What Is Dabbing Weed & How to Dab?

Denys Svirepchuk
Denys Svirepchuk

A devoted cannabis aficionado, SEO marketing specialist, and blog writer. Denys specializes in writing about cannabis strains, terpenes, responsible weed consumption, as well as reviewing various marijuana-related products, e.g., edibles, concentrates, vaping items, etc. Denys took an interest in cannabis in college and, due to his thoughtful mindset and critical thinking, delved into the topic on a level deep-rooted enough to be called a weed connoisseur.

In addition, Denys established strong relationships with cannabis brands. His key focus is educating people about the medical and recreational benefits of marijuana, making it available for a wider audience.

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What Is Dabbing Weed & How to Dab?

Concentrates or extracts, widely known as weed dabs, are one of the most popular domains among heavy cannabis users. Gaining immense popularity every day, they are heating up the marketplace but have not fully crossed into mainstream use. Simply put, dabs, also called hash, fall under the umbrella term for a specific cannabis product crafted using extraction, which uses butane, solvents, water, heat, or pressure. The final product is a cannabis dab - a yellow-hued waxy substance representing sticky stuff on weed flowers.

The dab packs an extra higher level of THC concentrated (up to 80%), compared to an average of 15-20% in cannabis flower. This makes dab weed more efficient and potentially habit-forming than weed in its natural form. While the most common method of consuming weed dab is a dab rig, there are many other ways users like to use this form of cannabis. However, dab rigs allow consumers to get the most out of their concentrate and provide a potent experience.

DISCLAIMER: It is worth noting that weed dab usually contains a high amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Therefore, this concentrate is suitable for veteran smokers who have already used such products. It is also not recommended for users sensitive to any of the cannabis compounds.


Read Also: What Is Cannabis: All About Its Compounds And Effects


What Does Dabs Look Like?

Dabs refer to a method of consuming wax, which is also known as shatter, crumble, honeycomb, or budder. Being a highly concentrated version of cannabis oil, there are different kinds of dabs. They have a similar appearance and texture to honey or butter. Due to this fact, they are also known as "honey oil" or "budder" on the street.

The most popular synonym for dabs is wax, which consists of up to 80% THC levels. This concentrated form results from pouring butane over marijuana plants. This technique allows manufacturers to extract THC from the marijuana plant and attach it to the butane, leaving a waxy, honey-like solid product with an immense THC level.

Dabs vs. Moon Rocks vs. Sun Rocks

Even though dabs were popular several years ago, today's cannabis market significantly expanded with manufacturers creating new ways of consuming weed. Below we are going to explain the difference between the latest trends in this industry.

Dabs vs. Moon Rocks vs. Sun Rocks

Marijuana moon rocks are considered the "champagne" of the cannabis world and are also known as weed caviar. Moon rocks are crafted by using marijuana nugget and dipping it in or spraying it with a specialized concentrate or hash oil. Even though they are often made with Girl Scout Cookies' flowers and concentrate, manufacturers can use any strain they prefer. The coated nugget is then rolled in kief, also known as pollen or dry sift - the sticky crystals covering the marijuana buds. These crystal trichomes contain terpenes and cannabinoids.

The potency varies from batch to batch and depends on how moon rocks are made, the manufacturer, and the ingredients used. However, they are typically lower in THC than dabs, containing around 50 percent THC. They can be consumed either through smoking, by breaking it up into a bowl, vape, or pipe.

Within all different types of wax dabs, sun rocks are a more recent product. They represent an improved version of the latter with a similar amount of THC to dubs (up to 80%). Although they may look like a regular cannabis flower, the surface is made up of various extractions.

Sun rocks provide potent effects due to high THC levels and a wide combination of extracts. Even though they aren't so different from moon rocks on the surface, all components in sun rocks are top-shelf buds, pure, flavorful extracts. Most consumers prefer to use sun rocks via smoking, but they have a potent effect and distinct earthy flavor compared to moon rocks and dabs.

Finally, dabs are the most popular type among all that mentioned above. They are usually made using cannabis stems, shake, and other leftover materials from the plant. The concentrate was extracted from the dry marijuana herb, but within years, the manufacturing process became more sophisticated.

Dabs are probably the most concentrated and THC-rich form of cannabis products. Therefore, they are suitable for experienced smokers. Users can either smoke or vaporize dabs through various tools. However, the most traditional way to dab is a dab rig consisting of a water pipe and a metal piece known as a nail.

Dabbing is suitable for users familiar with the process since it could be complicated and even risky to manage the process. This is the reason why many newcomers prefer to buy moon rocks and sun rocks.

Different Types of Dabs

If you are wondering how to dab, the first thing you have to know is its main types and choose what suits you best.

Shatter Dabs

This is a glassy, solid concentrate having an amber or honey color. The manufacturing process starts from solvent extraction of dried and cured marijuana, leaving behind oil that is heated at temperatures around 90–100° F in a specific oven to purge excess butane. The temperature used for purging gives these dabs a glassy, solid appearance.

Shatter Dabs

Wax Dabs

Just like its name suggests, wax dabs have a yellowish, semi-solid substance with a similar consistency to wax. With these types, solvent extraction is performed on dried or cured marijuana, providing oil that is purged of butane using a vacuum pump and almost no heat. With low heat, the extract may be whipped to create a thicker consistency without it turning into shatter or budder.

Taffy Dabs

This type refers to a cannabis concentrate usually produced from rosin, created by applying heat and pressure to plant material. Weed taffy is sometimes called pull 'n' snap, getting this name from its taffy-like texture. The manufacturing process is simple and starts with creating the rosin. When done, the rosin is stretched and twisted to expose it to oxygen, which causes it to change in color and take on a soft, malleable consistency.

Budder Dabs

This is one of the most popular forms of dabs as it has a smooth, creamy consistency, which is often compared to butter. Since it isn't so sticky as sugar wax, budder dabs are a little bit easier to work with. As a cannabis consumer, you may have seen the word "badder," but these are two different terms where badder is slightly more liquid-oriented.

Sugar Dabs

Even though sometimes it could be hard to answer the question "what does dabs look like," the sugar dabs got their name due to their famous consistency, very similar to the final product of mixing a small amount of water into a pile of sugar. Some consumers describe its consistency as a sugar scrub, where the sugar crystals are wet but granular. Even though sugar dabs are almost liquid, they are thick and sticky. Therefore, this type is popular for dabbing.

Sugar Dabs

Crumble Dabs

Crumble is less wet and sticky than the majority wax types. Although it is not entirely dry like a powder, the presence of some moisture makes it similar to cheese, like feta. If you wonder how to weed dab crumble, its consistency allows it to easily flake apart into smaller pieces, keeping the crumbled bits themselves. The budder is usually considered a gold middle between wet products like oil and drier products; you may find the crumble easier to work with.

Live Resin Dabs

Representing a viscous, honey-colored texture, live resin dabs are considered to be more aromatic compared to other types. Manufacturers extract fresh, frozen marijuana plant matter often with butane or carbon dioxide as a potent solvent. The final extract is similar to butane hash oil, but it can be especially concentrated.

Diamonds

When cannabinoids are purified and isolated using the proper technique, they can form crystalline forms which have gained popularity as "diamonds." Since the creation of these concentrates requires a high amount of labor, they are often more expensive compared to other types. Even though diamonds can be created from any cannabinoid, CBD and THCA are the most popular choice found at dispensaries.

Sauce Dabs

Sauce dabs have a sticky, liquid consistency and are well-recognized for high terpene content, which is responsible for extra robust flavor profiles. Sauce cannabis extract is typically crafted through a unique process, leaving behind cannabinoid-rich crystals containing high THC levels suspended in terpene-rich oil.

How to Weed Dab Step-by-Step?

Since dabbing rigs are the most popular way of consuming weed dabs, follow the instructions below to find out what is dabbing means and how to achieve maximum effect from this method:

Step 1

Now we know what are dabs weed is and what their types are, so it is time to learn how to get the maximum out of your concentrate. Start with adding water to your dab rig's chamber. Perform a test of the waterline by inhaling without the banger in the downstream. In case water backsplashes into your mouth, reduce the amount of water in the rig.

Then take your torch to heat the banger until it gets red. If you're using an e-Nail, we recommend you to set a perfect dab temp of 311-388 degrees, depending on the type of concentrate you're smoking.

Step 2

Once done and the banger is hot, wait for about 30-45 seconds and let it cool down a little bit. If you skip this step, the heat will scorch your extract, and that's not the right thing when dabbing marijuana. It is also a great idea to purchase a terp timer and include it in this stage. This will help you to maximize the flavor. But if you do not have a terp timer, you can still use your phone or watch.

Step 3

Put the wax onto the banger using your dabber, then slowly inhale the extract through the mouthpiece. During smoking, it is advised to rotate the dabber tip on the banger to prevent wasting any wax stuck on it. Make a long, slow inhale as the concentrate won't vaporize instantly.

Step 4

Cover the dab using a carb cap and stop inhaling. This will help regulate the airflow and provide you with a better hit.

Step 5

Exhale and repeat the process. It is vital to be careful when beginning dabbing.

Dab Tools

  • Dab Rig

It is a water pipe, looking a lot like a bong. But since consumers use it for smoking concentrates, it comes with a fitting for a nail or banger. Dab kits can be purchased in different styles and forms, making them suitable for any taste and personal preferences.

  • Banger (aka nail)

A banger, also called "nail," is technically a dab bowl. It's a place where you will concentrate.

  • Carb cap

It is usually sold separately from the dab rig setup. Even though it is not an essential tool, we advise you to purchase a carb cap because it may help you capture more wax vapor to smoke.

  • Dabber (aka pick)

A dabber, somewhere known as a "pick," is another vital tool users need to put the concentrate on the nail. They are available in different colors and shapes, allowing users to choose from metal, glass, or ceramic material. It is recommended to choose a shape according to the consistency of the extract you're dabbing.

  • Torch

It is required as users can't just take a lighter to heat your rig. It is better to purchase a butane torch. If you enjoy dabbing, you will use your torch relatively often, so we recommend you get a refillable one.

Tips on How to Clean Your Dab

Now that you know what is concentrate and how to take a dab, it is also crucial to learn tips on cleaning your device. The proper care of your dab rig will help you make the life of the device longer and provide a better smoking experience. Even though cleaning a dab rig is similar to a bong, there are some differences we explain below:

  • The most hassle-free way to clean your dab is to heat it using your torch. This heat helps burn off any residual carbon or reclaim. Once the banger gets hot, and it seems that the residue is gone, let it cool completely and scrape it.
  • In case the dab banger doesn't have a ton of buildup, you can clean it using a cotton swab that has been dipped in alcohol to easily remove any fresh resins.
  • The last option is soaking it. It also quickly cleans the dab banger by putting it into the 91% isopropyl alcohol for about 10 minutes. Then rinse off any residue with warm water and clean. To reach some parts, use a cotton swab.

Are Dabs Safe?

Dabs represent a very potent method of consuming cannabis, so some caution is needed. Due to the extra high THC level and efficiency, dabs are considered suitable only for experienced smokers who are well prepared for its potent effect. If you are a moderate user, it is recommended to start smaller rips in order to determine the best tolerance levels.

Even despite everything mentioned above, consuming wax is said to be a safe and effective way of smoking cannabis. Since this concentrate provides vapor, it is less harmful to the lungs and won't produce the same chemicals that always come with the simple combustion of weed at lower temperatures. It is essential to learn about proper dosing, as extremely high THC levels in concentrates may cause paranoia, anxiety, and severe health issues.

As long as you are prepared for the high potency of this concentrate and don't overdo it, it is doubtful you will experience any side effects from consuming dabs. However, if something occurs, it's better to stop smoking and then repeat the process with a lower dose.

Conclusion

Dabbing is one of the most popular ways of consuming cannabis that provides a potent effect and extremely high THC level. However, just like any other method, dabbing can come with real risks to an individual's health and overall well-being in case of being unprepared and inexperienced. Suppose they’re doing everything right and learning what is weed wax, consumers can achieve the desired effect in the most engaging and efficient way.

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