When it comes to cannabis usage, there are two camps. One camp is pro-cannabis and the other is skeptical at every thought of consuming it. Among concentrates and dabbing, there are even more forms of misconceptions and stereotypes to overcome! As a concentrated and sometimes more potent form of cannabis, it isn’t what your average first-time cannabis customer would be well-informed of. There are so many forms of concentrates and extracts out there as well as misinformation surrounding concentrates it’s hard to know what one should believe!
In today’s post, we’re going to walk you through the details of concentrates, extracts, and dabbing and help clear up any questions, doubts, and concerns related to concentrated cannabis products. So, let’s get to it!
What is dabbing?
Dabs are concentrated doses of cannabis that are made by extracting THC and other cannabinoids resulting in sticky oils. These concentrates are made through a process that involves the extraction of cannabinoids (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) using any of the following methods:
- Solvent or alcohol-based extraction
- Supercritical CO2-based extraction
- Solventless extraction
Essentially, a dab is a small dose of highly concentrated cannabis that is then heated on a hot surface to produce vapor. Cannabis concentrates take the cannabis plant and extract all the THC out to create products like live resin, wax, batter, budder, shatter thc, sugar, crumble, sauce, diamonds, distillate, and more!
The most-reported advantage of a concentrate vs. flower is that many cannabis users say they experience a much more vibrant terpene profile and a more refined flavor from concentrates. Terpenes help determine the aroma and taste of a concentrate just like with cannabis flower and may have an impact on the possible effects as well, such as relaxation, creative stimulation, mood, or stress relief.
History of Concentrates
In his article, ‘Where Do Dabs Come From? A History of Cannabis Extracts’, Patrick Bennet of Leafly reports that the first instance of a solvent-based cannabis extraction that produced a product intended for oral consumption through vaporization first appeared on the scene in the 1940s. Though other forms of infused cannabis methods had been used throughout history for thousands of years and oral medications (available on pharmacy shelves in the U.S. and other places) that contained cannabis were in use throughout the 1800s until cannabis prohibition.
Concentrates’ popularity has exploded over the last several years due to advancements in both solvent and solventless extraction technology, as well as appetite from consumers for the new products constantly hitting the shelves of dispensaries. Budders and shatters were once the best quality concentrate you could find on the market and they now share the spotlight with more flavorful distillates and high terpene full spectrum extracts (HTSFE’s). The latter two types are often found in the form of vape cartridges, making them easier and more accessible to your average customer, and are advertised as a cleaner and more precisely potent product.
These types of process innovations are now considered to be the future of cannabis manufacturing, but they still owe a debt to the decades of botanical extraction advancement that paved the way for them.
While the story of how hash oil became so popular is unclear, there are a few major moments worth mentioning along the timeline. During World War II, the US Office of Strategic Services (OSS) used a THC acetate “serum” to interrogate prisoners and unsuspecting persons. These controversial techniques would go on to be used in one form or another by George White throughout the ‘50s and ‘60s in the infamous MK Ultra program.
In his book, Cannabis, A History, Martin Booth reports that concentrates made from the cannabis plant expanded considerably in the 1960s. This is supported by evidence in several other books published at the time on cannabis extraction methods, for example, D. Gold wrote a book containing a passage that describes a type of “cannabis honey”, as well as another book written by Michale Starks that goes in-depth on an overview of hash oil preparation and analysis of different solvents that could be used at the time.
However, Booth believes that, during the Vietnam War, soldiers used petrol solvents to extract the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The soldiers smeared the liquid on paper, rolled, and smoked it. Later on in 1967, a “smash”—a new form of hash oil—became popular in the States.
After the advent of the closed-loop system (CLS) – a system that heavily refined extraction methods using highly flammable hydrocarbon solvents and recycling them back through the system itself – consumers were able to create new, more refined products. In 2005, a person known under the alias “Budderking”, gave an interview detailing how he and a colleague first created the substance and invented the precursor to the “dab rig” designed to make vaporizing the concentrate easier. By 2010, concentrates had their own category at the High Times Cannabis Cup and it didn’t take long for dispensaries to start stocking early versions of budders, saps, and waxes.
Today, cannabis usage has been legalized in one form or another by many states for both recreational and medicinal use or sometimes medicinal use only. This has prompted companies to further refine their methods of extracting the solvents from their products by using more advanced CLS systems and C02 supercritical extractors to be able to offer their audience safer and cleaner cannabis concentrates and extracts.
“Since late 2012, hash oil enthusiasm has been on the rise and has not slowed down yet,” said Bennet in his article. Here at Thrive Cannabis Marketplace, we believe that is right.
What are the Pros and Cons of Concentrates?
Dabbing concentrates has both benefits and disadvantages. Below, we’ll look at the pros and cons of dabbing concentrates and extracts. Concentrate users argue that the products are actually more concentrated, potent, and cleaner compared to other forms of cannabis. Due to these facts, a cannaseur of concentrates needs only a small dose in order to feel any effect.
When using a concentrate, there is no combustion of plant material, typically the vapor from the product only contains cannabinoids and terpenes. Minimizing the risk a user would experience any unwanted or inactive compounds from the product, unlike with flower.
A major “con” of dabbing is linked to one of its “pros”. Since concentrates are powerful and are known to kick in quickly, consuming too much can be risky. Too much THC concentrate is associated with paranoia, accelerated heartbeat rate, and occasional fainting. However, researchers who have studied concentrate use concluded that there were no more problems or safety concerns from cannabis dabbing compared to cannabis flower smoking.
Also, making concentrates at home may leave solvents and chemicals in the dab, especially when it’s an amateur handling the process. Consequently, this can affect the quality and concentration of the dab. This was a problem in the early years.
Nonetheless, the process has recently advanced thanks to new technology, more research, and licensing of dab handlers. Therefore, you can find clean and meticulously processed dab products at any licensed cannabis dispensary.
If you’re new at this, you can get started by going online and searching “medical marijuanas dispensary near me” or a “recreational or medical marijuana dispensary” or a “recreational cannabis store near me”.
What is the Difference between Concentrates and Extracts?
From a distance, concentrates and extracts almost mean the same thing, and some folks use them interchangeably. But, that isn’t technically correct. A concentrate is a general term for products made from mechanically distilling desirable parts of the cannabis plant.
On the other hand, an extract is a particular type of concentrate made from a solvent. Therefore, all extracts are considered concentrates, but not all concentrates will be extracts.
What are the Different Types of Extraction Methods?
Solvent-based Extraction Methods:
- CO2-based extraction: With this method of extraction, CO2 is used together with pressurization to extract the cannabinoids. Compared to other methods of extraction, this one produces a much cleaner extract and is one of the most popular methods used by industry leaders today. Due to the manipulation of pressure in this method, it can be performed at almost ambient temperatures and then turns back into a gas, with low levels of residuals after processing, creating a product that is pure and solvent-free.
Some examples of the products created by CO2-based extraction are distillate, live resin, and diamonds.
- Butane Hash Oil (BHO): This method involves soaking the cannabis plant material in butane that acts as a solvent to separate the cannabinoids and terpenes out and extracting the THC and CDB.
- Propane Hash Oil (PHO: This method is the same as BHO, only that a different solvent—propane—is used to extract THC and CBD out of the cannabis plant.
- Hexane Hash Oil (HHO): This method involves soaking cannabis plant material into hexane solvent to extract THC and CBD.
Some examples of solvent-based extracts like BHO, PHO, and HHO are budder, badder, crumble, crystalline, sauce, shatter, sugar and caviar.
- Rick Simpson Oil (RSO): This method involves soaking the cannabis plant in a solvent-like solution. Afterward, the plant material is filtered out, and the alcohol is distilled out, leaving behind a thick oily residue that can be applied topically on the skin, added to a pre-roll, added on top of an edible, or ingested orally.
Misconceptions of Cannabis Concentrates
Despite the positive reception cannabis has received in the past few years, there are some misconceptions that still persist. Let’s take a look at them.
1. It’s unsafe to smoke cannabis concentrates
This is not true. Concentrates are compounds drawn out of the cannabis plant to create CBD and THC. The compound is still cannabis in nature, it just takes a different form with increased value. In his comprehensive research, Patrick Bennett of Leafly asserts that making concentrates and the ingredients are often regulated by relevant authorities. This should be enough reason to ascertain smoking cannabis concentrates isn’t unsafe.
2. Concentrate Gives a Stronger Euphoric Experience
The general assumption is, concentrates have super high THC levels gets users higher quickly than when smoking. One has to consume a lot of the cannabis plant to get the same experience from a cannabis concentrate. This, therefore, squares it all.
3. Concentrates Have Harmful Chemicals
Nothing can be further from the truth. Some people believe the solvents used to make the concentrates aren’t safe for humans. Most of these solvents are inflammable, scaring away people who believe they can cause an explosion.
On the contrary, the market is fully regulated, and there are rules that determine how the solvents should be used and what quantities should be left in the final product. With these strict measures, it’s not right to assume the concentrates have harmful chemicals.
4. It’s Unsafe to Make Concentrates from Home
While this was true so many years ago, it isn’t anymore. Today, there are many ways to make concentrates without using highly volatile solvents like butane and propane. While at home, you can use alternate methods like; dry sifting, ice-water extraction, and resin pressing.
Different types of Concentrates and Extracts
Now let’s look at the different types of concentrates and extracts according to the Weedmaps dictionary.
- Shatter: This is a concentrated cannabis extract made through butane extraction. An example is the Blackberry Punch Shatter.
- Crumble: This is a malleable and versatile extract that’s made through butane and CO2 solvents. An example is the Nepalese Kush Crumble.
- Wax: This extract is thick, opaque, and malleable. It’s made through butane gas extraction.
- Diamonds: This extract is made through a closed-loop system and has a glossy runny texture.
- Badder/Batter: These are terms used to describe the appearance, texture, and consistency of a particular combination of concentrates. Examples are Indica Budder and the cake batter strain.
- Rosin: This extract is chemicals free and made by applying heat and pressure to the cannabis plant.
- Oil: Hash oil has a strong herbal odor and is produced by solvent extraction through filtering and evaporation.
- Hash: This concentrate is made by pressing the resin glands of a cannabis plant to form a brick. It can be chocolate brown, greenish khaki, or sandy brown.
- Pull n Snap: This cannabis concentrate is known for its taffy-like appearance. Besides, it’s thicker and malleable.
- RSO: This is a cannabis extract oil for medicinal purposes. An example is the Full Spectrum RSO.
Does Temperature Matter when Dabbing?
Dabbing requires an optimum temperature for the ultimate dabbing experience. The process involves heating a metal nail or quartz surface to super-high temperatures of between 315.5° C and 376.6° C. If you were wondering whether temperature matters when dabbing, now you have it.
In regards to an optimum temperature point, there are two concepts you should know about– low-temp dabbing and cold-start also known as reverse dabbing. Let’s quickly dive into these!
Low-temp Dabbing: Low-temp dabbing is heating dab at an optimum temperature of between 315.5° C and 376.6° C to get the sweet spot for terpenes. In his article, Why Low Temperatures Are So Important for Dabbing, Dr. Dabber, puts it that “the extraction method used to achieve the oil, shatter, or wax forms of concentrate varieties, as well as the temperature at which you dab or vaporize concentrates, can greatly affect both flavor profile and the synergy.”
Cold-start or Reverse Dabbing: This involves heating pre-loaded nails. It’s the opposite of the conventional method that requires one to first heat the banger before adding the dab.
What Type of Dab is Right for Me?
Picking the best dab can be daunting, especially when you’re a beginner. That being said, there are a couple of considerations to keep in mind if you want a memorable dabbing experience. The right dab has a sweet aroma, is potent, has a good flavor, and is safe for consumption. What do these mean? You could be asking.
Dabs are highly potent, so taking too much of it may not be a good idea – especially if you are new to the concentrate world Therefore, it’s recommended to take smaller portions of the dab and slowly increase your intake once you know how a certain amount will affect you. Also, there are several types of concentrates, and determining which to use will depend on the desired effect, like RSO vs. Budder vs. Live Resin – they best serve different purposes.
If you’re into recreational dabbing, budder could be a good fit while if you’re looking for something more discreet, a live resin vape may be the answer and if you’re looking for optimal medicinal value, RSO will be your go-to! .
How do you use Concentrates?
To use concentrates, you have to heat it until it vaporizes to produce highly potent vapor that you can inhale. Below are the dabbing tools you can use.
- E-Nail: This is an electronic tool for lighting concentrates to desired temperatures.
- Honey Straw: This is a way to consume concentrates instead of a dab rig. The tool is portable and easy to use.
- Dab Rig: This is a glass filtration receptacle used for vaporizing cannabis concentrates. It filters the vapor through the water at the base.
- Dabber: This is the tool to use when transferring the concentrate to the nail.
- Dab Pad: This is a mat-like tool to use when you want to avoid the mess caused by concentrates on surfaces.
- Mini Torch: Use a mini torch to heat the concentrate as it produces the optimum heat required for dabbing.
- Carb Cap: This tool traps heat, limits airflow, and allows dabbing at low temperatures for the ultimate flavor.
- Banger: This tool is made out of Quartz and is an attachment to the dab rig, and can withstand higher temperatures.
- T-Waxing: This method involves adding a concentrate to a traditional joint and is considered one of the easiest ways to dab.
- T-Waxing: This method involves adding a concentrate to a traditional joint and is considered one of the easiest ways to dab.
- Vaping: Operates on a replaceable dab pen battery and comes in handy for dabbers who prefer portable dabbing.
How to Maintain Dab Accessories
How to Clean your Dab Rig:
To clean your dab rig, soak it into isopropyl alcohol and a salt solution for between 30 and 60 minutes.
How to maintain your E-nail:
Apply a little amount of heat to the nail to liquefy any residues. Use a wipe to clean the residue.
Other Tips for Keeping your Dab Device Clean:
Other tips for keeping a dab device clean are; using materials like steel wire, paper clip, cotton swab, pipe cleaner, or a zipper bag.
Dabbing in 2021: Final thoughts
There’s a lot of misconceptions that still persist around dabbing culture and cannabis usage. With this guide, the aim is to provide you with information for clearing all the doubts. If you’re looking for a Marijuana dispensary near me, you’ve come to the right place.
Thrive is the best cannabis dispensary and marijuana shop in Las Vegas Nevada. We promise guaranteed product satisfaction, 24/7 support, and experienced staff! Our products are available for pickup, delivery, and at our drive-thru at select locations. Visit the homepage of our website for more information and to find the service that fits your lifestyle at one of our Thrive Cannabis Marketplace locations today!