Concentrates

What is dabbing?

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What is dabbing? 1

The world of dabbing can be confusing to the uninitiated. It might seem like insider baseball with all its terms and abbreviations. Our guide to dabbing will go over what dabbing is, how to dab, all the different types of dabs and how they’re made, and more.

What is dabbing?

Dabs are concentrated forms of cannabis that come in a variety of textures. They are consumed in a dab rig, e-rig—”electronic rig”—or dab pen. The process of dabbing is extremely hot and flash vaporizes dabs in the range of 400-600°F, whereas combusting or smoking flower happens at around 350°F.

A typical dab rig looks similar to a bong—it is a glass piece with a chamber for water, except instead of a bowl for flower, a rig has a nail for dabs. Because of the high temperatures needed to dab, the nail is usually heated with a torch and allowed to cool to the right temperature before dropping in a dab.

Dabs are named for their texture, and their texture is indicative of the process used to create them. There are numerous extraction methods to create a myriad of different dabs (more below).

All dabs are sticky and can be messy to work with, and can be a variety of colors: yellow, amber, brown, and even white.

What’s the difference between concentrates, extracts, and dabs?

The extraction process begins with trichomes, the resinous glands on the cannabis plant which contain cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, and terpenes—basically, the compounds that make you feel high, and the flavor compounds.

There are several extraction methods (more below) which separate trichomes from cannabis plant material to create a cannabis extract—these can have a texture and consistency like oil, sap, wax, butter, taffy, sauce, and much more.

These extractions are concentrated forms of cannabis, containing only the resin from trichomes and no plant material, and are also called cannabis concentrates. The terms extract and concentrate are interchangeable.

Most concentrates or extracts are consumed through the process of dabbing. Concentrates or extracts consumed through dabbing can also be called dabs.

Some concentrates or extracts are not dabbed, such as kief, tinctures—which are usually alcohol extractions—and others, so these are not dabs, but they are concentrates or extracts because they remove trichomes from plant material into a concentrated form of cannabis.

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