Cannabis concentrates really get the worst rap of all! If you thought people would judge you for smoking a little joint, just imagine how they’ll feel when they see this.
photo by Jacob Doyle of Cannabis Reports
A “dab” is a dose of freebased concentrated cannabis extract.
This can come in the form of a smooth, yellowish oil, but is typically found with a more waxy consistency and lots of different texture variants. Concentrated product ranges in color from golden yellow to dark amber, or if you’re into the really trendy stuff, super pure crystalline concentrates.
To extract oils from the plant, many companies use harsh chemicals like butane, which can end up in your concentrate and inside your lungs (gross). It’s better to go with a solventless concentrate, either rosin pressed out of the plant by a hot iron press, or an old-school ice water hash extraction if you can find it.
You “smoke” it by dabbing the concentrate onto a nearly-red-hot nail and inhaling the vapor quickly through some kind of water pipe. It’s definitely one of the fastest and most effective ways to get high doses of cannabinoids into your body.
Years ago I tried my first dab and was floored by the strong (and instantaneous) pain relieving effects. One second I had an achy knee, and after just one hit, literally all I could feel was THC reacting positively throughout my body. Extremely intense, but so life-changing for somebody accustomed to smoking bowl after bowl in order to relieve chronic pain.
Now that vaporizing is the big trend, it simply makes sense for most “heavy medicaters” to use oils instead of plant material – for both economic and health reasons.
From the very first time, I knew dabbing would become a part of my life, and I was right. Though it wasn’t an easy thing to get into. It took awhile for my boyfriend and I to amass all the equipment needed for a solid dab at home; nice bongs, nails and accessories will run you a pretty penny, or you can buy cheap ones and watch them break under the heat of your torch. The best quality (clean) concentrates can also be expensive and tough to find, even here in California.
One of my favorite new must-haves for summer is my portable Bolt vaporizer kit by Dabado.
Seriously, how did I ever manage without this thing? No more sketchily smoking bowls or joints while traveling! Anytime I’m gone for a couple of days or even a whole day, and I know I won’t be able to smoke, this baby comes along. It comes with just a couple main components that fit easily into their own heavy-duty padded case.
The Bolt snaps together and heats up to the perfect temperature in seconds! The little tool you use to grab your dab doubles as a magnetic “carb cap” to help direct the sizzling vapor into your mouth instead of in the air.
Once you’ve had a dab, everything pulls apart and goes back safely into the case for next time. It’s absolutely amazing, and if you’re looking into the dab life but are wary about all of the scary equipment, I’d highly recommend buying one of these portable vapes.
Immediate benefits of dabbing over smoking (that I’ve noticed) are instant pain relief and far less irritated eyes and sinuses – meaning you’re less likely to get “red eyes” and horrible chronic cough that smoking flower can cause! Though you will definitely cough a bit until you get accustomed to the practice. Dabbing also creates a lot less of that signature skunky aroma so you can be a tiny bit more discreet while still achieving a fantastic high.
*And there’s absolutely no need to dab full grams, or multiple-gram strings of dabs at a time, as is popular on Instagram. Usually, a half gram will last us about a week! Don’t ever let anybody tell you that you “need” a gigantic dose to fit into this lifestyle. Just a little dab will do ya!*
I do still smoke every once in awhile; it grounds me, and I love the flavors of each flower. Plus I’ve been smoking for a very long time, and old habits die hard. Medicinally, however, I’m a big proponent of using concentrates to change your life.
What’s your favorite way to medicate?
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