What is a Dab?

Eaze Team
Sep 8, 2023

What is a dab? And no, this has nothing to do with the ‘dab’ pose we all did for the gram 8 years ago. The realm of dabs in the world of cannabis can be pretty intimidating to some, and an exciting endeavor to others. In our ‘What is a Dab?’ guide, we’ll highlight the definition of cannabis dabbing, the process of dabbing marijuana, the various types of dab styles and production methods.

what is a dab? cannabis concentrate

What is a Dab?

A dab is a concentrated form of cannabis that comes in a variety of textures and colors. You can consume most varieties of cannabis extracts using a dab rig, e-rig (an electronic rig), or a dab pen (also called a wax pen). Dabbing involves extremely high heat that turns the concentrate (a weed dab) into vapor, and this happens at temperatures between 400-600°F. In comparison, smoking/burning cannabis flower occurs at around 350°F. Yeah, big dif.

A typical dab rig looks similar to a bong. It’s made out of glass and has a section to add water. Yet instead of a bowl like you have to pack your flower, there’s a nail for dabs. Since a dab needs higher heat, the nail is usually heated using a torch and then allowed to cool to the proper temperature prior to adding your preferred concentrate.

Dabs are named for their texture, and the texture is aligned to the process used to create them. There are several extraction methods to create different styles of dabs. All dabs are sticky, and come in a variety of colors like: yellow, amber, brown, and even white.

cannabis concentrate pink background

Concentrates, Extracts and Dabs: What’s the Difference?

The extraction process begins with trichomes. These tiny resin-filled glands on the marijuana plant hold cannabinoids like THC and CBD, and terpenes, which deliver the high desire when consuming cannabis and the diversity of flavors you taste when smoking different strains.

There are several ways to extract and separate the trichomes from the plant. These methods separate the trichomes from the rest of the plant to create cannabis extracts. These extracts can have a texture and consistency similar to: oil, sap, wax, butter, taffy, sauce, and more.

Extracts are highly potent. They only hold the resin from the trichomes, none of the extract comes from the flower itself. Canna-sseurs also call them cannabis concentrates. You can use the terms “extract” and “concentrate” when talking about dabs, they pretty much mean the same thing.

Most concentrates are consumed through dabbing, but some concentrates, like tinctures and kief, aren’t used the same way. Kief and tinctures, are usually alcohol extractions, meaning yes they’re still considered concentrates, because they take the trichomes from the plant, but they are used in different ways.

Then, there are vape pens. Vapes use cartridges filled with extracts, but these extracts are mixed with other things to make them less potent. Vape pens aren’t considered something that can be ‘dabbed’ because they’re not technically used with a dab rig.

Hash and Oil:

“Hash” and “oil” may be confusing to some because their terminology can refer to extracts, but they can also refer to a specific extract.

For example, “oil” can refer specifically to distillates (an extract that has an oil-like consistency), and “hash” can refer to dry-sift, or brick hash.

But here’s a twist: July 10th (7/10) is called “Oil Day.” 710 is a day celebrated for all kinds of cannabis extracts, not just distillates.

Marijuana extraction concentrate aka wax crumble on dark background with tools

Dab Precautions

PLEASE NOTE: Taking a dab is NOT like smoking, vaping, or eating an edible. Here are some things to take note of when you’re about to hit a dab (again, NO – not the pose):

Can you overdose on a dab?

While you may be an expert in bong rips and prerolls, you NEED to be extra cautious with dabs due to their high potency. You may think you got it, but a dab can surprise you if you’re not prepared.

Regular cannabis flower contains around 15-25% THC, but concentrates are much stronger, containing around 60-90% THC depending on what you buy. This means that even a tiny hit off a dab can result to getting extremely high. One small hit can be like smoking a whole joint or even two, and it hits you all at once. Have you ever heard that song, ‘Too High’ by Lil Dicky? Yeah, that could be you.

If you’ve never tried dabbing before, we suggest doing it somewhere you will your safest and most comfortable. Also, it’s a good idea to have a friend show you how. It’s a bit trickier than just lighting a bowl for yourself.

Like we always say, start low and slow and gradually build up your tolerance over time. If you’re feeling good and want to take on another hit, go for it! It’s nicer to ease into your high rather than dive in head first. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Solvents:

It’s important to purchase cannabis products that have been tested in a lab and approved in a legal market. This is especially important with dabs because lots of them are made using solvents. These solvents need to be removed entirely from the final dab product. Legal markets have strict regulations about how much residual solvent can be in the cannabis products they sell.

With Eaze Delivery we ensure that all our products are tested for quality assurance prior to adding them to our menu. We care about YOU and you having the highest quality dank at all times.

High Temps:

Nails and e-nails get superrrrr hot once torched, even up to 600°F, so if you touch one by mistake, it’s not going to feel too awesome (trust us, it hurts). Be cautious when handling your nail, and make sure everything cools down before you consider touching it.

If you’re nervous about using a torch, check out e-nails or e-rigs. They still get hot, but you don’t need a torch, and they give you the same level of steady heat.

cannabis topical oil

How are Dabs Made?

There are several ways to create a dab. That being said, all extraction processes must remove the trichomes from the cannabis plant. These trichomes contain essential cannabinoids and terpenes which make the concentrate potent.

A few factors that influence how a concentrate makes you feel are its potency and its flavor. For example:

– Type and quality of cannabis used — trim, buds, whole plants, hash, and so on.
– Extraction process — using solvents or not.
– Post-extraction process —like dewaxing, winterization, and whipping.

Types of Dabs:

oil in a vape - what is a dab?

Oil:

Oil, also called distillate, has the consistency of a thick liquid. Cannabis consumers often put distillate in vape cartridges, and isolate certain cannabis compounds. It’s also used to make edibles and lotions to name a couple.

cannabis concentrate - shatter

Shatter:

Shatter is typically gold or amber in color and is tough, similar to glass (hence, it’s name). This extract uses solvents and is spread out in sheets to create a thick, flat, glassy layer. After that, it’s put in a special oven to remove any leftover residual solvents.

wax - cannabis concentrate

Wax:

The term ‘wax’ is used to describe types of dabs that are soft and can be shaped differently. Usually, if shatter gets soft and doesn’t stay clear throughout its oven process, it can typically be whipped until it turns into a wax-like consistency.

There are different types of wax like budder, batter and sugar. Wax can be made in different ways, but the most common way is by using butane. People usually dab wax, but you can also add it to your bowls, joints, or blunts.

Live Resin - What is a dab?

Live Resin:

Live resin is produced from cannabis plants that are frozen at harvest and stay frozen while being turned into an extract, whereas other extracts are produced from dried, unfrozen plants. Due to this process, live resin retains more terpenes, delivering a stronger aroma and flavor.

Using solvents to make the live resin, it usually comes out as a sauce-like consistency. This makes it simple to handle when you’re dabbing.

That’s what we got for dabs this time around. Ready to light your torch? Share with us which concentrate you’ll be dabbing tonight with us on Instagram. 

Shop all concentrates and vapes available on Eaze Delivery.

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