medicinally it really helps to have the option of smoking less and less often. For those just starting out take it slow so that no adverse effects take place and you can have an enjoyable experience dabbing. 

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