What is dabbing?
It’s been called the “crack of marijuana”, “pot on steroids”, “explosive weed” and an ultra-potent form of cannabis that is too strong to be considered safe for use. If you do a few internet searches, you will in-fact find several articles with claims of houses catching fire (mostly from the processing techniques which usually involve using flammable or even explosive solvents like butane) and people passing out from over indulgence – all in the name of “dabbing”.
If you look a little closer, you will also find that there are claims of this new form of marijuana use acting like the next new wonder drug – eliminating seriously debilitating pain and discomfort with very little use, and little to no ill side-effects when the product is made and used properly – for those who dare to use it.
So, what is the truth about dabbing? Is it really some scary new form of ultra-weed that is to be avoided at all costs, or is it the next best thing since man stumbled across the great cannabis plant and lit it up for the first time? Let’s look a little closer into this new craze called “dabbing” and find out, shall we?
First off, you might be asking what doing a dab, or “dabbing” really is. If so, don’t worry, we actually have an explanation for you.
Doing a dab is when a person consumes a small amount of wax-like concentrated cannabis oil – commonly referred to as; a dab, dabs, oil, shatter, budder, wax, or crumble (among many other names depending on its various forms, consistencies and location in the world) – by inhaling it’s vapor from either a bong-like device called a “dab-rig”, an “e-nail” (which is an electric form of device that plugs into the wall), or some type of “vape” or “dab-pen”. The reason it is called a “dab”, is presumably because of the tiny amount of product it typically takes to get the desired medicinal effect. The typical effective dose is literally smaller than a drop of oil off the tip of a pin.
When dabbing from many dab-rigs, there is usually an open-flame heat source of some sort involved – the most typical being the blow torch. The blow-torch is used to heat the head of the dab-rig (which is usually called a “nail” and made of ceramic or titanium) before dropping or “dabbing” the wax onto the nail and breathing in the resulting medicinal vapors through a bubbler device.
Like the dangers involved in many of the extraction methods used to make wax, the dangers of actually dabbing the end-product are real as well. When combining medication and blow-torches or high heat sources, there are obvious precautions that need to be taken to avoid fire hazards. For instance; all flames should be extinguished before taking your dose, e-nails should be turned off immediately after use, dab-rigs, nails and dab tools should be allowed to cool-down before leaving the room, etc. A little common sense really goes a long way when it comes to dabbing.
Now if we assume you have chosen to procure the best medical grade wax available, from a responsible caregiver or provisioning center/dispensary, and you are using all appropriate safety measures while medicating, we can eliminate many of the danger-factors involved and look at the benefits of dabbing for a minute.
Concentrated cannabis, the stuff you dab, is typically 3-4 times stronger than the plant material it was extracted from. This means, a little dab really will do-ya! Not only does it take up to 75% less material to get the same effect as you would from smoking the raw plant material, but you don’t get many of the possibly harmful products we might not want to ingest like chlorophyll, plant pesticides and combustible leafy-plant matter.
When working with materials that are made and used properly, dabbing really can be a great benefit to the people who chose it as a method of medicating with cannabis. Taking 2 small puff off a “dab-pen” or pre-heated dab-rig is certainly easier than rolling a joint and taking the time to smoke it. Not only is it more convenient at times, but easier on the lungs (in small doses) than smoking harsh plant-matter (according to many of its users), but since you are taking highly-concentrated doses, 2 “hits” or “dabs” that can be done in seconds, will give you an equal or even stronger effect as smoking an entire join by yourself, which will take 20 minutes or more and several more puffs to get the job done.
So is dabbing dangerous? Sure, if you aren’t using common sense or you get it from some teenage “chemist” who claims he is making “nug-runs in his parents’ basement, SON”.
However, if used responsibly, dabbing cannabis concentrates in reasonable amounts can relieve great amounts of pain and alleviate symptoms immediately for many conditions and help patients feel better – and that is the most important factor to consider. For this reason alone, we have to look at dabbing as another tool in the cannabis arsenal. One that can be used in small, effective doses and needs to be studied and fine-tuned to make as safe as possible as we move into the cannabis future. Dabbing is catching on and not likely to disappear anytime soon. So for now, be safe and dab safely!