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What is Dabbing Marijuana?

What is Dabbing Marijuana?

Dabbing is getting a lot of buzz these days, and lots of weed partakers have never gone back to smoking flower once they got that first taste of a dab hit.  While dabbing has been around for several years now, it has only recently become mainstream, and clearly, too, it’s not going anywhere.

Of course, not everyone who loves weed is totally sure what dabbing is, since it’s so new.  But, if you’re looking for a super powerful high, you’re missing out.  Let’s talk all about dabbing to help clear things up, and hopefully show you just how much this trend lives up to the hype.

Dabbing Basics That You Just Gotta Know!

So, what the heck is dabbing anyways?  Well, dabbing is the act of vaporizing concentrated cannabis products at super high temperatures, using specialized equipment.  Concentrates, aka dabs, are made using all kinds of different methods, from pressing cannabis buds, to applying solvents and concentrating the resulting extract down into wax, shatter, or what have you – more on that later.

Basically, the reason why people dab is to get unbelievably high.  Because the products are highly concentrated, they’re stunningly potent.  Just one dab hit can knock even seasoned cannabis users off their feet.  Not only that, but the high kicks in super-fast – almost instantaneously.

Typically, the worst thing that happens is you will get the spins (or take an unwanted nap).  However, if you're a dabbing newbie, we recommend using a small amount at the lowest temperature possible.  Also, AVOID taking a dab while the surface is still burning-hot, or you will be hacking up a lung for sure.

Dabbing does require some effort – like taking care of your setup (mostly cleaning-wise), and even going through the process of heating the dab nail/chamber/banger before applying the dabs – which’s something we’ll be covering shortly here.  Still, any dabbing fanatic will tell you that it’s totally worth it.

Concentrates/Dabs: What to Know

Let’s talk a little about the actual dabs, aka concentrates.  We already said that dabs are made using various methods, and each type of dab is unique.  The most popular types of dabs are:

  • Diamonds: Purified, crystallized cannabinoid concentrates.  They look like diamonds, hence the name, and they don’t have any flavor, color, or aroma, because these attributes come from terpenes, which don’t exist in diamonds.
  • Sauce: A thick, syrupy concentrate that has high potency, but not as high as other types of concentrates.  It makes up for that by having a very strong flavor and aroma, which’s awesome for terpene lovers.
  • Wax: A very popular concentrate that gets its name from its consistency.  Wax is a solvent-based dab that’s more concentrated than sauce, still offering major flavor satisfaction, plus very high cannabinoid potency.
  • Shatter: The result of concentrating wax for even longer, meaning it’s super, super potent, and there’s a bit less flavor since the terpenes have partially died off in the process.  It’s brittle, and has the appearance of amber glass.
  • Rosin: Solventless dab that looks a lot like wax.  It’s made using heat and pressure, rather than solvents or any other chemicals.
  • Hash: This is a dark and sticky dab that’s the oldest concentrate in the world.  It’s made by pressing the flower to extract its oils, which are thick and waxy by nature.

In a chemical sense, highly-crafted dabs are cleaner than traditional cannabis due to being free of plant matter (and the carcinogens derived from smoking said plant matter). A poorly-made concentrate can be accompanied by a few key problems (i.e. residual solvent, mold, and concentrated pesticides from the plants it was made from).

Dabbing Hardware

Then comes the hardware.  You can’t smoke dabs in a bowl, or even put them in your regular vaping system.  How come?  Bbecause dabs are thick products that need to melt, and reach super high temperatures in order to do that properly.  So, you need hardware that’s made exclusively for dabbing.  And, nowadays, you have a lot of options.

  • Dab Rig: A dab rig is the OG method for dabbing, and it’s still really popular.  A dab rig looks a lot like a bong at first glance, but with key differences.  Mainly, instead of a bowl, there’s a nail – aka a small, flat piece that gets heated before the dabs are applied.
  • E-Rig: An e-rig, as you might have guessed, is an electronic dab rig, that preheats for you so you don’t need to heat the nail manually.  Usually, e-rigs come with different temperature presets, so you can explore different levels of output that affect the dab hits you take.
  • E-Nail: An e-nail is an attachment that’s used with a dab rig.  It’s a small device that attaches to the nail, and heats the nail for you, to the precise temperature you have it set at.
  • Dab Pen: A dab pen is a portable vaping device that looks sort of like a vape pen you’d use for flower or vape oil.  But, it reaches much higher temps, and uses a chamber for your concentrates.  It’s super pocket-friendly compared to other types of setups, which is a big part of its appeal.  Note: Novice users who want to dip their toe into the dab pool should probably start with a vape pen to get used to concentrates in general, and then work themselves up to dabbing.
  • Nectar Collector/E-Nectar Collector: A nectar collector is a straw-like device with a heat-resistant tip, and the tip must be heated before it makes contact with your dabs, which are in a separate dish.  It’s easy to use and easy to maintain, and you can find both analog and electronic models.

Besides the actual device, most people use accessories – especially with rigs.  The most popular accessory is a banger, usually made from quartz, which is used in place of a nail.  It looks like a small bucket, and the banger is heated before the dabs are placed inside.  It provides superb airflow for more flavor and smoother clouds.

How to Become a Pro at Dabbing

Now you know what you need to dab, so let’s go over the process.  It’s going to really depend on what type of device you’re using, but the basic steps are the same.

  1. You will need to heat your nail/chamber/banger.  With analog equipment, this is done with a butane torch.  Otherwise, you set the desired temp on the device.
  2. Once it reaches temp, you’ll transfer your dabs from their container to the nail/chamber/banger.  This is usually done with a dab tool, which is a long and skinny device.  The reason why is that dabs are messy and often sticky, and using your bare fingers is a bad idea.  Not only that, but you don’t want your bare fingers making contact with the super-hot nail/chamber/banger.
  3. Your dabs will start melting almost immediately.  At that point, you can go ahead and take a dab hit.  Remember, once again, dabs are incredibly potent.  So, start with just one hit if you’re a newbie, and wait for about 10 minutes before going in for another.

Looking for a High-Potency Sesh? Dabbing is the Way to Go!

The bottom line is that if your idea of a good time is getting super, super high, then dabbing is something you don’t want to be missing out on.  With so many types of concentrates and hardware these days, you can really customize your dabbing sessions to meet your needs – especially since most types of dabs come in plenty of strains to choose from as well.

ELYXR has got loads of high-quality dabs, each featuring your favorite cannabinoids, in some of the best strains on the planet.  Explore our awesome collection today.

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David Nadel is a freelance copywriter and content writer who has been doing content creation since late 2014. He originally worked at a marketing tech company in Boston doing email marketing and SEO display ad campaigns (where he helped to create the content for those emails and banner ads for clients) before going full time as a freelance writer in 2017.

It all started working with clients in the vaping industry in 2013, where David got his opportunities to do more freelance work for that industry the following year because of his success with helping those clients with emails and ads. And, which led him writing for the hemp industry too, as he had already been an avid cannabis enthusiast going all the way back to 2011.

Because of his extensive knowledge and legit passion with non-psychoactive and psychoactive cannabinoids, coupled with his better understanding of shrooms (mushrooms) since 2015, and the kratom/kava industry since 2019, it has allowed him to create some of the most remarkable, out-of-the box, and informative content in the industry.

Even today, David still keeps on top of what’s happening in the cannabis, shrooms, and kratom/kava industries, like new research and data studies, wellness trends, legality, and emerging cannabinoids and strains, in order to supply the most up-to-date, precise educational, fun, and engaging content. That way, new and experienced users alike can really understand what this amazing industry has to offer while still being fully informed.