The widening cannabis legal landscape has translated into increased demand for different marijuana-infused products. These range from tinctures to edibles like gummies, topicals like ointments, and inhalables like dabs.
Dabs have particularly grown in popularity as they provide certain medical and recreational benefits over and above other common cannabis delivery methods. Read on as we unpack what dabs are and the reasons every other seasoned cannabis user is going for these products.
Before we delve into the popularity of dabs, it’s only fair that we understand what constitutes these weed preparations. So, exactly what are dabs?
Dabs are concentrated forms of cannabis products. Their primary defining feature is that they’re significantly high in cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds in weed with therapeutic properties and psychedelic effects. While these chemicals number in the hundreds, the most common ones are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Most dabs are high in THC, the chemical in marijuana responsible for most of its psychoactive effects.However, dabs can also be formulated primarily with CBD or other non-psychoactive cannabinoids.
Besides cannabinoids, cannabis dabs are also considerably rich in terpenes. Terpenes are aromatic compounds that give weed its distinctive scent.
How Are Dabs Consumed?
Dabs are consumed through a process known as dabbing. This delivery method requires a unique device called a dab rig.
Dab rigs, also known as dab pens or e-rigs (short for electronic rigs), resemble bongs in that they both feature a glass designed with a special chamber. The difference is that e-rigs have a nail for heating cannabis dabs instead of bongs with a bowl for holding weed flowers.
Another key characteristic of dabbing involves exceptionally high temperatures (400 degrees Fahrenheit to 600 degrees Fahrenheit). That’s in comparison to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, the average temperature for smoking or vaping cannabis flowers.
What Is the Procedure for Dabbing?
Despite requiring significantly high temperatures, the dabbing process is relatively straightforward.
First, heat the nail with a torch and then allow it to cool to the desired temperature. You then drop in your dabs and let them heat up to release vapor.
Finally, you inhale the vapor into your lungs through your rig’s mouthpiece.
You can draw the vapor directly into your lungs or hold it in your mouth for a few seconds before swallowing. The former technique is popular among professional dabbers, while new dabbers prefer the latter.
4 Reasons Dabs Are Gaining Popularity
- They’re Incredibly Potent
Dabs are one of the most concentrated cannabis formulations. Weight for weight, these products pack more cannabinoids than other common marijuana preparations. The implication is that dabs deliver more tetrahydrocannabinol in a single hit, making them remarkably effective for users looking for a more potent ‘high.’
For comparison, the dabs' THC continent typically ranges from 60 - 90%. That’s way higher than cannabis flower, with a 15 - 25% THC range.
High potency also translates to high bioavailability (absorption rate). In other words, more THC gets to the bloodstream through dabbing than other cannabis products.
2. They Produce Richer Flavor
Dabs are among the purest forms of cannabis. They don’t need to undergo rigorous processing to be ready for consumption.
Since they’re generally unrefined, dabs retain most of their terpenes. That explains why they’re richer in flavor than most cannabis extracts.
The fact that dabs are highly concentrated with THC and other cannabinoids also accounts for their fuller flavor experience. That’s because terpenes often go hand in hand with cannabinoids.
Note that the exact flavors a dab contains depends on its dominant terpenes. For instance, myrcene has a prominent earthy and musky scent, while limonene smells like freshly squeezed lemon.
3. They Have a Faster Onset Time
Many seasoned cannabis users prefer compounds that can deliver weed into their systems quickly after consumption. This is another reason behind the surging popularity of dabs.
Dabs have one of the shortest onset times of all cannabis preparations. The inhaled vapor readily gets THC into your bloodstream via the mucous membranes in your lungs. Effects can kick in within five minutes after inhaling the first puff.
For comparison, cannabis edible goods like gummies and chocolates may take 30 minutes to three hours to kick in.
4. They Deliver a Cleaner Experience
Smoking used to be the most popular way to consume marijuana. However, the growing awareness of the toxic effects of cigarette smoke has seen weed users gravitate towards less harmful delivery methods, such as dabbing and vaping.
Note that dabbing can produce smoke or vapor depending on the temperature of your e-rig. The vapor is similar to standard vaporizers, making the experience cleaner and safer.
Even if smoke is involved, the fact that the smoke is produced in a more controlled environment helps eliminate potential toxins. Remember that the harmful effects of smoking aren’t due to the compound being smoked but rather the toxic chemicals in the air, which combine with burnt plant matter, such as heavy metals.
Dabbing offers numerous benefits over other popular ways to consume marijuana. No wonder this delivery method has generated considerable interest in the recent past. As a parting shot, remember that dab rigs operate at very high temperatures. So, be sure to handle these devices carefully to avoid getting burnt.