A Little Dab Will Do Ya

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When looking for a potent punch from cannabis, look no further than dabs. Dabs consist of a THC concentrate/extract obtained through a chemical process or through application of heat and pressure. What’s left behind is an amber-colored wax-like substance.

This wax can be smoked using a heating element, and a variety of other tools. You could rig a superheated bowl, made of metal, crystal, or glass, into which you place the concentrate and inhale as you would with a bong. You could use an electronic rig to super heat the concentrate. You could even melt a dab into a bowl of flower by holding a flame, deftly, over the concentrate until it seeps in.

Whatever your method of choice, there are guidelines you should know before getting started:

  • A little dab will indeed do you.
    • Most dabs come in a one gram sized container. You only need to smoke a small fraction of it, especially when starting out, to get the desired effect. Start small; about the size of a half grain of rice is a good starting point. The effects of a dab are nearly immediate; it will be easy to discern if you need more for your desired high.
  • There are many consistencies available.
    • As with anything cannabis related, preference is personal. Consistencies range from a thick, honey-like consistency to a waxy crumble. Depending on the heating method, one consistency will work better than another.
  • Do not overheat your dabs.
    • Start at the lowest level of heat possible, then step up gradually if needed, until you vaporize the dabs. This will preserve the terpenes that give them their distinct flavor and smell.
  • There are options for Sativas, Indicas, and Hybrids.
    • Since dabs are extracted from flower itself, you may see favorite strains in dab form. Just like those strains, they will range in effect. See our primer on the differences here.
  • You get what you pay for.
    • Cost is fairly accurate indicator of quality. Usually, the higher price tags on dabs indicates cleaner, and potentially chemical-free, extractions.

Let’s be clear that all forms of smoking have inherent risks, and you should always take all information available into account so you can make an informed choice.

We’ll be breaking down dabs even further in future articles, so be sure to tell us what you want to read about in the comments!

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