Dabs. Concentrates. Extracts. Shatter. Wax. Crumble. Live resin. Budder. Honey. Isolates. Rosin. Diamonds. Snow. Crystals. Sauce. All of these terms refer to concentrated cannabis extracts that are flash vaporized. For those of you interested in a heavier high than what cannabis flower has to offer, you may want to explore dabbing concentrates as an option. The THC content typically ranges on average from 65 to 95 percent, whereas regular flower ranges on average from 15 to 30 percent. If you’re struggling to understand the need for so many different forms of extracts, just think of it like alcohol. Some people may prefer wine due to the flavor and lower alcohol content while some may prefer liquor to feel the strongest effects. It’s the same for dabs, but with a few more factors to consider. The most obvious difference between each extract is the texture and consistency. Some people favor a softer consistency that they can easily scoop with their dab tool, while others may choose something more firm and glass-like. Another difference is that some extracts contain a higher amount of terpenes which is desirable for those looking for an extremely aromatic, tasty experience. Others care more about their products simply having the highest THC content. Each extract brings something different to the table and it’s up to individual users to experiment and see what they prefer. I personally love solventless extracts, such as rosin. No solvents are utilized in the extraction process – only natural substances involving water, ice, heat, and/or air. This results in an unaltered profile that is extremely reminiscent of the whole flower it was extracted from, with superior taste and purity.
Unfortunately using concentrates requires more than just a lighter and a pipe. Traditionally, the most basic requirements for dabbing includes a rig, nail, carb cap, dab tool, and a torch lighter. A rig is virtually identical to any other bong, but tends to be optimized in shape and design for dabbing specifically. The ultimate deciding factor is whether it has a nail or bowl. If your glass piece has a bowl attached, it’s a bong. If the piece has a nail, it’s a dab rig. A nail differs from a bowl in that you superheat the outside of the nail, wait for it to cool down a bit, and then drop your extract in to be flash vaporized instead of directly lighting the flower in a bowl and smoking it. Any bong technically could be made to be a rig, and vice versa. I’ve known people who interchange a bowl and a nail with the same glass piece to use it for both purposes. This does work just fine, but is not ideal in terms of flavor and cleaning. The carb cap and dab tool I mentioned are not absolutely necessary, but provide a much better experience. The carb cap fits right over the top of a nail to lock in heat and regulate airflow after torching and applying the extract. A dab tool allows you to handle your concentrate and drop it into the nail without burning yourself. Lastly, having a torch is pretty crucial to the process. A standard lighter will generally not get your nail as hot as it needs to be and you’ll end up wasting some product. Many people stray away from dabbing without ever trying it due to the high heat it requires for vaporization. Don’t let this deter you. If you’re not comfortable operating a torch, or simply don’t like the looks of it, there are many electronic devices available that do not require you to use a torch. I use a PuffCo Peak dab rig which heats itself up. For users who prefer more discreet ways of dabbing, look into nectar collectors, dab straws, portable concentrate vaporizers, or try adding some wax on top of flower in a joint or bowl.
Taylor Sieg – CCC Product Specialist