Three Notable Women in the Cannabis Scene Discuss Dabbing
What are dabs? Dabs are doses of concentrated cannabis created by extracting cannabinoids (e.g., THC and CBD) via solvents like butane or carbon dioxide.
The result? Sticky oils referred to as dabs. They are also known as shatter, budder, wax and butane hash oil (BHO). Those who dab tend to use products like rigs, which are most commonly made of hand-blown glass.
Dabs are a great way to get the right dose of medication without excessively smoking flower or vaping. While there is some controversy surrounding dabs and how they are made, those created by professionals in a controlled, laboratory environment are safest to consume.
Recently, we spoke with three notable women on the cannabis scene -- NugTools Ambassador Jenny Wakeandbake, MagicalButter Affiliate Dabberlady, and CannaSmack Ambassador Happy Tokes -- for enlightening insight on dabbing.
What got you started on dabbing?
@jennywakeandbake: I started becoming more interested in the world of concentrates in 2015 when I was struggling to find a solution to cutting the edge off panic attacks and that tight chest pain feeling from anxiety.
@dabberlady: I’ve been smoking flower since my teen years and have been medicating daily for as long as I can remember. Dabbing is a much easier way for me to stay medicated. The smell is basically non-existent, so it doesn't bother those around me, like the smell of a freshly burnt joint might. It also keeps me medicated for much longer than a bowl of flower does, so it helps me get through long days at school and work.
@happytokes: Prescription pills were making me worse. Cannabis was helping me, but smoking provided clouded relief and vaping wasn't enough. Eating my medicine was not an option due to a few of my symptoms: lack of appetite and chronic nausea. I needed more relief. But that sounded so strange in my head because I didn't have the right vocabulary words. "I'm not getting high enough?!" was a difficult thing to process, until I realized that I was actually doing myself a disservice by inhaling so much combusted plant material when I smoked and vaping still wasn't really giving me what I needed to flood my cannabinoid receptors. Extracted cannabis freaked me out at first, but not so much once I made a commitment to educate myself about my medicine, the varying ways it can be extracted, the reason strains are named as they are (hinting to lineage and terpene profile), & the right questions to ask about shopping for and consuming it.
What is your response to those who claim dabbing is the “crack” of pot?
JW: Honestly, I just shake my head. Some people are just not with the times. Yet, I fully understand dabbing is not for everyone and that is fine.
DL: Many people who refer to dabbing as the crack of pot are mostly put off by the way that we medicate. The torch can be intimidating and can look like hard drug use to those that are unfamiliar with our smoking techniques. Best way to deal with these people is to educate!
HT: You know what's fascinating? It's likely, if used with responsible guidance instructing with proper consumption methods, cannabis could actually help kick an addiction to "crack"! Don't just take my word for it. Google it! You'll read about studies from: Canada, Brazil, British Columbia, etc.
I understand that it's easy to feel salty when defending our medicine against cringe-worthy comparisons like this, but I've found that reflecting on a general ignorance without hate or judgement applied to that specific person and allow myself to possess understanding and forgiveness for this person simply not knowing whatever they didn't know before they learned it. It's okay to have been wrong. It’s also easier to learn new things from people when you're kind; even if their questioning feels unkind.
We can prevent this general ignorance by becoming more aware of the words we use when we talk about our medicine and consumption methods. I typically don't find myself saying "I need to get high" or "Let's get stoned", but rather, "I need to medicate" or "Let's take a dab". I'm not saying "HIGH" and "STONED" are bad words that shouldn't be used, I just think we can all be more conscious about the way we speak about our medicine.
What are your suggestions for those who wish to try dabbing for the first time?
JW: If you are looking to enter the world of dabbing, make sure to find a good knowledgeable friend who is familiar with concentrates and their quality, as well as temperature of the nail. Too hot can ruin dabbing for just about anyone.
DL: Educate yourself first and foremost. Learn the basics about how to dab, find out what the best concentrate companies are in your area, and try to steer clear of anyone that hasn't lab tested their products!
HT: Make sure you have the right equipment and feel comfortable using it. Don't be afraid of your equipment (see below). Be confident and aware. Torches stay hot, so do nails. Don't leave dabbers on your lap. Inhale efficiently. Start slow while you add the medicine to the nail. Then, inhale deeper when capping the nail. Pick a strain that's right for you. For instance, I would not recommend an uplifting strain for a first dab to someone who has high anxiety. When choosing medicine, check the lab results. Were there any contaminants? Are you okay with ingesting whatever is listed on there? What was the parts per million (PPM) number? For patients, this should be zero. Although, I believe it's technically legal for the PPM to be up to a certain number. Be safe and responsible! Don't be afraid to talk to your loved ones.
Familiarize yourself with this list of dabbing equipment:
Nail/Banger : This should be quartz! (Titanium is acceptable but absolutely not glass)
Q-Tips: Don't forget to clean your nail after you dab.
Torch: Butane powered; or no torch if you invest in an E-nail.
Dabber: It’s a fancy stick to dispense your medicine.
Carb Cap: Fits over the bucket opening of the nail/banger to cap off the airflow.