Dabbing is the act of inhaling vaporized cannabis concentrates. These concentrates are extracted using solvents such as butane, propane, or ethanol or with solvent-free extraction methods using supercritical CO2. These cannabis concentrates are commonly known as BHO (butane hash oil), propane hash oil or PHO and ethanol hash oil or (EHO).
These cannabis concentrates are vaporized using a dab rig, and they are more potent (rich in cannabinoids) than smoking or vaping cannabis buds. Dabs are known to be more flavorful as they are not only richer in cannabinoids but also in terpenes.
Dabs are not smoked, instead, we can classify them as a type of vaporization. In short, it is not combusted but heated.
Dabbing: How does it work?
Dabs are made by extracting cannabinoids and other compounds such as terpenes using a solvent (or supercritical CO2). These concentrates have the form of sticky oils and they are very high in cannabinoids (sometimes up to 80%).
Cannabis users look for a powerful high with cannabis concentrates. Dabbing is ideal to achieve a powerful high. Although not as high in cannabinoids as cannabis isolates, cannabis concentrates are more flavorful, and they are also perceived as a “more natural” option. Dabbing is an excellent choice if you are looking to get very high.
Some people claim dabbing is dangerous. However, it’s mainly its extraction process that can be dangerous, especially if it’s extracted using solvents that are explosive like butane. For example, poor ventilation might cause an explosion. In addition, it is important that the finished product is free of butane. If the extraction process is not done properly, then the hash oil may contain excessive residual solvents.
All has oils extracted using solvents such as butane or propane require lab testing. In addition, it is important that it is extracted by trained professionals.
Dabbing could be inhaled with just a nail and a low torch. However, this method can be dangerous. Therefore, there are new dabbing methods known as e-nails or electronic nails. These torch-less methods are much safer and there are many of these e-nails available on the market. These electronic devices are safe, and they offer temperature control. They work as an induction heating setup.
Is Dabbing Dangerous?
As mentioned above, the extraction process could be dangerous if it’s not done with the right equipment. If we focus exclusively on the inhalation process, then hash oil isn’t dangerous as long as the hash oil has been lab tested to make sure it is free of any solvents or other residues. Nonetheless, one important factor you should consider is the potency of cannabis concentrates. Many of these cannabis concentrates contain between 60 to 90% of THC. In other words, you will experience a very powerful high. Some users, especially heavy cannabis users, may experience psychosis if they consume high doses of THC for an extended period.
The minimal toxicity of cannabis drew the attention of many doctors that conducted experiments on dogs. Drs Spivey, Wood, and Easterfield comment towards the end of the XIX century:
“At the beginning of our observations, we did a careful review of the literature on the subject to determine the toxicity of cannabis. We could not find a single case of fatal poisoning, although alarming symptoms can sometimes appear. We injected two ounces (57 g.) of a liquid cannabis extract in the jugular of a dog that weighed 12 kg. This was a cannabis concentration that we thought was enough to cause death. To our surprise, after being the dog unconscious for about a day and a half, the animal recovered completely. We have never been able to give an animal enough cannabis (Indica or Sativa) to cause death”.
Dabbing is a clean and healthier alternative to cannabis smoking with powerful effects that causes immediate pain relief. Even more important, despite its potency, cannabis has a very low toxicity. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you dab cannabis concentrates that are very pure as you will never overdose from it.
It has become a popular way for people to use cannabis therapeutically and recreationally. Many cannabis users like the intensity of the potent high offered by cannabis has oils and concentrates, which they can achieve through varying concentrate forms and tools.