What is dabbing?
Dabbing in the world of cannabis refers to the inhalation of a vaporized cannabis extract concentrate, using a dab pen or dab rig. (Dabbing also refers to a popular dance move.) Dabbing has been around for quite some time, however, has recently started gaining in popularity. Dabbing concentrates that are of high quality can be cleaner than other inhalation methods, taste better, and require much less to be used to achieve the desired effects. Dabbing concentrates generally are of high potency and have stronger effects than some other methods of cannabis consumption. If you are new to the practice of dabbing there are some basics to know before you dab.
Dabbing works by heating a high potency cannabis concentrate then inhaling the vapor. Concentrates come in many forms and can contain both cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the compound in dabbing concentrates that causes the euphoric high one feels. CBD does not induce a mental high, however can be used to help with anxiety, pain, nausea, depression, and many other ailments. A dabbing rig looks similar to a glass pipe or bong and contains several components. These can be cumbersome and are not easily portable, which has led to the development of dab pens, which allow for the same effect as using a dab rig.
What is a dab pen?
The question of “what is a dab pen” comes up often when dabbing is discussed. A dab pen is something of a cross between a vape pen and a dab rig. A dab pen does not use a cartridge like most vape pens. Instead, it uses a coil, which heats up the dabbing concentrate and melts it. The vapor then goes into the chamber and is inhaled. These pens run on a battery and are easily portable as well as discreet. Dab pens do not work with oil or liquids, only dab concentrates. The difference between a dab pen, a vape pen, and a wax pen is that vape pens use cannabis oil or flowers, dab pens use wax or other dabbing concentrates, and wax pens use wax. Wax pens and dab pens are very similar in function and structure.
There are many different manufacturers of dab pens out there, however, the basic concept is the same in all of them. Types of dab pens include:
Basic/Inexpensive dab pens
These pens cost less, and often come prefilled, or are meant to be disposable. They require smaller batteries; some can be fitted with replacement parts to last a long time. These are usually very basic and will require the push of a button to ignite the coil.
Glass globe dab pens
These feature a glass globe that allows for vapor to gather, then be inhaled. Many dab pens will come with a globe attachment. These are often preferred by cannabis consumers who have a higher tolerance or want a larger hit.
Magnetic dab pens
Magnet dab pens do not thread together, rather the parts are held together by magnets. This eliminates some of the leaking more traditional or older model dab pens can have. Magnetic dab pens are less messy, and easier to manipulate and put together than more traditional styles of dab pens.
3-in-1 dab pens
Many dab pens will come with different accessories and attachments, making them multipurpose. With attachments that hold cartridges, as well as oils, and dabs, these can be quite versatile and a good investment for people who prefer concentrates. These often also come with dry flower attachments as well.
What do you put in a dab pen?
Dab pens work best with dabbing concentrates. These include wax, crumble, shatter, honeycomb, sauce, resin, or budder. Dabbing concentrates are made by extracting THC and CBD from cannabis flowers. These are difficult to make properly oneself, it is advisable to try a commercial product rather than experimenting at home.
How to use a dab pen?
Dab pens are simple to use, make sure the battery is charged, and keep extras as well as replacement coils on hand. Put the concentrate in the pen, using whatever the preferred attachment is. Then use the button to heat up the concentrate, inhale vapor when ready. After use make sure to clean the dab pen. This can be done by heating it up to the highest temperature, then turning it upside down over a cloth or paper towel. This burns off any residue or leftover concentrate.
Once done with that, disassemble the pen and take out the battery. After that clean off attachments with isopropyl alcohol and warm water. Soft cloths or cotton swabs can also be used. Make sure the pen is cooled down. Use a cotton swab or cotton ball soaked in isopropyl alcohol to clean off residue or soak the parts to get all the residue off. Never soak the coil or heating chamber!
What is in a dab pen that makes you high?
Cannabis concentrates used in dab pens that include the compound THC induces a high feeling. These products are quite pure and can contain anywhere from 50% to 95% THC. This extremely high THC level can induce a long-lasting, very strong high. Dabs need only to be taken once or twice a day due to their high potency.
What does a dab pen high feel like?
The high from a dab pen can be felt very quickly. It is often described as more intense and felt more mentally than smoking a flower or ingesting an edible. Chronic pain patients and those suffering from other long-term and debilitating conditions have reported immediate and very effective results from dabbing. Dabbing can be less harsh on the lungs than some other methods of inhaled cannabis and requires much less to feel noticeable effects. Feeling calm, happy, relaxed, and euphoric are commonly reported along with the relief from pain.
Can a dab pen harm you?
It can be very easy to overdo it on a dab pen if one is inexperienced. Because the high is felt so quickly and is so strong, one can experience a down when the effects wear off. A higher THC potency means that long-term use can increase one’s tolerance to THC. Some negative side effects can be a rapid heart rate, paranoia, passing out, and itchiness on the skin. Overuse can also cause harm to the lungs, so it is always best to start slowly with dabbing. One cannot suffer from a fatal overdose of marijuana, so while one can overindulge, the effects will not be long-term. There may be some long-term respiratory risks associated with dabbing, make sure to discuss with your medical provider.
Dabbing can be a very enjoyable experience. Make sure you are using quality products and tools. Start small as dabbing will affect each person differently. As with all cannabis products it is advisable to read product labels and recommended dosages. Try not to dab for the first time alone, as concentrated THC and CBD will affect each person in a unique way and can cause a fast and intense high. Dabbing can be less harsh than other ways of inhaling cannabis and has been said to be the most effective way to use cannabis to alleviate symptoms of some medical conditions.
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