What Is Dabbing?

Dabbing, dabs and dab might all sound related to the popularised dance routine, but they all actually refer to the vapourisation of cannabinoid concentrates. 

Concentrates are a fast developing segment within the cannabis market, and are in particular demand in jurisdictions where the legalisation of marijuana has permitted innovation to flourish. 

And, It’s not just THC either, CBD concentrates are booming globally, and other potent forms of isolated minor cannabinoids such as CBG are rapidly emerging as the next ‘big thing’ in cannabis. 

man dabbing dance
The popularised dab dance
cbd crumble rock in a glass jar
CBD Crumble ready to dab

Dabs 101

Dabbing is a reference to vaping a refined and concentrated form of cannabis; examples include wax, crumble, shatter, isolate crystals. It was initially popularised in the US and is often used by medicinal cannabis patients due to its swift onset and the sheer potency of concentrates. 

These substances often exceed 80% potency and can reach over 99%, so a little goes a long way. 

Dabs are isolated, or multiple cannabinoids extracted from cannabis either using solvents such as butane or via (solventless) fractional distillation, and are slightly different from usual vaping as the cannabinoid output per inhalation is much (i.e stronger) higher; users only require a puff or two, and feel the desired effect(s) promptly and without a need to re-dose frequently.

By the nature of distillation, cannabinoids can be isolated at a molecular level and combined, maintaining purity and an ability to control for no THC where required. Concentrates are frequently combined with terpenes to provide flavour, and effect by working in synergy with cannabinoids.

How to Dab

Wax Dab

For years, dabbing has relied on heavy and clunky devices which resembled bongs called dab rigs. 

Where Instead of a glass bowl to hold the weed, a titanium or quartz nail is heated with a blow torch until red hot, and the concentrate is then dropped onto the nail where it is instantly vapourised and inhaled.

More recently, devices have become smaller and the majority are now dependent on electronic heating elements, although the old school ones still exist. As a result, dabbing devices contrast vastly in price range, dependent on the components used and craftmanship.

While it sounds and can seem daunting at first, dabbing is easy once you know how to do it! Depending on the exact device the method will very slightly, but it’s can be as simple as adding a suitable concentrate to a e-nail or dab pen (similar to a vape pen) and firing it up!

E-Nails and Dab Pens

E-Nail on white background
E-Nail Dab Device

Electronic dab nails, known as an e-nail, while a niche product, are increasing in popularity. 

Medicinally and for canna enthusiasts desiring a controlled, high dose and efficient way to consume cannabinoids frequently.

E-Nails regulate temperature, ensuring the device maintains a pre-set temperature, displayed on a digital screen on the device. 

To use, a concentrate is dropped onto the nail and inhaled through a plastic or glass pipe. This method avoids the possibility of the user burning themselves on a red hot e-nail, as the digitised version often uses a protected e-nail.

dab pen
Dab Pen

Dab pens operate a similar way to vape pens used for vape juice, but they work at a higher temperature.

Dab pens are economical, portable, and unlike an e-nail require little upkeep. The coils which heat the dab are contained in the CBD cartridge and the entire cart is easily replaceable, while being friendly to use. 

To use, remove the mouthpiece, add a (ideally measured) dab into the see-through section above the coil, put the pen back together and turn it on!

Some (pricey) vape pens, such as Pax 3, offer the ability to add a concentrates section on to a vape usually used for flower. These multi-use devices provide the same functionality as a dab pen but permit for an adjustment in temperature.

Exercising Caution

Dabbing itself hasn’t been around for long, and if using a THC concentrate, the effects are often potent. Too much can be debilitating and exercising caution on the dose, and product quality is critical. Nonetheless, these two points also apply to any form of concentrates.

Dabbing can be dangerous if the extract is of poor quality, especially if it has been obtained using solvents and not appropriately cleansed, leaving behind residual solvents.

Using concentrates which have been extracted without solvents, completely avoids this issue. However, this doesn’t mean you should discount any products obtained using a solvent-based extraction. It’s just extra care needs to be taken to ensure the supplier has done their homework.

Benefits of Dabbing

Dabs can offer a fast and measured dose in a matter of seconds, with the highest level of bioavailability. In a few words, it works and it’s efficient!

Extracts can offer a clean and pure product, that’s easier on the lungs and one which can be odourless. Vaping, in general, avoids burning cannabis and produces no smoke. Delivering an effective dose of cannabinoids when required with ease.

Nature & Bloom Concentrates

We stock broad spectrum CBD crumble, extracted using (solventless) fractional distillation. Available Infused using a range of terpenes to add flavour, but also available without terpenes – with nothing but 97% CBD crumble! 

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Disclaimer: Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Nature & Bloom and its staff. This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention for any disease. Nature & Bloom products have not been evaluated by the MHRA.