What are Dabs and THC Concentrates? Well, here is everything you need to know. If you are at all involved or around medical or recreational cannabis, then it is likely you have heard the latest lingo, including “dabbing.” While this term may seem new, the truth is that “dabs” have been around for more than 10 years. But recent advances in extraction methods as well as widespread decriminalization have led to new heights in the quality and quantity of THC concentrates on the market, and made dabbing a popular method for consuming medical and recreational cannabis.
Dabs are doses of THC concentrate that are formed by extracting cannabinoids from raw cannabis, using a solvent like carbon dioxide (or in some cases, butane). The end result of this extraction is a sticky oil that is commonly referred to as wax, crumble, butane hash oil (BHO) or shatter. While it is also possible to extract non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBD, the concentrated THC is behind the extremely potent effect of a dab.
Why Use Dabs Instead of Smoking?
The chief reason cannabis patients and consumers are choosing dabs and THC concentrate is the highly efficient delivery of the medication. Essentially, one can consume much more THC in much less time with a THC concentrate (one or two dabs) as opposed to a cannabis bowl or a joint, or the relatively long onset of edible medicine. For patients dealing with extreme nausea or chronic pain or soreness, dabs are the most efficient choice for effective and immediate relief.
Effects of Using Dabs
A side effect of the growing THC concentrate and dab trend is that it has spurred interest and activism among the younger members of the cannabis community. Industry events that previously relied on flowers for businesses and vendors are now being used to showcase the most advanced extraction methods and highest-quality concentrates. Most commonly used by consumers aged 18 to 30, dabs and THC concentrate products have become the subject of the same type of public and government scrutiny that other types of cannabis experienced in decades past. But more young users have amounted to more activists in the greater legalization movement, and their involvement is higher than ever in promoting their legal availability and usage.
Are There Safety Concerns for THC Concentrates and Dabbing?
Naturally, many express concern with the use of THC concentrate due to its high potency. However, when used in proper doses and in responsible settings, no side effects should occur beyond what is regularly expected from THC consumption. The issue to watch with dabs lie in how the extracts are made in the first place. Production of concentrates in dangerous and should only be attempted in professional, controlled environments. “At-home” concentrate operations are often known to use butane as a solvent, which — aside from being unhealthy to smoke — has been known to cause explosions during production.
Professionals who extract THC concentrate typically avoid the risky open extraction technique seen in at-home setups, opt to use closed extraction processes. Though these require more complex equipment and higher production costs, closed extraction is significantly safer and guarantees higher quality wax. Other extraction methods like ice-water or carbon dioxide extraction are also recommended since they reduce the likelihood of explosions or impure product.