Cannabis Concentrates – Dabbing
If you’re an old school marijuana user, you might be used to grinding your weed and rolling a blunt.
Nowadays, the traditional habits of passing blunts and joints have turned using dab rigs and pens.
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One inhalation can knock you for six. Given the potency of the extracts used to dab, what drove this change and the movement towards dabbing cannabis so popular?
Cannabis Concentrates Aren’t New
While some of the different types of concentrates available in dispensaries are indeed recent inventions. Inventions based on science, and most of them rely on old school processes, perfected since legalization.
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Historically, most cannabis extracts were made from a solvent-based extract process, which more often than not uses butane to separate cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant matter. This is also known as butane hash oil (BHO).
These extracts often exceeded 80%+ THC. But without any regulatory oversight, many of these products contained traces of residual solvents. This is still a problem in the black market. Dispensary grade products go through a third party testing process to weasel out products that don’t make the quality cut.
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The procedure of using butane to Isolate cannabis compounds has been around for decades; it’s just that until recently, the market was deep underground, and only real cannabis aficionados had used BHO.
Have you ever heard about garages or houses blowing up due to someone trying their hand at using butane? Yup…It was and still is a thing in non-legal states! Check out this article by Vice talking about the dangers of home BHO extractions to learn more about what can go wrong.
Are All Cannabis Concentrates Dabbed?
Concentrates are potent and best used in a format where you can regulate dosage without going overboard.
For example, if you’re new to dabbing wax, you place a tiny amount and place it into the chamber of a dab pen (like one of these), take a single puff, and put the device down.
Whereas, if you place a few dabs across a joint, it can become super intense very quickly, and you can cross the line from enjoyment to feeling like you’ve had too much in a matter of a couple of puffs.
Although, if you’re careful and weigh out what you use, it is possible to create a tincture at home when you combine it with a carrier oil. Nonetheless, this isn’t the most common way, and some extracts need heat to activate the cannabinoids via a process known as decarboxylation.
This leads us to the next point: There is much more to concentrates than just hash oil and wax.
BHO Isn’t The Only Game In Town
States which have legalized cannabis for either medicinal or recreational use have spurred on the creation of new products to dab.
There appears to be a movement towards returning to the roots of unprocessed flowers as much as possible, and when it comes to concentrates, that means live extracts.
Live cannabis extracts are derived from frozen marijuana flowers that are processed without the need for harsh solvents. Preserving the cannabis terpenes and leading to improved flavor, which cannot be rivaled by BHO or distillate based products.
The two most popular new types of concentrate are live resin and rosin. Both are whole-plant extracts most frequently used in dab rigs.
Hemp has Embraced the Cannabis Concentrates Revolution
With demand for hemp skyrocketing since the approval of the 2018 farm bill, the methods employed for traditional marijuana extracts are now also being produced by CBD brands pushing the envelope when it comes to hemp.
The only difference being that these extracts are much lower in THC and non-intoxicating. According to Natureandbloom, CBD concentrates are used by the broadest range of people, because they are cheap, effective, and potent when compared to tinctures.
Recently, live CBD extracts have also hit the market and are favored by those looking for a quick hit and immediate relief without getting high.
As a result, dabbing cannabis isn’t just exclusive to marijuana and is also being used to utilize the therapeutic properties of other cannabinoids outside of THC.
What does the future of dabbing hold?
Dab rigs used with a blue flame are still popular, and it’s likely they will exist for many years to come.
However, with the wide availability of electronic rigs and wax pens, it’s likely we will see a more significant exodus from manual dab rigs, which are harder to regulate temperature to electronic versions that operate in a similar fashion to desktop vaporizers.
We are only at the start of the journey when it comes to dabbing cannabis extracts.
Solventless dabs will likely become more widespread and cheaper than they are today as the economics of production improve.
If you haven’t tried dabbing yet, then what are you waiting for?